Nikkie and Marcus : Anytime


I met Nikkie through a friend of a friend in college. The minute I met her, I was struck by her unassuming and charming personality. She literally floats through a room and makes people fall in love with her. Nikkie is funny, smart, caring, and honest. Perhaps a little too honest at times because she’s been known to have people in stitches recounting stories of bird poo and/or Manishevitz wine. You just have to love her.

The minute Nikkie and Marcus met, they formed a friendship that morphed into true love. They married and later had a beautiful daughter, Charli. Then Iraq happened. Or, I should say, Marcus’ deployment to Iraq happened. Marcus joined the armed forces to fully prepare himself for life in the FBI, but it often left Nikkie alone with their daughters. No matter the fear, the loneliness, the separation, Nikkie and Marcus worked hard at staying in love. And they very much are.

I recently discovered that as a part of Marcus’ FBI qualification requirements, he must live abroad for a few years and train. Nikkie dutifully stayed by Marcus’ side and told her daughters they were moving to Japan. Konnichiwa! Though sad to leave their beautiful home and beach surroundings, they’re ready to move forward as a family.

I explained to Nikkie that I don’t—ever—take family photos. Ever. I really believe it’s not my forte and definitely not suited for my skill set. We set up a time to take pictures of her and Marcus…and would you believe little Charli and Sierra were all dolled up too? They looked so cute and when it came down to it, I actually wanted to document their family before they left the country. I was completely puckered out after the shoot, but I left loving their family a little more than I ever thought possible.

This is three year old Charli. Though she pretended to be shy, it turns out that she’s total ham in front of the camera…

This is one and a half year old, Sierra. She tried avoiding my camera at all costs, but–thankfully–I captured a few…

We headed to charming Old Town Seal Beach, just a couple blocks from their beachfront home…

Sierra wouldn’t let go of her Dora the Explorer backpack but I thought it still made for a true depiction of her sensitive and loving personality…

Charli noticed a bird in a nearby tree…

Dear God…please make me look as good as Nikkie if I ever bear children. Amen.

One of my favs from the session…

The following two pictures were requests by Nikkie and I love with clients work with me to document their families in ways they only know how…

To see more of their session, CLICK HERE FOR A SLIDESHOW.

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  1. Amanda Auer

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I loooove these! This family is gorgeous! Way to capture them, Jas!

  2. Linda

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    How fun to see you do a family shoot. great job. What a doll. Love that hair. Yes, I would say they are definitely in love! Thanks, Marcus, for your service.

  3. Katherine Bowman

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I LOVE these pictures! What an adorable family! 🙂 You did a great job at capturing them J*!

  4. Val McCormick

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    LOVE the images of this family. How cool to rock the museum trains the way you did! You captured the beauty of those girls perfectly 😉

  5. Nancy

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    hey jasmine – good job on the family pics. I know when I first started doing these, I felt the same way as you, but really, with a PJ type of approach, they are so easy and fun, and there is so much less pressure than a wedding!! I hope we see more of these in from you in the future 🙂 they are super fun!

  6. Betsy, La Vida Creations

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Lovely, Jasmine!! The connection within this family shines through in your photos. I can’t believe you don’t believe you have a gift in this area… I think they’re fantasic!!! 😉

  7. Jacqueline fronters

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Just lovely…any time, any place and you have it going ON!

  8. Michelle

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    What a beautiful family! You are a wonderful friend- it isn’t always easy to step out of our "normal"! As usual you did an awesome job!

  9. Shaina

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:57 pm


    Those little girls could NOT be any cuter. I find family shoots to be more of a challenge as well, but I think it’s just the nature of the shoot. Especially if there are little ones involved. These are great, as always.

  10. Camille Elise

    September 18th, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    It’s such a treat to see these shots, though you love your weddings you really do have photographic talent across the board 🙂

  11. Tanya Jose

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I know that you don’t shoot families, but you so should! We believe in you & you do it so well…whether you feel it’s not your forte or not. I love all of these & whatta gorgeous family!

  12. Jess

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    WOW…. Beautiful family!!!!!!!

