Blessed – Thanksgiving in Pasadena

thanksgiving in pasadena

When I was a kid Thanksgiving meant going to Grandma Boocks’ house in western Pennsylvania and running around with my cousins while the food was being prepared.

There was usually snow on the ground and a sense of anticipation in the air, because Christmas break was right around the corner.

Sometimes we all crowded around the kids table in the kitchen and fought over who got to use the cowboy boot cup. But I liked sitting with the adults in the dining room. The food was great, and I loved my grandmother’s apple pie.

What I remember though, and what I miss, is the feeling of being in a house filled with people I love.

My grandparents are no longer with us, but something of that time and that love has stayed with me. I’m so thankful for those memories, and for my extended family, on both sides.

This year I spent Thanksgiving with my sweet friend Kim, and we sat down to a beautifully set table at her mom’s home in Pasadena and enjoyed an amazing meal.

It was a great day, and I loved hearing the kids in the background… playing games on the porch and popping in and out to deliver important food-fight-related information.

After dinner Penelope put on her grandfather’s headphones and started singing at the top of her little lungs. I love the shots of her dancing and studying the keyboard!

I need to go to bed but it seems fitting to end this with my gratitude list for the day…

Thank you Lord for my family, and how much they mean to me.
For a day that started with friends in Fallbrook and ended with friends in Pasadena.
For provision that goes above and beyond what I truly need.
For laughter.
For music.
For You and Your great love.

I’m blessed.
baden on thanksgiving

fresh rolls

penelope with headphones

penelope dancing


grace in the kitchen



Posted in Families, Personal

Fun with Nolan – Costa Mesa

chasing mommy

I’m always surprised at the speed of little legs, and this guy definitely kept us moving! There was a lot going on at Mile Square Park… ducks to chase, fences to climb, bridges to cross, and dry stream beds to explore.

Megan and I had originally planned to do a quick shoot with her son Nolan, but it was so much fun that I just kept shooting until all three of us were tuckered out and ready for second breakfast.
nolan at the park

mile square park

nolan on the bridge
hugging mommy

Posted in children, Families

Kyle and Lisa – San Luis Obispo


A day in the life of a family.

It’s a concept I’ve played with for a while — partly because I love the candid shots we have of our family when I was a kid.  And partly because it seems like an amazing gift to give someone…  moments of love and connection seen through my lens.

Although I always take candid shots before and after family portraits, I was excited to implement my vision of spending an entire day with a family, capturing both traditional portraits and lots of in-between moments.

It was everything I’d hoped for… fun, challenging, exhilarating and exhausting!

We started with breakfast, which was, honestly, even more fun that it looks.  After that we kind of moved through the day.   When the kids were napping I edited or prowled around taking photos of toys. Throw in a few meals, some wardrobe changes, a couple of walks… by the end of it I had several thousand images, and we were all ready for a nap.

I did have one slightly terrifying moment when baby Ava got her little mitts on Emma’s star-shaped wand, but I grabbed a few quick shots and then moved it safely away, and I just love the image of her with the star in front of her mouth!

cooking pancakes

breakfast with daddy

emmas chalkboard

baby gate

emma and dr seuss

Sometimes a girl has to tuck her books into the upholstery…

sweet toys

ava in the crib



mother and daughters

emma running

gorgeous family

Kyle and baby Ava

kyle and lisa golden light

gorgeous mom


please knock




Posted in Babies, children, Families

Chris and Tammy – Riley Wilderness Park

Chris and Tammy

My friend Tammy has a fantastic laugh, energy for days, and a heart the size of Texas.

I’ve always appreciated the way she talks about her fiance, Chris, and it was fun to meet him and see how well they fit together. Chris is smart, funny, and easy to be with, and they’re a great match… best friends who fell in love, and are now planning a life together.

We’d been hoping to shoot their engagement photos at Back Bay, amidst a field of little yellow flowers. But the drought put an end to the flowers, which led us to my backup location at Riley Wilderness Park in Coto de Caza.

It turned out to be the perfect spot!

Walk in the park

Under the trees

sweet hug

Chris and Tammy

in the field

the kiss

Posted in Couples

Susie and Rob – Santa Barbara Engagement

santa barbara engagement

Last summer one of my best friends was set up with the man who turned out to be the love of her life. I have prayed for her marriage and her husband countless times over the past 7 years, and Rob is so much more than we prayed for!

Sometimes it’s hard to believe they haven’t been together for years. It seems so natural and organic that I catch myself thinking things like, “was Rob with us for New Year’s Eve last year?”

Watching them fall in love and plan a life together has been an absolute treat. Next week she and Rob are getting married, and I’m thrilled to share these images from their December engagement shoot in Santa Barbara.

All the moments of them standing cheek to cheek or forehead to forehead are just examples of them being them. They are crazy-in-love smitten kittens, and it’s obvious to everyone how well they fit together.

merry go round

santa barbara bridge


on the beach

susie and rob on the beach

Posted in Couples