On the ordinary | Ventura and Santa Barbara Family Photography

The ordinary - something I already knew that I should not and cannot take for granted. Yet, in light of daily, hourly NPR stories and news articles about the on-going devastated state that many parents are in due to family separations, I am extra thankful and grateful for our everyday ordinariness. But I also wonder as I hear mothers sob on the radio, why the F should this be such a luxury? So, for those of us who have it, let's embrace our ordinary, let's remember it, and let's help those who don't. 

With our move to another house in Ventura, it's been hard finding time and energy to pick up my camera and shoot personal work but I always try to squeeze a few frames here and there in. I'll be honest that when I opened up my film scans from the lab, I thought, "Oh god, what are these photos, couldn't I have made cooler shots?"  Later that afternoon, I started to feel overwhelmed and realize how glad I was to have these photographs. These photos authentically represent our lives as it is right now - summer, swim lessons, lots of snacks, our pizza movie nights on Fridays, their non-stop shenanigans, and our new house. 

They might not be beautiful portraits at glowy golden hour at the beach or atop of a mountain but they are the most beautiful part of my memory. And this is why I will always advocate for family and newborn sessions in your home - portraits yes but also details of your lives. And if you can't hire a photographer, then I beg you to please, please photograph your ordinary with whatever you have, get in the frame, and print them out. They will become our treasures.

 Ventura Family Photography
 Ventura Family Photography - lifestyle, documentary, at home
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 Santa Barbara Family Photographer, Ventura Family Photography - specializing in lifestyle and documentary family portraits
 Ventura Family Photographer
 Santa Barbara Family Photographer, based in Ventura, CA
 Ventura and Santa Barbara Family Photographer
 Ventura Family Photography
 Ventura Family Photography, serving Camarillo, Santa Barbara, Ojai, and Thousand Oaks.
 Santa Barbara Lifestyle & Family Photographer based in Ventura, CA
 Ventura Family Photographer
 Ventura Family Photographer
 Ventura and Santa Barbara Family Photography 
 Santa Barbara Family Photographer, serving Ventura, Ojai, Thousand Oaks, and Camarillo.

Awhai Pottery - Ventura Photographer for Small businesses & Creatives - Ojai, CA

I LOVE watching other people work. It is an amazing experience to see how someone does what he/she does because the meticulousness of the process, the energy, and all the little kinks and quirks all lead to the final product. The obsession is what makes me want to work with more small business and creatives. In many many ways, it isn't unlike lifestyle and documentary family photography. It is just documenting people doing what they love, in an environment that they love. I'd love to work with more small business and creatives in the Ventura and Santa Barbara area. Give me a shout if you're interested!

Without further ado, I am so excited to share some photographs that I took of Emily, of Awhai Pottery,  working in her studio in Ojai, CA. 

Have a great weekend! 

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 Ventura County Photographer 
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Geekery: Pentax 645n, Fuji400H + Portra400

Mama & Me - Ventura Family Photographer - Ventura, CA

 Ventura Family Photography

An article I came across a while back made me cringe, it was titled, "The sad reason why many mothers take selfies with their kids." I wished the article didn't resonate with me, but it did. If I didn't take selfies with my kids, I wouldn't have many photographs with them. That was the truth despite my best attempt at reminding my husband to take photographs of us just doing regular things. He tries, he really does with the best intention, he just isn't programmed to reach for a phone or camera for the everyday, ordinary moments, that I wish were captured. This is why I am an advocate for getting a lifestyle & documentary family session done once a year in our home! And that is also why I am the creepy fellow mom at the playground, at the beach, at the grocery store, who asks strangers if they want me to take a photograph of them with their kids. Interestingly, half the moms I ask say, "Oh my gosh, that would be so wonderful" and half the moms I ask say, "oh no, no thank you!" 

