I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful mother and her incredible children earlier this Summer so to see them later this Fall as a family, was such an added gift. They are a powerful bunch … so kind, so resilient and their love? Well, let’s just say, they are bound closer than you could ever imagine. The opportunity to document this season in their lives for this Bay Area garden-style Family session, was really very meaningful.
We met under the afternoon sun at Filoli Gardens , spending hours enjoying the vibrant gardens and one another’s company. There was this beautiful swirl of emotion as we moved about the landscape … the kind of energy that any mother of three children under seven would well understand. The little ones eagerly bounded ahead as we looked for flowers and trellises … and that sparking jewel-box of a pool in the distance. We played games and chatted as we captured so many wonderful moments on film! So many in fact, that it was near impossible to narrow down this small selection shared here on the journal. What a challenge to have, right? Too many love-filled moments. The Heneghan Family will leave you with just that and so much more. They live …. and they love …. with every fiber of their being.
I will forever be grateful for both a job that introduces me to so many inspiring people and for the opportunity to collaborate and create art together … moments that I hope will live in their families, and their hearts, for a very (very) long time. ~ Kent Avenue Photography
It seems as though throughout the States, we have had an unusually warm Autumn this year. In a perfect twist of events however, the day before I was scheduled to hop on a plane to head to St.Louis for this Fall Family session, that brisk air blew in from the North. We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly if we tried!
I was thrilled to head back to Missouri this year to spend time celebrating the Miller Family on the heels of their recent home remodel. It was so wonderful to see them again and hear all that has transpired the past year as they settle into their lives in St.Louis. I loved hearing from the kiddos about life at school, friends (and maybe a crush a two) … and from Mom and Dad about what they appreciate about the Midwest and all the kind people that have come into their lives over the past couple years.
I was also eager to explore the new spaces that they have worked so hard to design for their new home. Melissa graciously led me throughout, as I took in all the thoughtful and beautiful touches to each reconfigured, light-filled room. She really has such a gift. It was clear that the beautiful walls are meant to both hold their family close … and to share meaningful experiences with all their visiting friends and family!
As those final interior spaces were coming together, we decided to step outside for our pictures that day, enjoying the brisk Fall chill and the changing foliage in the neighboring meadow. It was like a little wonderland back there! I could just imagine the children slipping through the low-lying trees (with their curled, gnarled branches) and berry-dotted bushes that framed the property, and popping up on the other side to play and explore this magical, Narnia-like hidden space together. Rather than perform some sort of army crawl as the little ones most likely do … we drove around to the back entrance that day and used the handsome wooden gate. Both entrances were equally awe-inspiring. It was peaceful and quiet … and that colorful blanket of falling leaves was just so beautiful. And so was their family ~ on so many levels. Thank you Millers for such a meaningful afternoon together. I am so happy for your family and all that you have created together in St.Louis. ~ Kent Avenue Photography
When I land back in California, there is always a comfortable exhale. The landscape, the light, the energy; there’s just a deeply-rooted magic of sorts found in all the nooks and crannies. We all have those places in our hearts ~ those places that light us up . I live for the romance and nostalgia of it all. So to be back … and to meet up with this incredibly wonderful family for this sun-soaked, California bluffside Family session was such a happy place to be!
The girls are just beyond. I could see those smiles right away, as they hopped out of the car in their white eyelet dresses, walking hand-in-hand with their parents across that rocky, grass-lined parking lot atop the beach. I was so excited to see them!
We caught up a bit as we meandered through the tall grasses, along the windy gravel pathways and down the rocky hill until our feet felt the soft sand. I had initially thought perhaps there was a surfing event down below after spotting all the parked white Mercedes sprinter vans that have become so synonymous with west coast surf culture. We soon found however, that while there wasn’t an event per-see, and the surf seemed calm where we were, there was a break around the corner of the bluff where the waves were epic … and the surfers were taking it all in! More magic, thank you.
