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Nightingale Portraits Blog: Walnut Creek Family Photographer bio picture
  • WELCOME!

    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

San Francisco Portrait Session-Rinsche Family

This San Francisco Family portrait session stars my former wedding clients, Tu and Tobias, with their new daughter, Liv. How lucky I am that I get to follow the story of my couples, as they start their families! Although they now live in Washington D.C., they came to San Francisco for their portraits where Tu’s family still lives. Liv is absolutely gorgeous, curious and engaged in the world. She looked quite chic in a simple checkered knee-length dress with retro Converse sneakers. Her modern short hair-do was coiffed to the side, punctuated with a classic bow. She later donned a lovely gold crown…well, duh! To see more of this couple’s story, see their San Francisco engagement session here and fairytale Outdoor Art Club wedding, in Mill Valley, here.San Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait SessionSan Francisco Portrait Session

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Peninsula Family Portrait Session-Celebrating Grandparents

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
realboymovie.com
Penninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait SessionPenninsula Family Portrait Session

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Oakland Family Portrait Session-Baby Henry

This Oakland family portrait session stars the intriguing and delightful Baby Henry, age 4 months. This is my wonderful friend’s first grandchild. What a pleasure it is, and a real privilege, for me to make photographs that will be treasured for decades by this family. Because the first year of life goes by so quickly, it’s fun to capture moments along the way. Sarah and Nils couldn’t be more wonderful as first time parents. And dog, Walter, has been patient and kind to his new family member. I loved the relaxed nature of this session, and it’s a treat to photograph families in the comfort of their home. Welcome to the world, Henry! It’s a better place with you in it.Bay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionBay Area Family Portrait SessionOakland family portraits, walnut creek photographer, lafayette family portraits

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San Jose Maternity Session-Camille and Ryan

This San Jose Maternity Session was very special to me because I was the couple’s wedding photographer as well. It is so rewarding to get to know a couple, photograph their engagement session, their wedding and then the maternity session! Later, you will see their darling baby and how he’s growing up so fast. I love that they have an incredible appreciation for photographing their milestones so generations after them will also be able to see the history of their family.

Why do maternity photos matter? I truly believe that there are times in our lives we should document. Maternity photos are not just about a bump. They are not something you do just for your children to look back on. They are a way to celebrate the baby you’re about to meet, to celebrate your current partner or family, and to celebrate the strength of your body. What you’re documenting is a life created and a life changed. Children also LOVE to see photos of their Mom pregnant. They just can’t believe they were in there. When is the best time for my maternity session? Many expectant mothers wait until their 3rd trimester (between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy). Image a wall in your home featuring 4 framed prints: framed art from your maternity session, baby’s newborn session, 6 months and a year. Now that’s a wall that will bring a smile to your face for years to come.

Congratulations to Camille and Ryan!

San-Jose-Maternity-Session

San-Jose-Maternity-Session

San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session San-Jose-Maternity-Session Walnut Creek photographer, Lafayette photographer, San Jose Maternity session

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Lafayette Family Portrait Session

This Lafayette family portrait session was a wonderful opportunity to photograph the beautiful Olivia, and her lovely parents. Olivia had a vision of being a “rockstar ballerina” so we of course made that happen! I wanted to celebrate this little girl’s wonderful spunk and personality and give her unique memories. These will be so fun for her to look back on when she’s all grown. We used a beautiful rural setting in the Walnut Creek area, to capture the natural landscape in this family’s community.

The family ordered large wooden prints of their favorite images for the home. The wood grain shows through the photo to bring a natural warmth and artistic vision to the piece. Hanging wall art of images that you are personally connected to is a great investment. The art is personal and marks this time in your family’s journey. It may also make its way to Olivia’s home one day, so it’s so very important to create wall art, always, of your favorite images. Thanks to Olivia for sharing her family with me!

Lafayette Family Portrait Session

Family Portraits Lafayette

Family Portraits Lafayette

Family Portraits Lafayette

Family Portraits Lafayette

Family Portraits Lafayette

Family Portraits LafayetteLafayette portraits, Walnut Creek portraits, Lamorinda photographer, Lafayette Family Portrait Session

1 comment

Nancy wegenerSeptember 9, 2014 - 1:27 pm

Beautiful pictures that will be treasured for a lifetime.