castro ohana in la jolla california

swim with dolphins at Sea World. eat a burger at in-n-out. catch a Padres baseball game at Petco Park. cheer for the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. stare in amazement for hours at all the animals in the world famous san diego zoo. surf in la jolla. bet it all on brightly colored jockeys and their horses where the surf meets the turf at old del mar. have a margarita (or three) in tijuana. take a day long safari at the san diego wild animal park.
these are all things you might find on a to-do list for a lot of people visiting our fair city. one more thing that has been growing in popularity here in san diego… taking family portraits with ohana photographers. jaymie, his beautiful wife audrey, and precious daughter addison added a visit with us to their list when they came all the way out to san diego from the frozen tundra of new york. we spent an afternoon at the beach getting fresh new photos of their lovely ohana. jaymie’s brother marc followed along and did an awesome job of standing stroller watch.
right off the bat we could tell that the castro’s were very reserved and super serious. they were not about to make silly faces or act like goofballs in a public place just so we could get some “fun” shots, so…
we started off slow. :)

i kiid. i kiid. it only took jaymie about 2.5 seconds to have kim l-ing o l.
fact: jaymie and audrey have the most infectious smiles this side of the mississipp. addison however, wasn’t buying our cheap parlor tricks behind the camera (ie. jingling keys and dorky sounds). for her, we needed to break out the big guns.

not even the crazy arm dance could get her to crack. notice her “i don’t know those people” gaze.
what to do?
ah ha! suddenly it came to me. what’s the one thing that always makes kids laugh? april’s face? well, yes, but we employed something different this time…

tickle, tickle. 60 percent of the time, it works every time.

if you don’t think this is one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen then my question to you is, who stole your soul? robot.

we get to capture a lot of cool moments in people’s lives, but this has to be one of the coolest. during their trip to san diego addison learned how to stand on her own. this image documents one of the last times addison needed help to stand. it’s one of those amazing moments in a child’s life that we as parents are blessed to witness and be a part of.

happy parents. happy baby. happy ohana.

by a show of hands, or baby, who loves san diego?

rain said, watch the birdie.

addison found zero humor in the fact that that last wave nearly got her wet.

there’s the smile we love. babies rule!

thank you so so much jaymie, addison, marc, and audrey. the fact that you chose us out of the 1.2 billion photographers in san diego to do your family portraits is pretty awesome, but what makes it more special to us is the fact that you are an amazing photographer. it’s really humbling when other photographers ask you to take their picture. we feel extremely blessed for being given the opportunity to do this for you. mahalo plenty. God Bless you all.
try to stay warm this winter with thoughts of san diego in your heads. we hope to see you all again VERY soon. hint hint. who’s up for shave ice and a 2nd round of portraits… on oahu?

p.s. happy belated birthday jaymie!



I just love your style! The first image is fantastic and I love the learning to walk shot! I could see that as a canvas!

let me guess…Kimi took that one with the surfer perfectly framed in the background! :)

This is such a great session! I love all the expressions and interactions you captured! I love that they were playful and fun. I think it’s because you guys bring out the fun in people!

Wow, what great photos. They will treasure these forever! The baby is so adorable! You rock!

Nobody stole my soul, and that picture is my favorite!! Awesome job. :)

haha. that was cute.

can that baby BE any cuter? i didn’t think so!

HOW CUTE. Nice colors

Love them love them! They are beyond cute! As always love your work guys!

Such awesome shots! So much personality and laughter captured here. They look like such a fun family and that baby girl…I want to hug her. What an absolute cutie!! That 17th shot (with the wave) is perfection. :o)

IN LOVE with number 11. The perfect family shot! Great job, as always guys!!

Oh this makes me miss living in Carlsbad {just north of La Jolla}. These shots are fabulous!! And you post processing is perfect. That little girl is to die for she’s adorable!! Gorgeous family – I’m sure they are absolutely thrilled with these!!!

these photos melt my heart! :)

Those eyes are so gorgeous! Such a beautiful family. My favorite shot is with the little spot of sun flare peeking in the background.

Gina Leigh

“60 percent of the time, it works every time”
favorite sentence of the day.

beautiful, as usual.

These are just plain stinking beautiful!! What a great gift for this family. They look so proud and in love:)

The feeling and love you captured here is amazing! I adore your work! I love how the smiles here are so genuine. Awesome job kids! You guys rock!