We tucked ourselves back around the corner, enjoying those Pacific views and the dreamiest light that sliced through those special places in the rocks. The girls collected seashells to fill their sweet sand-pails and climbed on the large boulders. Ella filled me in her first year of kindergarten and Lily told me all about her wonderful best friend at school who seems to have been a constant from year-to-year. Mom and Dad are really just the kindest souls; people that I could speak to forever. Can you believe, they even have the same birthday? Born just hours apart! I love stories like that and hearing about all those twists and turns of life, and how your stories become intertwined … I become so invested. I absolutely love it. I was eager to hear more, but alas the setting sun. There never (ever) seems to be enough time!
Thank you Zahedis for sharing your magic with me ~ an afternoon that is truly ingrained in my memory! ~ Kent Avenue Photography
Santa Cruz, CA
This sunny, creekside California family session was a memorable one for so many reasons! Chelsey and Stephen are a true force. I was so humbled for the opportunity to spend the afternoon with their family and celebrate this season in their lives.
You know those people that leave such an indelible impression on your heart? Chelsey and Stephen are those people. They are so kind. To hear their story, and see the love they share, was a real blessing.
We took a walk to the creek that sunny afternoon ~ a place that I quickly learned held a very special place in their hearts. Chelsey mentioned that they had spent time here almost every day that summer. When I saw the happiness in the boy’s eyes as they teetered barefoot along the rocks to the water’s edge, I could understand why. The light in that sweet spot was just magical. It danced through the tall trees and sparkled on the surface of the water … the way gold glistens in the sun. It was quiet and powerful all at the same time.
I followed the boys in and out of the water that afternoon as they splashed and tossed pebbles, like little ones do. It was perfect. And Chelsey and Stephen? Well, they encouraged and enjoyed, every playful (muddy) bit. I was so enamored by how patient they were. And how present they were. What a beautiful quality ~ a quality that wholeheartedly aligns with their entire business model as founders of The Rainmaker Family.
I learned that they made the decision to concentrate on abundance over lack a long time ago. What a powerful shift! They focus on helping their community buy back their time and have the freedom to spend more with their own families. They do this by helping people create online passive income, focusing on e-commerce & digital products. Their uplifting ideals and steadfast commitment have led to well-deserved, personal success!
Thank you Chelsey and Stephen for sharing your family with me, and for working so hard to put such goodness into the world! What a beautiful example for your boys. And for all of us. ~ Kent Avenue Photography
Sometimes life gets ahead of me. I am currently working on some exciting new projects and while I was gathering material, I had the pleasure of uncovering so many Family sessions from over the years that I have yet to blog! Like this early Fall session at beautiful Gamble Gardens; a session that came at such an extraordinary time.
I experienced such a wave of emotions even just revisiting these images with this incredible family. Our time together was special for so many reasons as we were still feeling the repercussions of that emotionally-charged 2020. Like many of us, I craved human connection so very much. I missed exchanging smiles, and conversation … and hugs. So seeing those kind faces, and experiencing their love for one another from behind the lens was moving on another level.
You could tell they had been through so much that year together. And with that stress and tension that a pandemic year can impose, came almost this silent group exhale of sorts ~ they appeared to just effortlessly fall into one another. There was that unique kind of comfortability and intense love that can be a blissful byproduct from emerging out the other side from a challenging situation. They are strong. They are resilient. And they feel such a deep love for one another.
And this is why I love Family sessions. Each year is different. Life is unpredictable. There can be bumps in the road that may send us off the path a bit, and others that may launch us into moments of complete bliss. I think that each piece deserves to be recognized and celebrated. These are the chapters of your family’s story. And there is no other story like it. Thank you Blacks, for spending the afternoon with me on the heels of such a trying time. Your love and light were not only such a pleasure to capture … but honestly healing in so many ways! ~ Kent Avenue Photography
Palo Alto, CA
Three sons … I mean, talk about blessed. Let me tell you, this mama is one fiercely loved mama. Those handsome boys have some major heart eyes for this wonderful woman who is equal parts strong and soft ~ an incredibly talented woman who loves as hard as she leads. This California Motherhood Studio Session was such a special one for so many reasons.
