Tom, Kathy, and their beautiful black lab, Shamrock, got up nice and early this week.  We met for a session at Mary Gomez Park in Santa Clara and took advantage of beautiful morning light surrounded by fall colors.  This is the kind of couple you want to visit at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The chilly morning air could not compete with the warmth of their love. They were such a joy to be around.  Before the shoot, Kathy told me that she has always had trouble with Shamrock appearing too dark in pictures.  I was pleased to make his beautiful coat shimmer in the morning light.  On this day, the day before Thanksgiving, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to meet so many amazing people through my passion for photography.  I thank God for this everyday!

Tom and Kathy - Christmas Portraits 2014 Tom and Kathy - Christmas Portraits 2014

This year, Cindy and Dave get to share the magic of Christmas with their son Tyler for the first time! They are such great parents. Tyler is a very lucky little guy. I felt so blessed to be part of Tyler’s first Christmas. He’s 8 months old and one of the happiest babies I’ve ever met. We took a little walk to Bowers Park, in Santa Clara, and captured the beautiful fall colors. If you like these previews, be sure to check out the rest of their photos here!

Gust Family Web Res-32 Gust Family Web Res-28 Gust Family Web Res-20 Gust Family Web Res-7


Last year I had a wonderful opportunity to take Christmas portraits for Patty and her three boys at the Bernal Ranch in Santa Teresa County Park. I was so excited when Patty asked me to take their Christmas portraits again this year!  We selected another historical site, the Rengstorff House, in Mountain View.  It is a favorite spot of mine!  Patty’s boys are the most well-behaved kids I’ve ever met.  They are such an amazing family.  I feel so honored to be part of their Christmas this year! Take a minute to view the gallery from their Rengstorff House Christmas portrait session. Patty Gutierrez 2014 Web Res-60 Patty Gutierrez 2014 Web Res-56 Patty Gutierrez 2014 Web Res-61

Seventh Heaven Vintage RentalsBig thank you to Seventh Heaven Vintage Rentals for featuring images from Kirsten and Mickey’s Allied Arts Guild wedding. Their ceremony and reception featured floral arrangements from Royal Bloom Boutique, a sweetheart table from Seventh Heaven, and the one and only Whimsical Photo Booth. The fabulous location, amazing vendors, and extremely creative couple came together for a flawless wedding in beautiful Bay Area weather. It was such a pleasure to be part of this spectacular day! Congratulations to Kirsten and Mickey!   Be sure to check out the rest of Kirsten and Mickey’s photos and don’t forget to visit Seventh Heaven’s blog post.

Yesterday was such a blast!!!! Kirsten and Mickey’s ceremony and reception were held at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park.  Let me just say, AMAZING!! The wedding party, family members and guests were all so wonderful. God was really present at this wedding.  Kirsten and Mickey have really got the right idea about how to get married!  Here’s one shot to prove it! Stay tuned for more.

Allied Arts Guild Wedding Photography - Whimsical Photos

Allied Arts Guild Wedding Photography – Whimsical Photos

  • July 1, 2014 - 9:51 pm

    Cathy Paz - Thanks for sharing Judy. Fabulous pictures. Very beautiful wedding. Blessings to the newly weds.

    Cathy PazReplyCancel

IMG_9411 _MG_9512_1It’s that time of year.  People are making promises for the coming of 2014.  One of the biggest and most exciting promises that tends to come at this time of year involves two people.  That’s right! It’s time to get engaged.  No doubt, your Facebook feed is full of wonderful celebrations of  coming nuptials.  This season is really exciting for me.  It gives me the opportunity to meet new couples and share in the joy and excitement of planning their weddings.  Pinterest boards and fairy tales come to life during the prepping for the big day!  This season also brings on especially nostalgic feelings about my wedding with my beautiful bride, Karie, nine years ago.  One of the key things to remember when it comes to planning your wedding is that booking venues and vendors early can save you lots of cash, making that dream honeymoon a reality. In fact, I’d like to help you take the honeymoon of your dreams!


Who says the giving has to end with Christmas?  Certainly not me!  The spontaneous side of me, which is what Whimsical Photos is all about, feels it’s time to announce a special that can’t be beat!  If you book your wedding with Whimsical Photos before the end of January, I’ll knock 20% off the package price!  That means wedding photography packages start at just $800 until February!


