washington dc family photographer

Film Friday - one of my most favorite outdoor lifestyle sessions! | Ventura Family Photographer

Happy Film Friday!!!

We just got back from our trip, so I am still jet-lagged and working slowly. But before I get on with the 20 things I have on my to-do list, I want to show you some of my most favorite photographs from a recent session. P.S. I'm now available to photograph your family in Ventura! Spread the word!

Having recently been photographed for a family session with my grandmother in Hong Kong and feeling so so grateful to have these memories and interactions preserved, my feeling of wanting to document their families the way that reflects who they really are really intensified. 

Daphne, I hope you'll look back on these photographs years from now and be transported to these precious moments with your gorgeous family.

Love, Po

Dad and daughter hike through woods during Ventura Family Photography session
Ventura Family Photography by Po Chi Fung during outdoor photo session
Baby boy with mom and sister during Ventura CA lifestyle family photography session
mom and son during outdoor family photography session near Ventura CA
Girl pony tail as she explores forest during Ventura Family Photography session
Ventura lifestyle family portraits with daughter and parents 
Little boy holds leaf during Ventura family photography session
Mom snuggles her children during Ventura CA family photography session
Dad plays with son during outdoor family photography session near Ventura and Santa Monica
Girl laughs in forest during Ventura Family Photography Session
Family plays during their lifestyle photo session with Po Chi Fung
Family walks through forest during Ventura family photography session with Po Chi Fung

Ready for memories like this with your family? Contact me to book a session near Ventura, CA!

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 our Children | October

Dear Children,

Hi my sweet sweet babies. Mama recently found out that one of her childhood friend lost his baby boy. The thought of someone I care so much about not being able to hold his sweet sweet baby ever again made my heart break and ache so so much.  That night I held you both a little longer, kissed you more times, and took in your sweet scents post-bath a few breaths more. I told you both that we are so so lucky to have one another, for you to have your dad and I, and for us to have you both in our lives because not everyone is so lucky. We need to appreciate it as much as we can. I know that in our life time, we aren't always going to see eye to eye..but can we please always try our best to communicate..and even when we aren't getting through to one another, please still always remember that we are there for each other, that we are a team and we've got each others' backs? And maybe then we would be a little kinder to one another and never say things we regret even when we are angry. I promise I will try my best to do that and never make you doubt how immensely happy and grateful that I am your mama. Promise. 

Max - this morning Baba wore his cockroach costume and biked you to daycare while you wore Evie's old dinosaur costume. Fun, right?! You've become the life of the party, especially our dance parties at home while we blast the Young MC Pandora station.  You have this eagle dance move where you reach your arms behind you and you twist and jump. You are completely fearless, super social, and just love to play and participate.  Your Baba and I were both amazed at how well you were participating in all the games at Evie's friend's 4th birthday party this past weekend. You follow direction extremely well and obviously pay a lot of attention to what is happening around you in an effortless way. You'd run and line up against the wall like all the big kids and were completely unfazed by all the older kids and activities.  You've also been saying lots of words. This morning, Evie taught you how to say TWO. You've also been saying ello (hello), nana (banana), gup (cup), baba, emma. You also excel in copying our expressions and making faces. Your sister and you are constantly feeding off of each other, shouting, hollering, dancing, and competing for attention! 

Evie - where do I begin? So many things to note because I don't want to forget a single thing. You apparently sleep talk...your dad heard you say "mmmm...coconuttttttt...yummm" in the middle of the night. You recently had an interesting exchange with your classmate about body parts, clarifying to him that you don't have a "gina" but a "vagina" and a booty butt. Since then, you've come up with a hot new single called "get your own booty butt." On top of all this, you committed your first real crime (which we won't talk about further here) but thankfully, your father handled it with flying colors, managed mama at the same time, and made it a good learning moment. You continue to throw some crazy tantrums, including an episode where you sobbed giant tears because  you bit your own finger one night on purpose. Between those chaotic moments, you are incredibly sweet, witty, funny, and loving.  

I love you both and I can't wait for upcoming Asia trip together! 



P.S. We just got home from trick-o-treating. Your dad and I are exhausted! E - you did great! Your bucket is full of candy and you and your friend took turns knocking on the door! M - you were unstoppable! Who knew a not-even 18 month old could collect that much candy. You refused to be left behind by your sister and you demanded candy from every house by shouting and squealing. We couldn't believe how much you ran!!! Nice job, babes.

P.P.S. I realized that majority of photographs in this post have motion blur...and while I would never deliver galleries full of blurry images..I can't help but wonder that one day when I am old and frail..and I close my eyes to think about my fondest memories, will it pop up just like this? I kind want to think yes and that kind of makes me want to cry happy tears.


Ready for memories like this with your family? Contact me to book a session near Ventura, CA!

