dina: main mama “mini”

dina is the one responsible for all of this (well, and amanda, nothing but love for you a!!:)) mini stuff! she is the director of a stroller strides group in the corona area. (if you are interested in joining fire me off and email and i will get you dina’s contact info.) they are such an amazing group of women, every time i am with them there is this unexplainable bond of sisterhood. it’s cool. i have tried to join the sisterhood, but they told me to try back next year, when i’m as beautiful as their leader.  


i am so grateful to her and all the stroller strides ladies who have allowed me to photograph their children and now their families; it is always really special for me to be able to be with them for a bit! dina is so magnetic; right now i want her to come over and hang out, make me laugh, and tell me great stories. her humor is quick; i like that, and she doesn’t take things too seriously: such a great trait in a leader.

doesn’t she look like you could tell her anything and not be judged for one second, but completely understood and still accepted. that basically sums her up. she is warm and kind and lovely.


her man, like most, wasn’t to interested in family pictures; it’s tricky for them when there is a ball game on or something else they would rather be doing, like kicking back a few with friends in the garage watching the tube, or at home depot gathering supplies for the next project. i totally get it, appreciate it, and can empathize. my man is so good about pictures…now…

gary, like i said, was there on the wiles of his wife. ;) he didn’t really care to be in too many pictures, only the important ones. i am so glad that i caught this expression. i don’t know him, at all really, but i think f. scott fitzgerald would describe this expression as a “smile of understanding”. it translates so much about him: compassion, kindness, a strong provider, a great dad, and hopelessly in love with that stunning and sultry goddess on his shoulder.

love this image. 


and you know who belongs to them?

miss emma yummy hot cakes baby! eating her up. everyone stop trying to nibble the screen! (joy, my friend, who is a pro at this… give her a flavor!! what flavor is she?)


and brother, logan, who came with the best accessory of the day and chose it himself. i love how much this shares about him.

the tie really is so rad.


and the eldest with the most gorgeous eyes, alley cat. ps no enhancement to those babies!! she is such a sweet girl. when she can babysit i want her at my house. mostly because she will be able to babysit before she can drive, and that means dina will have to drop her off, and i will get to see dina every friday night. i am serious about alley babysitting. don’t get any ideas striders. i call her. dibbbbsss!


and my vote for christmas card this year…


because think of how punny the message could be: “shouting it from our house to yours, happy holidays!!” 

also, everyone knows how i think a perfect picture isn’t perfect but illustrates so much about personalities? tell me you aren’t chuckling a bit? right? love it! it’s got my vote. any other messages you can think of to use with this one?

and a good stand by that also translates personalities and demonstrates what a gorgeous and grounded family they are:


dina, thank you for having me! i really do think you are an outstanding person, and am so happy to know you!! your family is absolutely lovely!

xoxo kj

ps get your “comments on”. i saw a sneak peek of the giveaway today…you will love it! so festive and so kamee june!!! ;)

nothing “mini” about it, these boys are destined to play ball

these two adorable boys


have no chance.


they will be lookers like their parents.


and they will play ball because they will be tall. good looking ballers? the world can never have too many!!


such a sweet family, and such a pleasure to photograph!


leave them some love. remember the first to comment automatically goes in the drawing, a name after that will be selected at random to go into the grab bag!! so excited about this!! have some fun…keep watching cause they’ll keep coming! the more love you leave the greater your chance to win!!

yum and yum?: the first of several mini posts and my first giveaway!!

i always thought it was a little funny when parents said things about eating their children. you know, like, “she is so sweet, i could eat her up!” or “i just want to eat you; i love you so much!” it is still a little strange when i really think about it. we want to eat them? i know. it’s all figurative, but still. i am guilty too. larkin is so chubby juicy that sometimes i just want to nibble on her, but i wouldn’t really. anyway, you get it. it takes me off guard a bit, but i still love to say it just because it is, well, just kind of funny!!

this baby is delicious! yum! when i see her i do feel like snacking!!


and… yum? i won’t tell you if he ate it or not!! i’ll leave that up to your imaginations and juvenile taste buds of boogers long gone.


more to come from my mini shoots in a series of mini posts!

