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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gianna in the Park | Fun Children’s Photography

Destination Children’s Photography | Play Date in the Park

Had a bunch of fun the other day on my play date in the park with Gianna and her mom Tina.  Got to do some children’s photography with this beautiful blue eyed girl.  If we count all her outfits it would be three, skin included.  During her children’s photography session Gianna discovered a drinking fountain.  It was the first time she’d ever seen one and she was totally taken by it.  Think she was amazed that you could push a button and cool water would come out of the top for a drink.  She kept going back for more.  We’d start at a new location in the park during her children’s photography session and she’d run off to the water fountain for another sip. Giana was a super trooper, she hung in there for forty five minutes of kid’s photography fun on a record breaking temperature day.

orange county children

orange county children

orange county childrenorange county childrenorange county children

Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

Brother & Sister Portraits | Orange Couny Kids Photographer 

Black & White Kids Photos | Child Photography

Had a wonderful kids photography session yesterday in the park with Charlie and her brother Buckey.  Buckey wanted nothing to do with this kids photography thing.  You see, he’s 2 years old and very independent.  Terrible 2’s HELLO!  He almost sat still, but not for enough time for me to raise the camera up to my eye, compose and push the shutter button.  Oh well, if you can’t get Buckey to do what you want, then let him do what he want’s and shoot fast and lots of frames!  His sister Charlie, who has the most amazing blue eyes, was easy to make portraits of, she’s five and has a bit more focus than her little borther.  When I met Buckey he was very involved with munching on a bag of Chedar cheese popcorn…nom….nom….nom.  Then running around a bit and then climbing on the fence, his favorite!  The cars that passed in the distance held his attention better than I could.  I should have been a car that day instead of a kids photographer.  I’m kinda digging the black and white photos of Charlie & Buckey and really like the shallow depth of field from the 50 1.2 lens.

B&W Kids photos orange county child photographer

b&w kids photographer out door kids photos

beautiful fun kids photographs orange county parkfun kids photography out door kids photosfun kids photographer outdoor kids photosb&w kids photographer out door orange county kids photos

Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.


“I have no idea what we should wear!”

clothing guide  newport beach kids/children photographer/photography

outdoor newport beach kids photo-session with cute knit hat

This is THE MOST COMMON comment I receive after a family has booked a session. After all, wearing the RIGHT CLOTHING it is pretty important.  Over the years photographing many families, I have a pretty good idea of how to help you look your best and how to accomplish it an very easy way. The main thing to remember when dressing a group for photographs is  to coordinate, but do not under any circumstances dress like twins. Unless of course you go through most of your life all dressing like twins!

Ladies – MakeUp and Hair

I highly recommend a bit of pampering for your family photo-session.  Get your hair professionally blown out or styled.  Fingernails: Recommend that you go with clear coat or French tips nails.  MakeUp:  Have it done professionally.  Here’s the thing, unless you are 18 years old and younger, or have near perfect skin, or are a professional makeup artist, having a professional makeup artist apply your makeup for you is a vital part of looking your best for your portrait session.

newport beach, laguna beach family/children

2 families, one dressed in the same blue color tones, the other mix and match funky & stylish

Looking Good: Show us your personality!  Simple patterns and bold colors look great in photos. Choosing a bold color that is similar to your eye color is an awesome choice too.  Depending on your skin tone the color you chose to wear can make a huge difference.  Add LAYERS and TEXTURE. Think knit or silk scarves (light weight or winter weight), hats, jackets, blazers, ties, denim, knits and corduroy.  Long sleeves under short sleeves, leggings under skirts/dresses. Fun shoes like tall boots or sassy heels. A variety of textures will give your photos some extra punch. Be a head turner. Wear the blazer that fits just right. Or that dress that makes you feel like a million bucks.  It’s a fact; clothes that make you feel good make you LOOK good.  Wear something that makes you want to smile and the fits you prefectly.

family/children/teenage photographer/photography pictures

mom wanted her boys in a suit and a casual image too

Avoid: Logos, bold patterns and character-wear. Keep your portraits timeless and the focus on your faces, not your clothing, by following the simple rules below….

