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Life Stories: The Story of Woodpeckers at Muir Woods | San Francisco Bay Area Lifestyle Photographer

It’s time for this month’s Life Story.  I’m so impressed with myself that I haven’t missed one month of this monthly project!  Excuse me while I take a moment to pat my own back.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN???


Oh,  sorry….  Let me get you up to speed. Here’s a little blurb about what I’m up to:

Ever see a photographer who starts out with a 365 day project, or even a 52 week project and never finishes? Yeah, me too.  Well, I  joined a group of a few other busy photographers who decided to commit to a 12 month project! Wish us luck!

The best part is that it will be totally candid, lifestyle shots of each of our own families/lives.  This is a challenge for us to capture our every day worlds and hopefully make us and everyone aware that our “ordinary” is actually “extraordinary.”  We’re calling the series “The Story of ________” and we’ll each be filling in our own blanks. At the end of this post is a link to another photographer who participated and she’ll be linking to someone else. It’s a whole big circle of stories in pictures. Click through and enjoy!

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We’ve had kids for 9 years.  My husband grew up in the Bay Area, and amazingly, I am the only one in our family who had ever been to Muir Woods.  How did that even happen?  What is WRONG with us???  We clearly needed to rectify this situation, so off we went.

Little did we know that we had just so happened to visit Muir Woods on International Migratory Bird Day.  I know… I know…. how did we not even know it was International Migratory Bird Day???  So embarrassing….

We learned more about birds, the kids discovered that birds have wicked wing spans, and, most importantly, we made woodpecker masks.  Thank you Mr. Ranger Guy for helping them make those masks.  They made this day super extra magical for me.

They LOVED their masks and wore them the majority of the day.  And seriously, it was just one of those magical things to me.  I love color.  I love quirky.  I love my kids.  And ya know, I find that I am even more fond of woodpeckers.  Especially red crested woodpeckers with crossed eyes.


These are the cutest woodpeckers you have ever seen, aren’t they?  I know.  I know!  Totally adorable.

We were sort of expecting it to be warm, but it wasn’t.  The rest of us smarties packed a jacket, but the hubs didn’t have anything.  We DID however, have a pink and white striped towel in the car that not only provided warmth, but clearly, is a huge fashion statement.  And the hubs just OWNED it.  Work it, baby. Work it.

Trees are cool.  See all those light green leaves?  Those are the new growth for this year. Every year, a Redwood tree grows a new leaf, and so you can count back from the front of the branch to see how old the branch is.  See how all the knowledge I collected in my years as a camp counselor is paying off?  And of course, trees also have a new growth ring every year.  I dig trees.

Hello…. My name is Laura.  And I’m a sucker for sunflare.

This red crested woodpecker was having a really good time.

And this woodpecker appears to be stalking its prey….

My husband always creates the best games for the kids.  His creativity in play always impresses me!  This one was simple enough…. pick a leaf, and on the count of three, drop it in the creek, and see which leaf gets to the chosen destination first. I think my daughter won this one.  She loves daddy’s games.

But I’m pretty sure my son won this one.  He’s so intense.  I love that.

And then he looked over at me… and for just a moment, the world stood still.  I love that man.

The kids spotted a heron in the creek.  It was pretty cool to watch.  It was hunting for fish and just continued down the creek for quite some time.  Beautiful bird.

And maybe I’m alone here, but does anyone else think that E.T. should phone home?  I want some Reeses Pieces.

Shooting at Muir Woods was tough.  It was crowded.  For the most part, there are other people in your shot if you are going for anything environmental. But in a rare moment, the path was clear, and in an even rarer moment, my daughter assumed this pose.  My little tree fairy.  I love this shot.


We had to stop at the gift shop where they both chose this 5 in 1 tool.  It’s a compass, a thermometer, a small container, a magnifying glass, and a whistle.  And yes, since you asked, the whistle DOES get annoying when you are driving home and trapped in a car.

And also, if you’re wondering.  Yes, yes… he DID eat a brownie, and no… he didn’t use a napkin.

I can SEE you!

So, there you have it.  Our story of our trip to Muir Woods.  We had a great time and were just a little bit sad to leave.

IIf you like what you see, you can always follow me on FACEBOOK.

Next up on this Life Stories train is THE Danielle Frank!  I am in love with all of her Life Stories, so you are not gonna want to miss it.  At the end of her story will be another link to another Life Story.  Follow the links and see a whole pile of amazing Life Stories that will eventually end you up right back here.  So sit down, get comfy, and ENJOY.

