Scott Valley Family - Fall Photos on the Ranch

Once you've got a little one in the picture, the pressure to make sure you capture your family as close to yearly as possible is pretty high! Can anyone else relate? But oh my word, when you have an active toddler... there is always that concern that you're not going to get anything good! 

Do you fall into that fear sometimes? The pressure of needing everyone to look at the camera and make sure your toddlers behave during pictures can be enough to deter you from doing any formal family portraits! That is one thing that I love about the style I've made my own. Sure I'll work you into a posed picture here and there when I can to make sure we can get some "money shots" as I like to call them, but honestly - rolling with the kids and working with them, engaging, playing and having a good time with your family... catches moments you wouldn't otherwise be able to curate. 

Koon Family - 2016 - VHP (7 of 36).jpg

And that is exactly what we did on the Koon's property for our Fall photoshoot! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!!  We had a fun time throwing leaves around and exploring! What do you think? Have you hesitated on a family photo shoot because your little one won't slow down? Maybe this will encourage you to follow up on capturing this season of your life!

Siskiyou County Family Photographer - Tessah is Two!

    The Brownells are very dear to my heart. Personal friends who have become family to me, I was honored to shoot images of their youngest daughter, Tessah, for her second birthday!

Tee Pee Photo Fur rugs


  Tessah’s momma centered the shoot on the adorable kid’s teepee she found, and it went perfectly with the backdrop of the barn behind her sweet munchkins (Don’t you just love the star on the top of the barn?!). Their property is filled with nature and animals; goats, chickens, of course dogs and cats, and at one point even featured a miniature horse on loan. :)  We had considered shooting in the field, but fell in love with the monochromatic color scheme of the barn and teepee. The added layering and texture from the fur rug (swoon!) brought everything together. It was the ideal place for a little bit of rustic photography, and perfect for them… not only because of the beauty of the location, but because this place is special for their family. It’s where their children are getting to run free and explore their childhood.


  Tessah is independent and determined for such a small person. She loves books and reading, even at a young age. She’s a very happy girl, but she needs to size you up before she lets you see her precious personality. Thankfully she knows me well enough to liven up right away…although she may or may not have been coaxed with candies to continue smiling for the camera, haha!


  Included in the mix of birthday fun, were Tessah’s two older siblings, Titus, and Taliah. They are so loving and doting on their little sister, who is very much the baby to them all. It’s clear that she rules the roost. When mothered by Taliah, and asked to “Be cute! Be cute!” Tessah retorted with a whack to her brother and sister, which made us laugh. She is two of course!. Titus and Taliah are both so good with her, and Titus was so admirable to wear his “spencers” to appease mom for the shoot. :)  


  It was such a sweet session with moments of wondering how our babies are getting so big, so fast. Some of my favorite shoots are getting to capture kids I watch grow up from a young age, and these special people are included in that circle. I can’t wait for more pictures with them!


   Do you have a little one with a birthday coming up? Sometimes if it’s not a milestone year, we can overlook the years in between… the growing years. These are the times where our kids are forming memories of their childhood, and ones we want to hold on to forever. If you are looking for a Siskiyou County Photographer to capture a kid’s birthday, or even lifestyle photography, I can help you in that area! Drop me a line or two.


Stockton Family Lifestyle Shoot: Toddlers = Flexibility

Brittany is a really great friend of mine. She challenges me to think deeper, be better, and trust God more. Do you know her? She's like... the most real person you'll ever meet. (Yes I just said "she's like.." Spoken like a true California girl. haha) And there is something so amazingly relatable about that - you just can't help but want to be friends with mom's like her.  She lives so far away though, as do quite a few of my close friends. Lodi is among my frequently visited locations (and Stockton). Okay, okay, Mushy Gushy Moment Over. Sorry. This is about them! Jacob and Brittany wanted to do a family shoot but they have.. one of those.. *gasp* ...toddlers.  Sweet, adorable, cute... VERY adorable, toddlers. I seriously LOVE the 3 year old age... most days. haha! But oh man - throw off their day, miss a nap, or ask them to eat the bag of fruit snacks you just opened for them instead of the unopened one they want you to open (True story about my own 3 year old!) and you'll pay! Haha, never mind asking them to get dressed, have their hair done nice, expect it to stay that way, sit here, stay here, ok walk to mommy, now talk to daddy, don't hide behind our legs, Look at that big black camera, Watch Valisa act crazy and invade your space... haha!! Sometimes they'll do amazing, and sometimes they are toddlers.   This isn't to say that a regular shoot can't go well.. because I've pulled off plenty. I've never really had a regular family photo shoot that includes toddlers go wrong or result in no photos - BUT the lesson here is - Flexibility is key with little ones! SO when Brittany told me that she and Jacob were leaning toward doing a lifestyle session at their adorable, old world, tudor style brick home in Stockton (... She wanted to start with making pancakes *and pause the shoot to eat them* and hang out at home for the shoot... ) I was easily swayed! Hello!? Pancakes!  And I'm so happy with how it turned out!  Have you considered doing a lifestyle session? Maybe this will seal the deal for you! 