Pick Clothing that Fits Nicely:  Along the same lines, pick clothing that fits nicely. It should be neither too tight {unless you’re a body builder} nor too loose. The clothes should hang on the bodies well, without folding or creasing.  And always dress for full-length shots, which means socks and shoes that also match and are in good shape. A lot of times barefoot is best, weather permitting.

the use of a khaki skirt and khaki pants for the boys ties everything together. notice that the pattern is quite small but still works nicely.

For Your Kids: Think personality. Cheerful, fun prints, polka dots, stripes, camo; whatever showcases who they really are. Add some layers and texture {maybe even a tutu, pettiskirt or tie} and voila! Instant photographic art. Most kids aren’t comfortable in formal dress and occasionally it can show in their pictures. So, if you have your heart set on your little angel in a suit and tie or an elaborate party dress, make sure to bring a second outfit that is more casual and comfortable.

casual family photography newport beach kids/children photographer/photography pictures

all brothers are essentially dressed, the plaids are the tie-in, and they differ sufficiently

casual family photography newport beach kids/children photographer/photography pictures

a simple hair band and flower mirrors the pattern on babies sweater.  blue jeans, a white henley under a blue plaid shirt ties in with the blue jeans and blue and white sneakers.

casual family photography newport beach kids/children photographer/photography pictures


laguna beach kids/children photographer/photography pictures

simple use of color and clothes that fit perfectly. notice how subtle the young girls yellow flower ties in with the yellow polka dots on her skirt.

*Toys & Props for your Kids:  We dont’ keep much in the way of toys and props in our studio.  My suggestions is to bring along their favorite toys, their favorite stuffed animal or some building blocks, with the alphabet on them, so they can be used to spell out their name.  As for the toys, this is a last resort to keep them occupied incase they are clinging for mommy or feel sad.  Once they get their hands on their toys, they’ll get very attached to them and it will be hard for them to give them up.  I’ve had parents bring in big toy tin airplanes too for their little boys and a tea set for their little girl.

Little Girls:  I’m McLov’n tutu’s of all colors.  They add just the right amount of girlishness and happiness to any girl’s portrait session. Plus, tutu’s come in all sorts of varieties, and a rainbow of colors.

newport beach, laguna beach family/children/teenage photographer/photography pictures

newport beach, laguna beach family/children/teenage photographer/photography pictures

For this Victoria Beach kids photo-session, a great knit cap that matches color swatches of a colorful ribbed sweater.  Bring along your child’s fur baby.  Complete the look be layering with a jean jacket and a funky hat.

newport beach, laguna beach family/children/teenage photographer/photography pictures

A newport beach kids/children photo-session with a knit sweater vest, long sleve, cuffed white shirt, tails out, dark blue jeans bare foot.   randomly running and sailing through the house bare chested.



Families & Couples: Coordinating but not matching. Don’t over-match!  The whole group does not have to wear black t’s and denim. Why not shake it up a bit and show some of who each person is as an individual within the whole? Mom should be the belle of the ball in a dress/skirt or fashionable jeans. Make sure everyone dresses at the same level of formality; either all dressy or all casual, in similar or complimentary color tones. Examples could be earth tones, jewel tones, sky blue and chocolate brown, etc.

candid lifestyle orange county newport beach family/children photographer/photography

A candid lifestyle family and child  portrait session in one of my favorite Orange County parks.

Maternity Sessions: Be who you are. For maternity, we suggest some simple basics: jeans with a real waist, tight tops that hug the belly, a beautiful dress or flowing skirt and a flattering, comfortable, yet attractive, bra/cropped top/sweater, possibly with a beautiful print. After all, most of this session will be all about the belly.

clothing guide orange county family/maternity photographer/photography pictures

For maternity photo-sessions, its all about the belly and sharing the intimacy and love during the precious times as you both bring new life into this world.

