Little Details | Macro Photography | Big Sur, CA

I just returned from a week long RV trip in Big Sur, CA with my husband and 23 month old daughter. We went for the first time last year, fell in love, and decided to make it an annual event. I was sure to bring my new Canon 100mm L macro lens to photograph the wildflowers that grow naturally in the area.

I’m so excited to share the photos I took on the trip! Here’s a macro image I photographed on one of the many walks I took down to the beach with my daughter every morning.

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Photo Sessions with Toddlers Can Be Fun | Fletcher Cove Beach, Solana Beach Photographer

If you think a family photo session including your 1-3 year old toddler is a scary proposition, think again. Photographing a toddler can actually be the opposite! I just photographed this cutie at Fletcher’s Cove in Solana Beach and she was great. Here are some tips for toddler-friendly photo sessions:

1. Timing is everything. I usually schedule my outdoor sessions in the evening, around 6:00pm for optimal lighting (and less crowds at the beach). This also gives parents time to feed their toddler dinner before the session. Full tummy = happy toddler!

2. Clothing changes. Bring some extra clothes and accessories just in case. The momma of this cutie brought her red headband not knowing if her toddler would tolerate it, but she did and it totally made the outfit. At the beach when clothes can get wet or sandy, and extra set of clothes can offer more comfort for the child or change the look of the portraits.

3. Go with the flow. Toddlers are always discovering themselves and the world around them. Sessions with toddlers is all about letting go and improvising. Sometimes they’ll listen, and sometimes they won’t, but that’s ok! Taking a break from the posed portraits and letting them play in the environment around them allows me to get natural shots that parents love.

4. Have fun. With all the preparation that goes into a photo session, it’s important to enjoy the time you’ve set aside to capture your family together!

I would love to hear from you! Contact me today to schedule your outdoor family portrait session. Sessions start at $220 and all of my session packages include retouched digital files and web resolution files for social media sharing.

Solana Beach Family Portrait Photographer Fletchers Cove Beach Photos Photography

School’s in Session | Not too Late for Senior Portraits! 10% off Weekday Sessions| Solana Beach Photographer

Can you believe summer’s over? Senior year (aka the best year of high school) is starting and it’s time to relish in your new senior status! This year will be all about making memories and planning for the years ahead after high school. It’s such an exciting time; which is why having your senior portraits done is so important! If you didn’t get around to having your senior portrait session over the summer, there is still plenty of time to get it done now.

I’m currently offering 10% of senior portrait sessions that are booked during the week! Check out my pricing here. Sessions are typically scheduled between 6-7pm for optimal outdoor lighting. Locations include the beach, state parks and reserves and urban settings, depending on the look you’re after. Portrait samples can be seen on my website.

Don’t forget this time in your lives:)Hope to hear from you soon to book your senior session!

xo

Michele

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Sunset Beach Lighting | Class of 2015 Senior Portraits | San Diego Photographer | Solana Beach, CA

I’m loving the end-of-summer sunset lighting at the beach for senior portraits. The light adds the perfect glow to my senior clients. This portrait was photographed at my favorite San Diego beach for senior portraits, Windansea at Neptune and Nautilus in La Jolla. I photographed this image just as the sun was setting and was my favorite from the session! I had M walk away from the camera and turn back to look at me over her shoulder, and I love the natural vibe of what I captured. She looks so fresh and beautiful!

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Visit www.michelehans.com to view senior portrait pricing and book your senior portrait session!

xo

Michele

Small Towns, Trees and Lake Michigan | Traveling Toddler Tips | Lake Forest, IL | Solana Beach Photographer

I’m headed back to my hometown of Lake Forest, IL tomorrow morning; just me and my little 21 month old. I have prepared myself every way possible, but I’m not even that worried since we’ve already flown 8 times and she even has a stamp in her passport… just call her a little jetsetter:)This will be the first time we are traveling just her and I though, and I’ve tried to simplify things as much as possible.

Here are some things I’m doing to make my trip a little easier!

I’m parking at the airport. I decided the $30/day is well worth being able to pull up a mere 300 ft or so from the terminal. Easy peasy.

I’m not bringing a stroller or carseat. Bringing either of these things would seriously limit the use of my hands! Less is definitely more in this scenario. There will be a stroller waiting for me in Lake Forest, and I’ll be renting a carseat at the car rental company. Yes, there is a carseat rolling bag on the market, but how will I roll my carseat and my bag and hold my toddler’s hand or hold her? Too much by myself. A stroller would be nice, but again, pushing requires both hands and my toddler is old enough to walk (she’s great about staying right by mommy). When I need both of my hands, I’ll simply put her in my Maya Wrap Ring Sling on my hip, which she loves. Other baby carriers such as a Tula or Ergo would also be super helpful before checking in bags. That way I can use one hand to pull the luggage and one hand to fish for my wallet, itinerary, etc.

I bought her a seat on the plane. Yes, it doubles the cost of travel but I feel like the added space will be sooooo nice. Another option is to cross your fingers and hope the plane isn’t full and they will give you an additional seat for free. Pray to the plane gods and hopefully karma will be in your favor. To me, that was to much of a risk so I went ahead and bought an additional seat for her. I think she’ll enjoy sitting in her own seat just like mommy. When she gets tired, she’ll just snuggle on me to get some shut eye. We’ll be able to put up the arm rest between us and have plenty of room.

Packed a bag dedicated just to my daughter. To have all of her stuff and my stuff in one giant back seemed way to confusing to me. I would feel like Mary Poppins or something! I like organization. I packed a stylish backpack (hands free!) dedicated to my toddler. It has diapers, wipes, pacis, extra clothes, snacks, board books, this toddler tote, and some mini puzzles. More than enough to get us through 4 hours.

So there it is, my tips for traveling with a toddler! I have found that people are always super helpful at the airport if you have a little one in tow, and who can resist a cute little face anyways? I’m so excited to visit Lake Forest; to breathe in the oxygen-rich air from the huge, dense trees and enjoy the lake!

Here’s a photo of us last summer when G was just 8 months old. Time flies! Now time for us to fly:)

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