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. 

Simply Linda

neilson family portrait photography bay area danville linda pederson blue eyes

What is your life’s great passion?

My greatest passion is my family, especially my children. I never knew what pure love was until I had children. They are the light in my life, and I am constantly amazed watching them grow into kind, smart, and funny (this is very important in our household) human beings. I couldn’t be more proud to be their mother.

What personal achievement are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my work as a journalist. It was my dream as a child to be a broadcast reporter, and I made it happen. It took a lot of hard work and many rejections to get there (I still have the stack of rejection letters as a reminder to myself to always keep going). My biggest personal achievement was when I was able to report in the Bay Area, and my parents were able to watch me live on television. That felt pretty good.

What’s one of most beautiful places you’ve ever visited?

I would have to say San Sebastian in Spain. It’s absolutely one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. There’s this breathtaking beach, Playa de la Concha. It’s a crescent-shaped beach with white sand and blue waters surrounded by lush green hills. It literally takes your breath away when you first see it.

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Spring Break

Cooped up.
Must create something.
Anything, here’s a concept piece—
A photo essay on spring break in the time of COVID-19.

Isolation

neilson photography bay area san jose covid-19 bubble wrap quarantine

Suspicion

neilson photography bay area san jose covid-19 bubble wrap asphyxiation lip ring

Disorientation

neilson photography bay area san jose covid-19 bubble wrap asphyxiation two hands no ring

Resignation

neilson photography bay area san jose covid-19 bubble wrap asphyxiation suspicion

Asphyxiation

neilson photography bay area san jose covid-19 bubble wrap asphyxiation desperation
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. 

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. 

A Blooming Fine Day

neilson portrait photography bay area san francisco gold street megan murray dress

I have a friend.
Her name is Colleen.
She shared a story with me.
The story goes something like this…

“A few years ago, a tulip bloomed in our backyard; the yard was otherwise covered by ivy. We didn’t plant the tulip; it was likely the work of an enterprising but forgetful squirrel. The best moments are always like this tulip: unexpected and perfect.”

Earlier this week, I had one of those special moments.
I was in San Francisco on a corporate shoot.
My client was unfashionably late.
I stood on Gold Street.
A picturesque alley in the Financial District.
There was no foot traffic.
I was alone.
Waiting.

Then it happened.
A stranger turned the corner.
She strode the lane toward me—
Looking the fashion equivalent of a tulip in bloom.
Finally, I blurted out in mock exasperation.
You’re here at last.
I’ve been waiting for you.
No, no, she said, politely waving her hand.
I’m not your model.
You’re not, I joked?
No.
But she slowed,
Then stopped entire,
And glinted right on frame.
I snapped at 1/200 of a second.
And every time the shutter clicked, she gracefully shifted her pose.
What an unexpected and perfect gift! Thank you.

neilson portrait photography bay area san francisco gold street megan murray dress arm
Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, offers, and inspiration.