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Family Vacation | Casa Beleza, San Clemente, CA

Vacationing in Southern California this year? If you have been around here for a while, you know that we travel to southern California a lot.  We just got back from a little pre-spring vacation.  After moving over the holidays, we needed some time to run away and forget the world for a week, and that’s exactly what we did!

We have done some digging to try to find some of the best family-friendly places on the southern California coast, and my goodness, we found a good one on our last trip.  We stayed in San Clemente, CA at the gorgeous Casa Beleza. This has been our family’s favorite place we’ve stayed.  So if you have a trip to Southern California with your family this year, here is what-in-the-world vacation with our family of 6 looks like!

We have a strong motto that the vacation starts as soon as we pull out of the driveway.  This reminder (as many times as you need it) will make the drive with children much more enjoyable.  We are not racing to our vacation, as we are already on it.  So we loosen up, and eat treats and snacks and pull out movies a plenty.  And we stop.  A lot.  Whenever necessary.. We might stop for a snack in Vegas then again in Primm to go potty.. again.  You can either love or hate this process, so you decide.  But because car-travel makes up a LOT of time on vacation, I recommend learning to love it!  Prepare with music, audiobooks, ear plugs.. hey, whatever you need.  But making the car as enjoyable as possible will require lowering your stress levels a bit. That’s just my pro-tip.

We pulled in to San Clemente by late afternoon to our lovely beach house and I thought I was in a dream.  Cutest street, surrounded by the best food and cutest shops, and it was so darling inside.  We stayed in the two-bedroom unit upstairs and our friends stayed in the unit downstairs.  This was SO fun to be so close, and have our own space for putting babies down, etc.  We hope to make this a yearly tradition with a group of us.  We rarely had to leave the house (except to walk down to the beach, or brunch, or dinner..), and we hardly wanted to.

(our gorgeously designed condo, Casa Beleza – booking info HERE)

Our kids loved the DOUBLE set of double bunk beds.  The layout and use of space was so efficient! We loved putting the kids to bed, then taking to the deck every night.  I could seriously get used to that kind of livin’. ;) 

Taking the train to another city for a day is always a favorite with the kids.  We love going down to Old Town San Diego and eating yummy mexican food and visiting the little Mexican shops for treasures.

But mostly we just hung out at the house or at the beach nearby.  That’s always our favorite thing to do anyway. ;)

We did sneak in a Disney day, too! Of course I’ll keep that overload of photos to another post.  We loved being close enough to drive to Disney just for one day, and keeping the rest of the days relaxed and go with the flow.  We also ate at so many YUMMY places in San Clemente, thanks to the help of our sweet instagram followers. :D

Ali and Marriott who own Casa Beleza really went above and beyond to make sure our stay was amazing, took all the guess work out of what to do with kids, and made us feel so welcome with their gorgeous family-friendly condo.  The closets were stocked with pack-n-plays and games and books, so we were completely set up.  These little details go such a long way when you’re on a vacation with little kids.  We will be back every year!

If you book a stay with Casa Beleza, they’re offering my followers a discounted rate when you mention CASS MILLER. ♥

Can’t wait to make it back.  Where is your family’s favorite place to run away to together?

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Best of 2012 – Photo posts

I could have posted every single session of 2012.  I had such a great year, with so many wonderful clients.  My business flourished this year, and I could not feel more fortunate or blessed.  I was given opportunities to push my photography beyond my limits of what I thought I was capable.  I had such a great year and I’m so looking forward to 2013 and upcoming sessions.  I am looking forward to pushing myself in new ways and to keep on this path I’ve had laid out for me.  Here are just SOME of my highlights for 2012.  These were the sessions that helped shape me as an artist this year.  The milestones for both my art and my business.  The photos I keep close to my heart.

  Harlo and Stella 

 Ali and Willow

 Baby Lydia At Home

 The Campos Family At Home

 My Life, My Loves

This Mama Is Loved

 Lets Get Personal | Jessica’s Maternity Session

 This Is My Favorite Her

At Home With The Madisons 

Megan and Egan In Love

Welcome Home Baby KJ

 Meet The Tooheys | New Orleans

I hope you enjoy these sessions as much as I did creating them.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL my clients in 2012!  You have made my dreams come true.  Truly!