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 our Children | June

Dear Children, you guys are hilarious and sometimes a bit insane...

Evie, you crack me up every day. That other day, when your Baba asked you why you didn't nap at school, you replied, "My eyes are dead, they were resting." I must admit that I said WTF out loud, laughed, and then made a mental note that we need to somehow incorporate those words in a song for your future rock n roll band.  You also called your father garbage recently and when we discussed this topic further, you looked me firmly in the eyes are said, "But some people ARE garbage, right Mama?" I'm like, "hmm. absolutely, but not your dad."  Then you went and asked the babysitter if she has boobies...and then whether or not there is milk inside...then you told her her stomach was big.  Oh gosh. 

I am not going to lie, Evie, the 3's have been difficult. There's been more "Stop what you are doing! Don't make me count to 3! It is dangerous! YOU NEED TO LISTEN" more than your dad and I had imagined. It seems to be this continuous test on boundaries throughout the whole day. We are learning to work with you as we go but take it easy on us every once in a while, alright?

Max, you are becoming a riot. It was somewhat shocking that my sweet sweet baby boy transformed into an opinionated and sometimes demanding little toddler.  You are coming into your own and the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. You are stubborn and determined like your dad and I but in different ways than Evie.  You now protest if you don't get what you want or isn't given what you "asked" for.  You still enjoy reading and playing by yourself but you are becoming so much more interactive.  You loved the kitty cat dance party with your dad and your sister that other day. Watching you have a blast with your sister just makes my mama heart burst.

Life is so lively with the two of you. And I love it.




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 our children | May

Dear children,

Looking at these photographs from your "younger days" taken at the very beginning of my film photography journey and then looking at photographs from the most recent rolls I got developed, I can't help but reminisce. I reminisce about how little the both of you were. Max, you were still a small baby; Evie you still had some baby fat on you..a toddler, not yet a big girl. 

Max, you are running circles around me nowadays, your favorite activity seems to be un-tidying the toys and books the SECOND I tidy and stack. You are even throwing tantrums when you don't get what you want...mostly when I wouldn't let you drink water all throughout dinner. I guess I should have been prepared that you'd start to express your opinions loudly, but I wasn't ready my sweet boy.  You continue to be amazed by your Ga Je and laugh and babble and cheer whenever you know she is coming to hang out with you. 

Evie, you are my sassy, smart, and sweet girl.  Just that other day you asked if you could have a fruit as a snack after school. We said yes you can have fruit - pear, apple, banana. Then you proceeded to verify that pears, apples, and bananas were fruit. Then you asked, "is a juice box a fruit?" After I mumbled some answers, you asked, "can I have a juice box then?"  You are a smartie pants in my book and I think this will serve you well in all aspects of your life.  Though you are relentless and demanding with us, your Baba and I saw a different side of you this weekend at your classmate's birthday party.  We watched you wait your turn patiently and even watched how you did not complain or make a fuss when they forgot to give you a piece of cupcake that you had been so excitedly for.  I wished you spoke up but also know that you are learning how to be "on your own" and how to navigate the world in your own way.  Your Baba and I have so much to learn with regards to learning when we should be helping you navigate things and letting you do it on your own. 

Guys, you are my everything (well..your dad too of course). Someone once told me that having kids give you a chance to learn how to be a better person and I couldn't agree more.  I'm still learning how to take better care of myself and take better care of you guys. I am thankful for everything that we have. But I'm not going to lie that there aren't hard days when I feel completely overspent and stressed and proceed to lose my crap.  There will always be those kind of days I guess regardless of the circumstances we are dealt, but I hope that over time, you will see that even if I lose my shit that I could calm down quickly, compose myself, move on from all the negative emotions, and deal with things I need to deal with. And maybe one day, I'll be able to do all that without losing any control..because that's the kind of example I want to set for you.

I love you both more than I can ever say.




*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac

Letters to our children | February

I am really glad I made the deadline to join in on the fun for the second month of Letters to our Children!  Here goes, this is a really really long one.  Also, if you are uncomfortable with birth stories, then please do not read on.

My dear babies: My parents have never been keen storytellers nor particularly good at expressing how they feel.  Perhaps it is stereotypical of many Asian parents.  They keep their feelings to themselves and they reminisce about their past when they are in private. The handful of stories they have shared, I have thoroughly enjoyed - how they met, some of the things they liked to do before they had your aunt and I, how your gong gong learned how to cook and how cool and skinny your paw paw used to be before she had babies.  But they never shared too many stories about the significant moments that made their life theirs nor much about the things they felt growing up and as they are aging.  I crave more of these stories and experiences and I plan on asking more when I get a chance! And I think that's why these letters have become important and special to me. I hope through these, you'll learn more about me, not only as your mother, but as an individual. 