We were graced with the most incredible, light-filled space that day. And a studio manager who showed up in wonderful ways. I am a pretty simple person with a pretty simple workflow. I actually prefer it that way. Everyone works differently, and I have found over the years, it is this simplicity that allows me the opportunity to slow down, enjoy the moment and really focus my attention on my clients. Being that I was traveling for these sessions, I did not have a couple of those larger studio items. However, the studio manager could not have been kinder or more accommodating. He rounded the corner with a smile and lent his precious time to help me (when he certainly did not have to). I was so grateful.
I draped our custom, hand-painted backdrop from the incredibly talented jrd arte shop over the large industrial-grade stand. Placing a cream boucle ottoman in place, I stepped back eager to let that brilliant light illuminate our simple vignette. Light has such power, doesn’t it? It warms, it lifts, and it brightens. Light + love, I can not think of a more powerful duo.
And this beautiful mama, she basked in that light with her boys. It highlighted every love-filled glance and every warm embrace. It fell upon beautifully tangled legs, tiny clasped hands, and soft smiling cheeks pressed closely together. It was so moving to witness and to see her unique relationship with each child unfold in a series of such soft moments. She is smart, and kind ~ and fully aware of her blessings. Thank you Martina for such a special afternoon and sharing these moments with me! I am still reeling. ~ Kent Avenue Photography
If you would like to capture some moments with your family, I would love to design a session that speaks to your heart! Learn more about our customized sessions here.
San Francisco, CA
This Charlotte Home Newborn Session was held right on the heels of Spring. This is always such a beautiful time of year ~ growth, new beginnings and new life. Little Alex, you could not have timed your arrival into the world more perfectly!
We decided to make the most of the fresh air and warm sunshine that early afternoon, setting up our hand-painted backdrop right on the open patio. Katie made us the most delicious charcuterie to enjoy as we listened to music and captured some images of the Hudsons with their firstborn child. I loved chatting and getting know this wonderful young couple more. Their story goes way back. It was pretty awesome to hear! Kinda like a movie really … and I am sucker for all those kinda movies! It was clear that the deep love and strong friendship they have built over the years is now woven ever so intricately into the fabric of their lives.
I know they are enjoying every bit of this handsome little guy who is already such a huge part of their family! They know that these early newborn days will go by so quickly. They are probably a bit of a blur already ~ a pretty exhausting (heart-swelling) blur. Those teeny, tiny features will soon change. His wispy eyelashes, little lips and papery thin nails will soon become a memory ingrained on their hearts. These are the memories, within that hazy glow, that I never ever want to fade.
My goal with Newborn photography is to help preserve these simple, blissful, fleeting moments. Nothing is rushed or forced. We take moments as they come, celebrating every last bit! Thank you so much Hudsons for sharing this wonderful time in your lives with me! ~ Kent Avenue Photography
It was a bit chilly that early morning for this Charlotte Newborn Session. The dreamiest fog layer slowly lifted, piggybacking on the rising sun. It felt like the start to a brisk Fall day!
When we first moved to Charlotte in the midst of the pandemic, we ventured out to this sweet farm on the outskirts of the city. I admittedly missed home in California something fierce. My heart ached for that open, uninterrupted landscape, the mountainous backdrop, the tall trees, and that Pacific ocean that we knew so well on the west coast. So that day, when we drove those winding rural roads (windows down) out to the farm, I felt a happy, familiar exhale escape my body.
I had read about Mike and Shelley’s family-run, 100% solar powered Alpaca farm and was so excited to meet them and take a tour of their property at Good Kharma Ranch. They are two of the kindest people and their story about moving out to Iron Station really moved me so much. The respect they have for one another, what they value in life and how they have decided to spend their time is pretty wonderful. I loved learning more about their animals and was eager to return for not only another visit … but also a photo session. Fast forward a year, we brought my little nieces back to meet Mike and Shelley and their sweet alpacas. This time, we made plans to return yet again in a couple months for a local newborn session in the field.