Actually, I can’t just limit this special to weddings! Portrait photography sessions too!  Sessions normally start at $250.  Book a session before the end of January and I’ll knock it down to $200!

Here’s to a spontaneous 2014! Tell your friends! Live life to the fullest and make a new year’s resolution to take more pictures! (wink)

Whimsical Christmas Mini Sessions - Komal and Family Kristin and Tucker-204


9th anniversary-2Today, December 18, 2013, is my ninth wedding anniversary with my wonderful wife, Karie. This was a special year for us because we were able to take our two boys, Mikey and Mason, on an amazing adventure to the remote village of Naduri, in Papua New Guinea as part of a solar mission project (Power up Papua).

It also marked the beginning of kindergarten and second grade for our boys and another couple semesters of straight A’s for Karie at school. We still say silly things to each other like, “I’ve loved your silly butt for 11 years.” (In fact, Karie just said that to me)

For all the time we’ve been together, I have always tried to surprise Karie for special occasions. It started with the proposal on a roller coaster. There was also a treehouse in Hawaii and a massage in a cottage on the Northern California coast, among other things. I even went dress shopping for her in Australia.

After all of that, I had to come up with something to surprise her again. This time, I looked to the traditional gifts for each specific wedding anniversary. Being our ninth, the traditional gift is ceramics.

I knew immediately that a pottery wheel class would really be up her alley. What better way could there be to celebrate the life we’ve made together than to make some ceramics together?

She had no idea!! We went to the Higher Fire Clayspace and Gallery in downtown San Jose for a two hour pottery session. We were greeted by the owner, Dan and quickly got to work with our teacher for the day, Donna. She was wonderful. We had such a great time and can’t wait to pick up our pieces after they get fired and glazed.

If you have a special occasion coming up, I highly recommend Higher Fire! And just think, it could make a great portrait session too!


Nina and Matt-91-EditSanta Teresa County Park has some really amazing scenery and really great historic buildings.  It is also a dog-friendly park, which is why I decided to meet Nina and Matt there for some portraits with their dog, appropriately named Tank.  The previous week was seriously cold. I was a little worried that it might still be frigid outside.  Luckily, the weather was great and we got some great shots! If you like these, you have to see the rest of their photos!

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Nina and Matt-199 Nina and Matt-5 Nina and Matt-290-Edit


san jose family portrait photographerOn Wednesday, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Patty and her three boys, Andrew, Jeremiah, and Gabe.  Patty has got to be the mother of the year.  She lost her husband when he was deployed overseas during the War on Terror.  Her newborn daughter also went to heaven early. Patty is such a strong mother and has raised their three boys to be confident and courteous. They are definitely on their way to being brave strong men, just like their daddy.  It was an honor to be part of their Christmas this year.  Their family will be in my prayers.

Patty Gutierrez-211 Patty Gutierrez-231 Patty Gutierrez-267 Patty Gutierrez-249 Patty Gutierrez-306 Patty Gutierrez-2-2

Visit their online gallery to see the rest of the photos from their session.

Every so often a man comes through our neighborhood selling the tamales that his wife makes.  Delicious!  I thought tamales were the perfect lunch today, with the lines along the outside of the corn husks.

#projectlife365 #tamales #lines

#projectlife365 #tamales #lines

I decided to start taking and posting a photo a day.  It’s a great way to challenge myself and continuously strive to be better.  I’ll be using the prompts from the Project Life365 website. Each day they provide a hashtag as the inspiration for a photo.  Today’s is #in_these_shoes.  Here’s my shot!  Thanks to Kristin for being my model for the day! Project Life365 - #in_these_shoes

Whimsical Christmas Mini Sessions - Komal and Family

Yesterday was so much fun!  Whimsical Photos Christmas Mini sessions were in full swing.  We met at the Rengstorff House in Mountain View for some quick and intimate family portrait sessions.  The last session of the day was with Komal, Minesh, and their two darling kids, Mila and Kellan. After a little over half an hour of chasing Mila around the beautiful yard, we had some really amazing photos!  As I drove home from the session, I couldn’t get the smile off of my face. In fact, I had so much fun that I’m going to extend the Christmas Mini offer for any other clients through December 22.

Here’s a sample from their session. Want to see more?  I don’t blame you.  Check out the rest of the Patel family portraits from the Christmas Mini Session.

