John-John and Mom at Avila Valley Barn

When I’m in the moment photographing someone, I don’t have much time to check the image or think deeply about the moment I am capturing.  I look for great light (or create it), interact with my subject (or just observe them), and furiously spin the wheels on my camera settings to create new and different effects as the environment and mood changes.  There are no fewer than twenty different technical and social actions being driven by my mind at any given time!  Somehow, through that miasma of creativity, interaction, and physical exertion (I move around A LOT), an image is born – an image waiting on my hard drive for the day that I sit down to do my editing.

And that is when I catch my breath.  Because for all the doubt I may have about how a session turned out (I could have done this, or that…always, any number of things), when I open the files all I see are beautiful smiles and tender moments.  The feeling I had when I looked at Jamie and John Arevalo’s mother-son portrait session was love.  Love love love love love!  One image after another of two incredible people and the beautiful bond that they share.  I will never get tired of that feeling.

I know Jamie well and have photographed her family before, so having the opportunity to reconnect with them in their new home on the Central Coast was a special treat!  I will travel anywhere to photograph my clients, but luckily this time my personal travel to the coast coincided with Jamie’s availability.  We decided to go to one of John-John’s favorite places, Avila Valley Barn, and have a little fun in the dirt.  Such a nice location, but I think poor John-John was confused about combining a trip to his familiar hangout with a paparazzi following him around!  Nothing that frequent changes in location and an ice cream cone couldn’t handle, though.  He’s an active little boy and at three-years-old is really into exploring his world.  I got a kick out of it – you can literally see the wheels in his head turning in some of these photos.

It’s those moments between mother and son that really tug at my heart though.  The love John has for his mom is so clear.  And clearly, she is an amazing mom, if these photos are any proof.  When John is older and maybe being bull-headed, maybe being aloof, you know, just going through the paces of growing up – I want him to look at these photos and be reminded of what a beautiful, selfless mommy he has.  Because Jamie, you really are.

Thank you for inviting me back to photograph you on the gorgeous Central Coast!  Next time we’ll get Drew in there for some good father-son fun shots.  Congratulations on the move to one of my favorite places in California!

Cheers,

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