For Photographers: How to Plan a Styled Shoot

How to Plan a Styled Shoot My first styled shoot was planned using the post by Jessica M Wood Photography in LA. While her post was invaluable to me. I have been able to learn a few things on my own, things that are maybe more relevant depending on the market you are in. My styled shoots exist out of Vancouver. Some of this post will be regurgitated from hers, but what I learned from actually doing a styled shoot will be highlighted. She has some great visual aids so make sure you check her blog out too.

Theme

Brainstorm. Pin ideas on Pinterest so you can share with vendors when they ask. Finalize your ideas. You need a theme, a colour palette. You need all cohesive ideas. Whilst remembering at the end of everything, your idea could evolve into something entirely different. The outcome can depend on how your vendors see your vision, the weather, your designer, what the vendors can actually offer and the space you find.

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Research + Vision

Research vendors, find the ones that you think will not only say yes, but the ones who have a style similar to your vision. If they don’t, you may end up with an entirely different look. This happened to me with one of my vendors in another shoot. It was very difficult to incorporate their product into the shoot, and I had to find a way to compensate for what I was now missing since it was a main ingredient and even though it didn’t fit, I still had to shoot their product, to give them photos and credit I had promised.

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Contact

My first point of contact to vendors is always email, but I don’t see why, in person or phone wouldn’t work. I found email the easiest and least time consuming and met with vendors in person or on the phone once they came on board. Jessica posted her initial email on her blog. You can check that out. Some vendors don’t need that much information first off, but some might, especially if they don’t know of you. I also found being complimentary of a vendors product or service was very helpful. So when I adore a product, I make sure they know it - in my first email.

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Spreadsheets

Create shareable spreadsheets with the vendors name, business, contact info and what they are offering. You can also include links to to your inspirational Pinboards. Giving a vendor something visual helps to keep things cohesive.

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Date, Venue + Delivery

Try and and find your venue first. You can’t plan much without your venue. Once you find your venue you can nail down your date. Always have a few dates in mind. Monday’s seem the be the easiest date to get since most wedding vendors take Mondays off. Do keep in mind this may also increase your travel costs. You need to pick up and return items and if vendors are closed on Monday you may have to go a day or two early to pick it up, and then drop it off the day after. Some vendors will bring the item to you. You ALWAYS say yes to this. The less non photography things you have to do, the easier the day will be.

Cost

I’ve had potential vendors try and charge me, but you can always find a vendor with your vision who is willing to put in the same effort as you. This is team building, networking and marketing. You don’t need to pay for your styled shoot. Ever.

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Models

Find a bride and groom. This can be the most challenging part since styled shoots are often on a weekday. For most couples at least one of them works weekdays. You can go through a modelling agency, but I find that using real couples is more authentic and beautiful. I like to capture their authentic love. Married couples are the best. They really know each other. During a cold wintery styled shoot I had a groom keep touching his wives arm whenever she got goosebumps because he knew they would go away if he touched her. It’s that kind of tenderness you want to convey. Real love gets published.

Meeting Up

Always, always try and meet up with your vendors. Your vision will be more cohesive, you will build a stronger relationship with the vendors. The day of will be less stressful because you’re not meeting 10 new people.

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Day off Social Media

Post vendor links + handles and on social media before the shoot, during the shoot and when you get home. Be grateful to the vendors on social media. They worked hard for you.

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Shot List

Know before your shoot, what you need to capture. Have a shot list and check it off at you go. So much is happening and before you know it the light changes. In my opinion details are best shot in natural light get those right off the bat, while the designer is setting up, unless you are also the designer then shoot as you are setting up.

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Returns

Return everything you borrowed the day of or next day. Be punctual to appointments.

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Submissions

Research the blogs you’d like to be posted on. The ones that fit your style and theme. Every photo blog has a different criteria so you need to size your photos and pick your photos according to the rules of each blog. Some blogs are exclusive and some are not. Make sure you read the fine print. In case of rejection, some blogs will give you feedback if you ask nicely. Always ask for feedback, that’s how we get better and always be nice to the Bloggers. Don’t burn bridges. If you treat them nicely, you still have the chance to be published with them one day. Remember they get hundreds if not thousands of submissions. It’s not that your shoot is bad, it’s usually just not what they are looking for at the time.

Social Media When Published

Get it out there! Once the blog is published, publish it on your blog. Put it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, even YouTube! Get it out there, and give a should out to all the vendors including handles and or links to their websites AND compliments of course!

