McKenna Pendergrass Photography » Southern California Newborn + Family Photographer

Masthead header
  • Welcome to my blog!

    It's so great to have you here! Feel free to browse around, and leave a comment or like a post if you see something you enjoy. You can even pin photos to Pinterest, like me on Facebook, or view my website.

    For those of you that aren't familiar with McKenna Pendergrass Photography... I am a wife and mother to a beautiful little boy (don't worry, you'll see plenty of him!). I live in sunny Southern California, and do business throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. I have always loved working with kids, and considered a specialty in newborns and families for some time, but it wasn't until my son was born that I decided to make the switch. And I'm so glad that I did! I love DIY projects, being barefoot, and reading.

Victorville Newborn Photographer {Jacob}

I love when dad’s come in with tattoos… there’s something neat about pairing them with the newness of a little baby. I didn’t even notice what this daddy’s tattoo said until the end of the session, but as soon as I read it I knew the shot that I needed to have!  Scroll to the end to see… and don’t forget to read their story!

.

20140928_0002

20140928_0004-1
20140928_0006-1

.

Tell us your story:  Being a first time mom every mother knows is very hard. I knew having my little Jacob was going to be difficult but little did I know it was going to start at birth. When I first got to the hospital they had me lay on my left side because with every contraction his heart rate would drop. After three painful hours later I was finally able to get an epidural. I was super excited, no pain and eager to get the show on the road. When my doctor came in I was excited to experience the next phase of child birth. I started pushing. Twelve hours of labor and one hour of pushing I was too tired to continue pushing. I had absolutely no energy, and no food in my belly.  All they would give me was ice chips for the last twelve hours.  The doctor told us all about a C-section and how it goes. On my way to the O.R. I started going into shock. My body started shaking uncontrollably. No matter what i did I could not control it. When they had me on the operating table I was trying not to freak out.

My husband was by my side the whole time. When my baby came into this world my husband asked, ” Do you hear that? Do you know what that is?” I answered, “My son.” They got Jacob all cleaned up and tried to hand him to me and I started crying and I told the nurse I cant hold him, I will drop him because I was still shaking so bad. She said they wouldn’t let that happen. The nurse held on to him while she laid him on my chest. I honestly didn’t know what to think when he was on my chest he looked straight into my eyes like he knew exactly who I was. After they took Jacob and my husband to another room the doctor proceeded to stich me up. Sometime during that time I passed out and I woke when they were finished. I had never been so tired in my life. I was now a mom and couldnt have been more excited in my life. The road to recovery has been a long one. A C-section is no joke its very painful and exhausting but the pain dosent go on forever. Eventually it goes away and the time with my handsome son gets better and better.

.

20140928_0008
20140928_0014

.

How did you choose your baby’s name?  I went through sooo many baby names and there was no little boys name that I liked. we tried a couple different names and the more I would say them the less I liked them. One day my husband and I were watching twilight and the character Jacob came into mind. I asked my husband what he thinks of the name Jacob. He said it sounds cool. So we decided on Jacob. We finally had our sons name picked out.

Who do you think your little one looks like most?  My husband and I agree our son is a pretty even mixture of both of us.

What is your favorite part about having your baby here with you?  I love having my son. I love seeing him smile and watching him sleep. As all moms think I have the cutest son ever.

Any tips for making your hospital stay more comfortable?  Was there anything that you did to prepare your for delivery, or that you felt helped you during labor?  My labor was different then any of my friends or family so unfortunately there wasn’t anyone or anything to help prepare me for what I went through. Only advice I know to give others is to be prepared for the unexpected.

What things have helped you adjust to parenthood the most?  Anything you can’t live without?  I definitely could not have adjusted and gone on without my husband hes been so supportive and understanding through the whole thing. He’s really my better half my whole heart.

.