  13. jeramy

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    uh…ok…, this isn’t your forte???

    silly. great job! fantastic!

  14. Shawn Kloster

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Outstanding photos! Charli has to be the cutest kid I’ve EVER seen!!

  15. Tracy

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    I’ve never been compelled to comment before but, WOW, what a beautiful family! Great photos too!

  16. Shawna Allen

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    What an absolutely gorgeous family!

  17. Christina

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Awesome!! Beautiful family. I love the way you captured the kids! The pucker face in the 5th photo is adorable!

  18. Annie

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    You did a fantastic job! My favorite is Charli’s "fish face"! So adorable!!!

  19. Pam

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    You really don’t think photographing families is your forte?? These were WONDERFUL! I am so impressed by your ability to catch the personality of all involved.

  20. kelly beane

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    what a gorgeous family & session!!

  21. Hilary

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    This photoshoot is AMAZING–definitely one of my favorites. I love the personality that you captured… Such a beautiful family 🙂

  22. amy

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    you don’t EVER take family pictures? Umm, why do you say that? You’ve taken family pictures before..I’ve seen them on your blog!

  23. Brandi

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Amazing photos, and beautiful family.

  24. Liz Ness

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    What a beautiful family and a great story to go with it. I’m so glad you photographed them. All the best to them (and you, ’cause I can tell you miss them already).

  25. Hilary Grace

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I love this shoot…PERIOD!! What a beautiful family!

    P.S. Shout out to the other Hilary with one "L" below me 😉

  26. Jenae

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    WAY TO GO! So beautiful,fun and carefree.. You make it look so easy..

  27. Gina

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I love these! It shows such a different side of your captures of "love" that love that has been lasting over years.

  28. Jasmine*

    September 18th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    @Amy: I’ve taken family photos once before. So "ever" might have been ever-so-slightly off. I truly believe that it takes a gifted photographer to capture children and patiently wait for them to come around…and I don’t think that’s me. I move fast, and I shoot faster, so sometimes kids are more interested in rocks and grass than my camera…and that takes getting used to! 🙂

  29. SarahShalley

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Dang, they’re gorgeous!! Love them…you should totally do families every now and then. I’ll want you to do mine. 🙂

  30. WeezerMonkey

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Not your forte? These are lovely!

  31. brianna

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    They are amazing!!! Each and every one of them. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and for giving Nik such wonderful memories. I love the pictures and I love you more!!!

  32. Megan Beth

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    wow…what an amazing looking family…and amazing photos! You rock!

  33. Jen MacNiven

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Seriously, these are amazing! You are a gifted photographer…no doubt! I do have a question though…what lens do you use for the wider angle shot…the pictures are amazingly crisp. No matter what I do, I can’t get that sort of crispness and I seriously was thinking it was my fault and I’m starting to wonder if my (24-70mm) is faulty.?

  34. Jasmine*

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    @Jen: It’s funny because I shot the entire session with my 50mm, 1.2. I just stood faaaar away when I needed to go wide! 🙂 And, to be honest, the 24-70 will never be as sharp as a fixed lens. The 24-70 was my favorite lens until I started shooting with fixed lenses and now I’ll never look back! 🙂

  35. Jen MacNiven

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much for your candid response. I’ve been in the market for a fixed lens and it sounds like that’s the way to go. I thought I loved my 24-70 dearly, now I’m second guessing. Maybe I’ll go find a new love now ;).

  36. Amy

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I love them all! Both the family sessions I’ve seen you post are AMAZING. What a beautiful family!

  37. Katie

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Oh my gosh I’m in LOVE with those little girls!

  38. Catie R

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Great job! You captured some truly beautiful moments. Those kids are so adorable. For something that isn’t your forte, you did WONDERFUL! 🙂 What a lovely family. I love their daughters’ gorgeous curly hair!

  39. Joy

    September 18th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Gorgeous family and gorgeous pictures!! You did extremely well!! 😉 my cousin is a photographer and she loves taking family pictures and all that jazz but hates taking wedding pictures and refuses to do so!! 😉

  40. Melissa Carl

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    OH MY GOSH THEY ARE SO CUTE!!! I love these so much and I don’t even know them. Those curls are so adorable and the older one reminds me of my niece and makes me want to go home and give her big hugs and kisses!