Newborn Photo-Sessions:  For your precious newborn, au naturale is best. We want to capture those beautiful bellies, tiny toes and bottoms.  Its best to come to us before 2 weeks of age.  After 2 weeks of age, baby is often more fussy and it’s much harder for them to settle down and fall asleep.

clothing guide orange county newborn photographer/photography pictures

Newborn baby photo-session.  Notice how her pink headband ties in just perfectly with the ping of the knit blanket.

2 Week Old Newborns: Your newborn MUST be well fed, preferably under 2 weeks of age, we keep the studio extra warm for them.  It’s crazy how their little bodies work and even the smell or sound of their Mom can make them restless and want to wake!

newborn baby photographer/photography studio sessions with ink pictures

For something completely different and original we included dad and his gorgeous body-art.  No one else on the planet  has a newborn baby portrait like this.

Special Props or Outfits for Newborns: If you have a special outfit be sure to have that ready to go.  Knit caps, a few knit or textured blankets with vibrant color  without busy patterns can be a great addition and are a must to personalize your newborn session. During a photo session its common for baby to have “little accidents” during a session please do bring more than one, ideally three.  Please do not bring loosely crocheted blankets.  Only tightly weaved blankets, soft cuddly ones are the best.  If you must use a knit blanket make sure that it is a tightly woven one.  Blankets sizes must be at least 2’x2′.  Props work well with newborns too, so if you have something in mind, a baseball mitt, a fireman’s hat or a family heirloom please let us know.  Important! : Also, bring lots of  baby wipes, a couple diapers, a bottle or two, and a pacifier should be ample to keep baby clean, occupied and well fed.  We tend to keep the studio very warm when we are photographing newborns, so please dress appropriately.  We suggest colors and textures to coordinate and compliment your baby’s skin tone and eye color.  The best time of day is your baby’s happy time. Under 2 weeks old, newborns tend to sleep allot.  If you notice that there is a fussy time for them let’s schedule around it.  

orange county newborn baby photographer/photography pictures

There is nothing like having your precious newborn baby photographed in the warmth of our studio, pretty much just as they came into this world. Each newborn is photographed at 2 weeks of age.

**Please note….due to the frequency of “little accidents,” we do not keep newborn blankets on hand for props in the studio.**


Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits

Professional | Fun | Candid | Orange County Children & Family Portraits

In Studio or on location in Orange County, children family portraits are all about having fun and letting your child’s personality shine during your family portrait session!  In this article we’ll go over 7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits.  Getting the best family portraits has taught me that young children don’t have the ability or capacity to take posing direction.  Instead, children are extremely litteral and really over exaggerate when it comes to a posing request.  My best children and family portraits are uncoached, unscripted, precious and spontaneous moments from the heart.  Instead of trying to over-pose children during family portrait sessions, I let them be more relaxed and shoot for emotion.

7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits

7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits

1.  Warm Up Time Upon arrival, whether it is a studio or location family portraits session, the first thing that i do, even before greeting the parents {sometimes} is say hello to the children.  I’m 6 ft. tall, very fair skinned and super blonde, for a little kid that can be a bit intimidating.  I always make sure that I sit on the ground, almost immediately, when I’m start getting to know them.  Making yourself smaller is less threatening. Its kind of an even split between shy, apprehensive and outgoing.  My family portrait warm ups take between 5-15 mins. depending on what type of personality the child has.  I feel that this is such a crucial step to gaining trust and making sure that the child or children feel comfortable around me and in their new environment and it really puts them at ease for their family portrait session.  I make sure that I know their names ahead of time.  I’ve also taken notes on what their favorite activities are and what toys and movies they like so that I can weave this into our conversation.  If there is more than one sibling I’ll often guess the wrong name on purpose.  Kids like to be right.  One of my favorite family portrait warm up and giggle strategy is to do is guess their age incorrectly, even though I know exactly how old they are.  Children are very proud of how old they are whether it be three fingers {3 years old} or three and a half they’ll always correct me.  During their family portrait shoot I’ll ask them their age again an make the same mistake on purpose.  BTW, this is a great time to click off a few frames.  Their expressions can be great.  Don’t ask me why but they find this funny.  I ask kids allot of questions during their family portrait session, like, what did you have for breakfast?  I tell them that i had butterfly pancakes or a caterpillar milk shake {yumm}.  I used to introduce them to my stuffed animals that I keep in the studio, but quickly found out that they would get very attached to them and want them in their family portrait shoot.  Now I wait until the end of the family portrait session and use that as a surprise or reward for a job well done.