in fact, each time i post a mini post if you leave some love your name will go into my bag for a giveaway i am having, my very first in fact!! it is going to be something really delicious you won’t want to miss out on and will be perfect for the holidays. there will be several mini-posts coming soon. if you are the first to post, your name will automatically go into the drawing. if you post after then i will drawn a name, at random, from the rest of the post’s commenters to go into the big pile! make sense? basically, leave some love when you see a mini post and you could by chance be the recipient of something really delicious!! oh, and this post counts!! get to commenting! ps there are about 7 (maybe a few more) mini posts, so lots of chances to win; your name can go in multiple times, and the title of the post will always have something to do with “mini”. have fun and happy commenting while enjoying some fun family moments and portraits. 


the power of the compliment, for both the giver and the receiver is really quite significant. complements make us feel accomplished, happy, accepted, appreciated, noticed, and loved. giving them also provides a sense of well-being.  i like to play a game with myself to see how many compliments i can give others each day. the rules are pretty basic: give honest and sincere compliments to at least three people (three is usually the minimum), and one of those people always has to be a stranger (so basically someone i see at target, since that is where i go almost every day). the compliment can be on anything, but it has to come from the heart and really be something i think and notice. i especially love sharing  a compliment when my kids are around; gunnar is starting to play the game too.

kamee to stranger, usually at target: “i love your shoes. where did you find them? did you buy them this season? tell me they still have them! they are fantastic and look great with your outfit.”

the lady smiles and thanks me for my compliment, and before we turn the corner gunnar offers one of his own:

gunnar: “yea, and you look like optimus prime.” which to to him is a total compliment. in his four-year old mind being called a machine that turns into a monster, i mean, a defender of the world, is a supreme compliment.

i quickly cover with, “and your children are adorable, absotlutely adorable…” 

the photography business lends itself to compliments, both giving and receiving, all the time. i am so thankful to everyone who has loved, supported, and encouraged me with my photography journey. your compliments through comments, email, text, facebook messages, even snail-mail always make me feel validated and very special. thank you for being so good to me. 

i think in terms of a photography business there are four great compliments:

1. scheduling a session with me in itself is compliment alone. i geniunely feel honored when a family, couple, etc. chooses me. thank you.

2. emails sharing how priceless the photographs are: “i couldn’t stop looking at them.” “i stared crying when i saw my family together so happy.”  “you have frozen in time how i see the ones i love.” “i will treasure these forever.” “is that really what we look like? damn!! we’re beautiful!” (love that one!!) all words that make me get a little emotional and feel all sorts of giddy thinking i helped create those feelings in others.

2. sharing my contact information with friends. referrals are some of the coolest compliments. i love to hear that other clients referred me. it just. warms. my. heart. ;)

3. returning clients. it is so neat to see repeat visitors or have repeat clients book a year out. it really does mean a lot. i know there are several photographers to choose from, and when clients return to me it makes me feel special, and like i did a good job for them, and that they were happy with the experience and the product.

thank you to all of you who have complimented me in some way; i am so thankful for all of your love and support, encouragement and friendship.

it is also so fun to see clients i have photographed before because i enjoying seeing growth and change. i also love catching up on their stories!! it’s cool to see how much babies and older siblings have grown and the milestones they have met since our first shoots, and to see how much in love the parents still are after another year or more of marital bliss.;)

this is one of my favorite images. i shot it over a year ago when drake was just a new baby.


the have grown so much. seriously. isn’t it amazing to just consider?



IMG_7910drakeybandwblogi have a few compliments of my own for this darling family, who i am very fond of.

jereme and tiffany, your children are a credit to both of you. it is easy to tell the children who spend quality time with their parents; yours are an obvious indicator that you are investing a great deal in them. they will bless your name and bless your family for the sacrifices you are making for them.