It seems sad that many mamas just don't have photographs of them with their children while mothering and loving our kids, something we spend majority of our time doing. And it certainly isn't only because our partners don't photograph; we moms also say things like "Ahhh, don't photograph me now, our hair/body/clothing/face just doesn't look right." What I want to say to that is: (1) who cares, let our kids remember us the way we really were!!! Isn't that better than not being in the photographs at all(2) invest in family photography (3) and keep taking those selfies. We ought to be in photographs our kids can have for the rest of their lives. When our kids flip through their photo albums (yes, people still and SHOULD print their photographs), should we really exist only in 1 out of 89 photographs taken that day? The answer is NO, because we were totally there 100% of the time. 

The fact that mamas have a hard time getting in the frame is exactly why I offer mini sessions. It's not the remedy to the entire problem that we have but it is something. 

If you'd like to catch my once a year Mama & Me mini sessions, click here and reserve your spot. One day only - 4/29. And if not me, PLEASE find another photographer that you love and get in the frame ASAP. Do it for yourself and your kiddos!

 Family Photographer in Ventura, CA 
 Ventura Family Photographer
 Lifestyle Family Photography in Ventura, CA
 Maternity Photographer Ventura, CA
 Ventura County Family Photographer, specializing in family, maternity, newborn portraits 

 

Po Chi Fung is a Ventura Family Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She specializes in family, newborn, Fresh48 photography. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story. 

Letters to Evie and Max - March 2018 | Life Lately | Ventura Family Photographer

Dear Kids,

Time doesn't seem to slow down, does it? It is kind of like the two of you, unless the TV is on! March 9th marks our first anniversary of the start of our road trip across the USA to Ventura - the day we packed up our amazing Honda Fit and the two portable DVD player screens that kept our family together and sane for the next 9 days. And in just a year, we are planning a real birthday party for Evie, preschool friends in tow. Mama and Baba have not done nearly as well on the making friends part as the two of you have and we miss our friends in DC so so much. BUT, every morning on my drive to work next to the sparkling ocean, I mumble to myself "oh gosh, we are so lucky to be here." 

Things have been crazy busy. I am still adjusting to my new work schedule and trying to perfect the cocktail that is part day job, part photography, part mama, part chef, part partner-in-crime for your Baba, and even attempting to build in some self-care. But if I am being completely honest, I am slowly coming to terms that there is no perfect cocktail. It is 110% likely that it'll always be just a tad off but definitely fulfilling, and just one of those things where the process counts as much as the final product. 

Evie, thank you. Lately, every time I lose my temper because Max is being extra naughty, you've been there to remind me (though condescendingly sometimes) that I should be nice and even helping with him. When I saw you walk up to comfort your crying brother, I felt comforted and happy that you two have each other. At the end of the day and at the end of all the fights over toys you guys don't even really care to play with, you guys have each others' backs. You are growing really tall, which makes sense because a few nights ago you inhaled one hot dog and 1.5 shredded chicken sandwich at record time. You have been loving yoga and does not hesitate to show me that you can do the tree pose better than I can. You are also just so damn witty and an incredible negotiator, all before age 5...my favorite, "Mama, can I have this snack? It is healthy! Can we go ride our bikes, dad? It's important we get exercise!" You genuinely rock and I am terrified for all the fights we are going to have. I am going to start taking some debate classes just in case.

Max. You have been such a riot but for every ounce of trouble you are, you dish out double the sweetness and warmth. You've continued rocking using the potty. Your knack for just going with the flow and not overthinking things amazes me; you just do whatever is fun! When you are upset, you'll declare that you are mad. If you're too mad to do that, then you'll walk away, sit on the ground, wrap your arms around your body with knees bent up, and you'll go "HM" firmly and loudly. If I was smarter, then I would know that you, of course, would be as stubborn as the rest of your family. Alas, karma is a b*tch. HA. You love hiding your favorite toys under your pillow to keep them safe, you are fearless on your scooter, and you love being snuggled. You are funny like your je je and a fierce competitor in "sandwich," a game that you guys should only play with your father because it is too rough for your tiny mother. 

You guys make my life so incredibly fun and even though I need a get away every once in a while, I hope you know how much I adore you two. 

Love you guys forever,

Mama

Japan // Ventura Family Photographer

FINALLY posting some of my favorite photographs from our trip to Japan this past November. We made stops in Nagoya, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Miyajima, Takamatsu, and Nara.  

Bulleted thoughts below because I have to go clean the house and make dinner!