Sibling Photos - Keep Remembering Now!

Doesn't it seem like pictures of your kids reminds you of how cute and adorable they were when they were little? Sometimes as a mom, do you look at the photos that capture the past and go, "What was I so stressed about?" "Look how cute and little they were?!" "They were so much more simple to entertain" or something similar? Maybe you find yourself laughing because that little face they made all time, or the attitude they sported for that year (and used to make you grit your teeth or sigh heavily) hasn't happened in a few years and (even if it made you roll your eyes) it kinda makes you smile now? 

Sometimes, (ooor, usually) capturing them now, is more about being able to remember the "now", later.  Having their little faces up on the wall that you walk past every day - can remind you how fast this season will fly by. The most recent photos on your walls and shelves can be 6 months old or older... And you already look at them and see how fast they've grown and how much has changed - when just a few months ago it made me think - look how big they are! Time flies! Thanks to images on my walls, I am being reminded daily to soak it up.

I chose these two to go on and on about this subject - because - well one - I needed to blog about them! haha - two - While I look at these two and am amazed at how big they are... (Quinn is the same age as my oldest, and they were best little buds for their early years as I watched her while mom and dad worked, during that learning to talk and play with friends season of life... That time holds a special spot in my heart!) I know that soon... Mom and Dad will be looking back at these remembering good things about this season, laughing about Declan's little mischievous grin, and surprised at how little they were.  Hold on, Slow Down! 

Aren't they cute? 

Northern California Child Photographer - Cutest Boy!

I just can't even stand it! This little guy - my youngest adorable one is just the sweetest little boy ever. I pray every day that his sweet soul stays sweet as he grows. He has a big heart, is so loving, and is stinking adorable. Certainly blessed to be his mamma!

So for your enjoyment, oohs and ahhs...a sample of Kai's 3 year birthday portraits! Balloons and all! 

Siskiyou County Portrait Photographer - Celebrate 8th Grade!

Leora, Madi's mom, chatted with me at church about about doing a session for Madi to celebrate her 8th grade graduation, and I am so glad we did. I love when clients want to do these (what some consider) "little occasions." Don't save photo shoots for only the big big stuff. Seriously. I believe it is always important to commemorate big and small events with something like a photoshoot! Even non-events and the "slow or mundane times" of life are special!! As parents it happens all too quickly that we look at a photo and say "look how young she was!"  or "I can't believe how long ago that was already!" Pictures help us hold onto memories.

What a crazy time of life! Can you remember that time? I do, and I was terrified. I remember desperately wanting to learn about homeschooling or charter school! haha... I guess it's just that change can be scary, and this age changes are big, and intense. Life right?

You will do amazing Madi! Have an amazing summer preparing for high school, and thank you for being such an awesome subject! ;) 


Northern California Child and Family Photographer - How I Manage to Capture Your Kid's Authenticity.

Okay Moms... Here is the deal. I am willing to bet you are a lot like me when it comes time to put your kiddo in front of a camera... especially if you are on a client side. Now is the time to smile and quit messing around! Ha! I laugh at myself every time because I honestly struggle with this for my own children. There are some ages where once they smile for you - it's all golden and perfect. And then there are other ages where you get the forced and un-natural Chandler-Bing-Smiles. I get this from my oldest a lot: 

Siskiyou County Child Photographer

Are you kidding me? This was just supposed to be a "smile a little happier." If you know me and have seen my eye roll - this constitutes like a 3 second long one.  HA!  I have to remind myself to chill out sometimes, lol. Please don't get me wrong.. I do get it - This is who they are at this age! This is the real 7 year old.... and now, later as I look back at these goofy captures, I do love it. But as a mom trying to get a good photo we want those happy joyful smiles, and it can get frustrating when they're just "goofing around." 