7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits2.  Criss Cross Apple Sauce: I coach the parents, especially when we are going to meet at the park for their family portrait session to reinforce the idea that their children are going to meet me for a fun photography session and that playing on the swing set and the slide is a reward for listening well and doing a good job during their photo session.  If their kidos play first, they will get very attached to the  idea of play time and it can be difficult to near impossible to tear them away {sometimes in tears} from the playground.   During on location family portrait sessions kids naturally want to play and run around allot.  Great stuff  for them but hard to photograph a child and create a meaningful portrait for their parents when they are running here and there.  To quell this a bit, I put them in a natural seated position.   Criss Cross Apple Sauce:  Most kids, ages 3-7 years old have been listening and practicing this simple request since kindergarten.  Basically, it is a request to sit indian style. If you are photographing a crawler or toddler, just forget about try to have them sit still at all!  Crawlers and toddlers want to exercise their new found independence and explore the world.  Good luck getting them to sit still!   Most children can stay in this seated position easily for 5 minutes.  More than enough time to get allot of great family portrait images.

7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits

3.  No Cheese Plz:  Fake smile just don’t cut it.  I’d rather have a non smiling serious family portrait of a child than a fake smiling one.  I work hard to make sure that children I’m photographing are relaxed and having fun at my sessions.  Relaxed kids will smile and laugh.  Two words that are not allowed during my sessions are No!  and Smile or say Cheeeeeze {okay that’s three}!   I actually had a mother give her daughter a “time out” and face the wall at a session a few weeks ago.  Not a good way to have a happy child.  I encourage moms and dads to not say smile or say Cheeeeze!  When you ask a child to smile it is forced and what they end up doing is contorting their face, showing lots of gum line and exposing all their teeth.  They are actually using a completely different set of facial muscles when they smile for real.  In my book, natural expression and a child’s laughter trumps a fake made up smile every time.  Think about it.  We actually laugh with our bodies.  The face lights up with energy, heads tilt back a bit, cheek muscles contract even your tummy gets involved in a good laugh.

4.  My Little Red Monkey:  I have a small {stuffed animal} pet red monkey in my studio that helps me with my family portraits.  His name is Mike the Monkey.  Mike helps me photograph some of my family portrait sessions.  Sometimes he sits on top of my camera, right on the lens barrel while i’m shooting family portraits, other times he sits on my head.  I ask Mike to come out and help when a child has trouble focusing her/his attention.  Or seems a bit apprehensive, even after our warm up time.  This works best with children 2-5 years old.  Be careful when using stuffed animals.  Kids love them.  Especially Mike.  They want to hold him and when they do they get fixated on the stuffed animal and it is hard to get them away from the child.  What I’ll say is that Mike is hungry and needs to go back to his special place and eat some bananas and then take a nap.  If I want the child to look directly at me, I’ll ask them if they can see them selves inside of the lens.  I point at the front of the lens and ask them….”Can you see yourself in here?”  Its just enough time to get their attention an pop off a few images.  Make sure you are focusing on their eyes or the eye nearest to the camera.