  • Lego Land in Nagoya was AMAZING. Context: Jeremy and I both hate crowds and generally don't love amusement parks. Lego Land in Japan had no lines, was super clean, and the rides were so creative and well executed!!! GO!
  • Best part of the trip = visiting Jeremy's Japanese aunt (Tamami) who we adore. Getting to spend time with her and her family was by far the best reward of the trip. It was wonderful to see her boys wrestle with our monsters because Jeremy used to play with her boys the same way when they were little. Life is so crazy sometimes!
  • When we were in Nagasaki, Tamami got us tickets to the Nagasaki Okunchi festival - it's the most famous festival in Nagasaki and celebrates the local deity worshipped at Suwa Shrine. We had the most amazing seats where we were able to see the floats and performances. Each ticket reserved a little plot with a mat where a small family would fit on. Hats weren't allowed, so everyone had these little towels over their heads. It was amazing to see but we had to leave early because it was SO HOT and the kids were going to lose it. 
  • I loved Miyajima - quaint and beautiful. The top 3 things the island produces are: lemons, oysters, and eel. YUM.
  • Takamatsu was not my most favorite and it rained almost the entire time we were there BUT their transportation/train people put on the cutest little festivals for the kids in the area. There were trains decorated with a celebrated cartoon character, there were booths with games and prizes. The transportation staff people could not be kinder. This was a case where they were invested in the community. I wish that happened here. 
  • Japanese food is the best food. I am still craving mochi donuts from Mister Donut. Rice balls at the drug stores = best snack. 
  • The end. 
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Po Chi Fung is a Ventura County Lifestyle Family and Newborn Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story. 

The Johnstone Family | Ventura Family Photography | Lifestyle & Documentary

Some of my most favorite people here in Ventura, on film. Better blogged late than never, right? 

P.S. Those vintage film cameras!!!

 Ventura County Family Photographer on Film 
 Ventura Lifestyle Family Photographer
 Ventura Family Photographer 
 Ventura, Santa Barbara, Ojai Family Photographer 
 Ventura Family Portrait photographer 
 Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Ojai, CA Family Photographer 
 Ventura, CA Family Photographer 
 Ventura County Lifestyle and Documentary Photographer, serving Ventura, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Ojai, and Thousand Oaks
 Ventura family portrait photographer 
 Ventura Family Photographer / Serving Ventura, Santa Barbara, Ojai, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks / Lifestyle and Documentary Photography
 Ventura, CA Family Photographer 

 

Are you interested in having photographs like these for a newborn or your family? I'd love to work with you! I'm really excited to be able to offer newborn and family photography in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Ojai, and other surround areas.

Give me a shout here and let's talk!

 

 

Greta and her adorable baby boy | Ventura Lifestyle Family Photographer

Greta, you are glowing. Thank you so much for having me!

Would you like a session like this for you and your nursing babe? Or a family photography session like this for you and your kiddos because you're always left out of photos? Give me a shout here

 

Po Chi Fung is a Ventura County Lifestyle Family and Newborn Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story. 

Letters to Evie and Max | August

My dearest babies,

Life has been nuts the last five months, have you noticed?

My kiddies, one thing I hope you will gain in life is confidence, not entitlement. I hope that you'll be sympathetic and empathetic but wise enough to know when you are being taken advantaged of and brave enough to walk away and say no. I wish you an open mind and grace to accept and learn from others' ideas and feedback or criticism for you and your work but strong enough as an individual to not let them change who you are or cause you to do things you don't want to do or to do them just to be part of the crowd. And kids, sometimes shit happens, and yes, shit happens even when you do your best. You can only control what you choose to do and how you do it. Don't sweat what other people, especially those who do not deserve your respect, think or say about you.  I think if you can remember that, you'll be a lot happier in life! 

