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.

Commercial Photography: Enjoying Life

When I was in my 20s, I realized there were three things that make me stop and let out an “AWWWWWW”.

Babies was the obvious group.  The largest group was puppies and pretty much any furry animal, which is what led to a slew of travel to destinations where I could see animals in their natural habitat.  And the group that surprised me was seniors!  Even if I were driving, I would always notice the elderly couple holding hands or the senior who was doing something they loved.

Enjoy life at any age is a great mantra to live by.

Last week, I had the privilege of photographing residents of TODCO, a community-based housing development company in the South of Market neighborhood of downtown San Francisco.  I met many vibrant seniors and residents in SRO housing.  Some opened up about their life’s struggles and achievements… one super woman was 98 years old… many couples were married for many many decades… and one even gave me a gift.  Awwwwww.  (See what I mean?)

My time at TODCO reminded me of all that I am grateful for with my business, which is the opportunity to make real connections with people, so that I can capture them in an authentic way.  ❤️

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Being Away

This week, I left my youngest for a few hours, and when I came home, I found out she cried for most of the time I was away!  After she caught her breath, I reminded her that I was always with her — “in her heart and her mind” — even if I wasn’t physically right next to her, in hopes that she’d find comfort next time.  I pointed to my chest and forehead when I said this.

Avie lifted her hands and pointed to her red swollen eyes and said softly, “But you weren’t here.”

All I could do was hold her tightly.  Sure, part of me wanted to ‘toughen her up’, but mostly, I wanted to embrace her loving nature and respect that she still needs me.  Plus, today marks the 17th year anniversary of my dad’s passing, and I remember feeling the same way about my dad as Avie does about me, except she still has the ability to see me, hug me, and talk to me after I’ve been away.

Life is fragile and unpredictable, and it has a way of toughening us up (unfortunately) without us needing to force it.

So for now, I will hold my little one as much as she wants me to.  ❤️

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Her Everyday Self

There you have it.  I blinked, and now I have a teenager!

Some things I expected with a teenager (a little bit of envelope-pushing that keeps me on my toes) and some things I didn’t (her interests remained the same as the last few years).  Mia still loves reading, collecting stuffed animals (curses to whoever invented Pusheen – haha), creating handmade toys, and the color aqua.

She still wakes up at 6am no matter what, laughs at my jokes, and can’t resist picking up any book she passes on her way to eating/sleeping/showering/leaving/doing her homework.  :)

She is the same big-hearted, caring soul as when she was a toddler giving away all her snacks to her friends even when she was hungry and the preschooler who rushed to cheer up crying strangers at the park.

For her birthday shoot this year, we agreed it needed to represent her everyday self.  It can’t be “styled”, like the Fairytale Shoot.  Or while wearing things she doesn’t normally wear, like the hat in last year’s shoot.  So Mia wore clothes she’d wear to school, brushed her hair, and grabbed her favorite baseball cap and a book that was lying on the table.  Simple.

We drove 5 minutes from our house since the location wasn’t the highlight; it was my Mia Pie.  ❤️

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