Creek Play

In no particular order, here are 10 photos from a recent family shoot in the Bay Area. McClellan Ranch in Cupertino never disappoints. Please enjoy!

neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area group with dog

neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area mom daughter

neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area mom fence
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area grandma granddaughter
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area husband wife laugh
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area daughter family in back
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area daughter creek play dream
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area daughter creek smile
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area daughter creek candid
neilson outdoor family photography mcclellan ranch cupertino bay area husband wife joy

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, offers, and inspiration. 

Quarantining

Isolation is upon us.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve mask covid-19

I’m keeping six feet away from my shadow.

neilson photography bay area palo alto russian ridge shadow grass tree

Everyone’s asking pennies for everyone’s thoughts.

neilson photography bay area san jose pennies for your thought

Although our mental atmosphere is cluttered, beauty can still be found:
An almost-face with two eye-ball clouds hovering over a scene.

neilson photography bay area palo alto russian ridge found face

Speaking of almost-faces, here’s an iconic one:
We’re all Castaways now.
“Wilson!”

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve found face wilson

I found that face at McClellan Ranch when I took my kids there.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve paige walk

I thought it high time to teach my kids crawdad fishing survival skills.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve brother sister crawdadding

As always, nature spoke in parables:
We are—all of us—entangled.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve entanglement roots trees

My kids continued to fish in the Upside Down.

I looked for beauty in small places: periwinkle.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mccellan ranch preserve periwinkle wood

Then I looked for beauty in big places.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve game trail

No matter where I looked, I saw something beautiful, even when it was dark and deep.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve wood creek dark deep

As we walked to the parking lot, I saw a simple scene: Back to basics.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve old-fashion nalgene bottle

POSTSCRIPT—although this next picture was taken on a different outing, it’s too good not to share. Not an almost-face, nor a found face, but the real deal. Yes.

neilson photography bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch preserve lexie portrait

When shelter in place is well behind us, contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, offers, and inspiration. 

The Autumn of Our Content

Neilson family photography california bay area mcclellan ranch cupertino photographer brothers fence rural

October, 2019.
McClellan Ranch, Cupertino, CA.
Autumn colors; blue sky, hazy.
Family mini sessions all day Sunday.
Too many great images to share.
But one stands out right now.
I stare and stare at it.
I know it’s not the greatest image ever taken.
But I secretly believe it is.
Photographers are strange that way.
The boys were pure energy when they arrived.
Scripted shots weren’t going to work.
So I threw mental choreography to the wind.
Instead, we walked and talked.
We laughed and poked fun at each other.
We discovered Sycamore leaves as large as Texas
And unearthed golf balls along the creek.
The shadows lengthened slowly.
My camera clicked without a set purpose in mind.
When the session was over, we walked back to the parking lot.
I said to the boys, Post up here, yeah, just like that.
Energy spent, they posted on the fence, relaxed and languid.
In that moment, I captured something real and enduring, I hope.
The image says something about the passage of time—
Of days, seasons, and childhood—
And it says something about brotherhood, too.
I hope you like the image as much as I do!
As always, thank you for visiting.

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Fields of Gold

Meaghan had a straightforward request.
Shoot my family, she said.
Not that kind, the other.
I chuckled to myself.
I admire a woman who’s direct.
To the point.
Like this.

neilson family photography photographer outdoors bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch couples

It’s a gorgeous image.
Matt wondered about his role in the affair.
How does the back of my head look, he asked.
Splendid, I said.
He almost certainly smiled.
But I got his point.
So we turned Matt round.
And then it happened.
A hush fell.
The trees glowed.
And Meaghan’s hair went electric.

neilson family photography photographer outdoors bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch couples backlight

With chemistry like that,
Matt and Meaghan are bound to have kids, right?
Well, they do.
They’ve got two of them:
Logan and Lexie.
Lexie may be Logan’s little sister.
But she’s got big-time affection for him.
Just look at that reach!
What a handhold!

neilson family photography photographer outdoors bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch couples kids brother sister

Before long, Lexie put her generous athletic gifts to use.
She free soloed the center of the tree climbing universe in record time.

Neilson family group photography photographer outdoors bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch daughter tree fun

After she safely descended,
We hung out in a field of green and gold.
And we—including, me—smiled for the beauty of it all.

Neilson family group photography photographer outdoors bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch

Thank you, Matt and Meaghan!
It was a joy and a privilege to photograph your family.

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Fall in the West

I love my job.
I’m often outdoors,
And I get to meet new people.
Like this family from Redwood City.

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

We met at McClellan Ranch in Cupertino for a family session.
It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite locations.
Like me, Mom is a Chico State grad.
Go Wildcats!

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

Baby’s eyes are distant-mountain blue.
Stunning, just look at them.

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

Mom has a magic touch.
But Dad does, too.
Happy kiddo!

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

We wandered from one setting to the next.
Someone’s curiosity was piqued.

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

Before long, we found a fence.
Everyone knows photographers love fences.
They make great neighbors.

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

We found a clearing at the ranch.
And Family sat down and made googly eyes at each other.

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

Baby was indescribably happy, as a result.

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

As the sun was setting, Family was game for one more shot.
More than game, what a beautiful setting!

family photography in the bay area cupertino mcclellan ranch park toddler baby newborn natural light candid

We said goodbye.
Family drove away.
I went home.
A week later, it happened,
As it always does when a shoot is over.
An image in the collection stands out.
It becomes the icon by which the entire collection is known.
I love this image something fierce.
Everything about it.
And I hope you do, too.

bay area family photography toddler kid McClellan ranch baby

Contact me for kids, teens, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.