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Life Stories: The Story of Love and Wrestling | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

I have a boy.  And today is his birthday.  And he just keeps getting older, while I miraculously keep getting younger.  (C’mon…humor me.)

And as this little boy grows up, I fear that the snuggling time will decrease.

And that just can’t happen.

So, in my attempt to keep the snuggling time alive and well in my household, I have figured out a covert operation that allows me my snuggle time without the boy even knowing it’s happening.  Wanna know my secret?

We wrestle.

It’s like WWF all up in here.  Sort of.  In between throw downs, atomic knee drops, and death blows,  we laugh and smile and say “I love you.”  I love it.  Some day he might key into the fact that this is my tricky way to smother him with love, but for now, he thinks we are having a knock down, full out, BATTLE.

To shoot these as self portraits, I knew I would have to channel my inner MacGyver.  I used two backdrop stands, a tic tac toe type design with some curtain rods I had lying around, and random things around my house to hold my camera directly overhead.  And yes, this did include duct tape and string.  I then fired the shutter with my remote, which you will notice is in my hand in many of the shots.  I’m pretty happy with these pictures.  I now have pictures of my kids and me doing something that ALWAYS fills my heart.

And the fact that these are self portraits just tickles me pink.  :)

And so without further ado, I present to you The Story of Love and Wrestling.

The wrestling match always begins with someone standing on the bed, assuming the Battle Pose.

But no one stays on their feet long.

Battling now commences.

As you can tell, I am very, VERY fierce.

You can clearly see that this battling business is not fun at all.  Battling is hard work.  And it’s dangerous.  But someone has to do it.

I really take a punishing.

He’s ruthless.  You can clearly see that I can hardly stand it.

As the battling winds down, it becomes a little bit more obvious what all this battling is really about.  Hugs.

But someone else wants in on this game.  My girl.  My mini me.

And she brought her cats.

It started out innocent enough.

But soon….

But it always ends in happy sighs and snuggles.  I seriously just love it.

If you are now just tuning in to my blog and are wondering what this Life Story is all about, let me tell you.

Cuz it’s awesome.

And very very fun.

I teamed up with a group of amazing photographers and each month we are taking the time to document our own 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!

To follow this story, click right HERE.

If you’ve missed my other Life Stories, don’t despair!  Here they are: Pumpkin Patch,  Best Friends, and Christmas Tree.

And I love new fans!  You can follow me on Facebook.

Lauren - I already knew you were an amazing photographer, but looking at these makes it obvious you are also a loving, wonderful mom too. These are awesome.April 11, 2012 – 1:04 pm

Lina - Oh my, those are amazing – love them!February 3, 2012 – 11:02 am

Sylvia Borgo - *weeeeeep* Why do your images make me crrrrryyyyyyy, Laura??? Didn’t I start bawling in your last post??? And I mean cry in a good way . . . these are amazing, these truly, truly are priceless.February 2, 2012 – 7:05 pm

Dee - I am in love with these images – totally.in.love. Gah – I feel all warm and fuzzy and mushy for having looked at them and now I want to go hug my own kids!February 2, 2012 – 6:57 pm

Carrie - Words escape me right now Laura. I don’t know how to express how much I love these. LOVE!January 31, 2012 – 12:16 am

Clarice - Love these Laura! So playful!January 30, 2012 – 1:59 pm

Audrey - Laura I love all of these. You’re so creative, these are fantastic! I may have to remember this trick when my little one gets too big for snuggles.January 30, 2012 – 12:17 pm

Nancy W - So, so fun! I do the same w/ my little guy. He’s 14, bigger than me and still loves to wrestle. Sometimes mama ends up hurt but, I figure I don’t have much longer to wrestle with him so I grin & bear it (the owies, that is). :) January 28, 2012 – 4:53 pm

Nicole Ridella - Laura – your photos always make me smile. And laugh. And feel happy. These are awesome and I love them! xoxoJanuary 28, 2012 – 1:37 pm

Jessica Deane - IN. LOVE. WITH. ALL. OF. THEM.January 27, 2012 – 5:47 pm

Danielle Frank - Laura, these are AMAZING. Not only are you quite possibly the most fun mom ever, but you’re so creative too. I LOVE them all, but I love that you got one of all of you happily cuddling together. Priceless. Happy Birthday to your little guy!January 27, 2012 – 1:38 pm

Kelly Mack - Ahhh i love this. You are such a lovely Mum. Happy birthday!!January 27, 2012 – 1:23 pm

Kathleen - I love it! So much love. You are such a great mom!January 27, 2012 – 11:37 am

