Friday, June 27, 2014

Monterey & Santa Cruz Family Vacation {My Family Photos) Shelley Dee Photography

Last week for our twins, Thomas and Katelyn's 14th Birthday we decided to take a little family vacation to Monterey and Santa Cruz.   We started our vacation in Monterey in which we met up with the kids grandparents at Cannery Row.  We had a nice lunch, followed by some ice cream at the famous Dippin' Dots.  Being a photographer, you know I brought my camera :) I made sure to take some photos of the kids with their grandparents while we were all together.

I am so thankful my in-laws made the 2hr drive to come to see us while we were on vacation.  After spending the majority of the day with them, they had to head home.   We had a few hours before our dinner reservations so we drove to Pebble Beach in Carmel for the beautiful 17 mile drive.  The one thing I really wanted to do while we were on vacation was to get some good family photos and Pebble Beach is a beautiful place for them.

Vacation is the perfect time to get family photos because it is a time where families can get dressed up, they are relaxed, happy and most likely at a beautiful destination which is the perfect backdrop for any photo.  I was going to try to hire a photographer, but with our time being so limited I decided to set my camera up as I would take a few photos of just our kids.  If I saw someone that was also taking pictures of their family I would offer to take a photo for them and then ask them to use my camera and take a photo of us.   This is something that can easily be done in the Pebble Beach area, there were a ton of photographers out and about taking photos.

After we had a few family photos taken, we headed to a special birthday dinner at the famous Sardine Factory.  This restaurant is very fancy and the food is spectacular.  We all enjoyed the service and the food.  The service was beyond what we ever experienced, as a mater of fact right after we ordered I was starting to get an allergic reaction to something (most likely from my new facial sunscreen I used), the waiter had someone from the restaurant run to a nearby store to buy some Claritin for me so we didn't have to leave.  How amazing is that!   I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant if you plan on going to Monterey.

After a full day and evening in Monterey we headed back to our hotel in the Santa Cruz area.  The next day we had a nice relaxing day at our hotel.  We went swimming and ordered lunch by the pool, it was very nice!  The hotel had such beautiful grounds that I wanted to get one more family photo in front of their pond and garden area.  The colors of the trees and all the flowers were stunning! I am so glad I asked a staff member of the hotel to take a picture of us.  It is one of my favorite family photos of all of us.

The reason I am sharing this post is to let you know the importance of trying to get family photos while on vacation whether you hire a photographer or set up your camera and kindly ask someone else to take them for you.   If you do plan on doing this make sure to search for different locations in the area you will be vacationing, also packing a few coordinating outfits is a plus.  The last thing you want to be doing is trying to find/buy clothes for photos while on vacation.

I hope this helps encourage you to take the time on your next vacation to capture the special time your family is spending together with photos you can look back on for years to come!!

Here are our photos from our vacation…

 I Love that Papa still wears the shirt Thomas and Katelyn made for him over 11 years ago.

If you are out and about in bright mid-day sun I would recommend finding some shade
 or covered area's.  These photos were taken in a covered area at Cannery Row.  
I love how the light is streaming in through the walkway entrance.

 The Lone Cypress Tree at Pebble Beach

My husband took a photo of me so I could have a new profile photo for my website.

Dinner at the Sardine Factory in Cannery Row, Monterey
Love this one our amazing waiter took of us!!

and then I got one of our amazing waiter.

The beautiful grounds at our hotel the Seacliff Inn 
 Aptos, Santa Cruz area
By the way mention you are a teacher which I am a homeschool teacher and you can get a great discount on your room.  You have to show a valid teachers ID which I received from the HSLDA

An evening at the pool…

I am so glad I was able to get so many photos of our family vacation between these with my 
Canon 5d Mark III and my iPhone, I think I am going to make a Blurb Book for my coffee table!

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  1. Oh, looks like such a fun time! Great family photos!!!

  2. These are beautiful family images Shelley. Definitely worthy of a coffee table book. Looks like you and your family had a wonderful time on your little vacation. And Yay! for discounts for homeschoolers. Love getting those perks.

    1. Thanks Patricia! Yes discounts are awesome and this hotel gave a great teachers discount :)

  3. I love that you took the time to get some family photos done! We (as photographers) tend to not have much time left over to photograph our own families, so I really treasure personal images like this.

  4. Beautiful photos! I love family time, and I love capturing my family even more. I know you'll have fun designing that Blurb book :)