Family Photographer | Bay Area | California

Why are family photos are so important?

Family photos preserve memories of times past. They tell a story of  happy times. They document weddings, births, babies, birthdays, and other special events. They remind us of loved ones who’ve passed on and help slow down our fading memories. They prove to our kids that we really were their age once. Photos are often at the top of the list of things we’d rescue from our burning home. They are far more than the ink and paper they’re printed on and their value becomes increasingly immeasurable with time.

I want to challenge you to start snapping those pictures. Snap shots are just as important as professional photos. And don’t forget to get out from behind the camera and get in the photo yourself. Your children will be so happy you did one day. This year, I plan to do the same. I’m going to try hard to not avoid the other end of the lens no matter how bad of a hair day I’m having or if my clothes don’t match.

I’m also going to mark my calendar and schedule professional family photos at least once a year. I photograph my kids all the time, but professional photos with my husband and I in them too have happened exactly twice in the last 12 years. TWICE. It’s not enough. Not by a long shot. So that’s my plan for this year. Get my family all together in front of the lens, get those photos taken, and create a display for my bare walls worthy of an art gallery. Only personal and not stuffy.

I came across this post by a fellow photographer that really got me thinking, after I wiped away the tears, that we don’t always have the luxury of time.

Ready to book your next session? Call me today to schedule your family photos session. 925.290.8454


Meet The V Family | Santa Clara Photographer

Had the best time meeting the whole V Family for their photo shoot. All ten adults and eight kids! What a lovely familyView full post »

San Francisco Giants Home Run Hitter | Half Moon Bay Photographer

I had the best time with this family for their beach session. Seriously, the San Francisco Giants need to take note&#View full post »

Santa’s Reindeer | Family Photographer Livermore CA

“oh the weather outside is frightful” …. I’m sure you know the lyrics to Let it Snow. ThisView full post »

Trike Motorcycle

Motorcycle | Rancho San Antonio | Los Altos Photographer

Had a great Father’s Day with my dad …and my camera. I’ve been wanting to do a shoot with him on hisView full post »

A Family Reunion | Pleasanton Photographer

Had a last minute shoot for a family that was getting together for a little reunion. I didn’t know what toView full post »

Mother’s Day Photos | Half Moon Bay | Family Photographer

Always have a hard time figuring out what to get my mom for Mother’s Day. After doing so many photo sessions forView full post »

Maria is a family Photographer based in the East Bay and available for family photo sessions throughout the Bay Area, including but not limited to

Pleasanton, Livermore, Danville, San Francisco, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale,

Santa Clara, San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Woodside, and more.


Best Cake Smash Photos | Livermore Photographer

Best Cake Smash Photos | San Francisco Bay Area

birthday cake, purple, cake smash photo


Cake Smash Photos are some of my favorite to shoot. I just love them!


This page has links to some of the cake smash session on my blog. Enjoy!

Beautiful girl with beautiful purple cake smash session

Ana’s was a fast little cake smasher! Adorable!!!

Ahh, Joey! He has the best expressions. Such a cutie!

Tristan the blue eye’d heart breaker with the cutest superman jeans


Have a baby with a first birthday coming up? Don’t miss out on getting the most memorable 1st birthday pictures ever!

Contact me today to schedule you session. I only take a limited number of photo sessions a month and book up to 3 months in advance so don’t delay.




50 is Fabulous… and Gorgeous | Mexican Heritage Plaza Photographer

I think you’ll agree, especially after seeing these photos, that 50 is Fabulous and THIS party was, without a doubt, THE Party of the Year at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose.

While much of the party details were kept under wraps for many months I got a peek at the amazing dress Sandra had made for the party. I knew she was planning to have a movie shown of her life and wanted a photo for a huge 24×36 movie poster for the entrance to the theatre.

The photo shoot for the poster was so much fun! There were many many photos from that shoot that I just loved, but she chose the perfect one for her movie poster. I had so much fun designing and tweaking the text overlays until they were perfect. This was the resulting poster:

San Jose Event Photographer


See? I told you 50 was FABULOUS!

While I was there as a guest I couldn’t help but snap a few shots of the event. How could I not? The Mexican Heritage Plaza is a beautiful location for any party, event, or wedding. I would love to be a Mexican Heritage Plaza Photographer any time!

The party at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose began in the Foyer of the Theater. An elegant cocktail party with red and white wines being poured, a tasty hors d’oeuvre buffet, and entertainment by Mariachi Colima.


Following the cocktail hour we were lead into the beautiful Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater where the larger than life movie poster I created was displayed on an easel at the entrance. It looked amazing.

The entertainment hour was more than entertaining. I laughed and I cried.  Mariachi Colima performed along with the dancers from the Mexican Heritage Plaza. Sandy’s uncle, Juan Barco, gave an unforgettable performance I wish I had caught on video.

Then the main event… Sandy’s movie played on the big screen. Bryan Foote from Castaway Creative did an spectacular job creating this film. It was well thought out and very creative, taking us through the decades of her life. It had us laughing so hard we cried. I can only describe it as amazing.

The movie followed with a heartfelt speech given by the guest of honor herself. Anyone witnessing her speech would have not doubt as to why she is loved by so many family and friends.

From the theater we were sent across the plaza to the Pavilion where simply elegant tables were set, the dj was playing music suitable for dancing, and drinks were flowing at the bar. A delicious traditional mexican dinner was served. Followed by dessert and dancing.

And a toast from the host of the evening, Sandy’s husband.

I had a great time. I only wish I’d taken even more photos, but I was thoroughly enjoying my time at this party as a guest.