Cake Smash! {Lake Arrowhead Family Photographer}

Cake smashes are so much fun to photograph! Especially because I get to let the kids make a mess and watch the smiles grow on their faces!

Typically a 1-year-old doesn’t make the mess you’d think or that parents desire for these types of sessions. We spend the first year telling them not to play with their food then hand them a big plate of cake and say, Play with your food. So often times they look and feel maybe make a little mess and then I tell the parents to get in their to make the mess with the babies hands, rub it on their face and tummy, then we get the results that we are hoping for.

Well, this sweet little man didn’t need any help. He got right in there, was excited about it from the beginning and went to town! I LOVE the last one where he is eating the plate!

Cake smashes don’t need to be a huge set up, if there is too much going on, then it distracts from the baby. So minimal is good! I brought a few crates and asked mom to bring a few things he plays  with or something he loves, these pictures are the results. Simple. Sweet. Messy

photographers in big bear


Just 4 Kids {Photographers in Redlands}

I can not say enough GREAT things about Dr. Rick and his staff at Just 4 Kids pediatric dentistry!

We found Just 4 Kids when my oldest daughter was about 6 and she had some traumatic and SUPER awful dentist experiences at this point. I cried taking her to the dentist and she was crying when we left the dentist. It was super terrible, but I knew I had to take her, that is something you just have to do, not an option!

So listening to KSGN I hear an ad for Just 4 Kids and thought I’d check them out. They were super SUPER awesome and understanding of what experiences she had already had. They were gentle, so kind and they talked to hear! The kids get to put on some really cute sunglasses, they lay back and watch a cartoon that is mounted to the ceiling. They staff sings the songs, OH, when you walk in and check in, they announce “Kaylie is here” and then from the back you hear the staff yell back “Hi, Kaylie!”

Really, I can’t say enough about them! They are so kind and so much fun! And yes, that is them dabbing, LOL If you need a dentist who will love your kids, take care of them in a kid friendly interactive way, you NEED to check out Just 4 Kids! They have offices in Riverside and Redlands!

just 4 kids dentistry redlands



The good and the bad about mini session Part 2 {Big Bear family photographer}

So yesterday I told you some of the awesome things about mini sessions. If you missed that post, check it out here. Today, I’m going to tell you the bad about mini sessions. There are always two sides, right? Ok, so here we go…

Only 15-20 minutes. Why is this bad? Well, I like to talk. I love listening to people talk and tell stories. So many times this past weekend I said to my self, ok, Nichol, you only have 20 minutes, get to work! I just love people and I love to hear what makes them tick, what makes them happy, why they love or hate their jobs. 20 minutes is not enough time to catch up with a family!!

Only 15-20 minutes. Again, why is this bad? Well, I LOVE running around with the kids. I love hearing their stories about school and what makes them happy. Seeing things through a kids eyes is so much fun. When I only have 15 minutes, I can’t hear all their stories and ask all the questions I want!

Only 15-20 minutes. Some of these families I only get to see once a year. And some of them I have not ever gotten to photograph. And just to be honest, 15-20 minutes is not enough time for me to talk and photograph. LOL

One more great thing about mini sessions, my families love them. They are quick, in and out, they get beautiful pictures and for a mini price. I’m sure they don’t love them because it limits my talking… that’s not it, right?!

The families below are from the second day of minis!


This is the Morris Family. I am part of a networking meeting called Christian Business Partners. This is where I met Don. He is such a nice guy and when I met his family, I was not surprised to see they are just as nice and super sweet! Their kids are adorable and were so much fun. I would have loved to have more than that 15-20 minutes with them, but look at the great pictures we captured!!

family photographers in lake arrowheawd



Meet the Taylor Family. I have known this family for a while now. Our kids go to the same schools up here on the mountain. And I have had the pleasure of photographing their extended family as well. She has been asking me to do mini sessions for a while now and I’m so glad I did! How SUPER cute are they?! And the outfits and perfect!!

redlands family photographer



This is the Fox family. Oh.My.Gosh how I love this family!! I have had the pleasure of photographing this sweet family for years now. I don’t think I laugh as hard with any other session as when I get to hang out with them. The kids are so much fun to talk with and their cheeks… I’m always excited when I get to hang out with this family. They were the last of my mini sessions…it was a good thing, because we went way over the 15 minutes with our talking!! I LOVE the outtake with this set of images.

family photographers in redlands


The good and the bad about mini sessions Part 1 {Lake Arrowhead family Photographer}

This last weekend I did my fall family mini sessions! I found a great location, seriously, it was gorgeous! Scheduled them and they all booked up rather quickly! I don’t typically offer family mini sessions, but thought I’d give it a try! Well, much to my surprise, like I said, they all booked up! People were excited about them! Today I’m going to give you the good/great things about mini sessions! Be sure to check out tomorrows post, I will give you the bad things about mini sessions as well! If you’d like to know when the next set of mini sessions are please be sure to follow my blog!! My blog family are always the first to know!!

The great things about mini sessions.

They are quick! For my traditional sessions, I read the kids and when the kids are done, I know I’m done taking pictures. Well, with mini session and little kids, by the time they are totally done, my time is up anyway. So moms are happy because it was quick and the kids are happy that it went so fast!

If  you would rather just a few images. If you don’t really want to many pictures, just a couple to update your walls, this is great! 15/20 minutes allows to get enough images to choose from. Most families we were able to get just the kids together, each child alone and a few family pictures!

I can photograph more families with the beautiful soft golden sun. With a traditional session, it’s about 45 minutes to an hour. So it’s usually one family who gets the best time and then the others are just before it or just after that beautiful light. But with mini sessions, we were able to get 3 families during that perfect light!

