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Welcome to the world baby Nathan

I’ve photographed a handful of newborn babies now and I always, always have fun. But this little dude was something extra special.

Nathan was born just under two weeks ago to a mom who was young and not in a great position to care for her baby. She arrived at the hospital in labor and decided to place him for adoption.

Some of you may know my wife and I have also been in the process of trying to adopt ever since this summer. In going through the classes to become certified for adoption, we met some absolutely amazing people. We had a class every Tuesday for seven-weeks and thus we got to know everyone pretty well. Once the class was over, we’d still get together for dinners and other things.

One of the couples in that class were Ben and Alisha. And they were the ones who got the phone call that this little baby needed a home.

Can you imagine going about your Thursday, not expecting much other than the ordinary routine, and then the phone rings, someone says we have a baby for you TODAY…and we need to you to make a drive down to Tucson. Today.

One day no baby, the next day…baby.

I know myself, my wife and the rest of our little group from those adoption classes are overjoyed and thrilled that Ben and Alisha became Nathan’s parents. And there was absolutely no way I wasn’t going to make my way over there to photograph this baby. I had a blast hanging with them on Monday morning, meeting grandma, but also just checking out this amazing, beautiful little man. He was so calm, so quiet…so peaceful.

Until he pooped of course, then all hey broke loose *grin*

Oh, and I can’t forget meeting Moose and Otto. Two very cute dogs…Moose had eyes that could guilt you into doing anything for him.

Congrats again Alisha and Ben…so happy for you guys and thanks for letting me take a few pictures of baby Nathan!

(You can scroll down through the photos, or click on the one below to start a manual slideshow with a nice, black background)

Meet baby Nathan

This is Nathan Carlyle. Less than two weeks old.

Unbelievably. Cute. Baby.

More to come.

Kayleigh, Jackson and Lyla

Before our recent family vacation to Memphis, I hadn’t met me new niece Kayleigh May except through other people’s pictures. One of my goals while out there was to get my sister-in-law/bro-in-law some great pictures of the kids and especially Kayleigh. Kayleigh’s big brother is named Jackson and of course, my daughter Lyla, their cousin, also wanted to be in some pictures.

Okay, WE wanted her in them. Parents, sheesh.

The first little shoot I did with Kayleigh was unplanned. We were at a playground late in the day with the kids and I saw this little grassy area out of the corner of my eye. Lush, green, little flowers popping up everywhere, the sunlight in an absolutely perfect spot…so I asked Jennifir to drop her daughter right in the middle of it all and let’s see what we could do. The picture above was taken in that field and there are others below.

The shoot we did right before leaving was out in the backyard of one of their neighbors, although technically it was hard to tell since there were no real fences anywhere. It was the middle of the day, which normally is awful light, but the clouds were thick and creating shadows, and there were some big trees around to help us even more.

One little note about all these shots: I exclusively used my 85mm 1.8 for the first time ever. I’ve always been comfortable with my 50mm 1.4 and tend to stick to that 90% of the time. But this entire trip I kind of stuck to the 85 and am just in love with it.

And I’m also in love with my little niece. She’s a stunning little baby, gorgeous eyes and the sweetest smile. You might notice the little beauty mark on her forehead…it’s supposed to fall off eventually, but I dunno why…I thought it added to her charm. I’ve probably never had a more perfect baby to shoot. She just sat there smiling, looking around, checking things out. She basically did all the work, I just snapped off some photos.

 

 

 

I like this one above.

This little grassy area was just so perfect.

Killer blue eyes right?

Loved this huge tree dwarfing my little girl.

Both Lyla and Jackson love, love, love to run.

This last picture below I’ve already posted in a few places, but in case you missed it! The kids were doing a lot of running on the golf course out back after the sun went down so I had them run up to the top of this little hill and hold hands for me. Nothing better than a silhouette shot against a cloudy sky. One of my favorite kinds of shots.

The Texidor family

I’ve known this family for a long time. In fact, Josie, her sister, my wife and I all used to work at the same movie theater back around…ohh…1993-95 or some such. Lots of good times at that place. Here’s a shout out to the no-longer-there AMC Lakes 6. You were the best job I ever had and may ever have.

Dave is the guy who pretty  much tossed me out the door to go ask Jina’s father for her hand in marriage. If it wasn’t for him…who knows how long it would have taken me to get the guts up to go do that.

Fast-forward to today and Dave and Josie are married with three amazing kids. We haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with them lately, so it was nice to meet up with them and take some pictures.

Thanks so much guys for letting me do this for you!

And also props to Alex Evjen from AVE Styles for picking out the wardrobe for these guys…they looked amazing!

 

Hepfinger and family

(Note: You can click on any picture to bring up a lightbox and then flip through all the photos in this blog post!)

Sona’s parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this past weekend and it was a huge party, with lots of friends and family coming in town. Suresh, Sona’s father, said he was making around 4-5 more trips to the airport that weekend to pick up people coming into town.