Yreka Family Photographer

You know what though! Letting it go makes for an amazing photoshoot. I promise! I know it can be hard to let go. Other people's kids are NO problem for me when they start doing this silliness - its the mother's position that makes it seem frustrating. Many many times when I am photographing little kids - I can just feeeeel mom and/or dad doing the same thing I do with my own, (the 3 second long eye roll?) or they voice it: "Come on - Smile for real" "Pay attention,"  and I just chuckle a little inside, and re-assure mom and dad that "It's okay, we're getting some good stuff in the midst of all this and it will turn out great!" 

While I do always try and add some blooper photos and funny faces into the reveal and delivered images (because they make good album additions and memories), I manage to provide families with some real true happy smiles too usually. And here is how:

If I'm photographing your child - you might see me making funny faces with them or asking them questions about themselves and their family. You might see me asking a little girl to fold her arms and look as serious as she can. Maybe you'll see me asking a boy to show me his best tough guy pose. I ask kids to jump, be goofy, let the sillies out... because as each little action, dance move, or serious pose dies down... this is what happens:        They laugh with me a little, they laugh at themselves because they're a little embarrassed, or they think what they did was hilarious - This helps create Authentic giggling smiles!


The goofing off has a purpose for me, so don't tame them down too much. Let them be little. Let's have fun! 

Eden Valley Orchard and Edenvale Winery - Family Photos Southern Oregon

Eden Valley Orchard and Edenvale Winery - Family Photos Southern Oregon

Adorable Mom and Son Family Portrait Session at the Eden Valley Orchard in Phoenix Oregon. 

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The What to Wear Dilema!

I'm not talking about my clothing choices here. That's a whole other story for another time! But, have you ever been unsure of what to wear, or what to dress your kids in for a photo shoot? I'm doing a shoot in a few weeks of 3 little kiddos. My client wanted suggestions on clothing for them so I went scouting. Now, little kids are easy. Honestly they look cute in anything! I've done shoots of my kids in crazy mis-matched, dirty play clothes... and they're adorable. Biased? eh.. maybe. So really, I don't feel a ton of pressure  on perfect dressing when it's kids! It does turn out amazing when outfits come together perfectly.. but they turn out pretty great none-the-less. The hard part comes when it comes to dressing ourselves for this sort of thing right?? Ha! Anyway... I digress! 
First step - Figure out what item it is that you really want to incorporate, or find something you like that has multiple colors in it. One piece, for one person... It totally takes care of your color scheme for you! Then try basing other items off of that. Coordinate Schmoordinate! not Matchy Matchy! 
Since we were starting from scratch and getting all new things - I went searching for something with a pattern or print that I could base the other outfits off of. I'll be honest - its easiest to do this for the girl of the group usually... not always. I found an adorable plaid shirt for my 2 year old boy last Fall for our photos, and that became the center piece that our other colors were based around.  I figured since I'd basically be sending my client suggestions - I would try and keep everything at one online store. I checked my go-to's: Target, Gap, Janie and Jack, Gymboree, Children's Place....andfinally landed at Old Navy. There were a lot of single pieces I liked at each store, but the coordinating 2 boys and 1 girl part proved to be best suited to Old Navy this time around. I found this shirt at - and it was perfect! (A little Pantone Color of the 2016 slipped in here!) 

Pink and Blue Floral Girls Top
Boy's Clothing Pantone Blue

After finding her shirt, I worked on the boys outfits. Toddlers and babies are easy, so I started with the older boy. One thing to keep in mind is texture and layers. So I went with layers for him... Notice how I'm pulling out the dark and light blues. This is the set I put together to send to my client... Obviously there are some choices there for her to choose from... but I'm basing the outfit for him, off of the colors in her shirt. I don't usually worry too much about the combining patterns thing, because I've seen some super cute shoots with stripes and plaids.. You just have to be careful. But stripes and florals are a total YES. :)  

The little guy was easy - something about a button up with rolled up sleeves is adorable on a little one! Kept him simple, but I think he ties both of the other kids together well. Here is a case of options to coordinate, but not matching... I feel like its done well!  

Little Miss ended up with some Navy leggings,  and we will throw in some accessories to brighten things up for the little miss some.. and bam! 

Can't wait to see it all come together! 

Loving Pink Bokeh!

