Hello there!

My name is Annie Tao. I am a photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in lifestyle photography where you get to play, hang out, and be yourself. I capture the moments, real emotions and stories that occur during our time together. Check here often or subscribe to my blog (RSS feed) to see what I am up to or get creative inspiration. Thanks for visiting!

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The Buzz

My Philosophy

I scoured through thousands of my client photos and pondered my philosophy on photographing people.  What I realized was that my philosophy was incredibly simple.

Looking at all these gorgeous faces and families, my heart melts a little.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.   ~annie

Want to see more?  Yippeee… here’s a video on why you should choose Lifestyle Photography.

Dinosaur Head

Stories by the garden, leaf races at a waterfall, songs while climbing a giant tree on the cliff.  These were some activities The H Family had this past weekend, just to name a few.  However, I bet if we asked Max, the expert 3-year old rock collector, he would say the best part of the photoshoot was finding a rock the shape of “a dinosaur head”!

Or maybe it was picking up one of the other 50 rocks and sticks that adventurous morning.  ;)

It was so fun to play with Chase and Max, to see how much they have grown, and to catch up with their parents, Nichole and Clark!

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East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-smiling-with-one-hand-in-pocket  East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-boy-looking-down

East-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-family-of-four-walking-across-field-by-mountainside

East-Bay-lifestyle-photography-woman-in-blue-looking-up-into-soft-light  East-Bay-lifestyle-photography-fuzzy-white-flower-thingies-by-lake

East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-showing-big-brother-his-dinosaur-rock

East-Bay-lifestyle-photography-wild-flowers-by-rock  East-Bay-lifestyle-photography-waterfall-closeup

East-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-dad-playing-with-boys-by-water

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The Wishing Shrub

For my Mia’s 11 year old shoot, we chose to concentrate on her love of creating with her hands, reading, and creative writing.

So she made 11 cranes out of origami paper — one representing each of the years of her life.  Then, obviously, we turned one of our hydrangea shrubs into a Wishing Shrub.  :)  Mia carefully placed each crane while thinking about the meaning of each year.  With the last crane, which represents this upcoming year, she made a wish.

Afterwards, she hung out on our swing bench and read a story she wrote.

It was so… “her”.   <3

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East-Bay-lifestyle-preteen-photography-girl-holding-origami-crane-behind-wishing-bush  East-Bay-lifestyle-preteen-photography-girl-making-a-wish-with-origami-crane

East-Bay-lifestyle-preteen-photography-girl-putting-11th-origami-crane-in-wishing-bush

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East-Bay-lifestyle-preteen-photography-girl-on-bench-swing-looking-away  East-Bay-lifestyle-preteen-photography-girl-smiling-on-bench-swing

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The Other Side of a Selfie

I ain’t gonna lie.  I take selfies just like the rest of the under 35 population — except I am allegedly above that number, but shhhhh!

Anyhow, what I find horrendously awful, yet funny are the stories I read about how some teens and 20-somethings spend HOURS, if not most of the day, taking hundreds of photos to get that one perfect selfie to post on social media.  It is to a point of addiction, but of what?  Self-promotion?  Self-consciousness?  Validation of self-worth?

I don’t know exactly, but I do think it needs to get under control soon because I’d hate for my kids to grow up in a society where their internal happiness is governed by how many views they get or how many people clicked “like”!

With that said, I thought I’d show everyone just how funny “the perfect selfie” can be…or more like, NOT PERFECT!  :)

[Note:  these shots were taken with my iPhone.]

My Selfie

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The OTHER SIDE of my Selfie

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BWAHAHAHA!!!   :D
I was about to step out to meet with my friend, and I didn’t do the dishes yet.  They’re not even pretty dishes…they’re kids’ plastic and melanine dishes that don’t break.  There’s also some trash on the counter.  In the background of my selfie, you actually can make out some plastic from bread rolls and a half bottle of a “one buck chuck”!  I think I didn’t finish putting on my lipstick either…or maybe I just ate something?!!  Well, this is where there was nice light, so I stood next to my dirty dishes.  And I needed to leave, so I didn’t fuss with anything.  Whole thing took about 15 seconds.

Funny, right?!!

Let’s keep it this way, folks!  Don’t aim for Perfection.  Aim for Realism!  Be real.  Be you.

And know that the only “like” you need is the one you give yourself.

xo,

annie