Rachel Aberle - Sigh, just love this. Your children will always cherish these images.January 27, 2012 – 10:56 am

Michaela Wickman - Laura, these are just wonderful! So creative. I would love to see your pull-back of this set-up! :) January 27, 2012 – 10:50 am

Amber - LOVE that last shot the mostest!! You are a beautiful and amazing mother and the love shown here in inspirational!! You’re just plain awesome.January 27, 2012 – 9:48 am

Aimee Maughan - This just may be one of my favorite blog sets from anyone ever! You can feel so much through them. Amazing work!January 27, 2012 – 8:53 am

Taryn Chrapkowski - Every month I anxiously await your life story posts – this month was well worth the wait – what a wonderful memory to document, and now I have some ideas to get hugs – um I mean wrestling- from my own kiddos!January 27, 2012 – 8:29 am

sally - ok, so I kept looking through these and saying, Oh! That’s my favorite! No, wait, THAT’S my favorite! No, it’s that one…Oh I give up. I love them all. But your hair in that one is hilarious.January 27, 2012 – 8:12 am

Sara - These are so freaking awesome! I love love love your work!January 27, 2012 – 8:01 am

Amy - ignore my bad grammar.. IS fun? Seriously I obviously need to go back to bed :) January 27, 2012 – 7:55 am

Amy - You. Rock.

No only is the images so much fun, what an AMAZING keepsake you have as they get older- OMG- just…. love love love love love…..

You are a great mom :) January 27, 2012 – 7:55 am

Liz - Beautiful, Laura. Keep snuggling those babies of yours. They never get too old for that! Happy birthday to your sweet boy.January 27, 2012 – 7:53 am

Beth - Love love love loveJanuary 27, 2012 – 7:31 am

Kristin - These are so wonderful Laura! I love your little secret way of getting extra hugs and snuggles. Cool shots. I love that last one!January 27, 2012 – 7:27 am

Life Stories: The Story of Getting Our Christmas Tree | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

Traditions build memories.  Every year, when you do the same thing, it helps strengthen a memory.  I don’t remember lots of details from my childhood.  I don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was six.  I don’t remember which ornaments I hung where or if my presents were wrapped in red or blue or white. But what I do remember from my childhood is we did things together as a family.  We went to Christmas tree farms and cut down trees.   We had hot apple cider with oranges and cinnamon sticks floating in it.  We crawled through a Christmas tunnel every year… a tunnel that brought us to our Christmas tree with presents underneath.

I remember these things because they were our traditions.  We did it every year.  That repetition makes memories stick.

I want sticky memories for my own children.  So, every Christmas, we go and cut down a tree. We go out to lunch, get treats, and we cut down that tree.

This year, we changed things up by going to a different place.  We found ourselves in Half Moon Bay at our favorite restaurant, The Flying Fish Grill.

My goal was to be as unobtrusive with the camera as I could, which is kinda sorta hard to do when you are taking pictures in a restaurant with your big ol’ camera.  But I tried.  Minimal direction from me…. just watching my family interact.

My goodness, look at my son’s and husband’s lips.  They look so much alike.

I love watching my husband play with our kids.  He does so many things just to make them laugh.  Here, they were adding all sorts of weird stuff to his water and then he would drink it.  As you can plainly see, Daddy is hilarious.

My loves….

Daddy love is awesome love.

And then off for treats.  Seriously.  This cookie was enormous.  And my daughter is part monkey.  She is always climbing.

And finally… to the Christmas tree farm.

It wasn’t long before we realized, these trees were seriously UGLY.

Look at this one.  It was missing a whole section in the middle of the tree.

My daughter was less than thrilled about the choices of trees.

My son didn’t seem to mind.

The dude is slightly insane.  And no, I didn’t ask him to pose.  He does this all by himself.  haha.

He’s so cute.

But c’mon…  Look in the background at the choices.  I’m telling you.  Pickings were SLIM. Good thing my cute daughter added some beauty to the place.

As the search went on…and on… crazy started to set in.

And daddy made an executive decision.

“We’re getting this tree.”

I was too tired to argue.

My boy hurt his knee but quickly recovered so he could watch his daddy cut down that tree.

But how would we get that tree onto the car?

Daddy lifted the tree.

By himself.

Cuz he’s wicked strong.

See?  Look how strong he is.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!  Sorry.  This was taken earlier in the year, but I just wanted to show him off.

OK, back to the regularly scheduled program….

My son

My daughter

My family

I’m a lucky girl to get to build these traditions with this bunch.