Cost effective! Because the session are Mini, everything is mini. With a typically family session we photograph for about 45 min to an hour. My families are receiving between 30-40 images to view online and order from. The average family spends about $310 for their family session and the high-resolution digital files. Well, with the mini session, it’s about 15/20 minutes, you get to view 15-20 images and choose 7 high-resolution files to print as you’d like. Mini time, mini pictures and mini cost!

I’m excited to share the first three awesome families who I had the pleasure of photographing the first day of mini sessions.



This is the Wisman family. I’ve had the joy of photographing their family for a few years now! The kids are growing so fast, to fast!! It’s always great to catch up with them and hear the kids stories about school!

outdoor family pictures in the mountains



This is the Carlson Family. I have been with them since their wedding day! It’s so fun to watch their family grow and the kids grow! They live right up the street from me and I hear that Big Brother is always waiving at my house/me as they drive by! I love that!!

big bear family photographer

This is the Kimes family. I have knows mom for a while through church and wedding venue in Crestline. I have never had the chance to photograph her family thought. She heard I was doing mini sessions and asked for this to be her birthday present. I feel so honored that I get to create pictures of their family for her birthday, that’s what she asked for! Anyway, their family is really, really awesome! We had fun moving through the forest!

crestline family photographer


Makes me laugh! {San Moritz Lodge wedding photographer}

This set of images just crack me up! They loved each other so much and it just shines through the way they talk to each other, the way they laugh together and the way they hold each other. It truly was an honor to be part of their day!!

I’m always looking for ways to make people relax and act natural while I’m standing there with my camera taking pictures and telling them to act natural. LOL They took turns whispering something in to each others ears. When it was his turn, they both laughed, but I think what makes this set so awesome is the look on his face on the first picture and this was the progression leading to the last picture which was a kiss. L.O.V.E

My goal is always to make people comfortable and capture them naturally in a gorgeous location. I feel like this was achieved here with the smiles and laughter! #goals

sweet couple in love crestline

Heart Rock Trail {Photographers in Crestline}

How sweet are these two? And how gorgeous is this location?

Typically you want to start your session closer to sunset. Not at sunset, but about an hour/hour and a half before sunset. Well, I have photographed this heart rock trail before and knew it was very dark in this are. There are so many trees and bushes and it just blocks out much of the light. So we set out to start at 1:30. Even then, it was a little dark but we were able to capture some beautiful pictures of these two! We hiked down hills, over boulders and founds some great spots to showcase their love!

I’m so excited to be part of their wedding, it’s only a couple of weeks away before they say i do!!

engagement pictures in lake arrowhead

Lake front wedding {Lake Arrowhead Resort wedding photographer}

It was so much fun capturing this couples wedding day at the Lake Arrowhead Resort! They laughed a lot as we walked around for pictures!

These two love birds met at church 6 years ago and were engaged May of last year. The resort has a white carpet event for brides every year and it’s at this event I was able to meet Aldo and Katrina. I’m so glad they stopped by my booth and chatted with me! It’s been a joy being part of their wedding day and being able to capture their love!

wedding photographer in lake arrowheadFlorist: Jasmine Rose

DJ: DJ Clay

Venue: Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa


Cake Smash {Redlands family photographer}

I have had the pleasure of photographing these two cuties since they were newborns! Madison is the sweetest little thing and it’s so much fun to watch her big personality emerge from this little girl! And Greyson, he is just handsome! When he smiles, those cheeks fill up and you just want to pinch them like grandma used to do. He did great with his cake smash and loved the chocolate cake. He turns one in just a couple of weeks and I know his lumber jack party will be awesome!!

redlands family photographer


Happy {almost} Fall Y’all! {Lake Arrowhead Family Photographer}

Time is running out to grab the last couple spots for the Mini Sessions!

Mommy :: Wife :: Photographer :: Friend :: Artist

Fall is my most favorite time of year! It’s not that Halloween is here or thanksgiving. It’s just the fall feel. It’s the hot apple cider on a chilly night. It’s the snuggles with the kids because it’s cold outside. The throwing of leaves, the frosty mornings, all the MANY pumpkin things. Oh, my, have I told you about Pumpkin Ice Cream? Ok, ok, so pumpkin pie, is amazing, the pumpkin wax to make your house smell yummy, is… awesome, but Pumpkin Pie ice cream is GLORIOUS! You really have to try it this year. If I could by it year round, I would, but it only comes out…in the fall.

So, with my excitement for fall, the first weekend in October is going to be my mini sessions! These mini session will be up here in Running Springs, actually where these pictures were taken. It’s a beautiful spot, one…

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Birthday in a box!! {Children photographer in Lake Arrowhead}

I am SO super excited to be sharing this today!!

This is a Birthday in a Box! Any birthday, any age, any props all in a box!! I put out a model call for another session but by the time this mom inquired, I had already chosen my models. But I knew I had to get these two in my studio! So I ask mom if I can use them for another idea I had. Lucky for me, she said yes!! They came to my studio, this sweet little girl was so excited for pictures, we got right to work making a mess!!

I was not totally sure how things would go and how easy or hard this session would be but OH MY this little princess was awesome! I told her to smile, she smiled, I asked her to throw confetti around, she threw it around. She made my job SO easy!!

So the idea is to capture some fun pictures of your child’s personalities at their age. You can bring a cake, a surprise gift, their favorite toy and we just let them have fun! We dance, blow balloons, throw confetti, play with cake…what ever you choose for your child’s session. You can bring items that you know your child will love!!

Don’t wait till they are another year older!! Book your Birthday in a Box session now!!

Follow this link to view more images from this session! Birthday Mini Sessions!

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