meet the heffington family.


kim is a fellow designer at 2peas. she was on vacation out my way and we met up for a photo shoot. last summer, she did a shoot for me in her home studio. she got some TERRIFIC shots. (i really need to bust those out and get them printed!) (and share them here.) they are so good. so so good. anyway, we met up last week at the beach for a family shoot.

family shoots are always a little nerve wracking. expectations are high for the photographer and the kids, everyone is trying to look nice and pretty. and i am trying to make everyone relax and act naturally. not always easy. :) to top it off, the momma of this family is a talented photographer! talk about pressure! im lucky kim is a friend so this actually felt really natural. and it was really fun.

i was hoping for dream conditions: empty beach and fog bank. we didnt get either. hot bright sun and big freakin’ crowd! AND high tide, so the pier i was planning on using as shade was hit or miss, depending on the wave.

we moved fast and kept a close eye on the water. we basically stayed in the same ten foot spot of beach for the whole shoot. the only shade we could find. :)

i think i made it work, and i have already heard from kim and she loves them, so i am going to put aside my nitpicks and show them to you.

here they are.

Join the Conversation


  1. I don’t know if you remember this but I bumped into you at the Gap in the Mission Viejo mall about a year ago (?) and rudely interrupted your private time. I couldn’t help telling you how much I admired your work. You were gracious and we exchanged a funny email about it the next week. Since then, I have continued to admire your work but recently, through this blog, come to admire your photography even more. I am one of those lurkers. Love to see what everyone is doing, saying, seeing yet not real comfortable putting myself out there. I have to tell you, though, how incredbly real and down to earth you seem. Although I knew how kind you were by the gracious way you accepted me interfering in an “alone” trip to the mall, it is only through this blog have I learned what an amazing woman you are. Thank you for putting yourself out there when it hasn’t been real easy to do so lately. You are an inspiration and someone I wish I knew better. Then, maybe we could have a margarita, contemplate the joys and struggles of life and perhaps you would take some amazing pictures of me and my family – just like you did here!

  2. Oh yeah … she should be ecstatic. BEAUTIFUL photos, Tara! Love the son’s freckles! And their daughter is just a cutie pie! How fun for everyone!!! TFS!!!

  3. Your photos are breathtaking. I love how you captured relationships between family members, as well as individuals.

    Could you share what kind of camera you use, and your thought process when doing a photo shoot? I’d love to know how you decide which shots to take and how to frame them.

  4. Whoa!! These are timeless, classic, beautiful, natural, artistic, gorgeous photos! You have an incredible eye. What kind of camera do you use? One of these days I’m going to have to pick your brain. [Teach me Miss T!] I want to take photos like these. :p


  5. gosh darnit. I WAS in Cal. I wish i knew you lived there and I would of hired you in a second to take pictures of me and my dh! big ugh.

    These pictures are super FANTABULOSO!!!! that’s fantastic and fabulous all wrapped up in one! :-0

    please also share what lens and how you get the black and white crispness to these! I keep trying to take more and more pictures to get better.

    thanks, Anna

  6. gorgeous as always! gotta love that pier you shoot at! amazing! I was re checking your 2peas stuff this evening and I just wanted to say how much I love that little domino w/ 4 dots and heart….its a PERFECT little addition to that page! I love it. (sorry to hijack this post)

  7. Well, I can see why Kim love’s them! And yes, she is a super fantastic photographer! But, Tara, SO ARE YOU! Some of these shots took my breath away. The way you captured the expressions the scenery the love of family! They are simply YUMMY!

  8. OMG! I’d pay top dollar to be a student at the Whitney School of Professional Photography!! Girlfriend, you’re amazing!! I can’t get over the talent you have for cropping your photos so perfectly . . . for catching your subjects so naturally . . . and for your rockin’ conversions! I bow down. Kim and her family are lucky to have such awesome photos!! I’d love to have a collection like that!!

  9. Absolutely perfect family album!! You inspire me to try
    shooting pictures a whole different way. We are heading
    to the beach (different coast, different ocean from you!) with our four grandchildren today and you have given me some wonderful ideas…thanks ever so much!!!

  10. Honestly – these are the most beautiful photos I think I’ve ever seen! I have chills! How on earth do you think of all these amazing shots? You are one uber-talented person. Just awesome! And what an adorable family Kim has, too!! I hope she does some pages with these pics at 2peas – I’d love to see what she’d do with them. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome work!!

  11. You should create a “how to” section of your blog. Those pictures are AMAZING!!! I especially love the very last pic, it captures everything! You are awesome, like you didn’t already know that!!

  12. Geez girl – incredible! WOW! I’m just always blown away by your photos! I want my black and whites to look that good! Will you please share again what camera/lens you use – I’m buying a new one this upcoming week and want to get the best! Plus, do you shoot in bl/white or color than change? Any tips?


  13. I love it! I think the reflections are awesome. And the people milling about give it a sort of “this moment in time” feel and make it feel REAL. JMHO! Great job Tara!

  14. Oh my goodness Tara! I’m not sure why you had to put the nitpickiness aside. They’re gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking. You had great subjects to work with, and you did a lot with them. I can only hope that one day, I get to know my camera well enough and get enough practice in that I can take pictures anywhere near as good as the ones you share with us!

    What I wouldn’t do for a Tara Whitney session!

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