Melissa O - Oh my, my my! These are beautiful. All of them are amazing and I can see why the one of your daughter is one of your most favorite. Your kids looked like they had a blast!!June 19, 2013 – 6:48 pm

Sara - New fan here! Love these!March 29, 2013 – 4:00 pm

Gen - Your posts are so beautiful. Be super proud of what you do. :) July 12, 2012 – 9:54 pm

Shannon Stroubakis - I love all these, and I always look forward to your monthly Life Stories!June 18, 2012 – 7:11 pm

Ann G. - Laura these are just beautiful and cool and awesome! You have some mad creative talent. I can only say LOVE LOVE LOVE them!June 4, 2012 – 1:08 pm

Reena - These are all so great! each one is better then the one before…I can’t pick a favorite!June 2, 2012 – 7:16 pm

Carrie - Seriously, seriously cooooool!!!May 31, 2012 – 1:56 am

Jen Snyder - Laura, I just love your vision. love.May 30, 2012 – 11:41 am

Audrey - I love the scenery and Laura your environmentals are UHmazing! Looks like they absolutely loved those masks!May 30, 2012 – 10:37 am

Life with Kaishon - What a fun outing! I am glad you were able to go on such a grand adventure. The masks are so fantastic : ) The scenery is beautiful. I even liked your very cool and high fashion towel to keep warm : ) Perfect!May 27, 2012 – 7:29 am

Taryn Chrapkowski - LOVE everything about all of this! You truly have a magical style to your photos!May 26, 2012 – 6:23 pm

Jessica Deane - Love these! so so sooo fun!May 26, 2012 – 6:14 am

Liat Biderovsky - Oh my, my, my, my!! Your work just blows me away every single time I see it. That aside, LOVE the story :-) So cute and looks like you had such a fun day. Adore those tree shots too!May 26, 2012 – 4:59 am

Life Stories: The Story of Our Snap Shots! « Heather Wilson Photography - [...] the circle by checking out the SUPER talented Laura, of Laura Morita Photography!! SHe’s is such an awesome story teller, you won’t want to [...]May 25, 2012 – 9:24 pm

Tandy Dowdy - I am in love with your unique style! I always look forward to reading your posts on ILP and simply adore your photographs! You are an amazing photographer!! Thanks for sharing!

And just to add one more exclamation point! :) May 25, 2012 – 9:00 pm

Kelly Mack - OMGosh! Those woodpeaker masks. Unreal! Looks like heaps of fun i feel like i shared the day with you. Awesome!May 25, 2012 – 6:59 pm

Danielle Frank - I swear I love each of your posts more than the last. This trip looks AMAZING. And I learned something about a redwood :) I love how you capture your family. I love how you see the world. Love your compositions. And thanks for referring to me as “THE” – it makes me feel so awesome :) <3May 25, 2012 – 12:39 pm

Jen - What a wonderful story! It looks like all of you had a great time!! It looks like a wonderful place– I can’t wait to visit Muir Woods next month.May 25, 2012 – 11:41 am

Verity - Looks like you guys had an absolutely perfect day! I love the hats, the location, the picture of your son looking so intensely into the water while playing the leaf-dropping game, and your daughter in her mask with the awesome pose! Your stories make me smile every month!May 25, 2012 – 11:36 am

Azure - Oh good heavens, Laura, LOVE this! And I want to come with you next time you go. Your family trips sound like so much fun and your images are amazing!May 25, 2012 – 10:32 am

Jackie - This are flippin’ awesome, all of them! I think I have said this before, but I love the world through your eyes!May 25, 2012 – 10:03 am

Kristin - Totally adore these! You are a charmed lady…..happening upon a fun masking day, those are awesome!May 25, 2012 – 10:02 am

Amy - Beautiful Post and Family.May 25, 2012 – 9:53 am

amy lenhart - LOVED IT! felt like was experienced the day right along with you!!! love the masks and that they wore them all day so cute!!!May 25, 2012 – 8:52 am

Beautiful Newborn | San Francisco Bay Area Lifestyle Photographer

Quietly, this beautiful mama enjoys this new life.

Her little bundle has finally arrived.  Every sound she makes is magical.

Even burping her is magic. Sitting on mama’s lap with her little chin supported, she let’s out a delicate burp.

This beautiful family feels more complete with this sweet little girl.

Her tiny toes.  Her perfect fingers.

The wonder and joy of it all.  Love… living outside your heart….

The real moments.

The cranky moments.

Every moment is so savored.

Welcome, little one.  Welcome.  I can tell how loved you are.  I could feel the joy and delight that you ignite in your parents.  Beautiful girl.  May your life continue to be blessed with love and light.

And you, you silly little kitty, enjoy your new playmate.

