The Nettles Family at Home

Photographs by  Kent Avenue Photography

You know how you meet some people and you just connect instantly? That is how I felt when I crossed paths with this wonderful young designer several years ago. We were introduced by mutual friends, after working for the same design firm. Truly one of the kindest, most talented (and incredibly humble) people you will ever meet. What a joy it has been to spend some time with her family over the past couple years and photograph them together at home. I am so smitten with the life they are creating by the California coast. I was thrilled to head back over the hill that Sunday afternoon to capture them all that warm summer sun!

When I visited this time, they were right about to begin their kitchen remodel on their beautiful Victorian so rather than shoot our entire session inside, we moved outside into that glorious California light. We sat on the back patio for a bit. Greg kindly gathered some rosemary from their backyard and made us some beautiful infused cocktails! With the sun shining overhead and music singly sweetly on the patio, the children played under the apple trees while we sat and chatted all things design over a beautiful charcuterie. I loved hearing their vision for their home, their backyard and for their family. A fresh, white washed space with heaps of natural light and more charm than I could seriously handle.

My heart swelled at the idea that their goal was not to disrupt the original architecture but to honor the bones of their historic sweet home. A lovely open kitchen that overlooks a beautiful patio hugged with gardens, a tree swing and lazy hammock hang in the distance. Meandering dirt paths wind their way to a little chicken coupe and a petite artist studio where Hillary disappears to paint. They insisted their home is in the humblest of beginnings. I begged to differ. Everything was seriously perfect already. And what meant so much to me, was that everything had such meaning to them. There was a story (and a good one at that) behind everything. There was depth to that home already. Stories to tell and stories waiting to be written. I loved it all.

I wandered around outside for a bit..exploring and evaluating the light for our session. While Hillary insisted her studio was 'a mess', I couldn't help but ask if I could just quickly peek inside. I am so seduced by these type of spaces. She politely agreed. I was absolutely blown away when I opened the door to see the talent of this young girl..her portraiture is truly unbelievable. All those brushes and palettes...her mess was not such a mess to me. There was beauty in every brush and every ounce of spilled paint. It was clear that her portraits see deep into your soul. Layers of paint..each applied with such love and the stories linked to each piece told such a beautiful tale.

I peeked back out into the sunshine and made my way back to the house. It was dinner time, so we decided it might be nice to have a little picnic outside with the children. We brought some airy sheets and oversized pillows and laid them under the trees with the music sweetly playing. A sparkling rose, some beautiful meats, cheeses, bread and dried fruit. A nice loungey late afternoon...reading, sketching and snuggling. It was perfect. As the sun dipped lower on the horizon and it neared the children's bedtime, we took some final pictures together with the setting sun. I truly couldn't have asked for a more wonderful afternoon.

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Full Photograph Gallery

Full Story Credits

Photography & Styling by Kent Avenue Photography Food Styling by Mark Gonzales Family, The Nettles Family Platters from Hudson and Grace SF Sheets from Parachute Home Pillows from Serena and Lily Mother's Dress from Free People Little Girl's Romper from Nica Nica by Veve Camera / Film : Contax 645; Fuji 400h