Pictures of You: The Ogata-Gochez Family

When I arrived at the Ogata-Gochez Family’s home in Altadena, CA on a warm summer evening last year, I found them hanging outside, Kris and Auggie zipping around their little alcove on their skateboards while Natalie lulled Sol on a tree swing just outside their front door, and I instantly felt welcomed into their love-filled, easy-going space which, in turn, was so inspiring to simply sit back (from at least six feet away), observe and photograph.  I hope that all comes through in these images!

Back at the time of our little shoot, I asked Natalie what lessons she had learned from the experience of living through the pandemic and here’s what she shared, which I think is something we have all taken away universally from the past 18 months.

“I need to live in the moment and slow down. I was always on the go and I didn’t value the simple things. Just being with family and having our health is the most important to us.”
– Natalie Gochez

Pictures of You: The Derian Family

This next set of images from my Pictures of You Project are of the Derian Family photographed last June in the backyard sanctuary of their Tujunga, CA home.  As with many families, the pandemic provided an opportunity to slow things down and reflect on their priorities.

Here’s what they shared about where they are at now:

“I know that quarantine was really difficult for so many, but for our family, it was just what we needed! Being together home all day, every day brought out the best in all of us! Both of us had been flirting with the idea of changing careers to allow for more family time and experiences prior to COVID and this gave us a glimpse of what life could look like.

“Since our photo shoot, we have been really committed to making changes and looking for opportunities to pull us out of the grind and give us that slowed down version of life that we were so craving. We converted our basement into a studio for our design/craft business and are loving working together to build our new life.”

Pictures of You: The Johnson Family

I am excited to share this next series of images from my Pictures of You Project of the Johnson Family outside their Whittier, CA home (from at least six feet away).  They’re a mixture of film and digital photographs… hopefully you can’t tell which is which!

I asked them to share how life has changed since we took these almost a year ago and here is what they shared:

“2020 took my family on a rollercoaster. We had highs, we had lows, we had twist and turns. I often reflect on last year and even the beginning of this year and I think it’s made us what we are today. Stronger and extremely thankful for each other. For my husband life didn’t change much, he still went out and worked every day for our little family. As for myself and our baby girl, boy did things shift! We were used to being out daily. We loved our Disneyland trips, park adventures, movie dates and our weekly lunches with my sisters and all the babies. Everyday life looked very different for us. But we adapted, kept busy at home and most importantly stayed safe. We were able to slow life down a little bit and it was our choice to make the best of it. 2020 was full of lessons but I think the biggest of them all was to not take your health or your family for granted.

“As we transition into more of an open world halfway into 2021, I still hope to keep my family grounded, happy and full of love.”
– Molly Licon

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