Favorite Moments of 2019 – La Mirada Photographer

Just a snapshot of the year in photos.

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This was just a snippet of the year. You can see my Best Nine of 2019 Here.

 

Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
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Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in an organic and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love road trips so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding Contact her about her travel schedule.

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A Family Session – La Mirada Family Photographer

I’m very thankful for the people that I’m able to meet because of my profession.

I don’t just want you to have cute pictures, I want you to have a fun family outing. I want your kids to know that photo sessions aren’t scary, boring or no fun.

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You can’t tell but it was during the fall heat wave here. Remember, we were getting 90 degree days just after we were getting use to some 70 degree weather?

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This precious girl here is a sharp one, full of ideas and information.

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One of my favorites from their session. Love when mama gets to be in the photos with their loves.

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And of course I always make sure mom and dad get a few moments with just the two of them.

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I’m a pretty easy going person and will allow the kids time to warm up to the fact that I’m going to be taking their picture and it’s ok. That’s when the weight of expectations is lifted and the real smiles come out.

Alaina Nunez Photography
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Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in an organic and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love road trips so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding Contact her about her travel schedule.

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2019 Limited

Hi Friends!

So life has been very full and busy with baseball and theatre in our family.

We also started our 10th year of homeschooling and we are so blessed to be surrounded by amazing families that motivate and encourage our children and us.

Real quick, I just wanted to tell you about this year’s Limited Edition Sessions!

There’s 3 packages and they all include the session fee. Session times will be in the morning (sunrise) or evening (sunset).

The thing is, I have a very limited amount of dates available. Once these are grabbed up I truthfully can’t add anymore to our calendar.

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So I hope that those who want a session will be able to snag one! And those that don’t… Well, we’re still friends. 😉

You want to remember this moment.
You want your children to be able to re-live this moment.

The Details:

These sessions are no longer available. Check out the family mini sessions that will be offered in 2020!

Locations need to be in La Mirada.

By purchasing one of these promotional sessions you are agreeing to:
*Complete an In person reveal/ordering appointment approximately 2 weeks after your session date.
*Understand there are no refunds. You must let Alaina Nunez Photography know at least 48 hours before your session date if you need to reschedule.
*Additional images can be purchase for $55 each or bundled for the best price.
*Other prints and products will be available to purchase during the ordering appointment.
*Session needs to be completed by November 30th, 2019
*Session location limited to 15 miles of La Mirada, CA.
*These are note valid for newborn sessions.
*Session date, time and location will be agreed upon by the photographer and client.

Blessings,

Alaina

 

Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
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Learning to See – La Mirada Family Photographer

Home is a privileged place to be.

I have struggled with being content while being at home. I was constantly on the go when I had 1 little one, then I had 2 little ones and that didn’t slow me down one bit. Then I had 3 little ones and oh my! I barely left the house for almost a year. My third child thought the car seat was going to eat him and would scream if it was more than 5 minutes (he never had that precious muted newborn cry). Depression? I saw it, felt it, lived it. It was a time that I vaguely yet vividly remember, if that makes sense at all.

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Have you read “The Life Giving Home” by Sally Clarkson? I highly recommend it!

I love how Sally describes home. She calls it,
“…the haven of inspiration, where the art of life is expressed and taught.
…the place where the whispers of God’s love are heard regularly.
…the place where stories of heroism, sacrifice, love and redemption are heard, embraced and celebrated.
…a place of ministry.
Home should be the very best place ever to be.”

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I want to remind you, you are NOT just a mom. Get rid of the “just”, because I’m going to tell you who I am as a mom and I know you are also this kind of mom too.

I am a warrior, armed with my little tender shoots that with my guidance while they are young and God’s covering, will grow up to be strong branches. So when the time comes for those branches to be turned into arrows, they will fly far (can’t shoot a flimsy branch very far) and wherever they land they will impact the world greater than I ever could, all for God’s glory; if I am faithful with the little. -Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”

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Photo credit to my hubby at the reptile zoo with all my nature loving mama friends

Documentary or storytelling photography captures what is good, what is truth.
God didn’t tell the prophets and writers to only put the clean, tidy and good parts in the Bible. We read about the mess ups, untidy, ugly parts because those parts make the Light shine brighter. The goodness of God unmistakable and undeniable. I love how honest documentary photography is.

