Sunday, May 3, 2015

Taylor, RCHS Class of 2015

One of my greatest joys is photographing friends, especially when we have a long history.  I have known Taylor since she was about 2 1/2 years old!  Her mom, Cyndi and I became friends about that time through home schooling.

One of the things that has never changed about "Tay" is her level of joy and enthusiasm!  She is truly one of the sweetest, kindest girls I've ever met.  It's been amazing to see her grow into the young lady she is today.

Here are just two of the many many images to come.  But I couldn't wait:)

Taylor, I'm so excited to see what God has for your future.

Momma 2.0

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sunbeam, Guide Dog

Sunbeam came into our lives thirteen years ago.  My daughter, Courtney, took her to train as a guide dog for Guide Dogs of the Desert.  When we got Sunbeam, or as we more commonly called her, "Beamer", she was a 12 week old puppy.  We all instantly fell in love with her sweet personality.

She was always the sweetest dog!  My son used to say she was kind of like a beauty queen- beautiful and wants world peace:).  That completely described her.  And faithful.  She loved her raiser (Courtney) so much that when we returned her after her home training and raising, she was so attached, she couldn't be a guide dog.  She spent a brief time in training as a drug dog.  She eventually was offered back to us and we happily took her back!  While she was back at Guide Dogs, we had already taken on our second pup from them, Sarah, a black lab.  
When we brought Sunbeam home, they became the best of buddies.  In fact, Sarah wouldn't even want to lie down until Sunbeam was at rest.  That's because she slept with her head on Beamer's "hind" quarters, kind of like her very own pillow.  

Well, as with all good dogs (and bad ones I presume) the time comes when the just get too old.  We had to make the decision to NOT let her live in pain, to put her down before she was so uncomfortable that she couldn't walk comfortably.  
Anyone who has had to put down their beloved animal understands!
It aches in your stomach and you dread the goodbye.
Well, today was her day.  I am very thankful for LEAF, http://www.animalfriendsofthevalleys.comLake Elsinore Animal Friends for their kindness as I wept and they were so patient and waited until I was ready to hand her off.  And I'm very thankful for her wonderful vet, Dr. Bob http://lacrestavet.comWe will never forget how she "seemed" so dumb but always knew where she left her bone.  Or how when we got home she would  pick up something to give us, even a straw or piece of paper, like it was something special.  

She was the sweetest dog and if ever a dog could go to heaven, it would be her (that's another topic though:)
We love you Beamer Doodle Noodle!
Rest in Peace

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Temecula Snow Day

I awoke to a text, "Sorry, can't meet today.  The weather has caused me to change my plans.  I can't believe it's snowing!".  With one eye opened, I really just noticed the "can't" part.  I try to go back to sleep...wait...did it say S N O W?? I look out the window but it was still to dark to see.  I go downstairs, open the front door of my Temecula home and what do I see--a winter wonderland!!  Rubbing my eyes, I look again.  Yup, snow! So I take the dogs out (they really didn't know what to do:) and waited for the sun to come up, then traversed through the slushy roads to snap a few photos in Old Town, Temecula, my home for 25+ years.  To my knowledge this is only the second time it's snowed at my house since I've lived here and the last time was about 12 years ago, Thanksgiving weekend but it just lasted about an hour.
  I think the funniest thing I saw was the construction crew who were setting up for New Year's Eve stop to build a snow man (well, actually just a head) and take pictures of it, leaving behind the thoughts of their day, just a moment to enjoy.  I wish I could've snapped that moment but alas, I was driving!  As a SoCal Gal, I'm not accustom to dealing with this weather.  In fact, I honestly didn't even know if I like snow.  I've only had a few experiences with it in my entire life--to be exact, I remember three!  But today was the chance to live in the moment, something I rarely do.  I'm a planner although I do not always execute said plan.  I love to plan, organize, and "do".  It was fun to seize the day, even just for a few hours.  So my New Year's plan is to "Carpe Diem" a little more often.
Happy New Years All!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Carissa~High School Senior Girl

Carissa came to me as a referral from her dance studio, Dunamix
I always love working with seniors!  I love hearing their plans, hopes, and dreams, and Carissa is no different!  It was neat hearing about her life and the things she values.  

One of the sweetest things about Carissa is her heart towards her mom (and, well, her adorable smile!).  I really enjoyed seeing how she related to her mom, deferred to her, knowing her mom had her best interests at heart.

I'm sure Carissa will go far!

Congratulations on your senior year!!

Thanks a Bunch!

Nancy Montoya

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I think my best friends are two years old or canines:)
Photographing sweet little Grace was so fun!  She loves all things girlie (I love that she brought her Minnie Mouse for our photo session).  Two year olds are great.  They love so many things.
Two year olds are all about adventure- she loved seeing all the things in nature, from the ants to the hawks.  One of the best things about photographing little kids, is enjoying them enjoying life.