Sona, along with hubby Charlie (who looks an awful lot like that guy from that movie The Town) and daughter Amea, wanted to celebrate the event by getting some family portraits done. Her sister and brother-in-law Mike joined in on the fun.

Poor Mike had just flown in on a red-eye from Chicago and went STRAIGHT to the photoshoot after scarfing down some french toast. Luckily he slept a bit on the plane, but I think he was pretty tired.

We hit the jackpot with the conditions on Friday. The shoot had to be done in the late morning, and 10:3o isn’t the ideal time to do portraits out in the sun, but as luck would have it, the clouds moved in and we had overcast conditions the entire time.

Timing is everything. Even if I have no control over it!

Congrats to the happy couple for being married 40 years! You guys were all a pleasure to work with and it was awesome getting to hang out for a bit.

The Dunnigan family

My wife and Liz have been friends for what seems like an eternity and they met long before a husband or kids were in the picture…at least for Liz.

Jina and I have literally been married FOR-EVER. (don’t you hate people who have no clue how to use the word ‘literally’?)

ANYWAYS…this beautiful group of four were only six weeks ago a family of three. Thus of course they needed some updated photos and I was only too thrilled to be able to help them out.

Little Cara is much like our little girl Lyla. Free-spirit…adventurous…never stopping, always moving, ever exploring. Which is kind of my favorite type of shooting…following these little ones around and capturing them in action. Baby Connor had never been outside before and it was fun to shoot him looking around at the sky and trees for the first time.

Sweet boy, happy little girl…and an awesome little family. So happy for you guys and thank you for letting me take some pictures of you all!

Sneak peek: Cara

Processing photos from a session I had yesterday afternoon with Cara, her baby brother and parents (of course!), and just had to post this one right away.

19-month old Cara was absolutely adorable in her little pink jackets and blue jeans…and while she is sitting all cute-like in this photo, it was one of the rare moments that she wasn’t moving! The girl is just like our daughter Lyla in the way she constantly wants to explore her world…and you can’t do that sitting down. Well, unless there is awesome dirt, rocks and bugs to check out, but even then….they’d rather be walking or running.

I love following around kids like this when they “do what they do”…and then trying my hardest to capture some candid moments.

Early in the shoot, I showed Cara some of the pictures I had just taken of her…and she got all giggly and smiley and even let out a laugh. I tried not to take it personally.

Everyone’s a critic right? (I’m kidding)

More to come.

First Look: The Servins {phoenix family photographer}

My buddy Sam Servin has been one of my closest friends since my first year in high school. The photo above is of his little boy Samuel, who is pretty much a spitting image of dad. I saw him for the second time a week ago at Lyla’s 2nd birthday party, and if Sam and Teresa had asked us, we’d definitely have taken this little cutie pie off their hands. I mean, look at that face!

Sam asked me to do a photoshoot for his entire family, a clan of 11 and some of my favorite people in the world. Of course I was honored and excited to do this for Sam and his group…I hadn’t seen most of them in quite a few years and it was such a blast to see the kids and catch up on how everyone was doing.

Here are the first batch of images from Wednesday’s shoot…thanks so much guys for asking me to do this…was a pleasure hanging with you all!

Photoshoot: The Johnson’s {phoenix family photographer}

I had such a great time with the Johnson family so I wanted to post a few more of my favorite images from the hour or so we spent together. You just never know how a shoot is going to go or what may result from it. Meribeth, the mother of the group, is getting into photography herself and thus I offered up my standard recommendation for people starting out: Get the $100 50mm 1.8 and you’ll love taking pictures of your kids and stuff on vacation.

So her awesome hubby David surprised her with it and Meribeth has been having a blast getting to know that lens and play around with it. She’s been slow about uploading photos she’s taken to Facebook, but I’ll forgive her…sometimes you are just out shooting too much to ever post all the photos you take.

Plus they have three kids and I cannot imagine how you find a break in all the action to sit back and look at photos taken on a family trip!

Thanks again guys for letting me hang with your family for a bit!

One opening left in November!

Check out the look of joy on little Aly’s face…isn’t she a bundle of cuteness?

Just a heads up that while I was booked full for November just 24 hours ago, today I have an opening on the evening of November 27th, the weekend after Thanksgiving. If you are looking to squeeze in some pictures before it’s too late to put them on your annual Christmas card, let me know…first come, first served, yadda, yadda.

Session fees right now are only $150 for an hour. I do a 30-minute version as well for half that cost if you are on a budget. Price includes the DVD of all images.

Otherwise, plenty of openings in December if you are looking for a shoot where you are all bundled up with jackets and scarves! Okay, this is Arizona, who am I kidding…we’ll still all be wearing shorts and sandals.

You can book a shoot by using the form at the bottom of this page. OR email me: mikeolbinski @ gmail (dot) com