Their personalities shine through my monitor! Gorgeous work guys!

Love love love the photo with the waves washing up on the sand! I am thinking … HUGE canvas print! Wow. Beautiful work!!

Holy shizzen balls!!!!! This is so good!!!! All these pics could be amazing canvas prints. Freekin a man i love the pic of the dad and the baby making faces at each other. WOW!!!

Wow… so much awesome’ness in this shoot I’m getting dizzy and need to sit down! Great job as always you rock stars you… //enoch

Those are so awesome! I’m loving your family shoots:)

Oh my gosh, that one has to be the cutest thing ever! How cool that such a special moment was captured with the little one standing. Just warms the heart. =)

These are AWESOME! Such a happy family – gorgeous job! I adore how you captured their personalities. :-) Also – you guys are funny! I laughed so much reading this!

These are fabulous! So much energy and life – love em!

This is my favorite session…oh wait..didn’t I say that about the last session you posted?! :D Anyway…what a great family! All beautiful with sparkling smiles. These photos capture the very heart of a :D Great job!

Hahahaha!! I love your commentary! So funny! You, Kim and April are so talented! It’s not fair to have so much talent in one family. I’m jealous and a whiner ;)Love the all the laughter captured here!

Look how rad you are. These are amazing.

Been going thru ur blog..and u have a unique way of shooting.

What great pictures and what a great family! I couldn’t help but smile while looking at all the shots!!! LOVE the picture of dad and daughter with the lips!!! Too cute!

"frozen tundra of new york" come on, not yet! It will be soon though.

Seriously though David and Kim what a great collection of images! #8 in B&W is a guaranteed prize winner for sure! Everything about that image is so phenomenal, including Audrey in the bkgd. But the mirrored expressions…priceless. I love it, and can't wait to see the awards you get from it.

Between the photos and your words, I was beaming through this entire post! Amazing work as always! What a precious little family!

what a wonderful session.. love these so beautiful, and what a gorgeous family

Man!!!…First Weddings, then Portraits, then TTD’s, Now your a Baby picture Rock Star Photog!! Man when I grown up I wanna be just like you!!! Seriously…love your use of the wide lens, your use of DOP, and your comp is just perfect. So mach character and personality in these pics. I found myself physically smiling at the joy and expression in some of these. Now thats a emotional connection and I don’t even know these people!! Thats a job well done as a photographer!!
Way to tell a story!


LOVE the one of Daddy and baby making the exact same face – so so so adorable!!!

All of them are just beyond fantastic. You have some greta work!

#8 is my fav…sooo sweet! All of these are awesome…they look like a super fun family. You guys rocked it! :)

Your commentary still has me laughing! Such a great fun loving family. Gorgeous work as always.

What an awesome & adorable family! These shots are just bursting with happiness – love them ALL!!

Great shots you guys, I like how you captured this fun loving family. Hugs to the Baxter Ohana!

60 percent of the time, it works every time…dude, you been channeling Yogi Berra?? lol Of course, these images are awesome and ooze love and joy.

Love the tickle picture; yes, the “who stole your soul” is THE cutest thing ever; adore the “happy ohana” image; and holy moly–the crashing wave shot is un-friggin-believable!!

You are so awesome! San Diego is my husband and my favorite place in the continental US. We have not been in 4 years, so watching your blog has made us so lonesome for S.D.

When we do go, maybe around Christmas, I hope you will have time to take some pics of our family!

Where to begin with this??? Wow, just wow guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this portrait session for us. They are all absolutely stunning. And your narrative… We couldn’t stop laughing. Seeing this images makes me even more and more desperate to move back to SD. Hopefully we can hook up again when you guys come up here for your jersey wedding, or maybe on oahu over the holidays.

Much aloha and mahalos,
Jaymie, Audrey, and Addison

what a beautiful family, and I just love how you guys showcase the interaction and fun with each family. You ROCKED. THIS. OUT!

These are so adorable, what an awesome session, and adorable baby!!!!

I have SO many favorites. I couldn’t stop smiling… the first photo.. the one with them waving their arms in the background (and your commentary on the matter), and the photo that really is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Awesome work.

Capital A-dorable family!!! LOVE the images!

O my. So cute i could eat the baby girl.

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So ridiculously cute!