Baby Marley is lifted up by his mom and is smiling at the camera with very blue eyes. | Photo by Sarah of Sarah Block Photography

Michelle and Zack’s San Clemente Home Family Session

Filed in Family, Kiddos — January 5, 2024

Baby Marley is lifted up by his mom and is smiling at the camera with very blue eyes. | Photo by Sarah of Sarah Block Photography

New Year Means New Family Photos

This family session at Michelle and Zack’s San Clemente home was just beautiful and had all the perfect elements to create classic photos that they can treasure for years to come. 

When Michelle, whom I admire immensely, entrusted me with capturing their family, I was honored.  Michelle is a fellow Orange County photographer with an eye for timeless beauty, and I have always admired her work. So here I was, photographing her and her most cherished loves!

This session exudes the pure joy of Michelle and Zack in their San Clemente home with their young son, Marley. The day was about quality time and capturing the special connection- allowing Zack and Michelle to be in the moment with their little guy Marley, their 7-month-old son – a radiant bundle of sunshine with the most brilliant blue eyes! I feel that around the six-month mark is the perfect age for a photo session. Tummy time triumphs, gummy grins, and the wonder of tiny exploring fingers– every moment was an adorable moment waiting to be captured.

The new parents couldn’t have made a better decision than to invite me into their cozy home for family photos. Choosing to have an in-home photo session with little ones will always be the easiest option. You are in the environment that they feel most at ease in, and it always shows in the photos. Snack breaks and potty breaks are easily accessible as well.

Mom and Dad hold baby Marley in his crib in his nursery. | Photo by California Photographer Sarah Block Photography

Baby Marley's bookshelf in his nursery with childhood classics such as "Guess How Much I Love You" and "Goodnight Moon" | Photo by Sarah of Sarah Block Photography


Michelle reads "Goodnight Little Marley" to her son sitting on her lap. Photo by Sarah of Sarah Block Photography

Their home in San Clemente holds memories. The photographs taken in the comfort of these walls became visual storytelling tools, weaving the narrative of laughter-filled evenings, playful mornings, and the quiet beauty of everyday moments. The books read to Marley as a little one will always be reminders of that special age and time. I loved including these in the shoot. They will easily take Michelle and Zack back in time when they look at their photo gallery.

As you can see from the photos, it was just so cozy and bright. Such beautiful light. All three were dressed in neutrals, and the space around them was warm and inviting. It felt very soft and organic.

The color palette you choose in your family photo sessions will affect your appearance and the overall look of your photos. Warmer colors, like peach, cream, and brown, will give your photos a soft, glowing look, while bold and vivid colors will produce a brighter and sharper appearance.  Light colors, materials, & carpets make for flattering reflective surfaces and are the key to clean and classic portraits. Adding some texture to the wardrobe-like Marley’s little knit sweater- gave visual interest and even helped to evoke emotions of that soft, snuggly baby era.

Here are tips to prepare for the best experience at your family session.  First, be sure to feed your little ones as least an hour before your session.  This will ensure the most genuine smiles. We all know what it feels like to be “hangry,” and it doesn’t photograph well! I recommend choosing a wardrobe with three to four complementary colors, such as neutral tones (blush, cream, beige, and forest green).

I have created a Pinterest board with some more family photo outfit ideas and inspiration. Go check it out!

I am also always happy to help by sharing great resources for adorable clothes. For example, this online shop called Pat Pat has adorable matching options for everyone.

By doing these in-home family photo sessions, Zack and Michelle are able to preserve memories. These photos are a way to pause precious moments, allowing us to relive the joy.  Family photo sessions spark connection as you sit together and look through photos for years to come. It invites nostalgia. These photos become heirlooms, passed down through the generations which paint a beautiful picture of family history.  Imagine future generations flipping through albums and seeing family not just in picture-perfect settings but within the familiar embrace of their home.

So, dear reader, as the New Year stretches before you, I urge you to consider the gift of family photography, especially within the warmth and comfort of your own home. Let’s embrace the cozy laughter within your cherished spaces and create heirlooms that will be loved and cherished for generations to come.

And if you’re ever seeking a photographer who exudes and values authenticity and home-spun stories of family, reach out! I’d be honored to capture your story within the walls that hold your heart. ( I also bring my kid whisperer A-Game and include character voices, tickle prompts, and singing Frozen and Frozen II, of course = SMILES and genuine joy! ) I also ADORE dogs and would welcome any time to photograph your sweet pup and family together. 

Wishing you a year filled with love, laughter, and memories forever etched in light.




Here are some more gorgeous Family Sessions that may inspire you!

Fort Worth Texas Family session 

Brentwood Family Session 

Pelican Hill Family Session 

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