20140928_0017

Back to top|Pin This|Contact Me|Subscribe|
Israel Castro -

Great story! Thank you for sharing I love my little nephew Jacob, pictures are amazing! I’m sure you’ll be great parents, lots of Love to all three if you guys!
Love,
Sussy and Family

Victorville First Birthday Cake Smash Photographer {Connor}

One of my favorite little guys just graduated his baby plan!  He’s grown up to be such a sweet, charming, silly one year old!!  This first photo was literally the FIRST shot I got at his session… do we really need more than that?!

(If you missed Connor’s other sessions you can see them here:  maternity #1, maternity #2, welcoming baby, newborn, six months)

.

20140928_0001
20140928_0006
20140928_0003

.

How has your life changed in the last year?   People always say “Your life will never be the same after having kids!” That statement is both true and false, at least for our family. Yes our lives have changed in many amazing ways but were also still able to do a lot of the things we did before having connor. One big thing that changed is I now know another amazing level of love you can only get from having kids. Aside from going from absolutely zero contact with babies, zero diapers, 8+ hours of sleep at night to having full responsibility for another human being, tons of diapers and very little sleep, our lives have continued as before, just with a little human in tow =)

What new things is your baby up to?  New skills, likes or dislikes, quirks?  Since only a few months old when his personality started coming out we have always said Connor is/will be a very intense baby, that is still true today. He truly is always a very happy baby, always learning and playing, meeting new people and loving every minute. He has the BEST facial expressions, personality and is always entertaining. He does this thing that we call “Yoga baby”. He sticks his butt straight up in the air with his head down that looks just like the down dog position, and i always joke he’s better at yoga than I am! He has been walking short distances the last few weeks and definitively says mama and dada, and at times mom and dad. He is also learning baby sign language and knows at least 3 signs!

.

20140928_0009
20140928_0014-1
20140928_0013

.

What is your favorite thing about being a parent?  The best thing about being a parent is seeing our son learn. Being able to teach and show him things and then seeing him learning and experiencing new things and new people is amazing to watch. And then of course the amount and kind of love that we feel towards this tiny little being is simply amazing.

What advice do you have for parents of a 1 year old?  The first thing i think of when asked to give advice for parents of a 1 year old is simply, have fun. You will never get today back. I personally love this age, at 1 year old, play is their job. They are not simply playing, but learning, growing and experiencing life. You are their number one person in their life, it all starts at home, and with you. Another thing, and this applies to any age, is tell them everyday that you love them, like its your job.

.

20140928_0020
20140928_0024
20140928_0027
20140928_0031
20140928_0040
20140928_0046

.

Love this cake?  Check out The Cake Shop in Apple Valley!

Back to top|Pin This|Contact Me|Subscribe|

Victorville Lifestyle Newborn Photographer {Diego}

Just before this sweet boy was born, I was telling my husband that I have never photographed a baby as big as our own… You can see Caleb’s newborn photos here (fun fact, Diego’s big sister is the other baby in that post!) and Emma’s here.  They were 9lb 13oz and 10lb 2oz…  And then the next day Diego was born!  Lol.  I was there for Diego’s birth, and the look on his mama’s face when the midwife said he was over 10lbs was priceless!  So here he is!  The only baby I’ve photographed as big as my own.  ;)

.

20140926_0002-1
20140926_0010-1

.

Tell us your story:  On September 12th, our family was blessed beyond words with our little chunky Diego. We were very lucky to welcome him gently in the comfort of our home :)  (don’t forget to check out their maternity photos and birth story too!)

How did you choose your baby’s name?  When we first found out we were having a baby, I asked the kids what they would liked to name him/her and Omar, our oldest, said San Diego. We used to go to San Diego a lot, and he just loved it. So, we dropped the San and decided to name him Diego ;)

Who do you think your little one looks like most?  I cannot really tell right now, but looking at pictures of Omar and Lili one can definitely say there is a resemblance.

What is your favorite part about having your baby here with you?  Everything, seeing him change every day, seeing how much the kids love him. He just melts our hearts.

.

20140926_0014
20140926_0016
20140926_0041-1
20140926_0048

.

