The Suitcase Studio » FUN Orange County family photography by The Suitcase Studio

little girl, don’t grow too fast

This girl was SUCH an amazing little model. Such a professional at such a young age, and has already been seen in several magazines and has worked with many large labels. She knows her angles, takes direction incredibly well, and is a DREAM to work with.

And then the cameras went down… and the perfect little model disappeared and the little girl she really was came out to play. Twirling in her outfit, crouching to play with some grass, and keeping me thoroughly entertained with a song and dance about a HAMBURGER. Yes, for real. We wandered across the field together; she was skipping and being a chatterbox the entire way. And I loved it. Smiling big, I asked her to teach me the hamburger song (which I never learned correctly), but at least she thought my attempt to dance was entertaining.

Still giggling, she looked up at me and said, “I like you. You’re FUN.”

And then she continued to happily skip across the field.

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Stopping to crouch in the grass and then twirl a bit in the sunshine… just for the fun of it.

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Singing and dancing to the “hamburger song.”

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I hope she can stay a little girl for a little while longer.  Long live the spirit of childhood, and long live PLAY. Forever and ever.

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(wo)man’s best friend

He might be a bit too barky, and keep me up at night (grrr…), interrupt me while I’m trying to work, get into things he shouldn’t, and make a few messes around the house. (I swear, at times it’s like having a toddler.)

But he dances with joy each time I come back home, and knows when I need a cuddle. He’s always there to put a smile on my face, and has got the utmost patience when I want to practice some new photo skills. He’s my exploration buddy, and helps me find my peace. He’s my “happy thought.”

To my precious pup, my fur-baby, and my little shadow…

Happy National Dog Day!!! My life would definitely NOT be the same without you, little Jasper.

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daddy’s little cowgirls

The divorce was final a couple years ago, yet the family photos that filled his home still featured his ex-wife. She would ALWAYS be the girls’ mother, but now the 3 of them were their own distinct family unit as well. So we set out to fill his walls with new photos… and their hearts with new memories.

In the midst of this western-styled playground, with a plethora of things to see and touch, the girls’ favorite thing of all was to reach out to their daddy. He still carried the most magic out of everything they saw that day.

“Carry me, Daddy…” And with those simple words, and in the arms of her father, his littlest girl was content.

They held hands, wrestled, and tickled. They played bartender, restaurant, and even put on a concert with the couple pianos that were scattered about.

But most of all, their day was filled with lots of laughter and love.

What would YOUR story look like? I’d love to show you. Just click here to get started.

 

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a new kind of online love story

Way before Facebook and Instagram was the norm, I stumbled across Ronalyn’s blog and started following along. Comments led to discussions, discussions led to emails, and somehow we found ourselves as long-distance, online friends. She was in Maryland (and then moved to Alaska and later to Hawaii… they are an Air Force family), and I was here in Southern California.

And then my friend became my mentor. She was a photographer, and I was considering walking that path. I took a deep breath and asked if she had advice for me, where/how I might get started, etc. And while most people might do the opposite, she laid her soul bare to me, showed me the inner workings of her business, and helped me launch my own. From pricing to templates to vendor suggestions… then to ideas and support and even MORE support, she gave everything to this person whom she’d never met in real life.

I am, and will always be, eternally grateful for that… knowing there’s no way I’d be where I am today without her. (And she’s a HUGE reason as to why I try my best to pay-it-forward, as well, and help those who now come to ME for advice.)

Mentoring turned into deeper friendship, and I can honestly say that she’s one of my closest friends, and knows me inside out. We have come to know both the good and bad about each other. We email/text when we need to vent, when we need some support, and when we have something fabulous to share.

Finally meeting in person for the first time 3 years ago, we spent a few days together in Las Vegas for the WPPI expo, and it was as if we’d known each other a lifetime. (Seriously… it was like a 12-year old girls’ slumber party… with all the giggling and gabbing we did.)

Last night, we came together in person again… and it was like a slow-motion, running towards each other, mega-hug moment. Her family had come to California for vacation, and there was NO WAY I was missing out on seeing them! With limited time together, we met up at Downtown Disney for some drinks/dessert. Her kids entertained themselves on their phones for the most part, later mentioning how they don’t think any of us stopped for breath at all as we gabbed away. Ronalyn, myself, and our husbands… it was as if the four of us had been friends forever, and were just picking up where we’d last left off (even though the husbands had never met before, and we’d never met each other’s husband before this night). Magic. Simply magic. And two hours just flew by!

We left with promises to see each other again, not saying goodbye, but “see you later”… and were already texting each other again within minutes.

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