Whimsical Christmas Mini Sessions - Komal and Family Whimsical Christmas Mini Sessions - Komal and Family Whimsical Christmas Mini Sessions - Komal and Family

Halloween has come and gone.  You know what that means – Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.  I’m terrible about sending Christmas cards, but I’m determined to help you get them out on time. How, you ask? Christmas mini sessions on November 16!

Two years ago, my family started a tradition of taking family photos every season.  I find myself behind a camera a lot more than I get in front of one.  Our first seasonal photoshoot was Christmas, 2011 and featured handmade stockings from my Aunt in Australia and a handmade bunting from a dear family friend, Melissa.  To top it off, we had a Christmas blanket, a white picket fence and giant swirled lollipops.

We had so much fun during our mini session that I wanted to do it all over again.  This time, for you!

Each 20-30 minute session is just $100 and includes:

  • 5 high resolution digital photos
  • 25 printed Christmas cards with envelopes (some examples above, but many more styles to choose from!)

This special offer is only available to five lucky clients! Contact me to schedule your Christmas mini! Available times are:

  • 12:30 PM
  • 1:15 PM
  • 2:00 PM
  • 2:45 PM
  • 3:30 PM



  • November 2, 2013 - 3:25 am

    Frank Saunders - Hello…..

    I would love to do some Xmas cards with my daughter…


20131014-214352.jpgLast Sunday was my first chance to operate the new Whimsical Photobooth at a real event.  Amanda and Eric’s wedding was in a spectacular setting.  The Hyatt, in Carmel, CA, is perched high atop a cliff and overlooks the Big Sur coastline.  Their ceremony was held outside on the deck as the sun began to set behind the Pacific Ocean behind them. View full post »

Working the graveyard shift definitely has its ups and downs. Especially when I wake up after only about 3 hours of sleep, but can’t convince my body that, despite the bright light coming in the window, noon is my midnight.

After several hours of trying to get back to sleep with no avail, I decided to see what my family was up to. Little did I know, I was being protected by superheroes while I was sleeping.

Want to paint your kids’ faces like this?  Karie got the ideas from Face Painting by Klutz.


An hour at the park is always quite an experience with the boys.  Having stumbled upon the work of photographer Tom Hussey ( today, I was inspired by his ability to capture ordinary moments in the day of a child in an extraordinary way.  Filled with awe at his style, I decided it was time to take the boys to the park and try to mimic his style.  Not sure I achieved that, but I did get some great shots of an “average” day at the park with our boys.  Talk about a FULL hour.  The boys rode bikes, drew with sidewalk chalk, had lunch, fell off of bikes, got ow-ies kissed by Mama, had a V8 cheers, hid from the camera, and used the fence as a balance beam.

View full post »

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It had been raining across the state of California for what seemed like weeks.  Everyone was getting a little bit nervous about the weather, but as December 7th came, and a mass of family and friends ascended the mountains of Santa Barbara, the sun began to shine and God smiled on what would be a wild weekend of adrenaline pumping paintball and a “no surrender” wedding. View full post »

  • December 12, 2012 - 8:14 am

    Laura Johnston - Absolutely enchanting photos of a beautiful couple!ReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2012 - 8:49 am

      Peter Stephens - Thank you Laura. Photographing wonderful people like Annie and Jesse takes very little effort. They really are a beautiful couple and it made my role very easy!ReplyCancel

  • December 12, 2012 - 6:21 pm

    Carolyn Repko - Such a beautiful blog and incredible pictures Peter. We are sorry we didn’t get to visit more with you and your family.

    Gramma CarolynReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2012 - 7:28 pm

      Peter Stephens - Carolyn, thank you. I would have loved to spend more time with you as well.ReplyCancel

We had been planning for quite some time to visit the Crest Ranch Christmas Tree Farm on December 2. However, the weather in the bay area was quite uncharacteristically wet, rainy and cold and we were not sure it was going to happen. The Fire Antz soccer game was cancelled the day before due to rain. When we woke up on the 2nd the rain was so heavy, it was like being back in South Carolina. But God smiled down on us. Quite literally, in fact. View full post »

  • December 9, 2012 - 11:59 am

    Mum - Sounds perfect- I love you all MumReplyCancel

I’m writing this as we have just reached 10,000 feet (approved portable electronic devices are now able to be used) on our first of two flights to get home from a wonderful weekend at GG and Granpa’s house.

