The Story Behind My Studio Garden

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Last night, my husband and I watched John Leguizamo’s new Netflix special, “Latin History For Morons”. Definitely a must watch for everyone. I personally have reached a breaking point lately with what Leguizamo describes as “ghetto rage”.

When I was growing up, my Mexican grandfather taught me about our family history. He happened to be a doctor but he was an artist at heart, and he came from a long line of proud Mexican artists. He taught me ways to work around my physical limitations, so that I could still create art in my own way. He taught me about how Frida Kahlo worked through chronic pain and health problems, which fueled her artistic passion.

I specifically planned my studio garden in a design that would allow me to shoot outdoors, even when my physical pain was at its most limiting. I selected plants that would work well with our climate here in California, and that would reflect my own multi-cultural family heritage. Many of my plants are native to either Mexico or California.

I have filled parts of the garden with Mexican decor because that reminds me of my family’s artistic lineage, and I find that incredibly inspiring. Over the years, I have silently grimaced as clients have butchered the pronunciation of my name, calling me ALISHA when I have clearly explained that my name is Alicia, with the Spanish pronunciation. I have bit my tongue when clients have insulted the Mexican decor in my greenhouse and patio or questioned why I have so many Mexican plants, with that attitude of “EWW WHY.” I have held back because I don’t want to appear to be a hothead or fuel stereotypes. I know I may not necessarily “look Mexican” so often times people think it’s acceptable to dump out racists garbage when they come here for a photo session. It is completely and absolutely unacceptable, and I will no longer tolerate this behavior from clients.

My great-grandfather and his brother were some of the most widely respected artists in Hollywood many years ago. They created the artwork for King Kong and Citizen Cane, plus many more movies, murals, etc. Their artwork was actually an important early inspiration for Frida Kahlo, which leaves me in awe. I am extremely proud that I came from a family of Mexican-American artists. Anyone who cares to question me on that going forward can deal with my rage.

If you would like to learn more about my family’s artistic lineage, search online for Juan and Mario Larrinaga. I’m holding my great-uncle Mario’s camera here. It’s incredibly special to me. I’m very grateful that many of my own personal Latin American heros happen to be from my very own family tree.

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VOTE

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I’ve been trying to avoid social media a lot lately because our current political situation has not been helpful for me with my current goal of lightening my stress level. I had actually posted this composite previously, and then once I saw the news that day, I was horribly upset and deleted my post. However, since tomorrow is election day, I want to get rid of any shred of voter apathy that I can in my own way, so I am re-posting, this time with an explanation behind the photo.

Many years ago, I had a dear friend who helped me realize that my Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ, the “activist” personality. I am introverted, intuitive, and “feeling” (which is a good way to describe a lot of sensitive creatives). I have a strong desire to create art that speaks to my own unique personality type.

In the past, I have felt guilty of going through periods of voter apathy. However given our current political environment, where people in this country seem to have gone backwards in what is now considered socially acceptable behavior, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Violence is never the answer. Hatred is never the answer. There is one simple thing that we can all do that will help show the people in this country that hate will not win. This stopped being about Republican vs. Democrat a long time ago. This is about taking back ownership of the ideals of this country. Equal human rights for everyone. An end to racism, bigotry and discrimination. An opportunity to start to spread a message of love, acceptance and equality for everyone in this country. Today is election day. If you have not voted already, don’t miss out. Your vote is your most powerful weapon. It’s time to put that power to good use.

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Changes and Updates!