My experience birthing the two of you transformed me - it made me a mother and it made me a new person, someone more proud, confident, and empowered.  I think about both births often and I want you to tell you what these two journeys to bring you guys earth side meant to me.

Evie - You were born a day shy of 42 weeks.  You were happy as a clam hanging out and I'll admit that I was also pretty comfortable.  For the two weeks that you were late, your paw paw and I spent the day watching movies, eating out, and hanging out on the couch.  Days went by past your original due date and the doctor didn't want to wait anymore.  I had planned all along to have a natural birth and when the doctor recommended a scheduled C-section to us, I was devastated.  I was disappointed that I couldn't experience a "real birth," I was terrified of being in the operation room, and I was worried that I was making the wrong decision - should I try for an induction? The doctor told us that there was a 50% chance that the induction would work, which would likely take us to the worst case scenario of having an induction plus an emergency c-section. Given that, we decided on the scheduled C-section. Your dad was scared and worried too, I remember him holding my hand as I sobbed about it, with tears in his eyes.  It took me that day to reconcile all of those feelings.  I wanted to process it all, so I won't be sad about it later. Two days later, we were back at the hospital around 6am. I was really nervous about getting the epidural and I remember taking my yoga breaths and clutching onto a pillow trying not to puke.  Pretty soon, your dad joined me all scrubbed up and after what felt like 20-30 minutes and some tugging and pulling, I heard you at 9:11am.  You were about half way out of my belly when you started crying and screaming loudly. The doctors laughed. You were 9lb3oz and barely squeezed out of my 4inch incision, they had to yank pretty hard.  When I heard that you were healthy and okay, I cried tears of joy because I was so relieved that we were all OK.  Evie - in giving birth to you, I became a mama and a new individual.  A mama who knew that she could conquer anything if she can calm her mind and process things, a woman who was given yet another piece of evidence that she married right, that her partner is truly her rock in even the shakiest, scariest time. Thank you for that.

Max - my sweet VBAC baby boy. You are my success story after working so hard to achieve a natural birth having had a C-section the first time.  When I found out I was pregnant with you, I knew I had to do everything I could to ensure my chances in having a natural birth.  I wanted this, not only for me but for you as I learned more and more about the things a baby gains from being born vaginally.  I continued doing prenatal yoga like I did with Evie and I added in acupuncture and chiropractic care.  I switched to a group of midwives who had great VBAC success rates and to a hospital that was supportive of VBACs. And lastly, we hired a doula to up my chances.

For four nights before you were born, I had strong contractions. I'd time time, I sat on the exercise ball, did the cat cow yoga pose, took hot bath, breathed loudly while your father snored next to me.  But by 6am, the contractions would subside.  The doula told me that there isn't really a way to know if these were productive contractions.  EEK. I was so exhausted that I'd sleep during the day to save energy.  One or two nights prior to having you, I lost my mucous plug - the doula told me that that's a pretty good sign that your arrival was near. On your due date, also your birth day, the contractions I was having the night before subsided slightly but stayed.  I still wasn't sure but had a feeling.  That day was also my check up with the midwives. I asked your dad to pack Evie's backpack with clothes in case we needed our good friends to pick her up from school. We brought our hospital bag with us to the check up at 3pm.  By then my contractions were bothersome, so I sat in the backseat to get more comfortable.  When we got to the midwives, they told me I was 4-6cm dilated and that we could head to the hospital! We got admitted around 5pm and the doula arrived.  When we got there, the nurse asked what my pain goal was.  I said I was hoping to have an unmedicated birth, so that would be a 0 and I would swear that she snickered at me.  If you know anything about your mother is that that is fuel for me to prove someone wrong.  Contractions got closer and stronger and the doula Sara was amazing at helping me manage the pain - massages, hot shower, swaying.  Her and your dad would take turn helping me manage the pain while trying to keep that continuous fetal monitor on.  (I hope that by the time you guys have kids that they'll invent something that actually stays on, it was insanely annoying).  I was nervous but also was just so ready and determined to do this thing that I had been preparing for for 40 weeks.  At some point, the midwife told me that your heart rate was really high and recommended that I get an IV to stay hydrated to keep it low.  I got nervous around then. 