Guys, we went to Florida for the first time and hung out at the beach for a whole week. You had a super blast with your cousins and it was so so great to be with the entire family. Most days, we'd go to the beach in the morning after packing sandwiches and snacks and we'd hang out at the pool house after we've played in the waves long enough. Even though it rained the last 3 days we were there, it was so great to have all that time with you! Max, you'll want to remember this: You are apparently a master at playing the game of chicken fight! You, baba, Evie, Ava, Graham, Carter, Uncle Chuck, and Uncle Dave went to the pool and Grambo later came home and told his mama that you beat him at chicken fight. Aunt Court couldn't believe it since you are 2 and Grambo assured her that you were really really good and then proceeded to demo the moves - a mix of rapid hand movements, cat fight style. Apparently you did this while on Baba's shoulders and Graham was on Uncle Chuck's and Chuck was laughing his head off. Good times, keep up the good work, my honey boo. 

This makes baba and I sound so sappy but man, who knew one could get overwhelming feelings and actually want to cry while watching one's child conquer her own fears and anxiety. You both started swim lessons and Evie started with lots of hesitation (despite being so excited) and a lot of tears and screaming for baba at the beginning of the lessons. Evie, you'd make excuses and even lie to get out of swim lessons BUT we also witnessed your growth as you learned to respond to our pep talks and baba's stories about not wanting to join little league. You conquered your own anxieties and hesitations and even started enjoying it. We are so incredibly proud of you, not just for taking the lessons but simply for trying and for recognizing that yes, you are worried but you CAN still do it. You continue to amaze me with your wit and ability to scheme. You drive me nuts with your sass and eye rolls but gosh, I can't say that you didn't inherit those traits from your dad and I. And while I might have to take this for a bit, I am so so glad that you are such a strong person already.

Max, you are talking so much these days! Your latest thing is using the word "because." You are determined and know exactly what you want. You learned to ask to be excused from the dinner table  and you're always saying things like "Come play with me. Let's go now. Let's go play with the choo choo track over here." You also tell me when it is time to go to sleep and that breastmilk tastes like ice cream or chocolate.  I'm fascinated watching you grow. You are stubborn and you love to tell us no, sometimes in not so nice ways. You love to throw things and wack people on the head with objects but we are trying pretty hard to teach you not to. You're also hilarious, loving, affectionate and sweet. One night you sang Country Roads ten times before you finally fell asleep. At any given night, I can find 2-7 vehicles in our bed. For a week, you'd clutch your little red Porsch car to sleep. You're truly a little boy these days and not my little baby anymore. Ahhhh. Oh yeah!! One of the best news this month was from your 3 month post cavity treatment appointment at the pediatric dentist. The dentist was really pleased with how everything looked, I was so happy I wanted to cry.  You were visibly scared when we walked into the exam room though. You recognized the place where you were kind of strapped down, so the dentist let mama hold you in the chair for the entire check up. I told you to trust me and saw you hold back your tears and tried your best to work with the dentist; my mama heart bursted. 

Guys, there's a lot of fighting in the house these days, over toys, who gets to choose a tv show, over snacks, over who gets to sit on my lap, over who gets which cups, and even who gets to turn the TV off. The house is messy, it's always kind of noisy, baba and I don't always have a lot of energy to play but man, how lucky we are to have all this? I am grateful every day. I have been angry at myself lately, for letting stupid things bother me and take away my focus on what's most important. I am going to try even harder and I promise to not let unnecessary things bother me and take away my energy, time, and patience to be a better me, a more loving mama, and a better partner to your baba.  Let's focus on what makes us happy, content, and kind. The world would be a better place if we all did that. 

Love you to the moon and back,

Mama

 Swimming - Ventura Family Photographer 
 Crab Island by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura County Family Photographer 
 Seaweed mustache by Po Chi Fung Photography - Ventura Family Photographer 
 Watersound Beach Photography by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura County Family Photographer 
 Paw paw and Doctor by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura Lifestyle Family Photographer 
 Contemplative by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura Documentary Family Photography 
 Underwood Farms (Somis) by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura County Family Photographer
 Father & Son by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura County Family Photographer 
 Frog Creek Lavender Farm by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ojai Family Photographer 
 Good times 
 Chubby thighs by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura Family Photographer 
 Holga fun by Po Chi Fung Photography / Ventura County Family Photographer 

 

Po Chi Fung is a Ventura County Lifestyle Family and Newborn Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story.