YOU. ARE. GORGEOUS. PEOPLE. when god made you he passed out a whole lot of gorgeous and attractive to your family. he passed out so much of it to you all that the people in line behind you had to settle for pretty, handsome, and really, really nice, all because he gave so much gorgeous and handsome to you guys.



you know you are so blessed and have been given so much, but there is such humility in your hearts and home. you realize the importance of family and have made sacrifices to maintain it as a fundamental in your life.





tiffany, i could hang out with you all day, and want to hang out all day the next day too. you have so much charisma and personality. i also love how fast our minds go when we are together trying to catch up on everything, but our mouths just can’t communicate it fast enough. you are charming on so many levels and are absolutely mesmerizing to admire:



together you are the perfect mixture of calm with charisma, pensive with personality, spontaneity with sexy:





you are the family every girl dreams of having someday: so playful, but still safe and centered. you are the neighbors we all hope to have. you are the couple everyone appreciates because your love always feels fresh and alive.




you are the perfect compliments to one another:



tiffany, jereme, stella, and drake, thank you so much for all the love you share with me, all the interest you take in me and my little family, and all the compliments you always give; i am so grateful for you all. can’t wait to see you all again, kamee


the hot mama and the adorable middle child: a sneak peek

my girlfriend bethany says or writes, “Eekkkk!!!” when she is really excited about something.

in that case…


and that pretty much sums up how i feel about this shoot.

more to come. until then just a few of this gorgeous and amazing mom of three, under three. 



catch your breath. i know stunning, right?

and one of the middle baby, sarah. (i am fascinated by birth order; thought i would give her a little extra love!!)


hang on to your hats! the full post just might blow them away!!

if i know joy

this is joy. her name couldn’t be more perfect for her.


she and i have been friends for almost a year. we meet bi-montly for pedicures, have lunch when our busy business-women schedules allow (and when they don’t we grab a quick drink and catch up in the few minutes we have), we attend bunco together, and are in the same book club (we usually discuss the book via facebook or email a week or so before formally discussing with the other gals just so as to know what the other thought). she is there when i need a friend to tell me i am good enough and smart enough, and when i need to be told my jeans are the right size even though i feel i am spilling out of them, and i vice versa. she drops her girls off at my house when she needs to run errands or has appointments or just needs to think, by herself for an hour or two, and i do the same. we watch the same shows and debrief about them regularly, we send funny emails back and forth through out the day, we call when we need to vent; we laugh, feel understood, and accepted when we hang out. she is a dear friend and i am thankful for her presence in my life.

well, sort of.

she is a dear friend and presence in my life, but we don’t really do anything together.

we would do all the things listed above if we didn’t live five hours apart.

joy and i became friends first through photography, and now through the beauty of email, blogging, facebook, and twitter. i have only been with her, actually in her presence twice, and both were to take pictures, but we have created a friendship that is so neat, albeit close to pen pals, and if we did live closer all the things good friends do like bunco, mani and pedi’s, kid swapping, golden spoon, and lunch, would, for sure, be happening.

even though we haven’t “hung” out we still have had the opportunity to become friends through our correspondences. i feel, strangely, like i know her pretty well. she has a kind heart and a geniune spirit that has cultivated itself through trial and growth. she feels like she has to explain herself and every choice or action she makes, even though she owes no own any explanation (much like myself.) she likes to talk, but is really good at listening. she loves her sisters, and is a good sister in return. she is really talented at what she does professionally and finds a great deal of accomplishment in her work.; although it’s hard to leave her girls at the beginning of each day. she loves sweets (me too!!!) photography (wow! me too!!!), books (what? me too!!!), girlie things(same!), and new shoes what? no way. me too!). she is a simple gal, but still has passions and interests she is willing to splurge on. the people that matter the most to her are the three people that live under her roof. she cares about family, community, friends, and even strangers; she would literally give you the shoes off her feet, without hesitation, if you asked. she is determined, courageous, and lives with integrity to what she knows to be true in her heart. 

and if i know joy her jaw is going to drop in five, four, three, two, one…


since it already dropped, let’s just keep it there and lie this one down too.


and if i know joy this one will make her head shake in disbelief because it captures her girls’ spirits perfectly: mischievous and daring, intrigued and cautious.


and if i know joy these might make her a little emotional, because they will remind her of the memories we made of a moment in time with her sweet family:






if i know joy these will be two of her favorites, because they are bright and colorful, much like her, and because they are of her two favorite sprites.  

if i know joy they might replace the current pictures on her desk at work:



if i know joy she is going to love this next image. seriously. love it. and if i know joy it is going to make her laugh audibly. and that is going to make her happy, and me too.