After a few hours of contractions, I was getting pretty tired and wondered if this was going to happen or if I'm headed for a long labor. The doula was also starting to wonder why you weren't moving down the birth canal as fast as she would have thought given how close and strong my contractions were.  She recommended I try a side lying position with the peanut ball, so you could rotate and make your way down.  The second I got into that position, the contractions became absolutely unbearable.  I got through two contractions and I asked to get back on all fours.  And I thought about it and realized that she must have been right because it must have been so painful for a reason - it was working.  After I got back to that position and endured a couple of contractions, I felt an intense need to push.  The doula told me not to because the midwife wasn't there.  Your dad tried to help me breath to avoid pushing but it wasn't really working.  They midwife came running and pretty soon, I was standing and squatting facing the inclined hospital bed's back. Sara stepped behind it to hold my hand, your dad was on my left to hold my other hand.  I think their hands must have been bruised that night because I squeezed it really really tightly.  With the contractions, I focused really hard to figure out how to get you out more efficiently.  I saw that it was 11PM and I wanted you to have a May 7th birthday instead of the 8th!!! Within 10 or so minutes of pushing, you were born!  I didn't even fully understand that you were out and was just shocked that it was done and that you were safe!  Your dad always says that the look on my face was priceless, I think I can imagine.  The midwife handed me a screaming you from underneath me.  I felt your semi-wet body and smelled the metallic smell.  My initial urge to cry completely gave way to just feeling so so proud of myself.  At that moment, I felt the world stood still with just you and I on top of a super super high mountain and I felt like a super hero.  Max - all I can say is that I felt like a bad ass having that unmedicated VBAC.  I've never felt anything like this and I'm not sure I ever will unless we have another baby- the natural rhythm of the contractions, the very primal experience listening to my body tell me all the things I needed to do - when to push, how to push, how to bring you into my arms. It was painful, yes, but also so raw, beautiful, natural, and empowering.  I feel like I can do anything. 

You two monkeys who drive me nuts often also gave me the life and experiences that I have always craved. Don't let it get to your head but I am who I am because of the two of you (and your father of course). 


Your mama who love you fiercely and will protect you at all cost...but don't think I will take crap from you!

Follow the circle to see Kristen's letter to her baby boy this month.



*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac

Letters to our children | January

Recently, a fellow photographer mama posted about starting a blog circle called "Letters to our children."  I thought it would be a fun way to motivate myself to write down the things Evie and Max are doing and things I want to say to them each month.  And what a neat way to join in on a project with other individuals around the globe.  Ok, here goes.

My dearest children: Our lives are insane right now - there is a lot of work to do, mouths to feed, hugs to give, bottles to wash, lunch and snack boxes to pack, butts to wipe and really, not enough energy and moments of quietness for your father and I to gather our thoughts or watch our favorite shows on Netflix. We knew this first year would be kind of tough transitioning from a family of three to a family of four and it has been. But no matter what, every bit of this chaos and the everyday test of my sanity and patience, is all worth it. I can't imagine a life without the two of you and I am so excited for all our adventures to come. 

Evie - my crazy first born.  You are full of energy, wit, adventure, and stubbornness. You seem to embody all of the traits that I love about your father AND the combined stubbornness from he and I.  This thrills and terrifies me at the same time. You are observant, constantly asking questions and learning about your surroundings.  You are hilarious - you tell jokes and most of the time, with great comedic timing.  Just recently, you started having an imagination. I've loved hearing you pretend to be a cat and finding monsters in our sun room and can't wait to hear more about your pretend world. You know so much and speaks so clearly and thoughtfully that I forget that you're not even three yet...and so I often lose my patience when I can't seem to reason with you. I hope you'll forgive me! I'm learning to be your mom too and like all things, it takes time.  You love making up songs, pretending to take care of your baby boy doll (Boris) the way we take care of Max, eating most of the frosting from a cupcake and abandoning the rest, and worshiping your dad. I guess I don't blame you, he is pretty cool.

Max - my velcro baby.  You are sweet, snuggly, attentive, and I think (I so hope I am wrong) even more stubborn than your older sister.  You beam when you see me and crawls at maximum speed to climb onto my lap.  You sure know how to make your mama feel loved. You love your older sister even more and giggles hard whenever she does something bad! You've been pulling yourself up a ton and I wouldn't be surprised if you take your first steps within a month or two.  Your first winter at daycare meant multiple fevers within two weeks and a double ear infection.  You've handled it like a champ and all of it reminded me of how I want nothing more than for our family to be safe and healthy.  What I would give to make sure you and Evie were always healthy and safe. It is still too soon to know what kind of personality you'll have but I would guess that you're an introvert, someone who takes in a lot of things quietly, definitely determined, and one of those people who surprises others with what you know and can do because they didn't even know you were learning all this stuff to begin with!  Sometimes when crazy is happening, you seem to retreat to a corner and flips books or play with your toys quietly.  I think you and I are a lot alike in that respect.  So excited to see the trouble you and your sister will get into and to see how you'll chase after your own adventures and do what you want to do with such a strong presence around you!

I love you guys, forever and ever and ever and ever! - Mama

Follow along the circle and go check out what Kristin from Kristen Peereboom Photography wrote to her children!



*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac