When I was growing up I always loved when I got to go to work with my dad.  He was a Game Warden and we pretty much drove around to a bunch of cool places.  On the way home we would always take the back road and cross over the green bridge.  Now, whenever I go back home to visit my parents, I still love taking the back road and crossing over the green bridge.

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Newbies are just so much fun!  This little guy was the perfect model.  He slept most of the time and gave my a couple little peeks of his eyes.  This was probably one of my fastest sessions!!  I also love that he is already a thumb sucker.  So darn cute!

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My favorite part of the Watch Me Grow package is that I get to spend so much time with these amazing families and watch the little ones blossom.  Miss Sophia was the first in a string of 6 and 9 month olds and I just love this age!

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I adore this family.  Miranda is a dear friend of mine and has the cutest kids.  When we went and did these photos, little Elias wasn’t feeling too well and pretty much cried the entire time.

San Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerSan Diego PhotographerI Love this last photo.  I think it pretty much sums up how the evening went.  Exhausted Mom, Elias crying, and Gracie doing her own thing.  I think we were all feeling a little better after we got some dinner and the kiddos got some sleep.  Good thing they are so darn cute!!

Nathan posted the following on March 23, 2013 at 4:41 am.

Every fam shoot an adventure! Great work.

From time to time I like to play along with the I Heart Faces photo challenges.  This month the theme the “love”.  My twins are my everything.  It just warms my heart to see them together and how much they love each other.

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Photo Challenge Submission

amber posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 11:24 am.

Oh my goodness! That is precious! What gorgeous smiles :)

Jamilla posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm.

Love this one!!

Kara posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm.

Love it! My boy and girl are 15 months apart, and I can’t wait to get images of like this when they get older!

Katy posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm.

Aww. They look like two very happy kids. Great photo!

Kudos By Stephanie posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm.

Absolutely adorable!

Melanie Chattin posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm.

Love the look and feel of this. Love that you captured such a natural moment between them!

Sophie | London Ontario Photographer posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm.

This is such a wonderful moment!!

Kelly Wilson posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm.

Goodness, this is just too adorable for words!

elizabeth posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm.

LOVELY! super adorable!

Jennifer S. posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm.

OMG! This is priceless! You can see how much they love each other, clearly :)

Robyn posted the following on February 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm.

What an absolutely stellar moment you captured!

devon hall posted the following on February 6, 2013 at 12:46 am.

Love this moment…..I can hear the giggles:)

Andrea posted the following on February 8, 2013 at 5:13 am.

Always lovely when you can catch a sweet moment between siblings…love the tones

Dharma Blue posted the following on February 12, 2013 at 6:42 am.

This is so sweet! ?

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Life with Kaishon posted the following on February 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm.

Sweet as can be! Congratulations on your I heart faces feature. So exciting!

This weekend my journey as a photographer took me someplace totally new and quite amazing.  I went back and forth and whether I was going to go or not.  I’m not a super social person and the idea of going someplace like this without anyone I actually knew made my anxiety level a little high!  I asked my husband if I should go (thinking he would give me an out) and he said, “Why not, what do you have to lose?”  He was right.  I can’t grow as a photographer if I don’t take risks and get out of my little bubble of security.  The morning we were supposed to head out, it was raining and a bunch of people ended up backing out.  I had it set in my mind that this was something I needed to do, so off I went.

I met up with some other photographers at one of our trolley stations so that we could carpool out there since it was over 120 miles away.  I decided to drive since I felt like I needed to have control over at least something.  I met the two ladies that were going in my car and they were both just so wonderful!!  So where did we go?  Well, the first stop on this little adventure was Salvation Mountain.  I am not a religious person.  I am a more of a spiritual person.  For me, this was less about the message of the mountain and more about the dream that Leonard Knight had when he built this place.  Unfortunately he now resides in a convalescent home here in San Diego, but his dream stays alive through volunteers and the many visitors that his mountain gets.  It was such an amazing place.  We were able to climb this huge mountain that was made of hay, clay, and paint.  There were rooms built into the mountain out of branches and paint and windows.  It really was an amazing place.

San Diego PhotographerSalvation Mountain.  Leonard Knight’s masterpiece.

 

San Diego PhotographerInside one of the “rooms” in the mountain.  It was awesome how it almost felt alive in there.  All the colors and textures were so beautiful.