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Those hard days are there for my growth and my children’s character training. The easy days are the reminders, the little peak into what all this hard work produces if we don’t give up.

Sally Clarkson quote:
“I have learned to see others through the eyes of God, to look at their heart, to seek to see their God-crafted beauty of personality and dreams, rather than judging them by performance or perfect behavior.”

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When we slow down to notice and observe our children, their character and their features we are affirming to them that God created them just the way He intended to. He never, ever makes mistakes and though we all are imperfect sinners we are who we are suppose to be and it should be celebrated and documented. When I’m taking a picture I must be intentional. It forces me to slow down. Really, slow down, take a deep breath and start observing my surroundings. It’s hard when I’m on survival mode but that is actually the best time to start.

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I’ve always been a pretty observant person. I think that is a “quiet” persons strength (anyone else an infp?). But as my to do list expands my observation skills become mediocre at best and my patience grows thinner and thinner. Photography allows me to put my blinders on, and focus on what is right in front of me and what is most important, which is this moment, right now.

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This is what a Family Story Session is all about. My goal is to document your family culture and interactions.

Having a portrait session is usually the end result of all the hard work. I want to not only capture that but more so, capture that prep work. I want to document your family doing what your family does, whatever that might be. It might be, meal prepping, living room dance party, house work, yard work,chilling on the couch, reading stories, playing games, or being together yet doing separate things.  This is your family and all families will look different.

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If this sounds like the type of session you would love for your family click the Contact Alaina link and fill out the form. I would love to tell your family’s story with a Family Story Session.

Blessings,

Alaina

 

Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
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Birth Stories and Postpartum Recovery (Orange County Birth Photographer)

I’ve been a professional photographer since 2010 but didn’t start documenting birth stories until 2013.

My friends were always pregnant right at the end of my pregnancies or just after I had a baby. So when they had their babies I was ready with my camera! I focused on maternity and posed In Home Newborn sessions. I’m so thankful for all the friends that allowed me to work on my skills with their families!

I knew I wanted to become a birth photographer after having our 4th child. I really wanted to have him at home but that didn’t work out with finances. He was my fastest labor ( 3 1/2 hours) and when we got to the hospital I thought I could walk (I had walked in with the last 3!). It was just like the movies when the characters are traveling on a long and tiring trek and they finally see their destination and have hope that it’s in sight… then the camera pulls back and they realize just how far that destination STILL is… yep, that was how I felt as I was standing outside of our car and my contractions weren’t letting up. I sat back down and told my husband he better just drop me off in the front.

When we checked in the nurse asked if I could pee in a cup and I told her no. Then they checked me and said I was ready. The midwives were delivering other babies and the Dr. was in the OR. So eventually they found a Dr and a couple pushes and our little Blake was born. I’m pretty sure he shot out. I did require a couple stitches because he came out so quickly and my husband had to sit down after crashing from the adrenaline high and feeling woozy.

I remember laying there, the Dr and I talking as she was stitching me, the baby being checked, my husband in the chair next to me almost passing out and the Dr asking, “Does he do this every time?” I laughed and said, “No, this is the first!”

At that moment I thought, “I really wish someone was here to document this!”

A year later (like I said, I was always pregnant on an off year) I had 3 friends who were expecting. They each liked the idea of having birth photos. Unfortunately when the time comes a lot of times friends don’t want to “bother” you or just changed their mind because, birth is an intimate thing and maybe they didn’t really want their birth documented in the first place.

My official first birth was a home birth for my friend Beth. This was her first home birth and my first birth (not counting the one I video taped when I was 16 for my moms friend).

The reason I’m writing this post is to talk about how birth photographs help with healing and closure.

Beth had numerous people in the room with her during her labor and delivery. She was totally fine with everyone there but she also knew it might be distracting so decided that she would keep her eyes closed the whole time and just let her body take care of what it needed to. She didn’t open her eyes until she was pulling her baby up out of the water.

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She had her midwife and her husband there as her support. Her mom and dad were there to keep an eye on the kids and to offer any support necessary. Her grandma and aunt and 3 other kids were there as well.

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After I delivered Beau’s birth story to Beth, she told me that having these photographs were so important to her. They gave her closure. Since she had her eyes closed the whole time she felt like she got gypped out of the whole home water birth experience, the birth experience she was so excited for. But after seeing the photographs she knew she had the birth story that she hoped for and didn’t feel like she had to “do it all over again.”

