When Nola called to share the news; I was stunned and absolutely speechless. She was calling to schedule her trip to San Diego in a couple months, for me to photograph her soon-to-arrive daughter. Now, Nola has always had to fly in for photo sessions, it was the daughter part that floored me. You see, Nola cannot get pregnant. The tests were run, the doctors all agreed and apparently there had been ample, additional testing of this at home as well (Go Joshua!)

Yet, somehow, Nola was 24 weeks pregnant! She discovered this purely by accident during routine tests, plus one extra one, by a doctor that hadn’t been in on the initial findings. After being told so many times, by so many doctors that this was impossible, it was easy for her to ignore the signs. I think Nola had to repeat 4 times that she was actually pregnant, before it actually sunk in with me. Another baby girl! (They adopted beautiful Saydee last year, you can read about that story and see her photos here.)

Joshua and Nola are such wonderful people and very dear friends, they deserve all the happiness in the world. I remember Nola saying years ago that she wanted a large family, with 8 kids. I am not sure if that it is still the plan but so far so good, two down, six to go!

Thanks for visiting and sharing your most unexpected little treasure with me for a while. Here are the baby photos of the loveliest girl, born to the loveliest parents and loveliest sister, during the happiest, most impossible event.

 

baby girl laying on blanket with flower headband and blue blanketbaby girl laying on blanket with flower hat on grey chunky blanketbaby girl laying on blanket with flower hat on grey chunky blanketbaby girl laying on blanket with flower hat close up shotbaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband and beije pants and hatcute baby girl pose in beije pants and hatbaby girl in wood woven basket with flower headbandbaby girl laying on blanket with flower headbandbaby girl laying on blanket with flower elf hat lavander backgroundbaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband in dusty pink background at the artisan studiobaby girl laying on blanket with pink hatin dusty pink background at the artisan studio in carlsbadbaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband in dusty pink background at the artisan studiobaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband in lavander background at the artisan studiobaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband in lavander background at the artisan studioclose up of little babybaby girl laying in basket with purple banket at the artisan studio in carlsbadbaby girl in vintage white basket with green furbaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband in white background at the artisan studiobaby girl in african basket with flower headband in dusty pink background at the artisan studiobaby girl laying in african weaved basket with flower headband in dusty pink background at the artisan studiobaby girl laying on blanket with flower headband in turquoise background at the artisan studiobaby girl laying on turquoise tray with flower headband in dusty pink background at the artisan studio

  • Nola - As it is with EVERY photo shoot we have ever had with you……..I can’t seem to pick a favorite. The photos are breathtaking. 8 or 9 kids is still the plan if we can find a way to get them. We’re not sure if this pregnancy was a fluke or if my body works now. The doctors said the premature menopause diagnosis was out the window, but there are still no menstrual cycles. We’ll see. When the next one comes we’ll be flying in for more photos. You can count on that. There’s not a photographer out there that does work that compares to yours!! Lots of love.

  • Matt Keough - Nola,
    She is just ADORABLE. I cannot pic a favorite. She is just too darn cute. I am so happy for you.

  • Kym - What stunning pictures of a beautiful baby girl!! We need family pics now!

  • Katie - My 4 year old saw some pictures as I was looking through them. He said “look, it’s a baby angel”. I couldn’t have said it better. :). We love you Nola, josh, and your 2 angels.

  • Shanda Reeb - I have looked over and over, I can’t pick a favorite because they are all so good! We met Andrea 8 years ago. We were looking for photographers at a huge wedding expo in Phoenix, Arizona. We had walked through aisle after aisle. She had a banner photo up that caught our attention first, it was so precious- she practically captured the sacred spirit of a baby. After we looked at some of her books, we were sold! She is one of the best decisions we ever made. Her work is unparalleled. She is the best!

  • Shanda Reeb - You did it again Chia Dea! You caught Betty looking so beautiful and peaceful. I don’t know how you do that with newborns. I don’t think the twins ever slept. I am so happy to have these beautiful images to see my niece when I cannot be near her. Thank you always!

  • Carmelle Hinkle - Thank you so much for the beautiful photos of my precious little niece, Betty K! Just saw them and read your very sweet story about the family. I’m amazed at how you make PERFECT settings,and get the little munchkin posed, all while she is peacefully sleeping. I can’t say enough how talented you are. Let’s launch Betty’s career in modeling now. 🙂

When Maya and her mom arrived for the photo shoot, the tub was ready and the soap bubbles were just getting started. Maya is barely two, but it was immediately clear to her, just who this little section of fun was for. She almost made it into the tub with all her clothes on. Small but fast.

