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    I'm a photographer located in the San Francisco Bay Area and I shoot weddings and relaxed lifestyle sessions of children and families. My husband Chris and I work together - and we're so glad you stopped by. This blog will feature our most recent professional work with current clients as well as plenty of personal updates.

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Natural Beauty

There is a big story behind these pictures that I don’t have time to tell right now.  I will soon, though.

Today was a big day and I needed some photos of Lucy today – right now- in this exact moment.  We had about 10 minutes before the light was gone and this is what we got.


What a natural.  Just as beautiful on the inside.

Love this girl.

East Bay Lifestyle Photographer | The Bensing Sisters

You know, when it comes to the most important elements of your photo session, I’m a big believer in a really personal location (like your home), some beautiful light, and lots and lots of FUN!


Also-being the cutest sisters in the world helps A LOT!

Add lots of cuddles to that list.  Cuddles are ESSENTIAL!

Alright – hot pink rain boots make a session pretty awesome too.

It all boils down to this: if you love each other, can laugh, cuddle and play – you’ll get great images.

I mean…check out this family.  Oozing with love.  The best.

On Being Together at Christmas

What Christmas looks like in our house…

Lucy and her hamster Ava early Christmas morning:

The kids opening their Santa gifts.  Santa brought the kids a few things to freshen up their bathroom (mostly so they would stop using ours!) including a new shower caddie!

Me receiving the most heartfelt gifts from the kids.  They both made me personal, handmade things: Luke a cross out of clay and Lucy cross stitched on new kitchen towels.

Lucy receiving her new desk!!!!

And Luke unwrapping a much anticipated lego kit.

And here’s my favorite…

You see, for the last 18 months we’ve been at home together – home schooling, playing, living, learning, laughing…and really focusing on what it means to be a family.  That’s no small task.  To live all day, ever day, under the same roof with the explicit purpose of figuring out how to just be together – to be together when things are boring and mundane.  To be together while playing out exciting adventures.  To be together when we have to do hard things or when we are asked to do things that play to our strengths.  To simply “be together”  is perhaps the tallest order on the planet.  Any mother (homeschooling, stay at home, with a part time or full time job) can tell you that really wants just one thing, just one elusive & intangible thing: to know that their family truly and deeply knows how to be together.  Because if they can do that, you know that you – their mother – are doing something right.  That though many (or most) of those difficult moments of learning how to be a family together may prove otherwise – there is a strong foundation of love, forgiveness and grace being woven into the fabric of your child’s heart.

For me, this image is the best Christmas present I received this year.  A photo of my two passionate, intense and spirited kids being together & loving each other. Of all the images of Christmas, this is the one that will live in my heart.  That staying home for the last 18 months did produce good fruit.  Those long and crazy days really did begin to teach us how to do the hardest thing families have to do: simply be together.

Here’s to all the moments – captured in a photo or not – of your family simply being together.  The moments that give you hope that you are doing something right.

January 5, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Merrilee - Sara! These are just beautiful moments and that last is one you will treasure forever. I cherish your words too…they speak to me deeply. Love you!

Maggie & Taylor | Pie Ranch Wedding Photography

Our dear friends Maggie and Taylor were married on October 6, 2012 at Pie Ranch in Pescadero, CA, and we were so honored to be a part of their day.  These two have an amazing story of love over many years, and their wedding was a perfect reflection of who they are – both as individuals and as a couple.  They carefully chose Pie Ranch and it makes a lot of sense why…Pie Ranch is an amazing pie-shaped-plot of land right off of Highway 1. It’s a working ranch that hosts youth from regional high schools to participate in farm-based programs and activities, serving as a model center of sustainable farming and food system education.  In short, it’s a beautiful place with a beautiful mission – where two beautiful souls were married a few weeks back.

M & T not only care about local, organic, sustainable, delicious food grown at places like Pie Ranch…they planned, cooked, cured, canned, baked, [insert verb associated with preparing ridiculously delicious food here] all of the food for the wedding themselves.  Yes, themselves.  And, oh boy – it was amazing!  Their “favors” were homemade granola, jams and pickled things (which I’m really not describing justly, but were also incredible!).  And all of the details of the day – from the self-inscribable mason jar glasses (so as not to lose your drink!), to the ribbon running along the fences of the farm – were just perfect.  Just like M & T are for each other.

And, we must say, not only were we lucky enough to be M & T’s photographers, but our kids were “flower children” in their wedding by day and tore up the dance floor that night.  It was their first experience being in a wedding, and we feel it ruined them for all future weddings.  That’s a good thing.:)

Congrats, Maggie and Taylor! Here are just a *few* of the beautiful pictures from your day.  Lots more coming soon!!  Thank you for sharing your day with our family – we love you guys!

Ceremony: Pie Ranch | 2080 Cabrillo Highway | Pescadero CA 94060

We did a first look on the bluffs.  After threatening rain for a week, it was a perfect day.:)

M o r e   i n f o