Family of four casting long shadows on a beach at sunset.

I almost changed the title of this post – is calling this the quietest beach in the Bay Area a stretch? Am I getting a little dramatic? I could be wrong, but I can’t think of a place less visited. The proximity to more popular beaches and the somewhat forgotten trail certainly contribute to the solitude. But it feels like a quirk that this place is so little used.

I suggested this location with the caveat that making it to the beach was a stretch. With two daughters four and seven years old, it seemed nearly impossible that they could be convinced to make the long trek. But I knew there were beautiful old stands of Monterey Cypress and blufftop panoramas along the way. We didn’t need to make it to the beach for a successful family photo session.

As it turned out, the day we met brought classic Bay Area spring weather – clear and beautiful but extremely windy. The blufftops were catching the brunt of it, and our hunch was that the beach, backed by sandstone walls, would offer shelter. Hope was all the inspiration this intrepid little San Francisco family needed for the long walk.

Once on the beach, the girls were free to do whatever they wanted. I photographed them running from the waves and cartwheeling and climbing sand cliffs and throwing handfuls of dried-up sea creatures into the sunset. They were cold and tired by the end and, while it was hard in the moment, this gave me the chance to document the end of the journey. The long road home.

These are my favorite kinds of photo sessions. Ones that are a little challenging, that expose all the sides of what it means to be a family. Ones that push me to stop and notice the little details that make up the whole picture.

Man squeezes baby to cheek in front of sunset and rocky beach.

I’m David, and I photograph Bay Area families that are super proud of where they live. My easygoing presence puts everyone at ease, and I focus on candid emotion and moments of connection. No posing, no stress.

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