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The next leg of our trip took us to Reggio Emilia, but not before stopping for a great lunch in Bergamo. We stumbled upon this great Northern Italian town by chance, headed up to the old walled city and walked around for a couple of hours. It was that perfect “didn’t plan it” afternoon. After filling up on polenta and wine, we continued on our route to Reggio Emilia, a charming small(ish) Italian town. It is the birthplace of the Italian flag, but it also where our friend’s great-grandfather was born. And just by chance, we walked right by the sewing store his familia has owned for generations. It was a super cool feeling to witness family meeting for the first time and trying to figure out how they are all related. We even got to have an authentic Italian Family dinner with them all on our last night in Reggio Emilia, where we learned that many stereotypes of Italian families are true and many foods we call Italian, like spumoni, are not really from Italy.

We also did small day trips to Parma, Modena and Maranello, the home of Ferrari factory and museum. My only complaint of the trip is that we didn’t research more places to do vinegar, wine or cheese tastings. The area is famous for creating parmigiana reggiano cheese and balsamic vinegar and I mistakenly thought there would be more tours and advertising of the regions claim to fame. It’s a small complaint though. Hope you enjoy this round of pictures!

A couple of these photos are from our friend, Achille Bigliardi…

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The problem with taking a trip with 2 (well actually 3)  photographers? Gigabytes and gigabytes of photos to sort through when you get home! My husband and I recently took a trip to Italy an Germany with some dear friends of ours, one of whom is a photographer as well.  I had such a great trip, eating wonderful food, drinking lots of yummy wine and enjoying the sights. My pants were rather tight when I returned home 10 days later!

There are many, many great photos of our trip. Here are some from our first stop, Varenna on Lake Como. It was absolutely beautiful there!




Ella

This is little Ella and her family. She was such a cutie and I love her big grin. She worked hard for her M&M’s and I’m sure she was on a sugar high for the entire morning after our shoot. We shot this at the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose. It turns out that it’s a lovely location, with lots of different areas to shoot in. My favorite is shooting with the papyrus in the background. It’s so pretty and soft.

Since our photo shoot, Ella welcomed her little sister Lauren. You have a beautiful family Ella!

Grace

Remember when a few posts back I promised to tell you the story of getting caught with no permits? Today is the day I finish telling the story!

I shot little Grace at the Rose Garden in San Jose. The light was great that morning and she was so cooperative for a two year old. Especially since she got a big owie on her toe right before they met us at the park. We had a great shoot.

Right after I was done, I was supposed to photograph another mutual friends little girl. I wrap up with Grace and start shooting some of Audrey. Not five minutes into the shoot, a “volunteer” for the parks department walks up to us. He starts asking questions, making it seem like he was interested in hiring me to do a photoshoot. I give him my card. He starts asking my friend about me, my business etc. She thought the same, that he was looking to hire someone, so she played along and talked me up. Well then, he starts with his dialogue about me needing a permit, did I have a permit, did I want to buy a permit to keep shooting, etc. Now, in all honesty, I did not know I needed a permit for this particular park. Villa Montalvo, sure, it’s hard to miss their giant sign. But not the Rose Garden. I was mortified. I don’t intentionally like to break the rules, I’m kind of a goody-goody when it comes to that. Thank goodness I was photographing with a good friend of mine. It would have been much more embarrassing if it was a client I was meeting for the first time! We packed up and headed to a different park. I felt awful, but as it turned out I found a new spot in San Jose to do portraits. It was a great spot and I’ve used it a couple of times since. Hopefully I won’t get kicked out of there as well! And for the record, I did go home that night and try to buy a permit. Unfortunately, the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County make it very confusing as to which permit you need, which park needs a permit from the various government agency and which parks are fair game. I think I found the right spot but then it doesn’t let you buy them online, you have to go down to the office. So annoying! So, next time I am down at the city office, I promise to pay up…
City of San Jose: 1
Robin Reeder Photography: 0

The before:
I shot this family shortly before it added a new family member. It’s a nice way to capture what your family was like before it grew. You think you’ll remember, but I am personally finding it hard to do that. We went up to the tried and true Villa Montalvo. My very pregnant friend graciously walked to many spots to take pics of her oldest son, the family together and some belly shots.

The after:
I also got a chance to meet the newest member of the Fleming family shortly after he was born. I ran over to do some quick newborn shots of the little guy. He was actually not so little, born at 9 pounds 13 oz, but it was nice to capture him while he was still a newborn. They change so fast, another thing you think you’ll remember but it’s really hard months and years down the road. And again, I know this from personal experience…you should see the baby books and half done scrapbooks I have for my daughters! It’s a disgrace, but I’m glad that the Fleming family will have these times preserved for them. Thanks for letting me be a part of this special time as your family grows! It’s one of my favorite things about photographing kids and families.

Logan

This little boy was so fun to shoot. He keep us on our toes and I needed to be fast when shooting because he didn’t sit still for long. I just love his hair though. Perfect little boy hair. He also taught me a few lessons.

The most important being that not all locations are good for all models. I have a few tried and true spots at Villa Montalvo. I try and mix it up, but sometimes it’s good to start out at these spots to get the ball rolling. Steps are good for little girls who sit down and give each other hugs. Not so much for little boys just learning to walk. The bridge is a good backdrop, full of interesting angles and innocent charm. But also not a good spot for a little boy learning to walk, with it’s large gaps between boards and a big drop into the ravine below. It was a little trial and error for picking the spots to shoot in. Some of these were even shot while we were in the parking lot, which just goes to show you that it’s not all that important to shoot in an amazing, beautiful environment. What’s important is to make a connection with the model and family. That’s when you get those true expressions, moments caught in between the “say cheese” pictures. And why those are sometimes my favorite photos.

Makena

Like I said, I have a lot of catching up to do! The next few posts won’t be in the order I shot them in…but not to worry, I will try and get to all the recent shoots I’ve done.

This was my first time photographing this little girl Makena. She was such a doll and a very good and patient model! We went to Villa Montalvo and found some new spots to shoot in. It’s a beautiful location, but I really try to mix up the backgrounds I shoot. The first reason is because I don’t want to get caught for photographing without a permit (post on that coming soon!) and I am afraid if they see the same person, going to the same spots, with a big arse lens, they might get suspicious. Secondly, I ideally want all my clients, whether they be first timers or long time friends, to have unique shots. Thirdly, I like to see where the kids take me and let my creativity take over and strive to make something new. The weathered wood was just that. It was a rundown artist shed thing, but the weathered shingles make such a cool texture. I like this new spot!

Makena is going to be a big sister in the next couple of weeks and I hope I get a chance to photograph this family again. Sending my best wishes to her family!