 

San Diego PhotographerThe “belly of the beast” was so awesome.  Amazing that all of this came out of the mind of one man.

 

San Diego PhotographerThis was the truck that Leonard called home for so many years.  No electricity.  No water.  No plumbing.

 

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The next stop on our little adventure was “the slabs.”  Slab City was strange, but in a good way.  It is what is left of Marine barracks from WWII and has become the home of hundreds of squatters, boondockers, and people who want to live a simple life off the grid.  My first impression was that it looked like an RV camp.  The more we drove around, I noticed how dirty it was.  Because there is no sort of trash service out there, it looks like a lot of people just toss their trash out the door.  I learned that Slab City has it’s own internet cafe, church, library, night club, exclusive social club, skate park, snack bar, and alien crash site.  Most of these places are run by generators and solar panels.  The other thing I learned about this place is that there are no laws.  It seems like everyone helps each other out and they all seem to be pretty happy people.  I did notice a lot of drug usage and I’m sure it is one of the reasons that has driven people to live in the slabs.  Not necessarily the access to drugs, but because of the poverty that drug use can lead to.  There is no monetary cost to live at the slabs.  Even with the drugs and alcohol, there was just something about this place that made you want to stay.  I think if I were in a situation without kids and a family, I could see myself spending time out there (minus the drugs and alcohol.  yuck).

San Diego PhotographerOne of the performers at “The Range.”  They have live music here every Saturday night.  When we were here, they were doing their annual talent show.  I just have to say, this guy was an amazing musician.   A very drunk, but amazing musician.  He has only been at the slabs a short time, but now calls it home.

 

San Diego PhotographerOne of the seating options at The Range.

 

San Diego PhotographerI think I’ll be bringing my own chair to sit in next year!!

 

San Diego PhotographerOne of the “slabbers”

 

San Diego PhotographerA group of people that call the slabs home.  They come from different places, and ended up at Slab City for different reasons, but they all call it home now.

 

Part of Slab City is another little community called East Jesus.  This is a little community of artists.  Because this is a family friendly blog, I can’t show many pictures of the artwork, but I will say that the people here are just great.  If you find yourself at Slab City, you have to check this place out!!

San Diego PhotographerThey are currently working on creating a fully sustainable garden and vineyard.  The hope is that the only thing they would have to worry about is water.  They have plans on creating a huge water tank that will hopefully take care of them during the 120 degree summer heat.

 

San Diego PhotographerOne of the pieces of art.

 

After East Jesus, we raced out to Bombay Beach to catch the sunset.  It was such a beautiful depressing place.  This place used to be a resort back in days but it’s like it just got sucked up in the mud.  Whats left are the ruins of old homes and cars and businesses.  It’s like after it got sucked up into the mud, the town moved back a few 100 feet and started over again, but was never really able to make anything of it self.  I really want to go back again when there is more light and get some photos of the actual town and the remains of the old town.

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If you made it this far, thank you for reading!!  I know I usually don’t write about my photos and I just like to let them speak for them selves, but I felt like I had something to say about this little adventure.  I absolutely can’t wait until next year so I can do it again!

Abbey posted the following on January 30, 2013 at 1:08 am.

I really enjoyed this post! Great photos!

Oh, Audrey, Audrey, Audrey!  This little miss and her sister are becoming my favorite kiddos to photograph.  They are just so cooperative and so adorable!!  I seriously can’t wait to get them in front of the camera again.

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Abbey posted the following on January 30, 2013 at 1:05 am.

I am over the moon about all of these!!! And glad you look forward to taking more because now I am obsessed ;) My reward to myself after I lose 20 more lbs is another session. I have lost 11 so far!

I took my kiddos up to Julian for the day for a little bit of shopping and a lot of apple pie.  When we got up there I wasn’t really thinking about the elevation change and forgot to pack jackets.  Whoops!!  It was so darn cold that I had to go buy myself a hat to wear.  At least the kids had on long sleeves and hats.  It was a fun day of exploring.

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I can’t believe how fast Brody is growing.  He will be 9 months before I know it!

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I can’t say enough good things about Brenda and her family.  She is the organizer of the moms group I’m in and does so much for all of us.  A bunch of the other ladies in the group got together and pooled their money to giver her a photos session with me as a way to say thanks.

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