And who can blame her? Bubbles are great fun in the bath and here it seemed the grownups were encouraging her to make as much mess as possible and providing all the necessary ingredients at the same time. Bubbles were flying everywhere, fast and furious.

Maya was so mesmerized with the bubbles after a while, she did not know what to do.  She grabbed them, she blew them away,  she splashed the water. Repeatedly. She was so into the bath with bubbles she didn’t even realize I was taking pictures, which has proven to be a trick with little Maya. We tried to get her out of the water a couple times before she actually agreed to it. Too much fun!!! What a great way to get pictures and Maya loved it!

So who’s next? Have tub & bubbles, will travel. Fun guaranteed (probably not recommended for high school senior or engagement photos).

Little kid in a tub with bubbles flying around our on the fiels

There is something to be said about childhood friends, even when life takes us in opposite directions, there is always a special place for them in your heart, you never stop loving them. I still have many of my childhood friends and when I look back at our photos, my heart is filled with such great memories… and I want my kids to have that and more.

When the boys were younger, just running around and still leaving presents in their pants for me, I had the idea of getting all of their friends together for one, big group picture. Well, life is busy and while it’s awesome that we can do this type of project any day we want, that also makes it harder to do it on any one, particular day. There’s always tomorrow. Add in all the activities and vacations and well, you can guess how the big group photo was coming along. It wasn’t.

I really wanted this for the boys and me too, so it was on to Plan B. On any given week, everyone would have some time, so I set upon a divide and conquer path, with plans for an eventual reassembly.

The first step was to photograph all the kids individually, which was surprisingly fun and fast (lots of play dates), then the real work began and I put them together one by one, paying close attention to their heights, to make sure the final image was true to scale and voila, we have a great group photo with all of these amazing kids that happen to be my kid’s friends. And look, everyone has a perfect expression – good luck with that in a group photo with the median age well under double digits.

I am so in love with this picture!

And I am so happy to check this off of my project list. This is a photo I will treasure forever!

big group photo photoshoped together

  • JoAnn Garcia - Hi Andrea,

    This picture turned out spectacular! It is amazing to see how much all the kids have already grown since taking these pictures. You did an awesome job. I hope you and your family are doing well in Cali. We miss you too.
    Until the next time.

    Thank you again for the photo,
    JoAnn Garcia

  • Connie - Thanks for pulling this together….it is so special and reminds me to capture the moments….they fly by.

  • Mary - Love, Love the pictures of all the kids! You are an amazing photographer. We miss you guys!

Summertime in Arizona can make even the most enthusiastic, photo happy people wilt and wither, under the glaring, afternoon sun. Evenings can work, but really, mornings are best.

Luckily, as those of us with kids are very much aware, little ones tend not to respect morning boundaries. And if you have a one year old, the notion of meeting me for photos at 6AM isn’t all that strange. For those of you without kids,  give it time.

While it was probably still warm by the thermometer, we certainly didn’t feel it and nobody looked it. This sweet, baby girl had a great time, she’s been a natural, ever since she was even a littler baby girl, when we spent a morning getting all sorts of baby photos.  I loved every minute I spent with this wonderful family!

 

family photos at a Chandler park with lanterns hangingfather and young daugther at the Gilbert park playingFamily portrait at the park in pink blue and purple - Gilbert AZone year old girl holding ballons at the Gilbert park in Arizonamother and baby girl portrait at the parkfather and mother holding one year old baby girl handsone year old girl dressed in pink and purple walking on the sidewalkfather holding baby girl in his arms att he parkone year old girl standing on little rocking chairone year old girl holding small suitcase at the parkfamily happy portrait at the parkfamily sitting on a bench at the parkparents walking hand in hand with baby girl

  • burt and jean corkum - We love all these photos – everyone looks so happy. Dear little Lila Jean
    already a year old…..a beautiful family.

    Much love, Gram and Gramps

  • Jane Corkum - Good morning!
    I know I’ve already emailed you a note when the photos first arrived, but I look at these photos every day multiple times and just smile. The outfits, the little shoes, the happiness that is on all of your faces – sheer delight! Such a happy little girl — who you can tell just adores her parents! And she is precious beyond words. You all are.
    Much love,
    Mom/Grammie Jane

  • Tera Pepper - Hello!!!! Lila Jean is so adorable! Ryan, you are a true doting Daddy and she is the apple of your eye! Karina, you are glowing and your happiness is very apparent! I’m so happy for you and I can tell Lila Jean has made your last year an amazing one! We miss you so much!
    Love, Brian, Tera, Blake & Toby!

  • Eric B - Amazing shots! What is the location with the trees!? So beautiful! I’ve been to the park before, but have never seen trees like that there. Where were you guys?

    Hope you’re doing well in California!

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