And if you don’t know what this whole Life Stories is about, you’re about to be in for a treat.  Click on this link right HERE to see another amazing photographer, Claire Hunter.  She’s participating in this big ol’ circle of Life Stories.  You can see her amazing pictures, and she’ll link you to another amazing photographer.  If you keep on going through the circle, you’ll find your way right back here.  I’m doing this all year.  If you missed my last Life Story, you can see it right here and here.  And you can follow my work on Facebook.  Thanks for looking!

Sis - I like your site.
A lot.
TAugust 13, 2013 – 6:27 pm

Life Stories: The Story of Love and Wrestling | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer | Laura Morita Photography - [...] If you’ve missed my other Life Stories, don’t despair!  Here they are: Pumpkin Patch,  Best Friends, and Christmas Tree. [...] January 28, 2012 – 12:45 am

Sylvia Borgo - You are one of my faves, Laura! Gah! I just teared up! I love traditions so much and I have to, have to, have to take more pictures of my family. You inspire me!January 18, 2012 – 10:34 pm

Jen Gasper - I love how you tell stories, both with images and words. I especially loved your little tangent to show the image of your hot husband! Hahahahahahahahaha. I laughed because I think your are funny and then I just had to make sure that I was reading the right blog post since the picture was so different that I had to go back and look again! LOL. Awesome memories. Will be so cool for your kids to look back on and remember!January 12, 2012 – 2:26 pm

Nancy W - Totally mclove these Laura!! You did a wonderful job capturing your tradition. Just wonderful!January 7, 2012 – 1:58 pm

Kara Layfield - How fun! Love your storytelling…you crack me up! Gorgeous family!!January 3, 2012 – 1:15 pm

Heather E - Laura, Truly, you have such a unique eye. I enjoy looking at your images more than any other photographer. You really have a very, very special gift.January 3, 2012 – 6:30 am

joy - I love this! Made me laugh and cry and show my husband. He was impressed too. You are so talented Laura and you have a beautiful family!January 2, 2012 – 11:00 pm

Miriam - Love how you blog! Makes me feel like I was right there with you! Sadly though I wasn’t really and I miss you! But at least I can enjoy all the gorgeous pics!January 2, 2012 – 10:22 pm

Liat Biderovsky - Oh these are so amazing Laura!!! What an incredibly tradition and I love that you captured every moment of it. You’re going to look back one day and cherish these so much!!!! And might I just say your hubby looks HAWT!January 2, 2012 – 4:35 pm

Audrey - You are so right about sticky memories! You captured these so wonderfully. I want to start taking our kids to pick out a tree just because of you now!January 2, 2012 – 6:38 am

Claire Hunter - I love traditions. Thanks for sharing yours!January 1, 2012 – 6:08 pm

Irene - I just LOVE this post!!! But you seriously bummed me out. We have had the tree cutting tradition for 12 years now and have no plans to EVER stop. I agree with you and memories!!!!! However, I didn’t take nearly as many photos as you did. And that just makes me sick. I want to be in the moment, but then I really regret not capturing the moments!!!!

Another question – I love the life story idea!! How did you get involved in that group. I would just love to be part of something like this.December 31, 2011 – 2:20 pm

Verity - soooo sweet, and so much fun – I love how vibrant your images are!December 30, 2011 – 8:25 pm

Heather - We have the same tradition of cutting down a tree. So much fun.December 30, 2011 – 10:20 am

Kristin - I love your story Laura, no surprise! Beautiful images and wonderful traditions to pass along to your kids!December 30, 2011 – 9:51 am

Rachel Aberle - What a great tradition! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.December 30, 2011 – 9:25 am

Danielle Frank - I love the story you’ve told here – what incredible memories for you family to have documented. I love how you present things in such a creative way <3 And I don't know what happened, but all of the sudden your adorable kiddos look so grown up – they're beautiful!December 30, 2011 – 9:13 am

Taryn Chrapkowski - I was a little sidetracked by the image of your hubby…. Oh yes, what I was going to say… Love the vibrancy and fun of your images! What an amazing tradition to carry on with your children!December 30, 2011 – 8:45 am

Jessica Deane - I love these! I’m a HUGE fan of traditions!!December 30, 2011 – 8:12 am

amy lenhart - this post made me laugh more then once.. love how you snuck in the shot of you hottie husband. and sigh the photography is just well… amazing!December 30, 2011 – 8:00 am

Amber - *sigh* I love your stories. Memories like this are so priceless. This was a beautiful December story <3December 30, 2011 – 8:00 am

beth - Insane the amount of gifting you have in photography. Just insane.December 30, 2011 – 7:54 am

Kate Craft - LOVE LOVE LOVE the tradition you captured here ….such a fun day!December 30, 2011 – 7:51 am

Love and Laughter | San Francisco East Bay Family Photographer

The parents were still pulling their stuff out of the car, and I grabbed this beauty.