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Thank you

Always say thank you to your vendors and to wherever you get featured. These people are part of your business. They are valuable to you and you to them. Treat them as your team.

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Delivery

Deliver the photos as promised to each vendor. I always deliver upon publication. I don’t release anything until they are published so the publishing blog can do the first reveal. You don’t have to do it this way, but it’s nice to leave it as a surprise.

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And that’s it. I hope this helps you! I love doing styled shoots, so I am happy I can share this information with you! I hope you have a great time planning your own!

Sherri

Click for Vendor List

 

Fort Langley in the Snow

I love winter, and snow and even more, I adore adventuring with my Husband and our cameras. Last week, Fort Langley received a light dusting and Jason and I took our cameras just after sunrise to capture Fort Langley’s charm in the snow. It’s such an idyllic little place. Both of us would love to have a home there one day. We love to frequent three lovely cafes: Wendels for the gluten free baking, London Fogs and book browsing, The Republica for amazingly fresh, onsite roasted coffee and Lelam for the excellent live music and culture. We enjoy walking through town dreaming up ideas for the future and browsing through the galleries and stores. It’s the perfect date place, especially at night. Little white lights that hang in the trees along the street twinkle under the stars. It’s that magic Christmas feeling year round.2014-12-06_0001.jpg 2014-12-06_0002.jpg 2014-12-06_0003.jpg 2014-12-06_0004.jpg 2014-12-06_0005.jpg 2014-12-06_0008.jpg 2014-12-06_0007.jpg

The Wishlist Wonderland || Pop Up Shop || Vancouver BC || December 5-7

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A Unique pop up shop experience, designed and curated by the lovely Jaleh of JEvents Planning & Design will be featuring our Christmas and Travel Photo Cards. The shop is open from Dec 5-7 from 6pm-10pm on Friday and 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Not only will there be a chance to check a few things off your loved ones wish list, but there is also opportunity to give back. Warm Your Soul Vancouver is a non profit organization provides new socks to those in need. For every $2 donation at Wishlist Wonderland a new pair of socks will be donated. 2014-12-04_0004.jpg 2014-12-04_0003.jpg 2014-12-04_0005.jpg

Contributing Artists + Vendors

Sherri Preston Photography J Events Planning and Design Numpfer Maccs Cake for Breakfast Dayanna Platt Design Love Planner Beautulleful Inc. Tulle Skirts MInt + Birch Azade Vakili Shenasi Concept Aida Kardz Kouture Bijou Baby J Creation by Jaleh Les Petits Bonheurs Coral + Cloud Shipway Design Runway Baby Boutique Temper Chocolate Pastry Vancouver Candle Company

 

No More Waiting: Campbell Valley Family Photos || Langley BC

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It took some time, some waiting and a lot of love and grace, but this spring, the adorably loving couple were able to bring home their sweet Bennett. They waited so long for him, prayed so hard for him and now here he is the perfect addition to their sweet family. Last winter we secretly did a “waiting for you” session. They knew one day a little boy would be theirs. They didn’t know what little boy, with adoption you can never be sure. They just knew that there would be some boy in need of love and family. So welcome Bennett, to your forever home.

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Announcing Christmas Mini Sessions: McFee's Christmas Tree Farm

Hello! We are so excited to announce this year's Christmas Mini Sessions! We have been able to secure an awesome location, and it will be completely private. McFee's Christmas Tree Farm has kindly offered us the use of their farm on Nov 23rd from 1-4:30pm.

We want these sessions to be about you and your family. We ask that you bring that special ornament or decoration to put on the tree closest to where we will be taking your photos.

Session fee includes: 20 min session, 6 digital images, 25 family photo Christmas cards (all cards are the same), 30 online gallery

For more details and to book your session, please contact Sherri at 778.223.9329 or sherriphotos@gmail.com.

We can't wait to photograph you and yours!