Any tips for parents with multiple kids?  How did you help your kids prepare for their new sibling?  Breathe, when you feel you are not going to make it, just breathe. Everything will be OK. We talked to the kids about what things were going to be like from the very beginning of the pregnancy. I made sure they understood the baby was going to need me A LOT, that we had to be gentle, no jumping around the baby, quite voices when baby sleeps, etc. So, by the time the baby was here the transition to having a little baby in the house was very smooth.

What things have helped you adjust to having multiple kids?  Anything you can’t live without?  We got very lucky my husband was able to take time off work and my mother in-law was able to be here with us the first week after the baby was born. That really helped out a lot. The one thing I couldn’t live with out would be my husband :) But my wrap carrier is definitely a must have when you have multiple children. It makes life so much easier :)

Favorite baby related funny story:  Even though this is my second baby boy, it makes me laugh that I still freak out when he pees during diaper changes :)

.

20140926_0024
20140926_0029-1
20140926_0037-1
20140926_0038

Back to top|Pin This|Contact Me|Subscribe|

Long Beach Lifestyle Newborn Photographer {Leah}

I love meeting new people, and it’s even better when they have a sweet new little baby!  This little family was just so easy and fun to work with.  =)

Tell us your story:  My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We dated for 10 years before we got married. We planned to start a family sooner, but when he got an amazing opportunity to attend a top ranked Business School we put our plans on hold and moved to Chicago. Just before moving back home to California we found out we were pregnant and now we have the most precious baby girl.

.

20141001_0007
20141001_0019-1

.

How did you choose your baby’s name?  It has always been a name on my list since I was young. We had a few others in mind, but kept going back to Leah because it was feminine enough for my husband and not too common for me. It just took my husband a few weeks to stop saying “Leia” and me telling him “not the Star Wars character!” to decide it was a keeper.

Who do you think your little one looks like most?  Right now I see my husband in her mostly, but my Dad brought out some week old pictures of me the other day and Leah looked a lot like me then.

What is your favorite part about having your baby here with you?  Actually getting to hold her and bond with her. It is amazing the instant connection I felt as soon as I saw her.

.

20141001_0011
20141001_0013-1
20141001_0010

.

Any tips for making your hospital stay more comfortable?  Was there anything that you did to prepare your for delivery, or that you felt helped you during labor?  Bring your own clothes to change into and make sure to brush your teeth- you will feel so much better!

What things have helped you adjust to parenthood the most?  Anything you can’t live without?  Having my parents help has helped me the most- it is a HUGE change and without them doing my laundry, picking up meals, holding her when we need a break, I would be having a very difficult time.

.

20141001_0031-1
20141001_0023
20141001_0032
20141001_0029

.

Favorite baby related funny story:  At her first Pediatrician appointment, of course she pooped in the waiting room so when we got into the examination room I changed her diaper and she decided to poop again right then. It shot all the way over to where my mom was standing and got all over her clothes. She just laughed and said, “I guess I have been christened.”

.

20141001_0041-1

Back to top|Pin This|Contact Me|Subscribe|

Victorville Baby Photographer {Emelia – 1 month}

So you know the saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”?  Well this is a case of the photographer’s children having no photos… or you know, they have photos, but they’re not edited and no one has seen them.  Lol.  Life is hard when you have two kids, and you’re running a small business.  Seriously, there are soooo many things that I need to be doing, or thinking about, or trying to start working on, and so often it’s easy to feel overwhelmed… but then I look at this sweet face and listen to Caleb’s crazy stories about the green octopus coming to steal his guitar (lol) and it makes it all worth it.  =)

.

20140923_0001
20140923_0010-1
20140923_0007

.

We also had my dear friend Krystal of Krystal Michelle Photography come and take some more photos for us.  I LOVE them!  I truly believe that it is so important for people to exist in photos for their children, but we somehow never ended up with photos with Caleb when he was a newborn… these photos are wonderful and mean so much to me!  It’s truly a moment you can never get back.

.

10717739_10154648264620277_336908648_n
10726327_10154648264650277_1084579713_n
10717935_10154648264630277_2115628645_n
10719532_10154648264615277_1558269157_n

Back to top|Pin This|Contact Me|Subscribe|