Sometimes the laundry is piled up, the to-do list is endless, and life feels a little heavy.  Sometimes you ask God to take a little bit of that burden from you…and He gives you big surf. So you pack up the kids to go watch the surf, because a beach full of onlookers and an ocean spotted with surfers are just the perfect thing to help ignore the laundry, to-do list, and heaviness.


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beach 3What a perfect morning! So much joy in chasing the seagulls, kicking sand around, and listening to the waves crash. I love how the beach looks different in the winter. There’s probably something scientific to it with tides and pulls and all that; but the shorter beach, steeper berm, and muted colors are so different than summer, and so perfect in its own way. <3

2014 01 21 Seal Beach kids (9) avabeach 5Photo sessions at the beach aren’t just for summertime! In fact, I highly recommend late winter and springtime sessions at the beach because it’s less crowded and the lighting can be just right!

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beach 11To convince Jake to follow with us back to the car as we were leaving, I promised him we’d come back again this week.  Ooops. Looks like we’ll be finding time later this week to go back to the beach!

Blue. For me, it is a color of serenity. It is peaceful. It is powerful, much like the ocean.


The Castaway Island resort in Fiji, circa our 2009 honeymoon.

I have always tried to bring the ocean and its sparkling blues and greens into my home. Let’s face it: with three kiddos ages three and under, my house tends to portray 50 shades of cray, so I could use a little help from ocean blue to create some serenity and peace. ;)

I’m a sucker for warm, neutral walls, so I picked a piece of furniture I refinished to bring in the perfect shade of beloved blue.

I refinished this old dresser in Martha Stewart's Hummingbird Blue.

I refinished this old dresser in Martha Stewart’s Hummingbird Blue.

Accessories are like a home’s jewelry, and my home is sprinkled with the ocean’s jewel tones.

glass floatcandlelove your ocean pillow

Still loving my custom wood print I created last year.

beaches subway art

2 slot portrait and landscape side by side

While I was snapping pictures around the house, this guy slept on his favorite blue pillow. (Truly, he refers to it as “where is my booo pillow?”)


What color colors your world?

2014 feels like a fresh new year full of lots of adventure! I am SO EXCITED to meet new clients, watch returning clients’ families grow, and children reach new milestones. How blessed am I that you all rely on me to capture your sweet, most precious memories?!


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I’m looking forward to utilizing this blog as a main feature of my website this year. Get ready for some major cuteness overload from clients, and stay up-to-date on everything happening at HJP. I’d love to use the blog as a better way to connect with you guys, too! I just love when photographers and small business owners post about their own lives, and I think I’d love to give you guys a sneak peek into our crazy little world.


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I may be a few days…ok, so a week…late, but Happy New Year, friend! Excited to share this next year with you all.