Category Archives: children’s portraits

Oh Summer

I am the worst at keeping up with the blog!

Here we are, already in August, how quickly that happens!!! I hope you’re enjoying your summer, the long hot days, and the wonderfully warm nights too. I hope you’ve had amazing adventures with your family and friends, I know I’ve had some amazing times with new friends in the wilderness, and enjoying time exploring locally. I even had the opportunity to foster an energetic kitten for a little bit while he recovered and learned how cushy life can be indoors.

I know we’re only in early August here, but I know some of kiddos are getting ready to go back to school, parents are rejoicing, and the routines of ‘regular’ life will soon be back.

For me in photography, this is the time I start to look forward to the holiday season (and every year it never ceases to blow my mind! I’ve been doing this for 12 years, and every year, it’s “the holidays are only 4 months away! WHAAAAT?!?).  I am beginning to think about locations for photo sessions, and I began thinking about some of my favorite locations around the South Bay.

I have lived in the South Bay of Los Angeles for over 4 years, and I fall in love with the Manhattan Beach pier with every shoot .

The pier itself lends for pretty architectural lines both underneath as well as while serving as a backdrop. Under the pier at sunset has some of the best lighting around, especially when the sun sets right through the opening….the reflections at low tide make for amazing details, and even in winter, the water lapping at your toes is incredibly refreshing!

I’m sharing some of my favorite images from previous photo sessions at the Manhattan Beach pier. If you live anywhere near, it’s pretty much a requirement to have your portraits taken there!

Manhattan Beach pier pink sunset little boy at water's edgeManhattan Beach pier photo session under the pier twin boys stand looking at ocean black and whiteManhattan Beach pier holiday photo session under pier family with twin boys decorate two mini Christmas treesManhattan Beach family photo session at the pier family walking towards ocean during sunsetManhattan Beach pier photo session father walks little girl towards ocean under pier

Manhattan Beach photography couple under pier during a windy sunset

Manhattan Beach photography session couple under pier kissing during sunset

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Well, hello there! It’s been too long

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted anything. Poor blog, neglected, left dormant for Instagram (@juliavargaphoto)….but I’m back! I’m back to share with you some love!

It’s been a wonderfully busy year filled with lots of families, babies, toddlers, weddings and even commercial work! I thank the universe daily, and my lucky stars that I am so fortunate to do what I absolutely love. Does that sound cliche? It shouldn’t, and if it does, I don’t care. It’s true.

Any work day that ends with me getting my toes in the sand and taking a knee high dip in the ocean, is a pretty awesome day at work.

Since being in the South Bay now for a few years, I’ve had many sessions at the Manhattan Beach pier, and each time I think it’s wonderful. I think it’s pretty much an obligatory photo session for families that live in the South Bay, or even if you’re not here, come down anyway; it’s magical at sunset…especially in the winter. Yes, it may be crowded at times. Last year during the holiday photo season, I counted 13 photographers at the pier, with 13 families all taking their holiday portraits. While you may not think that it’s so unique at that point, it is. Each photographer has their own style, their own way of capturing images. And honestly, I love being surrounded by such creative professionals who manage to create amazing images when we’re all elbow to elbow working. It’s actually pretty amazing to watch too, the dance the professionals do to make sure they are engaging their clients (especially the kiddos) while making sure their exposures are correct, composing an aesthetically pleasing image, making sure their backgrounds are uncluttered, and not being in another photographer’s shot. It’s wonderfully chaotic magic!

And here’s evidence to what a great afternoon can be like at the Manhattan Beach pier.

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Family portraits at the Manhattan Beach Pier

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Children’s portraits at the Manhattan Beach Pier

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Kid’s portraits at the beach

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Holding her hand 

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A beautiful winter sunset at the beach in Manhattan Beach

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Family portraits at sunset at the Manhattan Beach pier

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Holiday portraits {Los Angeles Family Photography}

Holiday portraits are in full swing!

