The awesome thing about the Santa Cruz/Monterey area is you can shoot at beaches year-round, and they pretty much always look the same. The only thing that changes is the clothing people wear. I photographed Nick and Tara’s beautiful family of five (if you include Oso, the dog) a week before Christmas, but you’d never know it looking at these photos! I try to get a good mix of posed and candid photos at every family portrait session, as it keeps things lively and interesting – plus it gives the kids a chance to blow off some steam. Family portrait sessions can be stressful, but I do everything in my power to make them a relaxed, fun and positive experience for everyone. Capitola beach is a great location for family photos since it has the photogenic pier and the sunsets are always lovely. Enjoy my favorite photos below, there’s definitely some keepers here!