I do NOT know much about trees, and plants so I can't tell you what kind, but there is a line of really pretty trees out front that are usually red leafed.  In the Spring they have the most beautiful pink blossoms! It SERIOUSLY makes me want to visit DC and the Cherry Blossoms everywhere! I've noticed a few times how amazingly the sun sets behind the row of these trees and told myself - I really need to get some pictures before they're all gone! They are definitely transitioning to their red-state. So a few evenings ago... in the best impromptu type of unplanned way (as you can tell by my daughter's super coordinated outfit) I popped out there to just snap a couple of shots. 
One thing I really am drawn to in these, is the Bokeh!! So often that beautiful bokeh when I get it, is filled, and lush with greens, yellows with maybe a few spots of color here and there... This is just so different! I love it! 

Pink Blossoms
Pink Blossomed Tree

Of course this girl had to get in on the action and bring her style ;)

Girl with Blossoms

VHP Beginnings

VHP Beginnings

Take a look at the early days of VHP! They were prodded and prompted by others. Thankful for the growth and the support through the years to continue improving! 

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Guess What?!

My good friend Mindy told me they are expecting their second baby on August 18! I haven't gotten to spend much time with her as of late! So when we finally had a chance to get together yesterday, the day after her latest ultrasound... I set up a fun little spot to get Big Brother in on the action of announcing his new baby sister (fingers crossed!)  ;) or brother (I could totally see them ending up with all boys)!This little man doesn't know just how much his life is about to change! haha! We were looking for 1 picture, with a shock or a oh no, or a gasp face... and what we got - turned out perfect! I just LOVED the progression of his expressions in how these worked out!! Congratulations John, Mindy and Robby!!

Robby: Guess what?!


why?I'm always learning... So much of my character building comes from my darling daughter. I read this post today: From a blog I found called hands free mama... And if you take the time to read the post I linked to - you'll understand and really see the reason for this post... As I was reading, my 4 year old was asking one of those questions 4 year olds are infamous for.... Something I don't even know how to answer or even know why she's asking it. To be honest - I don't even remember what it was, knew it would be followed up with a "why" or a "how" and was just brushing it off with the usual, "I don't know Brooke." She's a pretty good sport about being brushed off... Usually. How sad is that?! So as I finished the article I looked at her... And tried to really look at her. She was busy trying on some hand-me-downs we just got from a friend. And she was working on unbuttoning her dress so she could get it off....The kind that has 3 little buttons in the front that do not need to be unbuttoned. They're really just there for looks. I started to explain that to her - and then I thought about the article I just read. And thought about how this girl takes forever too.... Like the girl in the blog. But it's because a button is to be unbuttoned and re-buttoned. A pocket must have something in it. The shirt she put on after the dress had buttons too and sure enough- she unbuttoned them all to put it on- then buttoned them all up. And then filled her decorative pocket up with small toys. Oh. My. Word. I don't know why this drives me so crazy.

20131019-161937.jpg But this article made me sit back and just watch her. I know she's only this age for so long... We have a lot going on in life right now and I forget to just let her be 4. I can learn a lot from the way she processes and looks at things, and she can learn so much because of how inquisitive she is..... if I just answer her questions nicely. So I grabbed my camera... And took a picture of each of my little ones just doing their own thing... She was now putting on the hand-me-down rain jacket.. Because, well, Why not?!



I need to step back sometimes and ask questions, take more "real" photographs of my kids! Button things because they have buttons and carry things in pockets because I can... But in applying that to me more - hold my daughters hand because she's 4... And loves it when I do. Answer questions because they're questions and can be answered... Even if they are followed with "why?"

Back in action!

Wow, I haven't officially been working my photography business for almost a year - but as I'm compiling some photos to show you what I've been up to in the mean time, I realized I certainly stayed busy enough for being "out."  I seemed to take shoots on ANYWAY - despite not promoting at all. I kiiinda have a little problem with saying no ;) Life is going going going as always! We've moved (yes again, this time locally), we're expecting baby number 2 in June! And we've both been working full time! I recently went back down to working only 3 days a week at my "real job"  - to save on daycare and gas costs! And am now I'm using that time to take care of our home and coming back to my business!

Being in this profession can be rough in a small town, There are a lot of photographers out there... But! It'll be just fine :) I take pride in doing my best to create something with an extra "umph" and a bit of "something different." And those looking for what I offer, will be happy with that!

I believe it was last summer that I posted any full preview sets... (A couple weddings, and some senior portraits) So the photos to follow are a bit of everything since that time.

