Dec 142015
 

This is always my favorite time of the year, not just because of the many holidays and the cheer that accompanies them but also because of the numerous Christmas cards! From October to December {jcp} becomes a holiday conveyer belt of family portraits, for the sole purpose of creating the perfect family Christmas card… and I loves it! The amount of imagination, planning & excitement that go into these is amazing and the kids are always uber excited.

legos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cards

For this family, we always start off with the same conversation-

Family: “I have no idea what we’re going to do this year. I have no idea how we’re going to top last year. We’ve done everything! ”

(I’ve worked with them for six years now/ about nine different sessions and themes, it’s a lot but definitely not everything… 😉)

Me: Do you have any new locations you frequented with the family this year? hobbies that you performed together? What were the kids into this year? Favorite show? song? movie? etc…”

Family: “I have no idea…”

and then it just clicks- the questions seep in, the aha moment occurs and the creative concept begins to reveal itself. This year, for this family, it was going to be all about Legos. Genius! The boys had thousands of them, had built everything from houses to ships to police stations. They even had a room dedicated to the whole movement, where dad could often be found, building and creating right alongside them. Each member of the family even had a Lego figurine that looked just like themselves. It was serious business. Once I heard all of this, I knew it would make the perfect Christmas card for them.

legos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cards

legos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cards

By finding out what the family loves, I’m usually able to then highlight a variety of ideas. Family portraits, in my opinion, should absolutely reflect the joy and love of the entire family. They should document who they are for that moment in time and showcase what it is that makes them tick. It’s important to have the traditional poses but it’s also equally important to capture their personality and character. The kids especially, love this approach. So I had them build and play as a family for about twenty minutes and then had them pose individually and then as a family. This session was heaps of fun and the family card was a definite success within their community of family and friends. It brings a smile to my face every time I see it. Thanks guys!

legos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cardslegos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cardslegos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cardslegos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cardslegos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cards

Tis the season!… and there will definitely be many more family portraits sessions posted to the blog; tons of examples and new ideas for future sessions. Here’s to the holidays, here’s to documenting them and here’s to all of the holiday cheer being sent through the mail this month. I’m so happy to be a part of it all.

legos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cards

legos, christmas, portraits, family portraits, ©JenCastlePhotography, kids, children, photography, boys, family, los angeles, christmas cards

 

Any questions regarding the photography you see here or would like to inquire about wedding photography packages / family portraits?… Feel free to connect with us at any time through our social media or via email: info@jencastlephotography.com

Jan 122015
 

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

I had the pleasure of shooting this family just before the Christmas holiday began. They were a new family for me and we had a blast together. Due to the remarkably dry and hot winter season, that California continues to have, we were able to have our shoot at the beach- complete with bare feet and summer dresses! (It’s a rough life). As you may know, I prefer to bring my families outdoors and watch them play, interact, and love on one another in big open spaces so a warm winter is always a huge positive since it never restricts us to one space. For this shoot, we started out at The Palos Verdes Beach and Athletic Club’s parks and recreation. We then worked our way down the Malaga Cove trail to it’s Cove. We caught the coast just at sunset so our backdrop was a vivid palette of colors and the sand, due to low tide, stretched out before us like glass.

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

I instantly fell in love with this family and their adorable dog “Dot.” Dot could only make it for part of the shoot, since she’s seventeen years old and can’t take too much action these days but that being said she doesn’t seem a day over five and is still very protective and caring towards the kids.

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

And this was one of the main images they used for this year’s Christmas card. I know the holiday’s are over but I love this image so I thought I’d throw it in.

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

family portraits, ©Jen Castle Photography, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Malaga Cove, Beach, Christmas, holidays

Dec 252014
 

christmas, idyllwild, cabins, idyllwild inn, family

Every other year my family runs off to the mountains for Christmas…

to a candy-cane-lane of log cabins deep within the woods. It’s a tradition that began ten years ago and  I have since come to completely adore it. I used to think that Christmas needed to be spent at home but really, as long as you’re with family, it doesn’t matter where you go. Christmas lives within. So why not travel? Why not explore, get out and share the experience with your closest family and bestest friends? It’s priceless, not to mention, completely romantic.

This year, our cabin resides in Idyllwild. I now lie awake, reflective and child-like, listening to the crackle of our fire. My dogs at my side. Husband fast-asleep. Home-made cookies fill the air and have been set aside, with a large glass of milk (and wine, just in case santa needs a break from the lactose) to accompany them. Our presents are wrapped, stockings stuffed and my spirit is full. It doesn’t get any better than this, really. I’m in a state of complete awesome sauce.

“Home is wherever I’m with you.”

So, here’s to everyone out there, wherever you may be this Christmas. Here’s to a spectacular Christmas morning, to family, friends, unconditional love, the pursuit of happiness and good ol’ father Christmas. Cheers and Merry Christmas to you all!!

christmas, idyllwild, cabins, idyllwild inn, family