Summer Murdock - LOVE these Laura. I decided a long time ago that I will never haul around bean bags and buckets again. So beautiful and well done!October 12, 2012 – 12:33 pm

Jackie - These are just precious, Laura!!May 25, 2012 – 9:29 am

Emily - I am such a HUGE fan of your lifestyle work…and these are no exception. Such a beautiful story!May 24, 2012 – 6:58 pm

Katherine - These are so special! I love the light and airy feel, the colors, and the storytelling. Just lovely!May 23, 2012 – 12:14 pm

Megan - Wow – these are really gorgeous! They are so peaceful and intimate. Way to go!May 23, 2012 – 9:05 am

Jaidean - Oh, wow, these are absolutely gorgeous!May 23, 2012 – 8:27 am

Becky - These are beyond beautiful! What a wonderful gift you gave this family….to document those precious first days.May 23, 2012 – 5:23 am

April - Your lifestyle newborn images are beautiful! I agree, magical but wonderfully real!May 22, 2012 – 9:26 pm

Clarice - These are super lovely Laura! You rocked this newborn session!May 22, 2012 – 2:34 pm

Jennifer Zumwalt - Oh wow Gorgeous work!!!! I am truly intrigued by this lifestyle photography! LoveMay 22, 2012 – 1:40 pm

Kristin - Beautiful work Laura. The images are fabulous and I am envious of this family that they have such beautiful, real moments with their baby girl. The last photo of the cat, was an unexpected twist – and I love it!May 22, 2012 – 7:40 am

Dee - These are magical and yet so wonderfully real all at the same time. I just don’t know how you do it, Laura – but please, don’t stop! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing your work and your unique perspective. Fantastic job – I know that the parents must have been thrilled to see these.May 22, 2012 – 6:34 am

Krissy Allori - LOVE LOVE LOVE. THIS is lifestyle newborn photography. LOVE!!! So gorgeous. You have never taken a photo I didn’t LOVE. Did I mention I love them?May 22, 2012 – 6:26 am

becky - so so gorgeous!! every one of these images is just breath taking! beautiful work.May 21, 2012 – 7:46 pm

Sonja - Love these! Beautiful work, Laura. And, that baby is just scrumptious!! So cute.May 21, 2012 – 7:39 pm

Jennifer Welsh - These photos are extraordinary! I think my favorite one is the one of Dana and Cambria laying together. So incredible!May 21, 2012 – 6:32 pm

sally - I just adore this session. These types of newborn photos are my very favorite and the light is wonderful and soothing in every one.May 21, 2012 – 4:34 pm

Carrie - Perfection xMay 21, 2012 – 4:28 pm

Taryn Boyd - these are so amazing!!! The light is perfect, words are amazing and the connection is undeniable!May 21, 2012 – 12:05 pm

Fran Barker - Wow, gorgeous beyond measure. What a beautiful baby girl and family. Well done talented lady!May 21, 2012 – 11:35 am

emily - You are a true visionary! These are so breath taking Laura. Love the airy feel especially in the family shots.May 21, 2012 – 11:33 am

Alison Janki - You have such a gift, Laura!! These images are just so amazingly beautiful!! You captured this family so perfectly. I am sure they are BEYOND thrilled with their pictures!! I absolutely LOVE the image with Mom and Dad by the window… hello big massive canvas :) Awesome job!!May 21, 2012 – 11:31 am

Amber - *sigh* This is an absolutely PERFECT newborn session. Love your lifestyle work, Laura.May 21, 2012 – 10:53 am

melody - amazing. no words for how wonderful these are.May 21, 2012 – 10:27 am

Aimee Maughan - A-MAZ-ING! That black and white with her holding her head up makes me want to have another baby RIGHT NOW! These are beautiful!May 21, 2012 – 9:52 am

Life Stories: The Story of our Month | San Francisco Bay Area Photographer

It’s been a busy month for me.  As the deadline for this month’s Life Story began encroaching upon me, I had to make a decision: spend a ton of time shooting and then editing pictures of my children playing OR spend that time just playing with my children.

I chose the latter.

As a photographer, I see it as my job to document their lives.  And believe me, they are WELL documented.  And in my endeavor to tell the perfect story, capture the perfect image of the perfect moment that just so happens to be captured in the perfect light with the perfect clothing, I sometimes lose sight of the simple fact that my children want to spend time with me.

And while I love doing these Life Stories and hope to have the time to do a “real” one next month, this month, I just didn’t want to take the time to tell the full story of anything.

I just wanted to spend time with my kids.

And so I did.

So, what I’m sharing here is just some of the pictures I captured this month.  Not a full story of any one event… but just snippets of our month.

We biked.

We waited for friends to arrive.We went to the library and read book after book after book.

I found my daughter immersed in cat books.

We swung.

We played in the sun.

We went to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

We hunted for eggs, played with cousins, and laughed with family.

We ducked.

We played tennis…

…it was hot.

And we hugged.  And we loved.  And we laughed.