Don't forget to check out what I offer and what to expect for investment in the "Prices" tab. And enjoy staying up to date with me on by liking Valisa Henderson Photography on Facebook!

Some Garnicks... {Maternity and Child Photography}

Garnicks!... well some of them at least...I stayed with them while i was there for this AZ trip!! :) Another birth I was bummed to miss out on though! *sigh* I've been shooting these guys since Natalie's newborn shoot! (I think we did newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year... and something else in between?)  So needless to say-  I was sad to miss the birth of Nicholas! Just by a couple of weeks. However, I was glad to be able to get a few pictures of Katie and that belly! I think Nicholas must have been laying straight out - head towards her back - and feet out towards the belly button! :) I think a few of us wondered if maybe... just maybe... a twin would arrive and surprise everyone :) ha! But no no.. Nicholas was just stretchin out in there I think! Natalie tried really hard to not smile at me throughout this little shoot... It didn't exactly work :) Enjoy!

Harris Fam! {Phoenix Family Photography}

AGH! More loyal clients :) A family close to my heart for sure! <3 Carrie quickly grew to become my "Arizona bestie" after meeting ;)! Brayden and her were hang out buddies for Brooke and me throughout our time in Phoenix, always up for crafting... having extra kids in the house, or help keeping each other OUT of the house! She helped a lot too when I had an extra toddler in tow :) (Quinny <3 )! Many days at the mall play place, the zoo... splash pad... never ending searches for new boba places... etc...  then add the many frustrations and scares through Carrie's pregnancy with Jamison... And being able to capture like 5 different maternity "shoots" ;) and his first moments of life.. *sigh* Lots of ties into these people for sure!  OH - and lets not forget that Brooke made a real impression on Brayden's life apparently! We've been gone for 11 months now - and Brayden has an imaginary Brookie that he plays with all the time from what I hear! :)Anyway - on with the show! I just love these pictures! Even though I'm a bit biased :) Enjoy!!

Mr. Crosley! {Phoenix Child Photographer}

The much anticipated Crosley! Tarah worked with my husband, and introduced us to the apartments we lived in our second year in Phoenix (Utilities included is the way to go in Phoenix let me tell you! AC on ALL the time!...)  so we lived in the same building for a while! I was bummed to find out that Tarah and Jared were expecting their first little one so close to us moving away!! But timing has lined up okay :) My first or second visit back to Phoenix after the move when she was pregnant was just in time for their gender reveal photos... :) We got a little time in for some pictures of him while I was there :) Its too bad that I dont know Crosley a little better... He was a fun little guy to spend a time with!! Miss you guys!Such a cutie :) Enjoy the few previews!

Don't forget to like Valisa Henderson Photography As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc


Grant and Lila! {Child Portraiture}

Sweet brother and sister duo here! <3 We met early the morning before I left town... and boy it was nice to get out and get a shoot done before it warmed up! I some how lucked out during my visit to Phoenix!  Smack-dab-in-the-middle-of June it was still cooler than 85 or so in the mornings. So the morning air and light was awesome :)  Apparently Kacie brings the kiddos here often, so Grant was right at home, running around - putting on shows and such... letting us know where to go next ;) It was great! They are such great kiddos! We were done with the mandatory shots we needed to get within the first 20 min! Easy Peasy! Everything after that was simple explore and capture! Which often works out quite well with little ones :)We had a great time! Enjoy the previews!! Don't forget to like Valisa Henderson Photography if you've spotted this because someone you know is tagged. Clients: Feel free to tag, use as profile pictures, share, and show off your photos. Remember not to remove any logos, edit, crop or alter this photo in any way.

{A Shot of Yeager} Phoenix Family Photographer

The Yeager family! Christina is the photographer over at A Shot of Yaeger and contacted me when she heard I was coming to Phoenix. Of course, I know how she feels! The WHOLE family (including her) in front of the camera is a rare occasion :)I was honored to capture this beautiful family! She has the clothing "what to wear" coordination down for sure! And they are all adorable! I loved our evening together!!

And of course, a portrait of JUST the photographer :) As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

{N Family} Phoenix Family and Child Photograhy

Little miss Lillian... So serious! In front of the camera at least! :) I had this adorable face featured before... also mostly serious though! Silly girl! She has such gorgeous eyes and lips though - the serious look works for her!It was great exploring Heritage Square with these three! Per Lillian - we pretty much followed the cats around the whole time :) Oooh! A hint of a smile! As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc