Vineyard Family Session- Santa Rosa Family Photographer Angelika Mitchell

My favorite color is fall, and fall lasts a really long time in Sonoma County. We do eventually lose our leaves, but they can stay almost to Christmas. This family session was in early December, and while we were on the back end of the colorful vineyards, we still got stunning colors. 

Dad is a winemaker, so when this young family thought about updating their family photos, they wanted the vineyards of Sonoma County to be the backdrop. Vineyards really are such a beautiful location, and they rival beaches for my absolute favorite spot to do family portraits. I feel so lucky to live in an area of such diverse beauty. We can be on the beach, in the forest, in the mountains, and in the desert all within a short drive. This particular Vineyard is right in my home town of Sebastopol. 

Sonoma County Vineyard Family Photos- Angelika Mitchell Photography

Just like fall is my favorite color, toddler is my favorite child. So many clients worry that toddlers and young children won't cooperate for photos, and in some ways they are right! That's the beauty of the toddler though. Everything happens on their time and serves their needs. When we had our family photos done and my little one was 2, she decided the whole photoshoot was actually a hike, and she just kept going. What makes toddlers so magical, is that they infuse fun into every moment. I love the way their carefree energy lightens the mood, and how playing with them and having fun makes for the very best portraits. I am always thrilled to learn a new client has young kids. I just know that the adventure we have together will be infused with fun and the wonder of early childhood. 

Sebastopol Vineyard Family Photos- Angelika Mitchell Photography

Now that the rainy season is upon us, I am longing for the warm colors of fall. We just took down our Christmas tree, and that time is always a little sad for me. Knowing that it will be so long before the fall and holidays are back. I know as soon as the flowers start to bloom in Spring, I will be so thankful for longer nights and the burst of new life. Such is the wheel of time. 

Beach Family Session- Santa Rosa Family Photographer Angelika Mitchell

Do you know what my favorite part of photography is? Seeing children and families grow over the years. There is a special place in my heart for the families who come back year after year, and share their journey with me. One family that blessed my lens this fall is our Masto Wyatt Warrior family. I have had the pleasure of working with the kiddos several times, but this fall I put Mom and Dad in front of the camera too.

Mom has always been someone who I greatly admire. She is the best fundraiser I have ever seen, rallying for research into Wyatt's rare skin disorder.  I have never seen such grace under pressure, with an enduring attitude of gratitude and hope. Wyatt is a treasure, that's for sure. The big kids are SO much fun to photograph, they are naturals in front of the camera. 

Rodeo Beach Family Photo Session- Angelika Mitchell Photography

While we may live hours apart from one another, we found a beautiful beach in the middle to meet at. Rodeo Beach in Sausalito, Marin County, provided the most picturesque backdrop to our family photo beach adventure. The family was impeccably styled, as usual, with no coaching from me at all. We tested our luck with the fall coastal weather; hello fall rainy season-which came out of nowhere! We ended up with the perfect day. 

Rodeo Beach Family Photo Session- Angelika Mitchell Photography

I really love beach photos. The Sonoma and Marin coastline can be tricky, so we don't attempt these sessions as often as my heart would like. The summers tend towards foggy sunsets, and the fall and spring are pretty cold and windy. It's really such a glorious synchronistic moment when you get a beautiful family, a beautiful beach, and nice weather all at the same time. God smiled on us that day, for sure. 

Mommy and Me Session- Santa Rosa Family Photographer Angelika Mitchell

On Mother's Day this year we had a contest. To enter, Moms commented on a favorite thing about Motherhood. Reading the comments was one of my personal favorite Mother's Day treats. It was so heartwarming to see all the different ways women cherished their role as Mom. This gorgeous Mom was the winner of the contest, and I am so excited to share her photos with you. I know her daughters will cherish these memories forever. 

Often, as Moms, we get a little lost in the shuffle. We are the ones with a phone full of photos of the kids, and probably our kids and every other member of the family, from Dad to grandparents. What we don't have, is enough photos of ourselves with our kids. (awkward selfies with the kids aside) We either don't love the way we look, don't think we are photo ready, or don't even think about it. The thing is, these kids of ours, who we cherish so much, need to see us loving on them in their lives. One of the comments during the contest was a young woman who had just lost her own mother, and she was so sad that she had so few photos of her Mom and her together. It's heartbreaking.

So ladies, please be in the picture! Even with no make up and a messy bun. Wear those yoga pants and tank top, which you might even have slept in, and take that photo. Because the truth is, that is a version of you the kids want to remember too! Once in a while, get dressed up in whatever makes you feel awesome, and have some photos done with the little people you love most. By doing so, you show them how much you love them, and how much you love yourself too.

In my bedroom I have 3 framed photos hanging on my wall. One with each of my children when they were around 2. I LOVE looking at them every night before bed! Even though I can see myself aging over the 7 years, I can also see how I have grown as a woman, how I have really started to get the hang of being a Mom, and how much I love my children. 

Cinderella Storybook Session - Santa Rosa Child Photographer Angelika Mitchell

A sweet little girl was turing two, and wanted nothing more than a photoshoot inspired by her favorite movie, Cinderella. Her Mom and I had so much fun designing her shoot! I just love how it turned out. There is nothing more magical than the imagination of youth; the hard held belief that if you wear the right dress, and play the right music, and you have courage and be kind, you can really truly be a princess! Happy Birthday Sweet Cinderella!