(i love it too joy! it was one of my favorites as well. i hope you find a place for it on a wall somewhere. ;))

and she will keep on laughing at this, and she will think, “oh, maddy! gotta love  you girl!”


if i know joy these will make her heart sing, and they will make tonight’s good night kiss a bit longer. (remember trevor from their last shoot? he sounds just like this man; it’s awesome. i kept asking him questions just because i wanted to hear him speak.)




if i know joy she will like this image, because it isn’t a perfect family portrait, but still a true reflection of her family and their distinct and endearing personalities.


if i know joy these will be in the running for christmas card picture this year:




(my vote is the second. what do you all say? help her choose.)

if i know joy these will make her smile and feel happy, and the next time these little sweethearts walk in the room make her squeeze them a bit tighter:




if i know joy she’ll think this one is great because it will remind her of how hard we worked to get her spirited gal to take some pictures:


and joy will be chuckling at how well maddy focused her shot, on the hairs in my nose. bravo maddog, bravisimo! (she actually got some really great stuff of me. might use it for my head shot later. :))


and if i know joy she already knows how much i think of her and that i am wishing our next visit to come quickly. and if i know joy she has checked this blog several times to see if these were up. and if i know joy she will keep looking at them because they make her smile and feel happy and blessed. and she is. and so am i to have a friend like joy in my life.

joy, may you know and feel how special you are to me. thank you for the fun, the visit, and the most delicious cupcakes. maddy, thanks for the dance. rebecca, thank you for being honest. trevor, thank you for talking. can’t wait for our next visit. xoxo kam



picnic kisses

at the end of a shoot i walk away feeling a lot of things: accomplished, inspired, tired, and usually hungry. ok, almost always hungry. :) and i always, always feel a strong sense of gratitude for the time i had to meet new friends, learn a bit about their story, and be encouraged by the way they live their lives and love each other.


rarely do i want my sessions to end; i will the light to extend itself just a bit longer so i can spend just a tad more time with my new friends.


i watched their brake lights dissipate as they drove away from the parking lot. as i ignited my car and started my drive home i felt such an overwhelming sense of love. you know those moments when it feels like the clouds are lifted and you see things so clearly? i was feeling that way after my time shooting this endearing family. they have such a strong bond with each other and such a present and mutual respect and profound love for one another that it was impossible to not feel close to them. each time i asked them to have a “relationship with each other” or “a moment with one another” someone said, “i love you.” it made the moment so real and so tender and it made me smile. and i felt grateful for the opportunity i have to witness so much love and all its levels, so often, through the medium of photography. i was really touched by this family and the closeness they have cultivated with each other.


“outdoor-sie” people by description; it was a no-brainer when they told me they wanted to meet up at a state park for their portraits. i also appreciated all the variety my arizona shoots gave me. it was inspiring to be in so many different locations, but i thought this was particularly cool because this family enjoys spending their time hiking, camping, and biking together. i love it when a location reflects an interest or a love of the subject; this park was an excellent choice.



a trait i really admire in people is humility. i appreciate it because i think you are either born with it and it is one of your personality gifts, or it is something you have to work to have and develop in  your character. either way, i love that attribute and find it to be attractive. this family is beautiful regardless, but it’s their humility and genuineness that is so compelling.

melinda is a school teacher (i had an immediate affinity for her.) we talked a bit about what she is currently teaching and her educational philosophies; her students are lucky to be in her class and to have her influence in their lives. she is one of those teachers making a difference, who is in the profession for the students and not for the holidays. i think some of her students might have crushes on her too. she teaches them cool stuff and is pretty to look at. ;)


chris, was such a pleasure to visit with. he was mellow and sincere. a perfect example of his nature: while romping through the cacti filled fields i stepped on something that could be described as a prickly ball of needles. chris immediately broke from the pose for the picture, told me to hold still, and then began administering “cacti needle removal”. silly city girl! next time i’ll wear boots, that go up to my knee. thanks chris for coming to the rescue; you are a good man!!

together they have a very special relationship. i think they truly understand how lucky they are to have found each other in this world and they remind one another every day of how much they care.




i love that one stray piece of hair in this next one and how the wind chose to only sweep it away. the feeling of this image is so romantic, so jane austen-esque.


it’s no surprise that a very well-mannered, adorable, and enchanting child came from these two very kind-hearted people.

megan was such a pleasure to photograph, she was a dream really. 



love everything about this image. such a sweet, quiet moment.


megan exhibits nothing of the “only child” syndrome. she is as real as her parents and as silly as a child should be.


