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  • Welcome to Our Journal

    Keith is a photographer who believes that kids are nearly perfect and that great images capture a bit of that perfection for all eternity. He loves that children don’t filter their emotions. Living loud is their power. And his job is to capture a moment of their uncontained imaginations: your children, unscripted.

    Melissa is the studio manager, adoring wife, busy mom and occasional writer that believes she is living the most beautiful life in the whole world.

    Keith and Melissa have two amazing daughters, Isabella and Gabriella and a little Jack Russell named Pooch.

    This journal is our personal blog about our family, photography, travel and how we are inspired by children in all their authenticity, one beautiful photograph at a time.

laguna beach, corona del mar beach portrait | destination children’s portrait photographer

Keith has been photographing this little boy since he was just a few weeks old – he’s now 5! His mom is so diligent about having annual pictures taken. She will be so grateful for her diligence when he is all grown up and she looks back on these photos and the memories come flooding back. His childhood told through photographs.

Over the years, we have used several great backdrops in the Phoenix area including the Zoo and downtown, but this year, she wanted something a little bit different – a beach portrait session in California.

We agreed on the beach at Crystal Cove – a beautiful beach in between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach.  This is the perfect beach for a family portrait, the scenery is stunning and the waves are just right. Couple that with the gorgeous evening light and a child that enjoys having a great time and you have all the ingredients you need for a perfect unscripted beach session.

 

the definition of joy | my children unscripted | scottsdale portrait photographer

Children running to the waves.

kids running on the beach

If you could define childhood in one word, I believe it would be joy.

When you look up the word joy in the dictionary, it says the following:

1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment

2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness

3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing

If you could capture an image that defines the joy in childhood, I believe it would look something like the image above. Two children playing on the beach, content and happy.

Life can be so simple sometimes and it is so often children that remind us of that.

A late afternoon trip to a deserted beach with nothing but a bucket and a shovel and the innate ability to find pleasure in its simplest form. The outward show of joy on a child’s face and in their actions are ever present when you couple childhood with sand and water.

Joy personified.

Kristen - June 20, 2011 - 11:38 pm

LOVE! :)

serene for a moment | our child unscripted

Last week Keith was in the Bay area to photograph a beautiful family. Since the kids are finished with school, the family decided to join him. Not very hard to convince me (or did I convince him?) that on the road family time in such a gorgeous locale was something not to pass up. It was a lovely few days of visiting with friends, eating delicious food and spending fun time with the girls exploring the coast.

Sometimes (well let me be completely honest, lots of times), I look at my children and my heart hurts because it is full of so much love for them. This was one of those times.

Gabby dipped her toes in the chilly water and just loved it. She came over to me and asked me to roll up her pants. I suggested that she take per pants off since they would probably get wet. She was having none of that – no time to take them off, she needed to get back to the water. I knew how this scene was going to play out. She was running in and out of the water at full speed. Nearby, her sister, a bit more seasoned with how the tide rolls in and out remained dry. But Gabby needed to figure it out for herself. She learned just how cold the San Francisco Bay can be when you are drenched from head to toe.

But that didn’t stop her enthusiasm and that’s what makes her so endearing. I can still hear her laughter as she ran in a bit more each time and then ran out a bit. Each time the tide catching her just a little bit more. Until she was soaked.

Just looking at this picture prompts exact memories. I just look at her standing there so serene in this one particular shot and I know that as the years pass, I will just have to take one look at this picture to be reminded of her strong will and huge zest for life that day and every day of her childhood.

It’s a small little snippet, a frame, a fraction of a second, a scene frozen from Gabby’s childhood that is forever.  A small moment that fills me heart with love.

an adorable little girl | scottsdale children’s photographer

 

 

When a client contacts us to book a portrait session we generally recommend the session begin in their home.  We try and incorporate familiar and meaningful places as part of their portrait session so the home is a great place to start.  But sometimes, especially when a family is visiting the Scottsdale area all the way from New York City, having the family portrait session in the home is not an option.

Plan B for those that are visiting from out of town is to find a convenient, beautiful spot where their child can be themselves. Usually, the resort where the family is staying is a great starting point or one of the gorgeous parks that are so easy to come by in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.

While location is certainly relevant, nothing is more important than the subject – your child.

Whether it be a resort, your back yard or a park, invariably a child will just be themselves. It may take a few minutes of sizing up their surroundings, but children have the amazing ability to adapt and enjoy just about any environment they find themselves in. The joy of photographing children is to capture their ability to be unscripted. Anywhere.

Serena & Lily Summer Catalog | fresh ideas for the nursery and home decor

Nearly seven years ago, I was very, very pregnant with my first child.  Maternity leave was right around the corner. I really wanted to be able to spend time with my little girl and not return to a stressful job in midtown Manhattan. Oh what to do?

I decided that I would open an adorable little boutique in the quaint town we lived in on the banks of the Hudson River. Whenever I name something, it is never really a stretch (lack of imagination I suspect) – my dog is named Pooch, I once had a cat named Kitty. Why not call my little children’s boutique, Bella Baby – after all, my little girl’s name was going to be Isabella. I would name it after her. Very, very original.

At the time, I loved Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic look.  The centerpiece of our living room was a Shabby Chic couch, and two huge comfy armchairs covered in complementary linen fabrics that just fit perfectly in our 1880’s farmhouse. I had ordered from the gorgeous Shabby Chic store in Soho an adorable looking crib with a lovely bedding set, with several different fabrics – the crib skirt was delicate pinks with green stripes, the bumpers were large roses on one side and small roses on the other, the sheets were solid pink.

To make a long story short, this crib set up became the inspiration for my store.

The store location was located. Lease was signed. Name was picked. Logo developed. Now the fun part, purchasing inventory. One of the first products I fell in love with was this sweet brand – Serena & Lily.  At that time, I believe they carried a very limited product line.  Nursery only. It fit right in with my Shabby Chic inspired store. My store shelves looked adorable with their soft, delicate nursery collection proudly displayed. Their slings (which I don’t think they carry anymore) were made of a sturdy linen fabric with pretty embroidery – with unbelievable packaging. Just beautiful.

Once we moved from New York to Arizona and Bella Baby was no more, I lost track of Serena & Lily.

So I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I opened my mailbox and this bright, gorgeous catalog jumped right out of the pile of mail.

Sophisticated and whimsical fabrics, vibrant colors, fun color schemes, happy patterns, splashy accents, appealing to both modern and rustic tastes. Take one look at the Serena and Lily Summer Catalog and you will see all of this and more. They have evolved from only baby and kids to featuring all sorts of cool stuff: perfectly pouffy cubes for a child’s playroom, modern upholstered furniture, luxurious adult bedding, fresh children’s decor, fun zodiac pillows, a perfect paint collection, rugs, accessories – even a bazaar with one a kind finds.

My favorite item – because I know my daughter’s would just love them and they would look oh, so cute in their room – The Pink Moroccan Leather Pouf

My favorite amazing feature from their website – MAKE YOUR BED.  A hand-drawn sketch of a bed with little tabs on the side (duvets, sheets, euro shams, blankets, pillows)  that allows you to mix and match with the click of a mouse. This feature allows you to “experiment with hundreds of combinations to find the look you love” from all of their sumptuous offerings.

The gorgeous lifestyle photography that they use in their catalog gets a huge thumbs up from Keith.