First picture, and I pretty much knew this session would be magical.

Yep.  This was gonna be fun.

I love this family.  Like, really.  I love them.  Their love for each other is so evident.  You can tell the parents are soul mates.  You can see the love they have for their children.  And they are all really wonderfully incredibly FANTASTICALLY good looking.  :)

We played.

The stars aligned….

They hugged.

SHE hugged.

I swear, she’s beautiful.  Crazy crazy beautiful.

And his hair…. his eyes…. his smile…. his soul….  Such a doll.

I…can’t…stop…sharing…..

OK OK OK.  I’ll stop.  No more sharing.

Thank you, M family for allowing me to capture the love and laughter that surrounds your family.  My heart felt joy throughout our session and as I edited them.

Just one more… to say goodbye.  You can follow my work on FACEBOOK.

Heather - AMAZING!! I said it on ILP but I’ll say it here too….some of the most beautiful family portraits I have ever seen!! You have a new blog follower now!! The little girl is a photographers dream…heck, the whole family is!!! Just absolutely gorgeous!!!January 10, 2012 – 2:52 pm

Sara - I found this blog post from a link you posted on ILP.com and wanted to express how much I LOVE them. Absolutely gorgeous images, every single one! The family must have been sooo extremely pleased.January 9, 2012 – 10:19 am

Kristin - This is the perfect family session. Love the way they are set up, but then encouraged to do their thing – nothing stagnant or boring here – only magic!January 4, 2012 – 7:31 am

Heather - Gorgeous family and every single image is to die for!December 30, 2011 – 10:22 am

Carrie - Yes, magical. Magical indeed.December 29, 2011 – 10:01 pm

Joan - These are so rich and vibrant! I’m a b&w girl but you could convince me to switch back to color with these beautiful shots!December 28, 2011 – 8:00 am

Amanda - Wow these are just UNREAL. I love the colors and the amazing family interacting you captured. What true treasures these are.December 27, 2011 – 10:17 am

Erin - What a beautiful family!! Stunning work, you are right when you said magic! There is something just magical about everyone of these gorgeous shots, love them!!!December 22, 2011 – 9:13 pm

Gail - Oh my goodness, this whole session is itching short of pure magic! Laura, I am in awe of your talent! Beautiful everything in every single one of these images!!!December 22, 2011 – 12:09 pm

Megan - These are seriously beautiful! Love the light and colors and expressions. They will make a great collage.December 22, 2011 – 5:22 am

mellow - WOW Wow wow!!December 22, 2011 – 3:15 am

Ashley - Gorgeous set!! I can’t get over the color and connection in these! What a beautiful family to photograph, too. Great job!December 22, 2011 – 12:31 am

Cindy - Such a stunning, amazing, fun family session! These will make the best family album!December 21, 2011 – 9:58 pm

Jackie Jean - Your talent is HUGE and this family is beautiful!! Wonderful job capturing such wonderful moments!December 21, 2011 – 6:59 pm

sally - LOVE all of these! It’s hard to choose which one is my favorite, but I just love the leaf angel.December 21, 2011 – 3:20 pm

Katherine Durham - Love these. More than love these! Absolutely gorgeous! I hope they got them all because there is no way that I could ever pick just a few.December 21, 2011 – 2:53 pm

Lynn - Absolutely stunning images. Every single one! I just love the colours and the happy connection between them all!December 21, 2011 – 1:58 pm

Lou - Oh gosh, beautiful session – such fabulous colour, interaction and you’re right… sooo good looking! ;) December 21, 2011 – 1:33 pm

September - Beautiful!!! No other words…these are stunning. This family will love these!!!December 21, 2011 – 1:21 pm

Rachel Aberle - What magical moments you captured with this family! They will absolutely love these and so many of them would look great as canvases.December 21, 2011 – 5:48 am

Jamie Siever - Laura, I love these so much. You do such an incredible job of capturing who your clients truly are – what an amazing set of images and what a TREASURE you have given this family!December 20, 2011 – 5:57 pm

Nicole Ridella - What a perfectly gorgeous session! The family is beautiful and your photos are filled with so much joy and love! Fabulous work Laura!December 20, 2011 – 5:02 pm

Kara Layfield - You are correct…pure magic! Gorgeous location and your use of light is just stunning! You have such a connection with your clients that most would pay for. I love this session to pieces…everything came together so perfectly.December 20, 2011 – 12:45 pm

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