her spirit is a blessed contribution to this already special family.


i love it when families bring a prop that really works well with their setting and once again reflects who they are as people. melinda brought a picnic. the whole concept with delicious. it was fun photographing a family picnic.




melinda, chris, and megan, may your camping, hiking, and biking always bring you closer to the spirit of the earth, and to the spirit of your family. may you always find joy in star gazing and marshmallow roasting, and may your humble hearts and genuine love of family and life continue to inspire the rest of us. 

thank you for the opportunity to meet a prickly pear. much love to you all, kj



cookie dough tubs

i don’t believe in fate or chance. i believe there is a predestined plan for each of our lives, that plays itself out, interestingly enough by the choices we make. that’s what makes my theory so cool. if there is already a set plan, then how does the concept of choice apply? i can choose to do one thing or the other, the choice, if the plan is set has already been made. i just have to think of what choice i already made to make the plan of my life play out accordingly. you with me, or did i lose you back at “i don’t believe…”? i also believe that certain people enter our pre-planned lives, either for a moment or a lifetime, because we need them for some reason. i think one of the basic needs of the human experience and the plan of our life is the people we know and come into contact with, daily, intermittently, seldom-ly, or regularly. i used to think of this at the beginning of each school year, that all the kids i would teach that year were in my life at that time for a certain reason, and i in their’s. i think about this idea often actually, how we are all dependent on each other in some unexplainable way. how we are all part of each other’s plan. we just have to recognize the influence found through the people around us.

several years ago this enchanting lady journeyed into my life, because i needed her.


the months before i had gunnar were filled with anxiety, as it is for many expecting their first child. being an anxious person by nature, the added fear of the unknown made me a huge ball of anxious pregnant mess. allison and i had become friends at church. we made instant connections and our lives and interests synthesized immediately. we checked on each other often, caught up on sundays at church and met up when our hectic work schedules allowed.  she called me one night on the way home from work to check on me. when i am upset about something it is pretty transparent; she could tell something was wrong. i told her my feelings about becoming a mom, my fears from delivery to the change in my life with jaren, down to the concern about losing weight and fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. she asked if i was going to be home all night. i told her yes. she showed up 30 minutes later with two tubs of cookie dough, from a local take and bake bakery. the rest of the evening we baked together and talked, well, i mostly talked, and she listened, and then told me i was going to be ok.

and i was. and in that moment i felt understood. and loved. cared for, and safe.

and that’s why i needed her in my life at that time, in that moment.


she and her husband moved away shortly after that for broader horizons and better work opportunities. i was sad, but understood and also knew that our predestined paths would cross again. because that’s what happens when you are friends.

i was thrilled when she got in touch with me for family pictures. excited for the photography opportunity, but also for the time to be with her and reconnect.

both she and her husband, tyce, are magnets; their personalities are ultra charismatic and fun. we always enjoyed spending time with them.




they are good to everyone they know and are true to one another. it is inspiring and touching to see their relationship:



these two have added to their family since they moved away. i wish i could have been there for allison like she was for me during her pregnancies.

be there for anything really, not just pregnant times. ;)

first came britain:





then came keaton:




keaton just barely turned one; she gets a little extra blogger love:



i love this image; everything about it:


and soon their will be another baby to love, and new moments of life’s plan to experience, together:




i loved this image of allison and the people who are most dear to her:


allison, i am so glad you came into my life when you did; thank you for being such a good friend to me; i am so grateful for you. i think about that cookie dough often. may you continue sharing that huge heart of yours with everyone you meet. allison, tyce, britain, and keaton you are four more reasons to move to arizona. thank you so much for sharing some time. love you guys, kj


flight of the bumblebees: candy coma 2009

everything about this is sweeter to me than any candy will ever be:


want to squish this bee and won’t mind being stung:







squashed bee:


and our bumblebee of the transformer species with his side-kick optimus:




“transformers: they live among us.”


i got a few of my bees together but the insect bee was stinging the transformer bee and it ended up making a blurry bee mess.

i did get this sweet dragon. the thought of him running to keep up with the big kids and his little tail and wings flapping is better than all the candy we collected that night.


hope your halloweens left you in a candy coma and filled your buckets with memories!!


oh and one more: a tough egg. 


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