Sherri

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We Are Celebrating

This post, it’s a little bit personal, but it’s beautiful to me. In February, my husband Jason and I will be parents. I’m about 5 months pregnant. It’s a very exciting time of our lives. We have been waiting for this for awhile now and can’t wait for the little one to arrive. We celebrating, revelling in this amazing gift, God has given. We know parenthood will come with challenges, as does pregnancy. But, we also know that parenthood is a blessing. It is our hope to always remember that, even through the challenges. I never thought I’d start parenting at 35, but I am incredibly thankful for all the things I have done over the last 15 years. Some of my friends, their kids are teenagers now. Soon their kids will be off to college. Now as a mom-to-be, that’s hard to grasp, but I am excited for the different kind of adventures they will have, too. It’s beautiful how the timing doesn’t seem to matter. We were all supposed to be mothers when the time was right. We all have a unique and beautiful path. I am so grateful for the lessons and parenting skills I have learned over the years just being with my mommy friends. I love that we have this plethora of people who are so excited for us, so eager to give us advice. To celebrate with us as we embark on this new way of life. 2014-09-23_0004

A Nanoose Bay Beach Wedding || Andrea and Jay

Andrea and Jay have a beautiful love, an electric chemistry. Their wedding day was perfectly them. Down to earth, relaxed and stress free, ending with a swim in the ocean, drinks with their dearest friends and family, and of course a Harley ride, or two. 2014-09-03_0001.jpg 2014-09-03_0002.jpg

Andrea grew up going to this beach, this cottage. She spent weekends here as a teen and then as an adult. It was her dream to be married in this place, that held so many precious memories. Her grandparents owned it at one time and now it’s a family property shared amongst her mom’s siblings. When Jay proposed they didn’t have to search venues. All they needed was a tent in case of rain. But the weather was on their side. It was a beautiful sunny day that Saturday, with the perfect amount of cloud cover to make the ceremony light perfect.

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The moment she started down the isle with her arm linked in her dad’s took my breath away, it was hard to maintain composure as I fought to fight back my tears of joy. Andrea’s dad worked hard to be able walk her down the isle. After over a decade of suffering from Parkinson’s, his ability to do so was difficult, but as the months and weeks led up to Andrea and Jay’s big day, he worked with a trainer so he could have the joy of walking his only daughter down the isle.

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Congratulations, Andrea and Jay. Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your day. To celebrate with you. You two, are beautiful.

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A Sunny Day in San Fransisco || Fine Art Prints

My husband and I have spent a lot of time traveling since we married in 2011. It’s our favourite thing to do together. We love to explore with our cameras, eat local foods and sit in cafe’s drinking fine coffee. The experience of a new city is always exhilerating. This was our second trip to San Fransico. It was fast. Just a day enroute to a conference in San Jose, but it was a great day. It was March and here at home March was miserable, but in San Fran it was warm and sunny. Here is a collection of the sights we saw. All images are for sale. Please inquire sherriphotos@gmail.comcalifornia,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography, california,san fransico,san jose,sherri preston photography,sherripreston.com,travel photography,

A Photography Shoot Out || Devan Greenhouses Abbotsford BC

Not so long ago my friend Jen and I sat in my dining room chatting over tea. Both of us are photographers and so photography often comes up on such occasions. She told me of her plan for a shoot out. A gathering of photographers of all different levels coming together to shoot, learn, grow and just have fun. And so we did. On a sunny Thursday evening in June, 5 photographers and two models met at Devan Greenhouses in Abbotsford BC. The flowers were sensational, the company easy to keep, the models, gorgeous and the light, amazing. What more could we ask for? A soy latte at Starbucks afterwards of course!

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The Photographers:

Jenni Marie Photography Urban Fig Photography Sherri Preston Photography Sarah Darbey Delaney Photography

Cake:

Cakes by Madison Venue:

Devan Greenhouses

Andrea + Jay || Engagement Photos || Piper's Lagoon Nanaimo BC

Andrea and Jason worked the carnival circuit on and off for years. One sweet summer Jason noticed Andrea from afar. His co workers took notice and warned, “don’t even go there, she doesn’t date carnival workers” Lucky for him a few hours later all of Andrea’s rules went out the window.2014-05-29_0081.jpg It’s been three years since that warm summer night and this July they will become husband and wife. Together they love their Pit Bull, Roxy, video games and anything Harley Davidson. 2014-05-29_0082.jpg 2014-05-29_0083.jpg 2014-05-29_0084.jpg I’m looking forward to their summer wedding on the beach in Nanoose Bay, BC. Congratulations to Andrea and Jay! Your love is so sweet.