    Biracial kids are the best! 🙂 Can’t wait to have one of my own. lol

  41. Erica

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    the fifth one down kills me! awesome shots, all of them.

  42. Julie Cruz

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    You are SO frickin’ awesome. I need to win the lotto so I can book you! Man…you are my IDOL! 🙂

  43. Tracy

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Do you know where in Japan they will be moving too? mainland or Okinawa? if it is in Okinawa, I can fill her in on what to expect.

    Great pix – as always. The little girls are beautiful like their mommy and daddy

  44. Cindy

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I heart this family! 🙂 Jasmine you did such a great job! You have an amazing ability to make connections with people even through the camera lens!

  45. Jackie L.

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    You are so good at family pics! I love the last shot!

  46. Trista Lerit

    September 18th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Gorgeous! What a beautiful family!

  47. Tira J

    September 18th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Amen to the 50 1.2! I used to primarily use the 24-70 mm, but have never looked back since that 50 1.2 made it on my camera. I love shooting period, but kiddos and families are my specialty because I love that connection with a client, especially if you were their wedding photographer and now document their children. You did an EXCELLENT job Jazzy! Don’t ever say never…..

  48. Joyce

    September 18th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I think you are absolutely skilled (more than you think you are) 🙂 and with that it clearly showed with these beautiful photos!

    I wish you reconsider doing more family portraits in the future! 🙂

  49. joan solitario

    September 18th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    WOOOOOOW!!!!! Are you sure it’s not your forte???

  50. beth

    September 18th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    You did an amazing job photographing this beautiful family. Those girls are Gorgeous!

  51. Purvi Shah

    September 18th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    You have captured some really great moments with the Family…I felt that Rail road crossing signifies the crossing over they are planning of moving out of country… Quite thoughful

  52. Daisy

    September 18th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I remember you saying something about children at the San Diego Seminar…but these images are freakin’ AWESOME jasmine! I think you should reconsider just shooting weddings, b/c I think you have a real talent with families and capturing their true spirit. Think about it…

  53. Amy V.

    September 19th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I aboslutely loved these and I cannot wait for the slideshow. What a beautiful family. You always do such great work… you could photograph a mailbox and make it look great! I always get inspired by your blog. Hope to see more family sessions soon 🙂

  54. Natarsha N. Wright

    September 19th, 2008 at 12:25 am

    This family is so adorable! You did an amazing job!

  55. Bobbie

    September 19th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    I have to tell ya girl; I TOTALLY disagree with you on the fact that family pictures are just not really your thing. These pictures prove otherwise! I L.O.V.E them! And I would love to see more like this from you… however, I do think that you should do what you are comfortable with and what makes you happy… I will agree with you though on your favorite photo out of the shoot – it is AMAZING! And so is the one right after that one… Thanks for sharing these… I just loved them!

  56. Elaine

    September 19th, 2008 at 1:51 am

    What a stunning family! I’m thrilled to see you do some family portraits. Inspiring stuff…as always!

  57. Lydia

    September 19th, 2008 at 1:51 am

    LOVE these!! While families might not be your calling, your ability to capture relationships and emotion is a rare and beautiful thing. This family was so blessed to have you!

  58. Isis

    September 19th, 2008 at 2:29 am

    The pictures are gorgeous. The girls are seriously cute enough toeat and mom and dad make a lovely couple. What a beautiful family. God bless them.

  59. cassandra m

    September 19th, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Oh gosh…so beautiful. Charli and Sierra are breathtaking. I lovehow you captured their personalities. Great job on your family shoot. You rocked it!

  60. marlene

    September 19th, 2008 at 3:55 am

    better add ‘awesome family photographer’ to that ‘about me’ section! you definitely did a great jo @ capturing the love in this family!

