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

Feb 282014
 

I’ve written about Sophie a few times on this blog, an amazing little girl with incredible courage and a whole lot of spunk. I adore her and always welcome the chance to work with her. My last session with her turned out to be a collaboration of sorts. I was to photograph a few portraits of her, within her room, that would then be used as inspiration to create a painting, 24 x 30 acrylic on canvas to be exact. The artist commissioned was the ever-so-talented Lisa Lambertus of Lisa Lambertus Art & Design. I was over-joyed, couldn’t wait to see the finished project and became drunk with excitement to see what another artist’s eye would bring to our portrait session. The more I got to know Lisa, the more intoxicated my excitement became.

Once Lisa and I got to chatting we decided it would be amazing to be able to see her process so she set to work with a time-lapse recording her every move, well every move in 30 second intervals that is.
 

Lisa is a self-taught artist from Ontario, Canada with her specialty being acrylics on canvas.  In my opinion, she’s the “Jimmy Hendrix” of her craft; she has never had any formal training, taught herself and paints more from the heart than anything. In her own words,

“I started painting around the age of 17 but I have loved it, from a very young age. It heals my soul. I paint what inspires me. I fall in love or become emotionally touched by people’s lives. After that I have the need to capture them, to connect with the person on some level.”

Today, she channels her creativity primarily into her portraits, honoring those who have lost or continue to fight for their loved ones.  She has also done a variety of portrait paintings for families with children currently fighting cancer. Currently she is working on a project to help raise funds for a beautiful baby-girl named Hazel, who (like Sophie) is also fighting a hard battle against cancer. Lisa’s long term goal is to eventually start up her own non-profit. In the meantime, she continues to paint her heart out and raise awareness.  She’s a class act that Lisa Lambertus, as well as an amazing artist. I am proud to have been a part of this collaboration. I look forward to more with her.

 
My “Portrait of Sophie” taken January of 2014              

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Prayers for Sophie, art, acrylic, painting, collaboration     .cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, Prayers for Sophie, art, acrylic, painting, collaboration

“Sophie”  24  x 30 Acrylic on canvas. Painted by Lisa Lambertus Art & Design
             
 
 
 
                                                                      
Jan 172014
 

Sophie is like many little girls her age, her favorite color is pink, she loves stuffed animals, her teething beads, Disneyland, pink tutus and her lovie blankets!

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

However, there’s a lot more back-story to this lil girl. I had the pleasure of working with Sophie last year, just before she was diagnosed with a rare Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor. She was 8 1/2 months old. Immediately she underwent major brain surgery to remove a cyst and biopsy the tumor, to ensure that it wasn’t a terminal tumor. It was not. She has also endured 5 other hospital stays due to chemo related issues and has had two blood transfusions. She is on a 11 month chemo protocol and is scheduled to complete treatment in September of 2014. It’s a lot for this little girl to go through but as I stated in my last post, she’s a warrior. Through it all she still manages to find strength and a silver lining, her smile often beaming and instilling hope in those around her. She’s amazing. Her parents, amazing. Her nanny Janine, amazing. She’s completely surrounded by amazing. So there is no doubt in my mind that she will get through this. I just feel it.

Recently, Tracy (Sophie’s mama) asked me to shoot a few portraits of Sophie for a painting that was going to be created by the very talented Lisa Lamburtus. I cannot wait to see the final piece and will definitely share when it’s complete. Because Sophie can’t go too far from home, I set up a mini studio within her room. One hour, three dresses, a few rounds of peekaboo and lots of stuffed animals later, Sophie was successful in projecting her beaming personality to my lens. There was no doubt in my mind that she would be. Here are a few of my favorites…

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

A Prayer for Sophie:

Now we lay her down to sleep,
We pray The Lord her soul to keep.
Heal her now while she dreams,
So when she wakes she can be free.

Let’s continue to keep her in our prayers,

Amen

cancer awareness, family portraits, Jen Castle Photography, journalistic portraiture, kids, Los Angeles, pink, Prayers for Sophie

 

For anyone interested in purchasing a “Prayers for Sophie” or “Team Sophie Tee,” please click on the link below. These shirts were donated to the Ryan’s so 100% of the money you spend will go towards Sophie’s care. http://www.beinspiredboutique.com/collections/prayers-for-sophie-t-shirts/products/prayers-for-sophie-fundraiser-t-shirts

The Prayers For Sophie FaceBook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/PrayersForSophie

or to donate, please go to The Lil Mamas Support Page for Sophie: http://www.gofundme.com/3efal0