Urban Photoshoot: Chinatown

Yesterday’s photoshoot was planned for the morning, then moved to the afternoon due to the Nike marathon, and then turned into an early evening shoot, which ended around 6pm!

The light at 5:30pm is different in the city than it is in the suburbs.  With all the city buildings, the golden sunset is often blocked.  There are also more artificial lights in the city — from neon signs and flourescent building lights to car headlights.  Then you add in the famous (or should I say infamous) San Francisco fog.

Yesterday, it happened to be cold, windy, dark and foggy!  We really hit the jackpot with the elements, didn’t we?

Ahhh, well we didn’t let that stop us from having a great urban photoshoot in San Francisco’s Chinatown!

Chinese Chess

I arrived early and found a mass group of locals, mainly older gentlemen, sitting around Portsmouth Square playing Chinese Chess.

I find older people wonderful to photograph.  Their faces show wisdom and experience that I’m sure come with incredible stories.



There is the standard way of taking a photograph of Chinatown:  looking directly at it.

But why settle for standard?  Hmmm, this reflection from the back of a car is much more interesting!

Though the image is warped through the glass, you can see quite a lot… the colors, the signs, the people, even the Transamerica building!


A Walk Down Memory Lane

To the S. Family, San Francisco’s famous Chinatown was once considered home.  Ryan and Louise grew up here and their 4 beautiful children had their early childhood years here.

Now they all live in the ‘burbs, so returning to Chinatown is a nice walk down memory lane!


Shadows Leaping

This reminds me of my Leaping Loonies shoot.  It was so much fun to have the kids jump with their parents!  Look at little Kina in the middle – hee hee.  She’s so cute.  And I am very impressed with Jalin’s acrobatic jump (on the left)!

The sunshine burst out of the clouds for a few minutes, just in time for this shot.  See the shadows leaping too?


Kids on a Rooftop

Meet RJ (12), Kina (5), Jalin (9) and Cory (10).  They’re just chillin’ on the side of a building’s rooftop.  Normal city kids stuff!


Another View

From shoe styles to feet sizes, this view tells a lot too.


Jump!  Jump!

Remember that ’90s hip hop song with those lyrics and everyone would jump when they heard it?  (What was the name of that song?  Anyone old, like me, remember?)

Well that’s what I think of when I see this photo.


Setting Up The Next Shot

Louise was waiting for cars to clear that block, so we could get a shot with the family in the middle of the street!  (See next photo for the result.)

I was also standing on the sidewalk, waiting for our 2 seconds of street shooting time, when Louise and I happened to make eye contact.

I love this shot of her, waving a cool hello, on the streets of Chinatown!


The End Result


At The End

While saying our goodbyes, I found some fun moments to capture with my camera:  Louise & Ryan being cute with each other and RJ & Cory goofing around with thigh-burning activities!

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  1. Lawrence

    Really nice photoshoot! I love the feeling from the city and it’s a very different look than the park for sure. Kids are adorable and Ryan & Louise are too cute! Nice work!

  2. awesome pics….great idea…..great job

  3. Louise

    Annie, I love them all! Having my family at the Chinatown location is so meaningful to me & Ryan. It’s so much more than I imagined . Thank you for your magic!

  4. The pics are wonderful!

  5. Theresa

    Awesome photos. I heart the Siu Tribe.

  6. Really beautiful and original pictures…..love and smiles are jumping out of the pictures!

  7. Great pictures! Very original! I love the location. It goes back to our roots.

  8. Annie – You’re AWESOME!
    Thanks for the great pics. We had a great time! It was actually great family time too! This will always be a memorable time and experience.

  9. Ahhhhh… Ryan and Louise, just wait til you see your entire gallery! (I’ll have that ready in the next couple days!)

  10. I love the shot on the parked car. The reflection. Amazing as always Annie.

  11. Jeff and Winnie

    Yeah S Family! Great location for a family photoshoot. We love the photos and can’t wait to see more.