And today, was finally that day. We were so excited for our visit and to celebrate little Sloane’s Charlotte Newborn session. We popped her in a cozy cashmere jumper/bonnet, and brought some soft Alpaca throws to keep her extra warm. She was so calm the entire time, snuggling comfortably into her mama’s arms and staring beautifully at the camera. After a bit, we thought perhaps she might want a little break, so we laid a blanket in the tall grass and placed her on her belly. However, rather than relax, she confidently propped herself up on her elbows and looked back up at me to find the camera again with that magnetic sparkle in her eyes! You are the sweetest little Sloane. Thank you for such a very special morning! ~ Kent Avenue Photography
Of all the days on the calendar to gather for this coastal Carmel Family session, our date happened to fall on Mom & Dad’s anniversary! I felt especially excited (and honored) to capture their love and their three wonderful children that very special day. We headed out to the coast to celebrate all things family … and these two beautiful people who started it all.
The air was crisp and you could hear the ocean gently lapping at the shore. Brilliant slivers of warm light cut through the fragrant, coastal-lining Eucalyptus trees, creating beautiful shapes on that Pacific-facing beach below. We made our way up the embankment, meandering along the winding gravel pathways, through the tall trees, until we came to the entrance for that hidden gem of a spot. Holding tightly to the little one’s hands, we slowly and carefully worked our way down the steep set of rickety, wooden steps …. to the larger sandstone steps … until our toes finally hit the white sand of that whimsical, Peter-Pan-like, coastal alcove. There is rarely a soul down on this beach, but we surprisingly had the pleasure of some company that day, so we tucked ourselves back into a little protected pocket to have some fun and capture some images together!
Later as the sun began to slip closer towards the horizon, we worked our way back up the steps and out along the bluffs, to enjoy the sunset at a higher elevation and take in all the local birds who came to gather on the massive rocks in the distance. And by “all the birds”, I mean quite literally, all 3,000 of them. The spectacular view that late afternoon was really and truly like something out of a dream ~ the most beautiful lavender ombre sunset, a periphery of tall Cypress and Eucalyptus trees perched atop bluffs that dipped down to magical coves, magnificent rock formations, and a vast expanse of ocean whose surface danced with the twinkling light of the setting sun. It was breathtaking.
Funny enough, in all the loveliness that unfolded that day, the most beautiful moment to me by far, was at the very end ~ a moment that was a bit ‘uncomfortable’, but a moment that otherwise spoke volumes. On our walk back at dusk, there was a swarm of large bugs that seemed to descend on us. We attempted to shoo them away, however much to our dismay, they seemed to want to stick around and enjoy our company!
As we scooted down the path to try to get away from them, I saw Mom with one child in hand, look ahead to Dad glancing back with two children in hand. I was blown away with how quickly in that one moment (with very few words exchanged) they were able to convey to one other how to best care for and comfort their kiddos. You could feel right then and there what a force they were together, how beautifully entwined their lives were, how well they knew their children and how well they knew one another. It was awesome.
Thank you Stefanis for such a wonderful night. Thank you for celebrating your anniversary with me and for showing me the power of family. I really appreciate you all so very much. ~ Kent Avenue Photography
I was thrilled for the opportunity to return to San Francisco’s Legion of Honor for this beautiful Bay Area Family session! Perched high in the headlands above the Golden Gate Bridge, sits this handsome gem of French neoclassical architecture. While the art inside will leave you breathless, I will admit that the outside is equally as spectacular. And this wonderful family sure brought the magic.
We had brilliant sunshine that day and a bit of a breeze. I always arrive quite early to sessions and this day wasn’t any different. I was eager to sit outside in the courtyard and just take it all in.
When this wonderful family arrived, we moved our way around the open spaces enjoying the sun and exploring it’s little shady niches and pockets behind the tall repeat of pillars. I was so honored for the opportunity to photograph them together and appreciative of their willingness to show up … like really show up. There wasn’t any pressure to preform or be perfect. They let the afternoon unfold, laughed together and just genuinely enjoyed one another’s company! This always makes me more happy than I can express.
My goal is to not only collaborate and create Family art but create an opportunity for you all to be together, have fun and make memories! ~ Kent Avenue Photography
We didn’t realize we were making memories;
We just knew we were having fun.
~ A.A Milne
San Francisco, CA