Quail Hollow Ranch maternity session – Santa Cruz and San Jose maternity and family photographer

A few months back, I fulfilled a photography trade with Lisa (of Lisa Jo Photography) and her family. I had been admiring her work and was happy to meet her and have her take photos of our family, also.

When I first contacted her, she let me know she was pregnant and would be grateful to have some maternity photos taken. I LOVE baby bellies. To me there is nothing more beautiful than a momma-to-be. Documenting motherhood and families at all levels is what drives me to pursue photography as a career.

We settled on Quail Hollow Ranch in Felton as our location. I live nearby, but Lisa had also never been there and was excited to explore somewhere new. I immediately got us a little lost, walking through a mucky field, but not far up the way we found some beautiful natural light.LS1

Lisa is such a light herself, with a bubbly smile and calm warmth. I had only met her once previously, when she took our family photos the month prior, and I was glad to spend more time with her and to meet her husband and daughter.


Lisa is also adventurous and thought little of my asking if she would climb this tree!


She posed there for a little bit, then her husband and daughter came in, then we let her little one run around for a moment while we got some photos of just Lisa and her husband. It was just a little bit adorable. Just a little bit.


During my family’s portrait session, Lisa and I conversed about our love of sunflare. I’m a self-diagnosed flare addict, so I had to incorporate some of that rainbow light into her photos.LS5

We took a few more solo shots while Lisa’s husband and daughter played nearby, then we walked a bit more and took a few family shots and playful captures.


Lisa also loves black-and-whites, so I had to include at least one image in black and white! I am typically happy to convert any image to black and white, but I primarily work in color unless an image really speaks to me in monochrome.


Even during maternity sessions, if little ones are involved, I will gladly and eagerly do my best to capture them in their element. Children being children is such a joyful sight.

Her daughter held onto this little shovel during nearly the entirety of our session. Her parents were happy to let her play with it — they said these images would be more true to who she was at this point in her life. I love that way of thinking.LS8

We took a few photos of just momma and her littles, one inside the belly and one out. Then Lisa changed outfits and we took more mom and kiddos photos.


This lacy see-through dress was so stunning. I was glad to be able to capture Lisa’s shape through its light lines.


We took a few more images in that dress, then came down toward the ranch house, and Lisa changed again.


I laid out this crocheted blanket I had found recently and we took some more solo posed portraits, focusing on Lisa’s pregnant belly and the rich wine color of her dress.


Finally, we took a few more posed family shots in those last patient moments before we knew Lisa’s daughter was ready for the session to be over. We had such a fun outing through the trees and field. To me, this is how a full session should be — relaxed, slowly paced, moving where we find inspiration and beautiful light.

Thank you, Lisa, for letting me photograph you at this beautiful time in your life!

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