Homegrown Photography » Your Homegrown Stories

The Cacuyog Family!

My goodness! Aren’t they SO grown up? Where does the time go? I’ve been photographing this family on and off for YEARS! When we first met, our children were so small! Antonio was a skinny little guy, Mary Rose and Nana were two-ish, Brady and J.C. were 5ish… and that was all the kids I had at the time! Tamara first knew me as a frazzled mother of two. Now, I’m a crazy mother of 5. 🙂 I used to drive Nana to preschool when Tamara worked in the boys classrooms . Mary Rose and Nana would talk and talk in the back of my van. I had no idea what they were saying, but they would just chat away! I wish I had those conversations recorded. And then Nana would sing! OH MY! It was wonderful! I’m pretty sure she knew all the words to Gwen Staffani’s,  Hollaback Girl and would SING it loud and proud!

Honestly, I was a tad nervous. The day was lovely, and I love shooting in the fall! You never know about the light and sessions are full of hunting perfect, warm and magical light.

I had not see the kids in a while and they have grown up so much… I soon realized they were the same goofs only bigger.

Only the same tricks to get them to smile didn’t work. 😉


It is always the shots where they let their guards down that I love the best!


She’s gonna kill me.


These two… Right below… my very fav.


Oh… this one too!



I can’t pick! Thankfully, I don’t have to. 😉




Sharon Sossaman


Adorable Family + A Pretty Fall Day =


Thats some good math skillz. Right? Its photographer math…

or not.

I knew the first time I met with Chrissy and her sweet girl I’d adore them. And then when I met the rest of the family… I was in love. 😉

What you see is what you get. I was giggling the whole time. The kids were such fun lively little humans with ideas ready to share.

Most of the time I ask mom or dad if they have a shot they REALLY REALLY want me to capture.

For example: Maggie always plays with my hair, I’d like a picture with maggie playing with my hair.

And more often then not, I also ask the kids if they have ideas.

Really, it’s to get the kids to loosen up relax and play with me a bit. Not all the time do those pictures make it into the final cut. My goal is to get them to play and have fun.

To let the kids know I care about them and what they think.

Well, I didn’t have to ask these kiddos. They had ideas and were ready to share!

It made my job super fun!



As we were heading back we noticed a lady running her horses and stopped to watch… Much to this little three year olds dismay we had to leave.

Being a horse girl myself, I felt her pain.

There was a little lip quiver and then a deep sigh… she knew whining wasn’t going to make things better.


And in that very moment…

We heard the lady call us,

“Do you wan to pet him? He’s friendly!”

My eyes got misty. I’m not going to lie.







A Pretty and Very Fun Family Session ~ Homegrown Family Session

I really love Suisun Valley! During the fall, the colors are amazing and in the spring, the valley is full of bright yellow mustard. I learned that the mustard flower is actually a beneficial weed. It keeps  non-native weeds from taking over, it is beneficial when tilled into the earth and it somehow protects the grape vines from frost. I didn’t quite understand that part, but the lady was very convincing. 😉

This family session was super fun. With so many family members included in the session I decided we weren’t going to go far. Sometimes, I like to walk around and shoot in a bunch of different locations, but with so many people and lots of them (thanks to Heather ;)) kids, I didn’t want to roam far. AND I brought my trusty sidekick… Mr. Sossaman. He’s handy, adorable and an extra person can help keep things going.

You know a session is going to be magical when you coordinate with the family. I could have totally jumped in and nobody would have known!

Or… a whole bunch of people would. 😉

As Jeramy and I walked up I saw two handsome guys in sweater vests. I LOVE a sweater vest. We weren’t sure if Mr. Chuck would want to be in many pictures… He’s a bit shy, but I think I won him over with my sweater vest complements. 😉 And I have to say, aside from the out takes Jeramy got, Chucks pics just might be my very favs. While we waited for everyone to arrive we started on who was there. I don’t want anyone to stress on photo shoot days! No fussing at each other or kids. Don’t stress! We’ll go with the flow and have fun!

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We talked about just doing a big family shot and then individual families, but Elliot had other ideas. He wanted to show off for me and I couldn’t resist this face!

I was looking for a blog link to this stunning couples wedding… I can’t find it. Maybe I didn’t blog it, because I don’t do weddings. Well… trust me! It was beautiful. And the images were great. I wanted to print one on canvas. BIG! Jeramy thought a big canvas of Holly and her folks in a cab would be kinda awkward.

But, it is such a lovely image! 😉

Now thats one good looking family!

Not sure what Heather told Mauro… He looks mildly shocked. 😉

(Honestly, non of of us our shocked much by what Heather says.)

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Thanks you guys for a great evening! I’m debating if I should post the out takes! OH!! They were pretty fantastic!

If you are reading this and you are on the fence about getting your whole family out for a shoot, don’t wait! I promise, it will be quick and painless! I’ll bring Jeramy and I feel pretty confident that It will actually be really fun!

And right after Jeramy and I went into Vezer for a lovely wine tasting!

A photoshoot and wine tasting! It was a great date! 😉



Class of 2014 ~ Homegrown Senior Session

Mary Rose has a knack for making friends. And more often then not, those friends have fantastic families, who we fall in love with. It’s true. Mary Rose has a gift, and her friend making skills have brought to our family, life long friends.

These ladies… I love them dearly. We all love them dearly. Clarisse has been one of our two babysitters the past few years. My kids love her… I love her! She’s wonderful. Coming home to her studying with one of my girls snuggled up to her… it makes my heart melt every time.

So, another baby sitter is growing up on us! It’s totally wrong.

I was so excited to get Clarisse in front of my camera! She’s as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. We decided to make this session a fun day for both families and we headed down to their (and one of our) happy places. We started in Henry Cowell State park. Very pretty, kid friendly State park you should go. Then after lunch we headed to Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz. LOVE LOVE the beach!

Clarisse, We sure do love you! I could go on and on…  Its true, everyone can see that you are absolutely stunning. Lots of people can be pretty, but you… it’s a light, a sparkle that shines from your eyes, and your smile, you can even hear it in your giggle. You are amazing. I am so proud of you and who you are. I am so thankful that my girls have you to look up to. No mater what you chose to do in life… I know you will bring your joy, big heart and your sparkle that really does make this world a better place.


I have so many photobombs from my children… I could do a post on JUST them in my way. 😉 I’m so glad I got a few with all my fav ladies!


My senior pic wen’t half as adorable!



BEfore the sun went down we had little sis jump in some photos! Are they not the most adorable two EVER? 



Using MY Time Wisely ~ Momma Moments

I am not complaining. Not at all. And I totally get that everyone has a crazy life! I do sometimes think my life is more crazy then the next persons at times, but only because I’M not dealing with crazy the right way. Get what I mean?

Can you believe I have a family of 7 and I don’t meal plan? Heck! I don’t even make a grocery list!  So, I decided to get working on meal planning and get disciplined about grocery shopping. AND to really plan out my days. Planning out my days is BIG!

When you have a big family and they are all little… it’s totally workable. When all but one are in school… a totally different story. Drop off’s, different pick up times, different schools, homeschooling, volunteering in classrooms, assessments and Drs appt…. And sometimes those Drs. are in SF! Date night, yoga, band rehearsals and youth group, Bible study and mom’s group. My days can be crazy. How I am not crazy???

It’s by the grace of God. I tell ya!

(Just proof reading here: I might be crazy… I’m not sure)

A couple days out of the week, I was feeling like I wasn’t getting much time WITH the kids. And then memories of my childhood came flooding back to me.

Picnics with my Grandma Joan.

She was a major part of my childhood before I was 8. Grandma Joan was running me to school, dance, swimming, Brownie events and helping me with school work, church events and family dinners… the list goes on and on. AND she had my Aunt Jennifer who must have been in High School at the time. I can’t remember how she did it. She did raise 5 kids and was a preschool teacher so, by the time I came around… Well, it wasn’t her first rodeo. 😉

I very vividly remember having a picnics with her often.

This one memory is so vivid… We were picnicking at my Aunt Jennifers school. My grandma Joan was SO ahead of the times. She packed the lunch in an old bread bag. I’m pretty sure… I could be wrong, but in my memory it was an Homepride wheat bread bag. She was big on the reuse! 😉 She wrapped the sandwiches in wax paper and pulled out real spoons from her bag for our fruit on the bottom yogurt. We sat at a wooden table under a big tree and ate. My aunts school uniform was a lot like mine only mine had a pinafore top. I recall watching these people, who looked like adults to me, wearing nearly the exact uniform as mine except they didn’t have to wear the pinafore part… I thought they looked cool.

That memory got me thinking. I’ve started planing my days out better. Especially the crazy days. Instead of rushing home to make lunch searching for something they all want to eat, and then making them rush out with half eaten sandwiches in hand… I make sure I have lunch planned and made. That way, we can just get Maggie, stop at a park eat and play for a bit, THEN go get Brady, come home, and  go down for naps before I have to leave again! A simple little adjustment and… VOILA!  On my crazy days an 45 extra minutes of fun I get to have with my girls. The girls aren’t stressed because I’ve rushed them around and I get to have some fun with them! AND hopefully we are making special memories of our own!

Just think if I eliminated shopping nearly everyday and I used my crockpot more! AND how about pre-assembled meals? Just ready to toss in?! A much less stressed out me and add up all those extra minutes!!

Sometimes I work with Mary Rose while the little girls play and sometimes I’m playing with them. But, the last time… I laid down. Listened to the three girls giggling and soaked up some sun.

It was nice. I guess thats what they call, using your time wisely. 


I’ll show you my meal planning calendar after I try it for a while. It’s looking good now, but may need a few adjustments.

How do you use your time wisely? Or do you? Are you a meal planner with tips? What is the craziest time of day for you? What have you done to make your crazy better?