  61. NIKKIE T

    September 19th, 2008 at 4:09 am

    JASMINE, I’m so hot for you right now! These pictures are AMAZING. THANK YOU for doing this for us. I know you made a MAJOR exception when you shot these and you have no idea how much it means to me!!! You’re the best!! Love you!
    @ TRACY- we’re moving to Okinawa on Oct 1st and I’m freaking out over here so any info you can share would be awesome :). email me-

  62. Caroline Ghetes

    September 19th, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Family photos are not your forte? Au contraire, my friend. These are gorgeous! What a wonderful gift for them! BTW, Nikki’s dress is hot and she looks great in it! After three kids myself and lots of junkfood, I am afraid I would never look that good in something so beautiful…*sigh* To Nikki and the family, I am praying that God will take care of you and your family and for a safe return home!

  63. Jenn

    September 19th, 2008 at 5:50 am

    How utterly cute and adorable are they?! Charli is quite the lil ham isn’t she?! lol Oh they make my heart ache for my nieces… I wanna hop on a plane right now!!! Hope you are having a wonderfully blessed week… Take care…

  64. frannie

    September 19th, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Omg, girl please! YOU ARE AWESOME AT THIS!! Wow. This is such a gorgeous family, you definitely captured heart in these pictures. Beautiful.

  65. Fabuluxe Photos

    September 19th, 2008 at 6:09 am

    You were really born to be a photographer. Your style is so natural but fabulous 🙂

    AMEN –

  66. Caitlin Hazelton

    September 19th, 2008 at 6:11 am

    OK, do you live in a town full of beautiful people, with impeccable fashion sense (yourself included)? I love the close up of Charli – it’s very powerful. 🙂

  67. Jenn Regruth

    September 19th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Sigh. Some people can do it all! Great job, Jasmine! Gorgeous photos and another great writeup. 😉

  68. bobbi+

    September 19th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    and….. they’re… PERFECTION!

  69. Steph

    September 19th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Charli’s hair is rad! luv it! Awesome pics.

  70. Robin M in AR

    September 19th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Always a fan, Jasmine! Your work is just stunning. While I understand why your shooting style lends itself so well to weddings, please don’t sell yourself short. These are just fab!! Seems to me you DO have the patience for this!

  71. Katie Slater

    September 19th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Despite the fact that you think this is not your forte (are you kidding me??!!), you really captured the spirit of them and got some amazing pics! These are so super!!!

  72. rachel langan

    September 19th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Please! These family photos are AMAZING! You don’t give yourself enough credit, you are amazing at what you do, no matter the subject.

  73. Cindy Meadors

    September 19th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I think it’s unanimous……… may not prefer to shoot families but you sure knocked this one out of the park!!!! Are every one of your clients beautiful like this family??? The images are stunning and I believe you could shoot ANYTHING as this is a God given gift you have been blessed with. It’s a pleasure to look at these, you are an inspiration.

  74. jackie wonders

    September 19th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    oh, be still my heart! those girls are ridiculously gorgeous! i agree with others, i think you have a new little forte:)

  75. ricki ford

    September 19th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    A very beautiful family.

  76. Leah Charbonneau

    September 19th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Just beautiful! I love the mix of fun and thoughtful. And such a beautiful family – those girls are so cute!

  77. lynn

    September 19th, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    wow, what a gorgeous family! The one of Charli making a funny face kills me. Great job!

  78. Erin

    September 19th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    What a beautiful family. Awesome photos!

  79. Amy T Schubert

    September 19th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    what a ridiculously beautiful family. How could you resist taking pics of them?
    Gorgeous photos as usual!

  80. Amber Paterson

    September 19th, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    These are amazing!! I’m sure you’re going to get a ton of request for family pics now. And good luck to Nikki and Marcus as they pursue their dreams!

  81. Shutter Bitch

    September 19th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Wow, they’re beautiful, and if you don’t think your forté is family pictures, then I’d hate to see what you think of mine. You have talent no matter what your glass is pointed at.

  82. Carrie

    September 19th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    You were very wrong before… You are just fabulous at family shoots!! Granted, what a great looking family you had to work with :). Love your photography!


