Sandra + Dave = Ryan & Christian (Family Portraits)

I met the “Smiths” (preserving some modicum of anonymity here…) at Wilder Ranch, located about 5 miles west/north of Santa Cruz off highway 1. It’s a great State Park and preserve covering about 7,000 acres and traversed by 34 miles of hiking/biking/running trails – many hugging the coastal cliffs and valleys. What I didn’t know about was the restored buildings and barns that once belonged to the Wilder family – the property is completely open to the tax-paying public! There’s even goats, sheep and chickens living there. I guess it’s a popular destination for elementary school field trips, and I can see why. But for photographers, it’s an equally delightful location – one that I’ll definitely be revisiting.

Of course there’s the natural beauty of the trees and grass – but the true gems are the distressed wood walls of the barn and houses, the old farm equipment, old horse stalls, hay stacks – you name it. The “Smith” family and I had a great time exploring the many photographic options Wilder Ranch has to offer. And this family made it fun too – they were willing to goof around and entertain my crazy ideas. They don’t always translate into a great photo, but if you don’t try you’ll never know! My favorite part was near the end of our one hour session, where Ryan demonstrated his back-flipping abilities over the head of his indifferent brother. Ah, it’s so tough to impress your little brother!

Below is a selection of my favorites from the session, there’s 83 photos in total to view at my proofing site, Enjoy, and as always, leave a comment if you’ve got sumpin’ to say!

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