As a creative family and children’s photographer, the most rewarding session I could personally ever have is photographing my childhood friend’s baby. And that is just what happened on my recent trip to my hometown in San Diego County in California!

10 Year Reunion in Carlsbad, CA

My teenage years were spent growing up in a beach town in Oceanside, right along the coast where taco shops are situated on every corner, surfers are casually strolling barefoot with a board tucked under their arm at sunrise, and the rolls of skateboard wheels on concrete are constant background noise. I moved to Oceanside when I was 12, not knowing anybody and unsure of where I would fit in.

Our Middle School Years

My first-ever friend in Oceanside – and my best friend during middle school – Bianca, and I met on the first day of 7th grade in 2nd period Chorus. Her and I clicked immediately and we spent the next 2 years, talking for hours on the phone afterschool, making music videos, shopping for cute clothes and daydreaming about the boys we crushed hard on. We were boy-crazy to say the least and had a particular fondness for skaters and fashionable earrings, wide belts and headbands.  Ah, junior high in 2007 – such fun times! It was with Bianca that we had our first boyfriends together, had our first kisses with those boyfriends, went to all the school dances and watched Clueless and John Tucker Must Die on repeat during our weekly slumber parties. Cher and Dionne, we were. While we lost touch after junior high, the joyful, fun memories have always stuck with me through the years, and I owe so much to the joy I experienced in middle school because of Bianca. Not gonna lie – middle school (for myself, personally) was so much better than high school, and it was Bianca that made middle school some of the best years of my childhood.

So, it goes without saying that when Bianca reached out to me on Instagram to book a family portrait session with her BEAUTIFUL 8 month old daughter Arabella (gorgeous just like her mama!) and her sweet and gentleman of a fiance, Steve, while I was visiting my hometown in Oceanside, I was bursting with happiness and excitement! It had been 10 years since I had last seen Bianca – 10 years! – and I couldn’t wait to catch up and meet her family.

Hosp Grove Park | San Diego Family Photographer

We met up at Hosp Grove Park in Carlsbad, one of my favorite family session spots in North County San Diego. Arabella is a strikingly adorable baby, and her big, round eyes are features that a baby and children’s photographer only dreams to photograph! Steve and Bianca’s connection and chemistry were clear from the get-go and their admiration and friendship between the two of them was so fun to capture behind my lens, not to mention the evident love and joy they had for their sweet baby girl. It was an easy session, to say the least! And let’s be real – how cute is Arabella?

Hosp Grove Park Carlsbad California San Diego Family Children's Photographer Helena Woods

Canon 5D Mark iii

This was also my first-ever session with my new camera body, the Canon 5D Mark iii. I decided to upgrade after using the Canon 6d for the first three years of my running my studio,  but I wish I had done this sooner! The quality of the Canon 5D Mark iii is so crisp, sharp and the focus points make my job so much easier in terms of getting that crystal-clear focus. While it is always the photographer and never the camera that makes a beautiful photograph, the Mark iii definitely adds a little pop to my images, and I am so glad I got to photograph my friend and her family with my new camera!

Sneak peeks from our recent Carlsbad Family Portrait Session!

Memories from our Middle School Days (thank you Photobucket!)

Reunion at Hosp Grove Park in Carlsbad | Connecticut Children’s Photographer

February 4, 2019


I'm an expert at creating emotive, modern classic children's and family portraiture, the ultimate Disney and Harry Potter nerd, and I'm obsessed with expressing my joy for life on this blog!

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A boutique children's portrait studio, documenting the simple joys of childhood and real, emotive connection between families, with a timeless classic look that's forever in style. 
Connecticut | NYC 









2016 - 2019 Helena Woods | Helena Woods Portraiture is located outside New York City in Fairfield County Connecticut and travels worldwide for her clients. Helena Woods is New England and Connecticut’s premier family, children, baby and newborn photographer specializing in modern classic custom family photography with a timeless look that's always in style. As a professional photographer, Helena captures maternity, newborn, baby and family portraits in NYC, Westchester, Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norfolk and all Fairfield County surrounding areas.