All my love, C

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The Strate Family at the beach | Southern California Family Photographer

I photographed the Strate family last year and I was so stoked when Adriana contacted me again to do their family pictures.  Have I mentioned how much I love returning clients?  It’s always so nice to see them again, see how their kids have grown, and not to mention it’s pretty much the best compliment you could ever give a photographer.  It’s been so much fun catching up with my clients from last year!

We wanted a fun and relaxed session for the Strate’s.  Last year we enjoyed their beautiful neighborhood vineyard and this year we headed to the beach!  It was such a fun session.  I especially love the last shots of Gavin kicking around the soccer ball and just watching them play together as a family.  Totally filled my photographer heart. :)

I love this family and cannot wait for next year!

xo, C

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Embrace the Camera – Beach Style

Another embrace the camera day today!

Last weekend, I had a lovely session on the beach with a client from last year.  I love returning clients.  I love to see how much their families have grown and get to chat and catch up for an hour or so.  (photos to come!)

What was lucky, was that on this particular beach session in Solana, my family was able to come and enjoy the beach while I was out shooting.  I’ve got to admit it was only slightly painful trying not to watch my girls as they were just down the beach, but they had so much fun with auntie and daddy and as soon as our session wrapped, I headed over to them.

Stella welcomed me with a great big “MOMMY!” and ran over for a great big smooch.  I swear this baby.. she never has me wanting for love.  I am such a blessed mama.

Lucky for us, I had my camera all set and my sister was there to snag a shot of us at the beach.  Too bad I look out of place fully covered from head to toe while my family is enjoying the waves in their suits, but it will remind me how blessed I am to be able to shoot at such beautiful locations and that I’m able to travel around with my family and let them enjoy these blessings as well.

Have you been embracing the camera?  Share with me!

xo, C

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Ali and Willow

Last year my sweet sister Ali and her beloved pup Willow moved to Southern California.  I was so excited to get the opportunity to shoot them on the beach, documenting their new life.

I love these girls more than I could ever explain.

Enjoy!

xo, Cass

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Here I am, world.

I had such a great week.  I had a week filled with motivation, inspiration, and opportunity.  Not all my weeks are like this, but I’m so thankful for ones like this that come along.

I’m feeling extremely blessed and just ready.  Ready to take this world by storm, and show it what I’ve got.

I feel like standing at the edge of the universe, with my arms wide open.  Ready for whatever she sends my way.

And I promise you, I may never love another image as much as I love this one.  My amazing little Harlo.

Happy Weekend!

xo, C

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Summer Travel Dates 2012

So I have finally sat down and organized my calendar for my travel sessions this summer.  Last year was a complete blur of craziness and trips, but I had so much fun and met so many families that I hold so dearly in my heart.  I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
I choose my locations on where I have the most inquiries, so if you are hoping to see me come to your town, please email me and I’ll add you to my list. :) (any east-side peeps out there?)

Sacramento, CA (Auburn area) – July 6th, 7th
San Diego, CA (north county) & Newport, CA – July 19th-20th
Salt Lake City, UT – July 26th-28th
Las Vegas, NV – August 10th, 11th
San Francisco, CA – August 24th

Email me for details.  Out of town sessions tend to book fast, so email me asap if you’re interested in snaggin’ a sesh. ;)
Also, could you help a sister out and spread the word?  Much love!

I hope to hear from you!

xo – C

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Meet the Chiniquys | San Diego Family Photographer

I was so excited for the Chiniquy’s session.  Chad and Karien have such a beautiful family and they gave me total free rein to do their session however I wanted.  I immediately knew I wanted to do a family beach day.  The session could not have gone better.  I have known this family for quite some time and you can plainly see how stunning they are, but more than that, they are one of the sweetest and most loving families I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I really wanted to capture that in their session above anything else.

So here they are, meet the Chiniquys:

Thanks for looking!

xo – C

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