Family Session in Marin Headlands

California is such a beautiful place, or I could say a dream destination for photographers. Last April, I had an opportunity to be there for the Magically Mundane Workshop with Alexandria Smith @lovedaphnemae, which was absolutely wonderful and I will share some experience about that in the next post. While I was planning for the trip, I knew for sure that I wanted to do one or two family sessions there because the landscape was just too breath-taking.

A few days after I posted my travelling session, Xinlei reached out and connected with me. She is such a kind soul and so beautiful. We messaged each other over Instagram and I found out that she was also one of Alex’s former workshop students. How wonderful is that!! I told her about my vision for this session, the location, etc. Xinlei was right on board and she trusted me, someone she’s never met before with her family photos. You could never imagine how excited and happy I was!


The workshop took place in Sausalito, which is on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I was travelling by myself, so between the fear of driving in a new city/country and the time limit (I literally had 2.5 days after flying), I knew for sure that choosing a location that is nearby my accommodation would be best. Prior to that, I made up a criteria for a location that I want to shoot at, for example:

  1. It has to one of the landmarks of that city and/or country.

  2. Must be something that we don’t have here in Ontario (i.e. mountains, cliff, oceans, etc.)

  3. Breath-taking views

  4. Close to Sausalito and my accommodation

  5. Easy to access and no permit required

After many search on Instagram and Google, I arrived at Marin Headlands. The moments I saw the landscape, I knew it’s the place that I’ve been searching for. Luckily for me, a local friend and super talented photographer Katie Nicolle (Katie Nicolle Photography) was shooting her sessions there not too long ago. I reached out for her and she guided me to the right spot. So thankful for her!

The session took place 45 minutes after I checked in to my accommodation. Basically, this whole trip was fly-shoot-sleep-workshop-shoot-fly. There was no personal time in between, but that was totally okay. All the effort, planning, rushing…they were all worth it. I can’t be happier with how the photos turned out.

Again, special thanks to Xinlei and her family for trusting a foreign photographer like me, and for braving the wind and chill on that day. I had the amazing time and I hope we could connect again in the future.

Lastly, I hope you all enjoy the highlights below :)