If you'd like information on a photo session for your family, senior, or children, pleas call me 
Thanks a Bunch:)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ballet-Inspired High School Senior Session-Taylor-Class of 2014

A {Young} Woman Who Fears the Lord

Okay, strange title for this blog post, right?? Wrong!  This is something that I noticed about Taylor every time we've met-her love for the Lord.  Taylor is an amazing young lady.  One thing that impressed me the most about Taylor was her trust in God and his plans for her life.  But I'd rather let her speak.  While I usually like to write a little about the family, baby, senior, or engagement session,  I'm navigating into deeper waters with the seniors I photograph these days.  I'm truly impressed (and slightly jealous:) to hear of their amazing plans.  Her trust in the Lord is not that of a young, naive girl, but one of courage- one who has seen God at work, and not just in her own life, but as I said, I want to use her words and because she's eloquent, I asked her if we could do an interview.
I posed some questions:
Me: "Taylor, what are some of your favorite activities?" 
Taylor: "Worshiping, teaching children about Jesus & dance, designing sets & props, dancing, event planning, sketching & painting, traveling & being at the beach :)  
Me: "Where do you work and what do you like about it?"
Taylor: "I work at Dunamix Dance Project (her parents studio) as a Jazz/Ballet instructor for ages 3-16 and I absolutely love it!  My position is more than just teaching dance.  As a leader in these girls lives, an incredible door has been opened for me to impact them spiritually and emotionally. I also work as the official prop and set designer for all of their shows and the studio event planner."
Me: "How have your parents impacted your life?"
Taylor: "My parents mean the world to me, they have trained me spiritually, emotionally, mentally and even physically to push pass my comfort zone. I owe everything I am to what the Lord has done through my parents."
Me: "Is there anyone else who has highly impacted your life?"
Taylor: "Jesus Christ is my absolute everything. He has always guided my every step, even as a small child. He is my closest friend, my daddy, my bridegroom and my Savior."
Me: "What excites you most as you get closer to graduating high school?" 
Taylor: "I'm very excited to see what the Lord has in store for my life."
Me: Do you have any specific plans for the near future?"
Taylor: "Yes!  This past January, the Lord revealed to me the next step in my spiritual walk. He  told me to apply to Hillsong Leadership College in Australia  I'm very excited to take this step of faith and jump into God's incredible plan for my life. I'm going to be training in Children Pastoral. My life and passion are devoted to bringing children to Christ. 3 John 1:4 says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth”.  I'm deeply grounded in the fact that these precious children are the leaders of tomorrow.  Building love and faith in Christ, one child at a time, will have a worldwide impact.  I know that one of the reasons why God desires for me to attend Hillsong is to become better equipped for teaching children about Christ.   My training and education at Hillsong will arm me with tools to mentor and guide children into a life changing relationship with Christ."
Me: "What did you like most about your photo session?"
Taylor: "I completely adored how Nancy was able to take my personality and translate it into an image. We had only talked once or twice before the shoot and yet she was able to find things about me that made me different and special."
Me: "What did you think about the way you looked?" 
Taylor: "I thought the pictures were so beautiful! I loved the makeup too!"
Me: "What do you like most about your photos?"
Taylor: "I loved the locations Nancy found to take the pictures, they were so gorgeous!"
Me: "Anything else you'd like to say?"
Taylor: "The whole experience was a complete blessing. Nancy made posing a really fun-filled experience. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who was looking for a photographer."
Me: "Anything else?"
Taylor: "Thank you Nancy for the awesome experience!" 
 {Seriously..could she have a more adorable sense of humor and be more beautiful??}
 Taylor teaches at Dunamix Dance Project, a local, amazing dance studio with a purpose to share the Lord.  Check them out

Taylor, I wish you ALL the best.  It was a pleasure working with you- you're an incredible young lady!
I'll be praying for your future:)
Thanks a Bunch!!
Nancy Montoya

**If you'd like more information about photo sessions,  please contact me by phone @ 951.760.9125
or through email @

Makeup: Nancy Montoya {12 years makeup artist/esthetician}
Head piece: Nancy Montoya
Assistant: Courtney Montoya

Monday, March 3, 2014

Christmas Came Early This Year

A few weeks ago my youngest son, Jacob, sent me a text asking what I wanted for Christmas.

I knew this was probably the work of his girlfriend, Hayley, because, well, he's a guy!
He typically doesn't ask what I want but he knows me well and always gets me things I like.
Isn't that the way it is with people who really  know you.  They don't have to ask.
In fact, my friends who really know me rarely ask what I need prayer for or if "I'm ok".  They can look at me and know the answer and they know the things on my heart and what I'm praying for.  okay, I digressed a little.  Needless to say, I've been busy with work, home and helping my mom prep for surgery so I never answered him.  Truthfully, I don't "need" anything.  Now what "would I like" opens a whole Pandora's box, lol:).  I have Jesus and if you took everything (except my family and friends because all this stuff's- things I own-are just going to burn someday anyway!) I wouldn't really care.  So Jake gave me something far better than even the iPad he & my other two kids got me a few years ago.  
He gave me a future new member of the family!
Jake and Hayley are engaged and I could not be happier!

My cup runneth over:)
  I've prayed for them since they met, even before they dated, as I watched the look on his face when he said her name or talked to her on the phone.  We will be so happy to have her join our family.  I've loved seeing their relationship grow and see how she lovingly cares for and asks about my family members, and remembers details.  (bragging rights of a future Mother in Law---she showed up one morning with my favorite Starbucks coffee and favorite pastry as I left to shoot a wedding.  She didn't have to do it and I never would've known if she didn't but she cares about us.  
I'm so excited to see how they work to plan their wedding and future together. 

Question: Was I there when he proposed and did I take these photos then?  
Answer:  No way! Even if I wanted to he would have lost me on the road.  These were taken about a month ago when I was doing some family sessions. 

Question:  Have they set a date?
Answer: If you know, please tell me:)  jk, not yet, they're too excited to probably think of those things.

Question:  Will I be photographing the wedding?  
Answer:  If you know my son you'd know the answer anyway but no, however, I plan to have a camera under my seat.  c'mon, I'll have one of the best seats in the house, you know I'm taking a few between tears, right?!

Nancy Montoya, future mother-in-law:)