I’m so glad I was able to give that gift to Beth, just by being present and documenting the story that was unfolding in front of me!

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Have you ever had a birth photographer document the Birth Day of your little one?

Would you ever want to have me photograph the first moments with your newest little one?

I’d love to chat with you about the birth experience that you’re hoping for and how I can help document that life changing day.

Contact me and we can set up a completely complimentary consultation!

Blessings,

Alaina

 

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Alaina Nunez Photography
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Woodland Themed Baby Shower (La Mirada Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer)

I just love the woodland theme! You can dress it up, dress it down, make it for a girl or for a boy. It’s just so versatile!alainanunezphotography.woodland.babyshower-14alainanunezphotography.woodland.babyshower-2

The nice part is a lot of the decorations were things that were gathered from different households (Grandma, sisters, mama) or foraged from a nature walk.

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I love the daintiness of these little flowers! Even though this baby shower was for a little guy, it brings the femininity back to the day. We’re celebrating mama too!

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These little guys are just adorable!

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Some of the wall decor was actually for the baby’s room so that worked out really well!

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The forest-y looking wreathes were kept out from the Christmas decorations and used to decorate the food table. Wreathes work perfect to set bowls in! It’s always nice to know what is being served and these little clip on chalk board signs were great.

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Guessing how much baby items cost! I guess it depends on where you buy it from and which brands you go for. 🙂

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The games were found on Etsy (I’ll have to get back to you on who the seller is) but I believe it was 3-4 games that had some cute little woodland animals. One of the games was guessing what the baby animal is called. Did you know a baby hedgehog is called a piglet? Makes sense right?

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Isn’t this cake adorable!?! It’s from, Lucky Treats in La Habra. I’ve heard so many good things about this bakery and actually, my family has ordered numerous cakes for special celebrations from there.

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Some trail mix goody bags for the party favors was an awesome idea!

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What theme are you doing for your baby shower?

Inquire about having that special day with family and friends celebrating you and your precious baby documented! Contact Alaina

Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in an organic and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love road trips so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding Contact her about her travel schedule.

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Featured – A Birth Story & Fresh 48 (Southern California Birth Photographer)

The beginning of the year always feels like a fresh start and so I felt like sharing a post that I never got to make. It’s a fresh new baby and a fresh 48.

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Sara started her induction on a Tuesday afternoon and she and her hubby Adam, tried to get comfy because they knew it was going to take 12 hours or more like most inductions do. They kept me posted on any progress throughout the rest of the day and then again in the morning.

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Nothing major was happening until over 24 hours when her water broke! Yay progress!

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I checked in with them around 10:15pm and asked if Sara felt like it was getting close. Adam responded and said she was resting, not yet… 30 minutes later I got a text saying that the nurse said it was almost time!

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Needless to say, I was just outside the door (checking in with the 3rd person!) when their sweet little Malia made her grand entrance!

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Sweet girl was born just before midnight.

She was so aware and wanting to see what was going on. She even was checking out me and my camera, but she especially wanted to stare at her mama who she had heard and already knew for so long already.

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I said good night to Adam, Sara and Malia once they got into their recovery room and said, “see you in the morning!” for their Fresh 48 session where I got to document the family meeting baby girl.

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The next morning (because morning can’t come until you’ve slept) I headed back to the hospital to document the grandparents and big sister meeting the newest little one in the family.

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I mean, can you just feel the overflowing of joy in this photograph! It makes me smile every time I see it.

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Sara’s parents were the first to arrive to meet their newest grand daughter.

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But Adam’s parents with big sister Mariah, were right behind them.

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After Maliah got some lovin’ from her grandparents the time had finally come for her to meet her big sister.

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Oh my goodness! She almost couldn’t contain her excitement! I was so adorable!

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Sara wanted to make sure Mariah didn’t feel like she was being replaced but instead was taking on a new roll of big sister.. helper, protector. So she had Mariah feed her baby sister and was teacher her how to touch and hold her.

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Sara’s dad finally got his turn to hold and stare at his newest blessing and grand daughter.

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Lucky girls to have both sets of grandparents so helpful and involved.

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The Simon family… now a family of 4! Many blessings to you guys! Thank you for having me document this amazing event and milestone for you! I am truly honored.