    September 19th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    What a beautiful family! Those two little girls … oh, my! GORGEOUS!!! And, I love Nikkie’s dress!!!

  84. Maureen

    September 19th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    They are BEAUTIFUL!!

  85. Melissa Andries

    September 19th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Jasmine, you are truly amazing!! You make any location look drop dead gorgeous!!! I am completely and utterly jealous!!

  86. Sherrlyn Borkgren

    September 19th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Jasmine, Thanks for being a photo judge on ShootQ and I really appreciate being the winner. Winning the ShootQ grant means that I will be spending the whole month of November in The DRC, Congo working with women and girls in need. You’ve great taste in photography!!! All my best in hugs, Sherrlyn Borkgren

  87. Cathy Crawley

    September 19th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    They sure do know how to deliver beautiful looking children! How cute are they!!! Your photos, as always, are simply gorgeous 🙂

  88. Tiffany

    September 20th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    I adore these. Love your work!

  89. Sally

    September 20th, 2008 at 1:27 am

    those are beautiful images that you have captured for them to take away and remember their home. I think you should now be putting a marketing plan together for your kids/family pics as you definitely have what it takes. Once again… stunning!

  90. Renee Bell

    September 20th, 2008 at 6:06 am

    wow – awesome session, gorgeous family, and good luck to them in Japan…

  91. heather

    September 20th, 2008 at 7:17 am

    beautiful!! oh my goodness… she was rocking that dress…and those girls…gorgeous! Beautiful work Jasmine.

  92. Gina Leigh

    September 20th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Photographing a family is so tough!! I completely agree that it is not at all what I’m best at. You did a fantastic job…I love the personality in all the images. What a great family!

  93. Ash

    September 20th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    What a gorgeous family and what gorgeous photography.

  94. Tiffany

    September 20th, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    You captured this family beautifully! I love the picture of them laying on the grass=) The older daughter is meant to be in front of the camera for sure!

  95. stephen

    September 20th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    i love it, these are some of the best life style family photos ive seen in a while.

  96. Eric

    September 21st, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    What a beautiful family! Awesome pics as usual!

  97. Naomi

    September 22nd, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Jasmine, These photos are so beautiful! I’ve been reading your blog for such a long time and this is the first time I’ve commented. Your work is outstanding and inspiring. If I could take photos half as good as these I’d be the happiest girl alive! Keep Rockin! Naomi x

  98. Marcus

    September 22nd, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you Jasmine. Great job.

  99. Ali

    September 23rd, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Jasmine, you’re great at family pics! These are wonderful.

  100. Rachelle

    September 23rd, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    This family seems very close. The older daughter mimics her mom beautifully and you captured that in the picture of the three of the Ladies sitting on the curb. My favorite was the unity picture of all four of them in the grass. What I love most about this photo session though was how loved the wife feels by her husband…how she closes her eyes when he’s holding her. THAT is BEAUTIFUL!

  101. ano

    September 24th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    wow! these photos brought tears to my eyes! thank you for capturing the essence of this beautiful family that represents the face of more and more american families

  102. robin dini

    September 25th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    love that tight shot of little miss curly hair. (after the train). What beautiful children! these are great jasmine.

  103. Nataschia Wielink

    September 25th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I cried..I laughed-Jasmine…you did a fabulous job with this family!

  104. Amy Donovan

    September 26th, 2008 at 3:33 am

    I have been a blog stalker for quite some time but I have to tell you that I love bird watching shot. It made my heart skip a little.

    Have a beautiful day, Amy

  105. Arika

    September 26th, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Wow…I am completely blown away!! these photos are simply breath-taking! Jasmine, you truly did a wonderful job with this photo shoot and my beautuful friends…maybe too good of a job, considering you don’t do family pics ever 🙂 I’m way beyond impressed, and now super sad that the reality has set in that Nikkie & Marcus are leaving for a bit. Kudos to you, Jasmine! and so long, till next time, Marcus & Nikkie 🙂

  106. Lori

    October 6th, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    You are a great Photographer, never seen anything like this before, of course you had a beautiful family to work with. Miss you Marcus & Nicole, keep in touch