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Nightingale Portraits Blog: Walnut Creek Family Photographer bio picture

    Hi, I'm Christina Hernandez, owner of Nightingale Photography. Welcome to my new blog, celebrating candid family portraiture.

    A family portrait session is an incredible gift you can give your family. The session itself is a memorable event, whether it be at your home, a favorite park or the beach. My family sessions are relaxed and fun, with the emphasis on genuine and authentic. Capturing the candid exuberance of childhood and family is my passion. The heirloom portraits that will hang in your home will bring you and your family joy each day and remind you of what's truly important in life. In addition, these photographs will be cherished by your children and family members for decades to come. We can't stop the hands of time, but beautiful photography gets pretty close.

    I am a Bay Area native and live in the Oakland hills with my husband of 20 years, Richard, our spunky teenager, Sophia, and of course, our dogs, Roomba and Vincent. Having worked for 15 years as a staff photojournalist at the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, I am lucky to be able to anticipate unique moments and capture them for my clients. I believe photography is best experienced on the walls of your home and in heirloom albums, always accessible to view. Looking for my wedding and engagement photography? You can still find it here: nightingalephotosblog.com and nightingalephotos.com. I so look forward to telling your family's story! ~Christina

Peninsula Family Portraits

These Peninsula family portraits were taken at the home of my clients in Menlo Park. The home is such an ideal place to make beautiful portraits of a newborn, as it is the most comfortable for everyone. I loved new mom, Andrea’s, natural style, and how she appreciates the quiet moments with her young family. Their daughter was too cute with her newborn baby brother, being extra gentle and helpful to her parents. I of course wanted to get some solo portraits of her, too! She tried on her favorite dress and ran outside, barefoot, to kick-up some leaves. Ahhh…that’s childhood. This low-key documentary approach to family sessions are low-stress and produce timeless, warm imagery. I’m just so glad I had the opportunity to meet this wonderful family!Peninsula Family PortraitsPeninsula Family Portraits Peninsula Family PortraitsPeninsula Family PortraitsPeninsula Family PortraitsPeninsula Family PortraitsPeninsula Family PortraitsPeninsula Family Portraits

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Grandparents Portrait Session-Haas Family

This portrait session was an incredible privilege for me to do. Local filmmaker, Shaleece Haas  wanted to have portraits made to document her family and truly celebrate her grandparents, ages 100 and 101. She was kind enough to write the following post:
“This portrait we hung the family portrait in my grandfather’s room today—on the far wall beside the TV, so he can see it from his bed. He’s 101 and doesn’t get out of bed much anymore, because the exertion makes it too difficult to breathe. But my grandmother, age 100, sits at his side and worries over him, making sure the caregivers know if he’s cold or uncomfortable or needs a snack.
I have had the tremendous privilege to grow up close to my grandparents and to spend lots of quality time with them over the years—planting and harvesting in the garden, making jams and jellies, and creek-walking near their tiny cabin in the redwoods.
But my favorite way to connect with my Nana & Papa has always been looking through their treasure trove of old family photographs. My Papa, the keeper of the family archive, did not believe in photo albums. So my family’s visual history, a jumble of black & white photographs, stays safe in three large cardboard boxes in the back of the closet. As a kid, my grandparents and I would sit together on their old love seat (the same one you see in their portrait), I would pull out a photograph at random, and they would tell me the story behind it. There was the story of my Papa’s beloved first Model T, which he was given in exchange for helping his uncle chop and stack 10 cords of firewood. I love the story of my grandparents’ trip to New York City for the 1939 World’s Fair when a man mistook their yellow Studebaker for a taxi and tried to climb in while they were waiting at a stop sign. And then, of course, there’s the story of their small Catholic wedding in 1938, held eight years after they first became high school sweethearts.
We looked through those pictures for hours at a time, time and time again. I loved the richness and depth of the original black & white prints and I lingered over the smallest details in their subjects’ clothing and faces. I could never get enough of the photographs, or of the stories that went with them. I’m certain those early photo history sessions with my grandparents contributed to my eventual decision to become a documentary photographer, and later a filmmaker.
A few years ago, with my grandparents’ permission, I took several of my favorite prints from the boxes, framed them and hung them on my bedroom wall. I will soon be adding another photograph, a smaller version of the one that hangs in my Papa’s bedroom. I am grateful for these images. They connect me to my grandparents, to their histories, and to the ancestors I never knew. I am grateful that my family had the means to take those early photographs (and the foresight to keep them). And I am grateful to Christina for her beautiful images, meaningful contributions to the visual story of my grandparents’ lives.”
Shaleece Haas
Director/Producer, Real Boy

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San Francisco Family Portraits

Sophia and David wanted their San Francisco family portraits to be candid and informal. We loved the idea of playing around Fisherman’s Wharf. Their darling daughter was thrilled with the sights and sounds of the Bay. From colorful backdrops to the carousel at Pier 39, we made new memories for the family and now have photographs they can always look at to remember this wonderful time in their lives.San Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family PortraitsSan Francisco Family Portraits

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East Bay Family Portraits

These East Bay family portraits celebrate the beautiful bond between generations of women to celebrate Mother’s Day. This beautiful family consists of 3 generations. I’m so glad they decided to stop to make these portraits happen. I asked the matriarch of the family to discuss her experience: “I am so thankful that I came from a line of very strong, hardworking and family oriented women.  My mom and grandmother taught us the importance of family love and togetherness. I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters and 2 lovely granddaughters with whom I get to share many fun activities. I am so glad that we took the time for a photo shoot with Christina to capture those memorable moments. Near the end of the photo shoot, I became deeply moved as I reflected upon the three generations we represent. My heart was so overwhelmed by the love and closeness we share as a family.This was another fun and wonderful memory I can add to my treasure trove of precious moments spent with my girls.”

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