Though we couldn’t make it until the day after Thanksgiving, they had plenty of leftover turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all of the other fixins we’ve come to enjoy.

The whole family was there; GG and Granpa (of course), the four Stephens kids, each with their respective spouse, and all of the grandchildren. That’s 16 people in one house for four straight days! View full post »

  • December 8, 2012 - 8:02 am

    Ann - Wow I’m impressed with another member of the Stephen’s family. What a fabulous family.ReplyCancel


Yo Ho, Yo Ho, it was a Pirate P-arrrrrrrrr-ty for Mason’s 4th birthday this year.  Karie went all out on this one because it was his first “real” birthday party with friends!

To turn the sweet, innocent children into scurvy bilge (b)rats, we gave them their choice of bandanas, pirate tattoos, face paint eye patches, and pirate mustaches. Then they sat and made fearsome hooks out of foil and red plastic cups, which turned into a sword fight when they discovered that hooks can be straightened! View full post »

Today was the day.  Karie and I finally decided it was time to cut the boys’ hair (feathers in Mason’s case).  This is not Mikey’s favorite thing to do.  I’m not sure any 6 year old wants to stand/sit still for 10-20 minutes while their mother holds a vibrating blade that makes a loud buzzing noise up against your head while telling you where to look.   View full post »

Well, Mikey and Mason are finishing up the first season of playing on the same PAL soccer team, the Fire Antz.  Today was their first game of the end of season tournament.  Just like last year, the rains came down and games got canceled yesterday.  Today was beautiful though and the Fire Antz played one of the most intense games of the year.  It was 0-0 down to the last minute of the game with several attempts on the goal for each team.  With one minute left, the Fire Antz scored and launched themselves into the championship game!  Stay tuned, December 2 is the final game.  Go Fire Antz!! View full post »

I had such a great day today. Two newborn sessions in one day!! (Check out the other one here)

First up was Noah. His mommy and daddy have been friends with us for years and their two older kids have gone to preschool and kindergarten with our boys. View full post »

Baby Maddix came a few days late, but she is oh so precious. It was a baby kind of day as I got to do two newborn sessions back to back (see the other one here). I’ve been very blessed to photograph Maddix’s parents’ wedding (see it here) and her mommy’s maternity session (see it here). It’s been wonderful seeing the Brooks family grow. Kari and Keith are really great people! I hope to see their family more and more.

Check out the rest of baby Maddix’s photos by clicking here.

Just a preview of photos from Hannah and Frankie’s wedding. Check out the rest of the photos by clicking here.

Hannah and Frankie’s wedding was on October 20, 2012.  It was a fantastic celebration of love.  Seeing these two brought back memories of my own wedding and I even was able to sneak in a dance with my wife.  Congratulations Hannah and Frankie!

Check out all of the photos from their wedding by clicking here.

  • November 13, 2012 - 8:06 am

    Leslyn - Their love was tangible! I’m still smiling. Thank you for capturing the memories so beautifully!ReplyCancel

Well, it was a few days after Summer had officially ended when we finally got around to taking our latest photos in the Seasons of Family series.  It’s amazing how incredibly difficult it can be to plan to take family photos just four times a year!!  Once it was scheduled, Frankie helped us out behind the camera, and we began a make-believe backyard camping experience, complete with a tent, camping stove, marshmallows and an unlit fire.  What a blast! View full post »

Just a preview of photos from Denise and Spencer’s wedding. See the rest of the photos by clicking here.

Denise and Spencer got hitched in outdoor bliss!  On the northeast side of Yosemite National Park and along the shore of the Twin Lakes, Annett’s Mono Village ( was a beautiful site for a wedding.  The ceremony was in an open valley, with granite mountain peaks all around.  It was truly incredible.  The reception was a true blast, with an outdoor setting, allowing us to watch the sun go down during dinner and dancing.  Congratulations Denise and Spencer!

Check out all of my photos from their wedding by clicking here.

Our spring family photos were such a blast.  We tried using a sprinkler to create artificial rain, but it didn’t work out too well in the pictures.  Nevermind though, we still had a great time with our umbrellas and rain boots (we got the boys’ at KID to KID in Santa Clara and ours at Target in San Jose) and the boys loved jumping in the puddles on the sidewalk.  Melissa helped us from behind the camera for the shots that I was in.  Thanks Mewiss! View full post »

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