Blessings,

Alaina

 

Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in an organic and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love road trips so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding Contact her about her travel schedule.

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Featured – Expecting Clyde (Long Beach Newborn Photographer)

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I like to really get to know the families I photograph and sometimes it’s during our initial phone call and other times it’s from following each other on social media and seeing the different family dynamics. If you follow me, especially on Instagram,you already know that I tend to post a mix of work and personal stuff. That I love photographing my family as much as your family.

I asked Tiffany about herself, her family and what she wanted to remember about her pregnancy with her second child Clyde. I love how honest and open she is and I’m sure many of us can relate to her words.

“I want to remember how big my belly got. Which you did beautifully! I truly dislike being pregnant (minus a baby kick here or there) and generally feel like a slow-moving barge through the entire 9 months. Despite this, it is amazing what the body is capable of, and having pictures where I feel pretty with a HUGE belly makes my heart happier than I can express.”

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Tiffany said she wants to remember… “How much love there is. For all the pain and crazy and intensity and insanity, we love each other fiercely and if I miss anything as time marches on, it will be how freely my babies hug me and shower me with their adoration.”

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Any words of wisdom you’d like to share for the expecting or new mama? “It is all such an unfair crap shoot, but you MADE these people and know these people better than ANYONE else, so slow down and soak as much of it up as you can; the good, the bad, and the ugly. These are the years you will remember for always, the years where your family became what it was meant to be, don’t lose sight of what is important.”

Yes, these are the years you will remember for always… don’t lose sight of what’s important! Love these words! Thank you Tiffany for sharing your heart and thoughts!

I love following along with you and your family on all the exciting adventures and feel so privileged to have taken part in a piece of your family history.

Blessings,

Alaina

 

Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in an organic and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love road trips so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding Contact her to see if she’ll be passing through your area.

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A Minimalist Christmas – Gift Ideas

(This post was originally published on Orange County Moms Blog)

Back in October I was in the hardware store and there were Christmas decorations that greeted us as we walked through the sliding doors. We as a family totally love Christmas and really the whole season, so it never bothers me when all the decor comes out, even if it’s before Halloween.

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The sign on the bench said to take a selfie.

We live in a time where everything is so easily accessible. Literally at our finger tips! If I can order it online and not have to leave the comfort of my home? Ummm, who can say no to that? Not this mama!

I wanted to talk about Christmas now because November is “the deal month” where all the stores are thankful for you so here’s another “deal to show our appreciation…” I’m not saying this is a bad thing. For sure if it’s something you’ve had your eye on and just been waiting for the sale, it’s a good thing. I just wanted to bring up another way to approach the season of giving without loading your house with more stuff.

We have 8 people in our home… we’ve got some stuff… It’s really unavoidable to accumulate stuff. But it’s also mentally draining to be surrounded by stuff! So my kids and I (actually mostly my kids) came up with a list of non toy/stuff gift ideas. I basically asked them what things they would like to receive. They are 3, 6,9, 11 and 13. My 3 year old didn’t help with this list but you’ll see some suggestions for that age as well.

So hide those gift catalogs when they come in the mail and check out this minimalist list instead.

Gift Cards! Money is fun but gift cards make you go to that specific place which makes it feel like a special outing for your kids. So here are some places that my 6 year old said he would like gift cards from.

In N Out, Home Depot, Costco, Bass Pro Shop, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Savers.

Special Treats! We very rarely buy candy since one of mine is allergic to food dyes and dye free candy is expensive so my kids look forward to their stockings filled with special treats. These are things my 13 year old said.

Licorice, cookies, gummies, chocolate coins (from Trader Joe’s)

Tools! Not much needs to be explained here. All boys and girls need tools and they have kids kits at hardware stores.

Plants! Cleaning the air and adding beauty to the home. Good idea son!

Carving Kits! There’s stamp carving, soap carving and for those more advanced, wood carving.

Books! We’re a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family so good books are the best! Not more to say here.

Arts and Crafts Supplies! We’re talking journals, gel pens, paints, stamps, colored pencils, canvases, nice paper, face paints, glitter glue, paint brushes, etc. We bought our 3 year old a pack of colorful glitter glue and she was the happiest little person ever!

Army/Survival/Camping Gear! This was mostly from my boys who wear camouflage attire more often than not. We just took some family pictures and I had to prepare my 11 year old before hand that he would not be dressed in his army fatigues. My request was met with disappointment but he got over it and put a button up shirt on for his mama.

