Tara Firma Farms Portrait | Sonoma County Portrait Photographer

This was such a special session! Mrs L. contacted me and requested a photo session with her family with natural rolling hills and tall grass. There are so many places like this in Marin and Petaluma but often it is private property. I found the perfect location after a recent visit to my CSA farm, Tara Firma Farms. They have rolling hills, tall grass and after a little hike, a serene lake.

The farm agreed to allow me to photograph on their property and encouraged me to donate to their institute whose goal is “to educate our friends, families, and communities about their local food shelter, share and develop techniques for proper animal and pasture management, and to promote knowing your farmers!” Check out more about the institute here:

My family gets a delivery of fresh, organic vegetables and pasture raised eggs every week and an ice chest of meat every two weeks. We love the quality of the food and the mission of the farm. I gladly made a donation and offered that option to my client as well. She was eager to participate and to get such an amazing location for her session.

They made the long drive from San Francisco all the way to Petaluma just for this session. Mom had mentioned that her son was just about to loose a tooth and was initially hoping that we could do the session before it fell out. Then, it got a little gruesome and they hoped that the tooth would go ahead and come out BEFORE the session! With a little coaxing ($$$), the tooth came out and left a beautiful and dignified hole! We laughed about the story and big brother had a little bit of a hard time smiling with his new look. He quickly got the hang of it and we were off!

First things first. We head towards the trail to the lake and chickens are milling about pecking and picking near the trail. They were so funny because it is not like they moved out of the way when you walked near them. No fear, I guess! So, we had some photo bombers and close encounters that made me only slightly uncomfortable!


What did make me uncomfortable was the next animal that the family saw on our tiny hike….. A king snake. I am so glad I did not see it. I would have screamed! I know they are good snakes, but… I still would have screamed. So, that happened! I only shrieked 6 times on the hike when something or other scurried across the trail too close to my feet. I am not joking, I tried to hold it in, but out came the screech.

We made it up to the lake and although we didn’t photograph the lake itself, the surrounding area was absolutely stunning.

We had the kids sit in the high grass (on a mini wool blanket) to capture some of the beautiful afternoon back light. There was a snake skin right next to them which they thought was pretty cool.

All in all, it was an amazing portrait session.

Mom said, “Emily!!  These are amazing!  Thank you so much, we all really enjoyed our time with you and it shows.  The location and the lighting are magical, the photos of the two kids are fantastic, especially when you consider the first few!  I love it, we can’t thank you enough, and we look forward to seeing you again–maybe {little sister} will be missing half her teeth next time!”


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Photography by Emily Payne

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San Francisco

Newborn Photographer