Featured: Vancouver-Bride.com

Collaboration is amazing. I recommend it to every photographer. Especially the ones that work from home. It’s good to get out and away from the computer. To socialize in person. It’s a blessing to interact with people you wouldn’t otherwise know and to let the creativity run. Team Work. That is the essence of collaboration. It’s a beautiful thing. In the fall a team of vendors and I worked diligently to create a wedding styled shoot now coined “Pretty in Spring”. It’s amazing how an initial plan transforms and evolves. My initial vision for this shoot included fog or snow. But in Vancouver we work with what we get. This particular day started with sunshine and ended with over cast skies. Instead of winter we got spring and this is the result. We are so thankful to Vancouver Bride for picking up our feature. To Stephanie and Stephen Hall - a beautiful couple who graciously donated their time to model for our project. 2014-04-20_0039.jpg 2014-04-20_0040.jpg 2014-04-20_0041.jpg 2014-04-20_0042.jpg 2014-04-20_0043.jpg 2014-04-20_0044.jpg 2014-04-20_0045.jpg 2014-04-20_0046.jpg 2014-04-20_0047.jpg 2014-04-20_0048.jpg 2014-04-20_0049.jpg 2014-04-20_0050.jpg

The Creative Team

Photography || Sherri Preston Photography Decor || Ainsley's Affairs Florist || Unique Boutique Florals

Make Up Artist || Charrisse Mae Make Up Artistry 

Hair Designer || Jade Ward from Lure Salon

Stationary || Belle Impressions

Cupcakes || Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery

Men's Suiting || Baracos + Brand

Bridal Gowns || Frocks Modern Bridesmaids

Jewellery || Elsa Corsi from Jeweliette Jewellers -  

Venue || Cecil Park Green House

Rentals || Pedersen's Event Rentals

A Photographer Study

2014-02-28_0001.jpg How else do we learn and grow, but by studying, doing, living. My husband recently asked what I was doing for professional development. And then he promptly gave me an assignment. Study photographers. Famous ones and not just current famous ones. (My husband is a teacher. Can you tell ;) ). One photographer per week and then try and mimic something in their work. As he talked, I got so excited. I LOVE projects! This is how we grow. We stretch ourselves by jumping out of our normal patterns. Seeing new patterns and creating something new, using inspiration. As much as we like to think this, our ideas are never truly our own. Everything that we do, have done is because we saw, heard, felt, touched or smelt something that peaked our interest. We get inspired and recreate and shape it into what we hope is uniquely ours. So this is my current journey. To look back at the work of some of the greats. To try and replicate pieces of their greatness, to learn how to stretch my work into something unique. Stay tuned for images from this project. 2014-02-28_0002.jpg

Skating Starts Now || God's Little Acre Farm

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When we get a call to do something great, we sometimes hope no one heard it. We’re too tired, too busy, or we just don’t want to. Thankfully, Jas didn’t make excuses when he realized he had the resources and the heart to make a difference. In 2011 Jas started God’s Little Acre Farm. It’s a local Surrey farm that harvests potatoes (and soon to be more) to supply the local food banks. In December, Jas flooded his field to make an ice rink. Come, pay by donation and we’ll raise funds for another season of potatoes. That’s Jas. A man who’s not afraid of a little (or a lot) of work, to get the job done. Most people would build a skating rink so they can play, but the rink wasn’t for Jas, he doesn’t even skate. The skating was for the community, the hungry and the hopeful - nobody is hopeless. The december skate was a sensation. So much so, that during this current cold snap, he’s done it again. With donations of water, soda and hot dogs, with donations of port-a-potties, with volunteers donating their time - they are ready. Come on out this weekend and have a good time. Maybe while you’re there, you can teach Jas to skate. God’s Little Green Acre ice rink is located at: 16582 40 Ave, Surrey, British Columbia. Skating starts now. Your donation will make a difference. Hungry people matter.

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God's Little Acre Facebook Page Sherri Preston Photography Facebook Page

The Barretts: Derby Reach Heritage Area || Family Portraits

Meet the Barretts. You know what I adore about this little family? They are not afraid of a little fun, a little spontaneity and a little romance. They love and smile big, A beautiful reflection of the faith they live by, they don't just love Jesus. They live it. You don't see them complain when life throws them curve balls - you see them learn from each experience. They don't just live life, they embrace it. When my husband and I first met them, they told us we seemed like a seasoned couple. But the truth is, that's what we see in them. A true team and now a precious family.2014-01-30_0003.jpg 2014-01-30_0001.jpg 2014-01-30_0002.jpg 2014-01-30_0004.jpg 2014-01-30_0005.jpg 2014-01-30_0006.jpg 2014-01-30_0007.jpg 2014-01-30_0008.jpg