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The past couple of months have been a bit rough for me, but it’s given me a lot of time to reflect on which parts of my life need improving, which is always a good thing! Now that my physical pain is lessening, it’s given me even more clarity.
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I realized right before my surgery that I have big regrets about the fact that I have very few pictures of myself and my younger son. As women, we tend to be our own worst critic and it is easy to make a million excuses about why you aren’t going to be in the photo.
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I don’t want my clients to later look back and regret not being in the photos at all when their baby was born (I know I definitely regret that!). I know as an introvert myself, it can often be challenging to get in front of a camera, and even harder to look directly into the camera. When you are tired, it becomes even more challenging (I know I get a weird droopy eye when I’m tired lol). I’m going to start urging my newborn clients to get in front of the camera, even just for one photo. Think of these photos as a future gift for your child!
:heart:
Also, I will be resuming fall bookings next week, and opening bookings for 2019! Clients who signed up for my waiting list get first dibs but bookings will resume on Tuesday for everyone else. :smile:

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Bleem Family Beach Materntiy Session

Shannon and her family met me at the beach for their maternity session and we had so much fun! I love capturing casual, lifestyle type photos for a maternity session, especially when there is an older sibling in the family!

 

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Sweet girl trying to model for me with poses like her mommy!los angeles family maternity photographer los angeles family maternity photographer los angeles family maternity photographer
One of my favorite belly bump photos! los angeles family maternity photographer
Currently booking family/outdoor maternity sessions for September-November 2018. More information is available on our website here.

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Newborn Baby Allie Garden & Studio Session

Sweet little baby Allie came for a combo session package – both studio and studio garden for her newborn session. Allie’s mama is a sweet friend of mine and I was so happy to be able to include both of them in the session together!

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Currently booking newborn sessions for August-November 2018. More information is available on our website here.

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Malinda’s Studio Maternity Session

This is a relatively older session that I never got around to blogging yet (so you may recognize some of the photos from my social media accounts already), but still one of my favorite sessions! This sweet couple went through a very challenging journey with IVF and infertility, and I was so excited to be able to document their journey for their maternity session. Their story really spoke to my heart and I wanted to create something unique to their story. I asked Malinda to bring in as many of her medical supplies as she had on hand from her pregnancy, and I incorporated all of her medicines and some of her used injection needles into some of the photos, representing the lengths they went through to have their sweet baby. I know from my own experience that a difficult journey to parenthood gives you such a deep appreciation for your little miracle baby.

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Want more information in my maternity session options? More information is available on our website here. Currently booking maternity sessions for August-November 2018.

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Kristin’s Studio Maternity Session

This is another older session that I never got around to posting, but here are a few of my favorites from Kristin’s maternity mini session in my studio! When Kristin came for her maternity session, she was at the very end of her pregnancy, and was getting close to the point where a full session would have been way too much for her. An easy maternity mini session in my studio was the perfect option to document her beautiful belly!

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Want more information on my maternity and newborn session options? More info is on our main website here.

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New Options for Newborn Sessions!

If you follow me on social media, you may have heard me mention a few times in the past couple of years about taking time off while I have recovered from back surgery, etc. My spine is doing better, especially now that I know more about what has been at the root of my pain. In an effort to better support my own body, I have recently modified all of my newborn session options. This new line up of session options also includes some lower priced newborn mini session options, and my own favorite session option – a streamlined workflow that includes photos with baby alone and baby with parents.

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If you would like more information about my newborn session options, please visit our website here. I highly recommend booking before baby is born to ensure availability.

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Remington’s Cake Smash Session in Studio Garden Greenhouse

Sweet little Remington came into my studio garden greenhouse for his cake smash session! His parents jumped in for a few photos too, which I always love to include! Remington melted my heart with his sweet little expressions!

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Want more information on our baby milestone session options? More information is available on our website here.

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Lindsey’s Studio & Beach Maternity Session

I am embarrassingly behind on blogging sessions! I have tons of sessions lined up in my drafts folder to blog, and haven’t made the time to actually schedule them! I’m working on getting caught up again, so here is one of my favorite combo maternity sessions…studio and my favorite nearby beach spot!

I love incorporating dads and older siblings in maternity sessions too…I feel like it tells your baby’s story so much better to include the whole family in the maternity session! Here are some of my favorites from Lindsey’s maternity sessions!

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Lindsay’s husband wasn’t able to join us on the beach day, but instead we got lots of mommy/daughter cuddles, which is always a great option too! :)south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer south_bays_best_maternity_photographer
Want more information on my maternity session option? More information is available on our website here.

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