So, there you have it.   I suppose it IS a life story of sorts.  The story of our month.

If you are not familiar with this whole Life Story thing, well, I hate to say it, but you’ve been missing out.  It’s basically a blog circle…start here, and follow the links at the end of each blog post to continue the circle!  You can get a full description of what it’s all about right HERE.  And if you want to see some of the other ones, you can go over there yonder to the left, click on the Categories tab, and then click on Life Stories.  It’s been a fun project for me this year, and I’m happy to be part of such a wonderful group of photographers who are participating in this with me!

Speaking of wonderful photographers, up next is Audrey Frantz of Kentiga Photography!  Follow all the links at the end of the post until you end up back here!  Thanks for visiting!

You can follow me on Facebook right HERE.


Sylvia Borgo - Ahhhhh, how I love these! Goodness, your kiddies are getting so big!May 9, 2012 – 9:41 pm

Taryn Chrapkowski - Every time I come to your blog I am just blown away. I love your perspective in all of your images – and the true magic you capture in them. LOVE THEM ALL!May 3, 2012 – 9:34 am

angela ross - looks like you guys had a great month spending time together!!! your kids are just gorgeous, thank you for not only sharing a story but a whole month!May 1, 2012 – 5:04 pm

Aimee Maughan - Can you just plan a family vacation to Utah with a special session open for the Maughan family Photos? We have got mountains, lakes, deserts….you name it. Oh yes and really nice people. :) Really though if you are ever here and have some sessions open we would love a slot. Love your work!May 1, 2012 – 11:22 am

Danielle McCarty - This is just perfect, I love every bit of it!April 30, 2012 – 5:20 pm

Nicole Ridella - What a gorgeous month you had… Love seeing life through your lens!April 28, 2012 – 12:02 pm

Cari Berry - I love them all, as I love everything you do, but my favorites are the swing and the hose. So awesome. Love the way you see things, love your lens choices. Love your kids and your color and your everything!! <3 Good choice on spending more time with the kids – you've really captured some great memories of their childhood here…April 28, 2012 – 10:58 am

Nancy - I’ve always pictured your family just like this…laughing, having fun, being together. Love this!April 28, 2012 – 9:38 am

Jessica Deane - This was my kind of story!! love these!April 27, 2012 – 8:27 pm

Beth - Love my Life Stories for the same reason… It reminds me to keep it real. Thanks for sharing!April 27, 2012 – 7:20 pm

Rachel - Wonderful!!!April 27, 2012 – 5:06 pm

ShellyS - These are fabulous, Laura! Thank you for sharing the story of your month. :D April 27, 2012 – 4:49 pm

Barbara Hurst - So crisp and clear, beautifully done Laura.April 27, 2012 – 2:34 pm

Kel Ward - This is absolutely WONDERFUL, Laura! I love it! I think this is a perfect life story…a month in the life of your family! Awesome.April 27, 2012 – 2:12 pm

Beth - Beautiful!April 27, 2012 – 12:58 pm

Chattanooga children's photography - [...] Laura Morita-Yeun of Laura Morita Photography. [...]April 27, 2012 – 12:57 pm

Azure - I love these so very much!! Maybe one of my favorite “life stories” as it truly is a story of your life together. Love.April 27, 2012 – 12:00 pm

Verity - love, love! looks like you had a month filled with love and laughter :) April 27, 2012 – 11:17 am

Jen Snyder - Perfection <3 This is a great reminder to be present with our kids, and not hide behind a camera all the time.April 27, 2012 – 11:17 am

Jen - I *LOVE* this post. They might not all be from the same day, but your photos definitely tell a story of a loving family. There is so much love and joy here.April 27, 2012 – 11:09 am

Amy - I love your snippets!!
And after all, life is but a series of snippets. Many many great memories that we often only remember in one mental snapshot :) April 27, 2012 – 10:57 am

Danielle Frank - This is PERFECT. Sometimes it’s so hard to document and play at the same time and you did it so well. You’re kids are so adorable, I love how intent your son is when he’s immersed in the book :) April 27, 2012 – 10:13 am

amy lenhart - loved your month!!! thanks for letting us enjoy it!!April 27, 2012 – 9:55 am

Audrey - You guys had an amazing month! I’m glad I got a peek into it.

By the way have I told you how much I just adore your new blog? It totally rocks and is so you!April 27, 2012 – 8:33 am

Kathleen Weibel - Love your month! Such happiness and joy!April 27, 2012 – 8:04 am

Amber - And you made us all smile…AGAIN. It’s amazing what the world looks like from your perspective. It’s sunny and happy and full of everything life should be. I LOVE your posts <3 I kinda hope you end up having to post an entire month's worth in May too :) April 27, 2012 – 8:02 am

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