beautiful outdoor children

5.  Give Praise Often:  You’re a great listener! |  Oh my gosh!  Your so good at this….have you done this before? | Oh!  You look so pretty! |  Your eye are so blue, where did you get them from? | What a pretty dress. | Your nails are so pretty! | Wow that’s a cool hat! |  When you are giving praise, make sure your face is expressive, let your eyes get wide open, smile, allow your voice to go an octave or two higher than you normally talk and be a bit animated.  This is comforting and reassuring.  Remember you want to keep your young ones totally relaxed, feel secure and having fun!!  You can see another example of a fun family portrait session right here.
fun b&w and color outdoor children and family portraits

6.  Clothing Styling and great clothing choices are essential elements for family portrait sessions.  When choosing clothing, incorporate color and texture.  Leave out loud prints, stripes and big logos.  Make sure the clothing fits nicely.  To big or too baggy just doesn’t look good.  The two factors that I use to chose a clothing for a family portrait session for the color palette are eye color and skin tone.  I’ll often go into my clients closets with them to pick out their clothing.  I’ve had mom’s stop by the studio or email me with images of clothing that they are thinking of picking out or purchasing for their family portraits.  I always offer suggestions about what I think will work best.  I’m a big fan of layering and bright colors for kids.  If you are clueless about the whole clothing and styling thing, pick up an Abercrombie or a Lucky Jeans catalogue, or fashion magazine or go to the mall and see what style you like best and what is in fashion.  Some mom’s have this totally wired.  They have a great sense of fashion and just pick out prefect outfits for their kids.  But they are the exceptions.  You’ll find that you can be an enormous help to the families that you are photographing by helping them chose clothing that is appropriate for them and the environment that you are photographing them in.  I always suggest between two and three outfits for a family portrait session.  This allows for variety and variety equals a greater selection of images for your portrait families.  P.S. A white tee-shirt and a pair of nicely worn blue jeans are a timeless look that will never go out of style!
outdoor children{The image of Brandi, above for her family portrait, was created in a parking lot.  Yes a parking lot.  She accessorized with bright colors, a plaid skirt,  funky striped socks, a hot pink tank top, a black studded vest and a cute pink hat that ties in perfectly to her color shceme.  Notice how the plaid and the colors of her high top sneakers tie in perfectly with the rest of her outfit. When I’m doing an on location portriat session the first thing I look for is pockets of beautiful light and then a clean non-distracting background.   Green is always a great color for a backdrop because it is the opposite color of the subtle warm red  tones in skin and adds nice contrast to any portrait session.}

7.  Accessorize:  For the ladies, some bling might be just the thing …. Shinny thick bangles and bracelets, a pearl necklace, a hip choker, some feathers in your hair and a great pair of boots or high heels.  For men a hip leather jacket, or a mod shirt with some embroidery on it, a great long sleeve, button down {not starch please} rolled up at the cuffs, tails out.   A knit cap, a cool fedora, a funky wool hat, a knit textured scarf or a brightly colored silk scarf is a great finishing touch for any one.


fun studio family portraits newport beach, irvine, orange county8.  Bonus!!  Family Portait Groupings:  The Low Down.  As I mentioned before, variety = a greater selection of images.
Here’s how I’d break it  down …. for a family portrait of four:  Mom & Dad and two little ones family portraits in 65 minutes.
1.  The whole family seated and standing about 10-15 minutes.  I always do family first just in case one of the kids has a melt down.
2.  Each sibling by her/ him self  about 10 minutes each.
4. Both siblings with just mom about 10 minutes.
5. Both siblings with just dad about 10 minutes.
3. Both children together for about 15 minutes.
6.  Mom and dad together about 5 minutes.

There ya have it.  7 Tips to Make the Best Family Portraits:  Plus a bonus that will make your family portraits fun,  stylish and amazing.  I hope these tips will be helpful to you in your quest to get the best family portraits.  I wish you success!

Best of luck on your upcoming family portrait shoots.  Questions?:  I welcome your comments below and will respond to each of them.

Shoot from the heart and shoot for emotion,

p.s.  My next big post will be my complete post production workflow. 


Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

Orange County | Newport Beach | Children & Family Photographer

Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

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