In Loving Memory: Fish Trap Creek Park Family Photos

I was worried about this shoot, I thought it would be hard. I prepared for the unexpected because in just a few short hours, this precious family would go to church, where they would say goodbye to someone they loved. They would celebrate the life he lived and who he meant to all of them. For Marilyn (Mom and Grandma), this person was her husband, Alan. She was one of the first ones to arrive at Fish Trap Creek Park, and she told me that this was the place her and Alan walked often. She looked wistful as she reminisced these times. It was a happy place for her. Hannah (to whom Alan was called Poppy) shared that nature was his place to connect with people, with his family. It was a place he loved to be. As my assistant and I arrived at Fish Trap the rain was out in full force, but as we prepped and scouted the area, the clouds started to part and by the time the whole family arrived, the sun shone. It was like a little gift to a family who needed a little something special to get them through a tough day. As hard as I thought this shoot would be, it wasn't. There was laughter, there was family, and there was sunshine. It was a beautiful time spent to honour a man they all loved and cherished.

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The Brandners: Family Portrait Session || Campbell Valley Regional Park

Meet the Brandners. It was such a privilege to photograph this lovely family for the second time. Last years session, poured rain until about 30 mins after our session when the clouds broke. At the time, I rolled my eyes at the blue sky playing peak-a-boo. Probably because I was sitting my car drenched and my camera soaked (thankfully it faired well). Despite that moment, I am glad it rained. I got to be a part of something special. I got to see an incredible family take circumstances as-is, and run with it. We got some great photos that day. Some great smiles and even greater memories. This time around the rain held off and we met at Campbell Valley Regional Park. It's such a great location for a family session with old heritage farm buildings and lots of wide open space. campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage campbell valley, sherri preston photography, sherriphotos, family photos, lifestyle photography, langley photographer, surrey photographer, kid photography, park, barn, heritage

Travel: Our Rainy Day in Paris

For those who know me well, you know I've spent many years day dreaming of Paris. Last March my husband, Jason and I took a trip to Ukraine (more on that to come in a later post) and decided to extend our layover and organized it so our stopover was Paris. From the moment we stepped off the plane I was exhilarated. We caught a few hours sleep in our airport hotel and then we were off. It was a brisk Paris day as we meandered transit and checked maps. Our first destination to be a gluten free cafe that have rave reviews. It took a little longer to get to this cafe than we hoped with our limited french and confusion about street signs, But every yummy bite and delicious sip made it worth it, not to mention the romance of simply being in Paris with my love. paris, eiffel tower, helmut newcake, cafe le notre dame, rainy day, travel, sherri preston, sherri preston photography, sherri preston blog, blog, umbrella, coffee, bakery, sunset, view, paris france,

After, we took the train to more touristy areas. The sun was slowly going down and the rain was falling and oh the light was magnificent. We basically danced (in excitement and glee at the sights) along the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower. Our cameras clicked and clicked drinking it all in. A quick stop in the Notre Dome - wow. And then off to the Eiffel Tower.

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The Eiffel Tower drenched in pink sky was a pretty spectacular sight.

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Once the sun had set we found an Cafe over looking the Notre Dome, ate dinner and then found our way back to our hotel to prepare for the next adventure. Ukraine.

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Jericho Beach Family Photos : The Lazarian Family

It was supposed to rain, but thankfully for this adorably fun family the rain held off. We had so much fun as the kids played in the sand and ran around on the beach. The family dog in on the running action jumped in to make the most perfect family photo at the very moment I snapped the shutter. I love smiling laughing photos. My favorite are these unexpected moments that create the most natural happy face. 2013-12-28_0018.jpg 2013-12-28_0025.jpg 2013-12-28_0026.jpg 2013-12-28_0028.jpg 2013-12-28_0023.jpg 2013-12-28_0024.jpg 2013-12-28_0019.jpg 2013-12-28_0029.jpg

My husband was my second shooter on this lovely saturday morning. He caught some of the beautiful candid moments of the kids.

Holland Park Surrey BC Family Photos : The Sangha's

I love family. I adore families who gather together. This extended family knows how to laugh and joke and carry on. It was non stop laughing through the entire shoot. They just loved to be together and loved to shine. It warmed my heart that to them, family didn't stop at immediate, but kept on going. A family who loves, laughs, and cherishes one another. That's the real deal.

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