Army watch, straw filters, hand pump, tent, chairs, rope, grappling hook, flash light, first aid kit, canteen, walkie talkies, hydro packs.

Bible/Devotionals! There’s devotionals for all ages and my 9 year old just reminded me that he needs his own bible (his older brother and sister got one for their birthdays with their names on them).

Camera! My 13 year old said a film camera and I also thought about sun print paper.

Season Passes! Some places that came to mind are, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Aquarium, Zoo, Legoland.

Skill Lessons! Archery, instruments, sewing, painting/drawing, climbing, etc. Do your kids have an interest in something specific? A lot of times there’s deals for the first lesson for them to try it out.

Experiences! Ziplining, road trips, camping, family game night (new board games?), family story night (new books?), cruise.

Subscription Boxes! There’s so many great subscription boxes now that come with science experiment, history or art supplies. They’re basically like a unit study in a box and the kids get a new one every month. Fun!

The idea behind these non toy things is, they’re dual purpose, open ended, foster creativity and encourage time together. That was the hope in putting this list together.

I would love to hear how you have a minimalist Christmas!

Blessings,

Alaina

 

Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in a lifestyle and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love to travel on road trips together so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your newborn, family or intimate wedding Contact her to see if she’ll be passing through your area.

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Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
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Focusing on what’s Important this Holiday Season (Orange County Documentary Family Photography)

The forecast mentioned rain today… but I really didn’t believe it. Was I being pessimistic or a realist? I think a pessimist is someone who says “it’s not going to happen, or won’t happen” (when referring to something good or beneficial). As oppose to a realist who makes a judgement or has an opinion based off of past experiences and logistics. So I’m going with realist! Sometimes there’s rain in the forecast and it doesn’t rain and other times it rains when no one was expecting it or there was just a slight chance that day.

The holidays are coming and that’s just a fact. There’s so many mixed emotions during the holiday season. The cooler weather, the Christmas decorations, can’t forget about Thanksgiving, yummy special food, getting together with family, doing special activities with the kids… But there is also heartache mixed in there with the loss of loved ones or the anxiety of a packed schedule, trying to figure out how to spread yourself and your family evenly (aka way to thin). This is real life.

Our youngest little one will be 8 months old this month and our eldest just turned 13 years. I have this almost urgency in my soul that is wanting these moments saved. Our days are number yet we don’t know what that number is. I want to make sure to spend my limited number of days the best that I can. Every day we pray for God to direct our days and He does so beautifully, though not always the way envisioned.

So what does this have to do with the holiday season? Maybe you’re asking. Focus on what’s important. Usually the most important thing you already have or is looking you in the face and saying, “I love you.”

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This is why I’m telling you this…

For the month of November and December I am booking documentary sessions (this includes birth and Fresh 48). What’s a documentary session? It’s real life. It’s together with your loved ones. It’s belly laughs and crocodile tears. It’s hand washing, hand holding, stop teasing your sister, feeding your family, can you help your brother, visiting grandpa and grandma, making tamales, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, baking cookies, running errands, kind of days. It’s not about the perfect outfit or the hair in the right place. Family coming in from out of town? This would be perfect for that!

It’s focusing on what’s important

Do you have family traditions? Does family get together for a day of baking or making tamales? When do you decorate your tree? Do you go caroling around your neighborhood (we plan to this year!). Maybe you celebrate Hanukkah instead! I want to document these moments for you! It’s such a treat to be invited into your home so that you can be fully present and not have to worry about pulling out your phone or your camera to document the moments.

For those looking to get that updated family portrait for Christmas cards… I’ve saved a couple dates for some mini sessions! You can pick your time here: Rustic Christmas Mini Sessions

So think about the holiday season you have coming up… What would you love to be fully present in? That is what you should have documented and then Contact me so that you can simply enjoy.

Blessings,

Alaina

Note: Documentary sessions include intimate events such as baby showers, birthday parties, bridal showers and surprise parties.

Documentary sessions are partial Day In the Life sessions that are approx. 3 hours of photography coverage.  Get in touch! And we’ll fill you in on the details for these sessions for the holiday season.

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Family Photojournalist Association

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Alaina Nunez Photography
(562)400-2579
Website / Instagram / Facebook / Pinterest