I have been loving photographing so many wonderful families this season, and in so many beautiful locations.

Some locations that we’ve been to have been my regular spots, like the Manhattan Beach pier,

but I had the good fortune of meeting this family somewhere that I normally don’t get to go…inland! Ha!

No, seriously though. I traveled out to the city of Walnut and had the pleasure of photographing

this family at Snow Creek park. OH.MY.GOODNESS.

This park with its beautiful wooden bridge, stream with actual water (a biggie in such a drought!) lovely walkways and

amazing fall foliage, this is going on my list of favs.

I have never been one for lots of props and such, generally focusing on families experiencing togetherness, and kiddos

being kiddos, but for this holiday season I have added some super cute trees with battery operated lights, and some super

cute ornaments to the mix.

I think the trees are super cute, and love how it lets the kids focus on something fun.

LOVE these kiddos, LOVE this park, LOVE the trees, LOVE ALL AROUND!

Holiday portraits, portraits in the park

Chistmas trees in the park, holiday portraits in the park

holiday portraits in the park

Christmas trees on the pathway

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What to wear for your portrait session, and getting your toes wet {Manhattan Beach Family Photographer}

I just absolutely love love love shooting in Manhattan Beach these days!

I know I’m not the only photographer out there that does, a quick image search will show you that.

But I do love having fun with my clients while we’re shooting, and making sure everyone has a good time

during their session is very important to me.

When clients ask me “What should we wear for our session?”

Here’s my answer: -Wear sold colors. Prints and patterns (like stripes and bold patterns)  are

very distracting in portraits, and when mixed can be very disorganized looking. You don’t all have to wear the same color,

but all solids works best and is easy on the eyes. There’s always an exception to this; if you have a little one or little ones

that you’d like to be the center of attention for the shoot, by all means, dress the kiddos up in just

about what ever is cute. However, make sure they are comfortable. If it’s a new outfit, make sure paper and plastic tags

are removed completely, it will bug the heck out of them and they won’t be happy.

-No writing on clothing. Our brains want to read words, and when we see letters we want to make sense of it. So

when you’re wearing a shirt with GAP written on it, guess what? That’s what we’ll see before the beautiful faces

of your family. Keep it simple, no writing. Exception? Of course! If you’re TRYING to send a message, then yes! Tell us!

For instance, you’re expecting an addition to the family? Let your little one now tell the family with a cute shirt that says

their only child status is expiring. Want to express holiday cheer? Wear cute sweaters telling your family and

friends Happy Holidays! Your little one’s first birthday? Put them in a cute shirt that says so! These are all perfect

examples of when writing is great on clothing during your session.

-Wear colors that are naturally occurring in the environment. Going to the beach? Blues, whites, khakis, even greens and

blacks are all great colors to wear. Going to the park? Greens, yellows, tans, blacks, whites are great too! You don’t

all have to wear the same color, similar color tones are perfect. You want your family to be seen as a whole, colors

unite well. Exception? Definitely, let the kids stand out with complimentary colors to what you’re wearing.

-Wear something you don’t mind getting a bit wet and sandy or dirty. Being in the South Bay, so many sessions are down

at the beach, especially Manhattan Beach with it’s amazingly beautiful pier! But at any beach, we WILL get in the water near

the end of our session. Your kids WILL get wet! And guess what, you’ll probably get a bit wet too! We may even sit down in

the sand, you will probably have sand in your pockets. And that’s OK!

Bring some extra clothes for the kiddos for the car ride home, or bring towels.

I want each of my clients to look back fondly on their portrait session each time they look at

their portraits. When I see my clients around town, the kids remember how much fun we had at the beach,

and Mom remembers what a great time they all had too.

These are what memories are made of!

Here’s the Roan family having a great time, and getting a bit wet, in Manhattan Beach under the pier

beach portraits, manhattan beach photographer manhattan beach family photographer Roan-58IG

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