Like Old Girlfriends

Last year was a test of The L Family’s photoshoot endurance because it was freezing, like literally freezing!  Their kids, Rory and Dex, were so little too, and with little ones, they can’t fake comfort when it doesn’t exist, and they aren’t bribe-able.  (Is that a word?!!  ha.  Parents know what I am talking about!)  I still remember not being able to change the setting of my camera because my fingertips were numb!  But for Danny and Emily, they found ways to make it a fun experience for the entire family, frost-bite and all!  ;)

This year, we made sure it was warm and sunny by doing an ancient Sun Dance at noon for seven days.  Just kidding.  They booked their shoot earlier, so they could choose an earlier date!

It was a lot of fun to play games around this breathtaking garden and to observe the baby koi fish and turtles swimming.  My favorite activity was catching up with Rory.  Rory isn’t one of the parents.  She is 4 years old.  (Well, “four and three-quarters”, as she would say!)  I’m sure this sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not… we walked around and talked like old girlfriends.

Towards the end of the shoot, I told her I’d miss her and she asked her parents if I could go home with them.  Sigh.  I miss her already.











Oh and here’s a pic of me and my “old girlfriend”, Rory!   (Thanks, Danny, for taking that of us!)


The Apple Boy

For my son’s 9 year old birthday photoshoot, he wanted to be an apple.  Seriously.  An apple.  I don’t know why.  He thought it’d be fun to dress as an apple and act out a story.  As a mom photographer, I have to just let him run with it because hey, he wants to do a Styled Shoot, so who am I to squash his creativity?!!  Not I, said the photographer.  Not I.

So enjoy Ian’s story about The Apple Boy:

Once upon a time, there was an apple.
The apple loved being an apple, but he wanted to see what else was in the World. 

First he hitched a ride on a wagon.  After it stopped, he carried his apple friends to escape from the scarecrow.
After resting on a hay bale, he looked at the other apples and realized he was very different from them.  He was a boy!
He then saw a bear coming towards him!
Since he knew he wasn’t actually an apple, he wasn’t afraid.  He just walked over to the bear and fed him.

The boy now made a home at an apple farm with the bear as his pet.
And he lived happily ever after.

The End.


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Union Square in the Morning

I am not a morning person, but I can’t deny, there is a certain calmness and peacefulness that exist in the mornings.  Especially in the city, I notice the blatant absence of traffic, busy stores, and people shuffling to their destination.

Instead, I hear birds, whispers of the sole person walking, tires slowly turning on an empty street.  It makes me want to do yoga, meditate or do tai chi in the park.  Alright, not really the last one because that’d turn out to be more humorous than zen-like, but it does make me love morning photoshoots!

Last weekend, Jo and Meilani met me early morning in Union Square where they had coffee and hot cocoa, shopped, walked around, and laughed at the long line outside the Apple store — heh heh.  It was such a nice morning, minus the two (hmmmm, what’s the politically-correct term… housing-challenged?) belligerent people whom we ran into along the way.  One was wearing a jacket on top and see-through tights on the bottom…and nothing else.  Such is life in the big city!  :)

Check out this urban mother and daughter shoot in downtown San Francisco…


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Standout Mount with Bamboo

I love the line pattern on bamboo…the smooth feel of it…the natural color…and that it’s eco-friendly.

So, why not have bamboo for my best selling product:  Standout Mounts!

I ordered this gorgeous 20×30″ Standout Mount with a bamboo edge and paired it with lustre paper to match the organic feel of the bamboo.  (The rest of my “Happy Wall” is covered in Standout Mounts with a black edge and Metallic Paper for the nifty sheen.)  I also added a lustre coating on top of the print for a more matte look and extra protection against fingerprints.

It just arrived today, and I am so excited about it that I not only added it to my product offerings, but also, had to take photos of it right away!

Bamboo Edge



Lustre Paper with an extra layer of Lustre Coating


Why Standout Mounts with Bamboo?  Why not have prints mounted on solid bamboo?

I put a lot of thought into all the products I offer.  For a long time, I wanted to sell images printed directly on a slab of bamboo!  However, the slab of bamboo, though gorgeous, was way too heavy.  That made it difficult to hang and also not as safe for hanging on a wall in a house with children — and most of my clients (including myself) have young children. 

So what is a light product that is modern-looking and easy-to-hang?  Standout Mounts!

Having these mounts with a bamboo edge instead of the standard black plastic edge was a great idea, but almost too good to be true.  But it really is all that!

Since I now offer two types of edges, when do you choose a Black Edge versus a Bamboo Edge?

Simply put, the black edge goes with pretty much any type of image and any decor home.  You can also choose any paper type (Metallic Paper or Lustre Paper).  With a bamboo edge, I think it looks better with Lustre Paper only and it looks better with an outdoor image to match the organic look of bamboo.

If you have specific questions that I haven’t already answered, you can ask me!  I’d be happy to help.


Autumn in the Park

After photographing Evy and Ethan since they arrived into this World, I can’t help but feel connected to them.  Thus, it was imperative that I spend part of their shoot playing with Evy and holding baby Ethan.  <3  Admittedly, I breathed in Ethan as much as I could.  We’re talking my face was in his hair.  Can you say awkward?  The fresh scent of a baby is like sniffing a bit of Heaven!  Well, Brent called it something else, but I’ll leave it at that.  ;)

There is always a lot of joking around and laughter when I see Heather and Brent.  I love it when clients turn into friends because the shoot feels just like we’re all hanging out.  In any case, we had a lot of fun and the kids were incredibly well-behaved.  The weather in San Francisco was bright and crazy-hot that day, even in the early morning hours, so I had to “find the (good) light”.

Now check out Heather, Brent, Evy and Ethan in the park on this gorgeous Autumn day…




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The Golden Forest

When I started my business, I didn’t know if it would become more than a hobby or if it’d fizzle out after a year.  So with each booking, I’d ooh-and-aah.  At the end of each client shoot, I’d marvel at the fact that I was able to do something I love and someone liked my work enough to pay for it.   It still blows my mind sometimes.  Maybe it’s from the kind of childhood I had (cue violin – haha), but it’s with this kind of attitude that makes me want to improve and continue to grow.  Complacency is a virus I never want to have.

So this brings me to my recent shoot with The L Family.

I’ve been photographing Julie, Chris, Callie and Ian for 8 years.  Each year, I am excited when they book their shoot (and Julie books early too – yay!)  And each year, I can’t wait to see them.  I have watched Callie get braces and get them off!  I’ve watched her become a preteen.  I’ve watched Ian grow into an inquisitive boy who starts most conversations with “You know what?”  ;)

Seeing my clients is seeing old friends.  I am grateful.  <3

Take a look at The L Family in The Golden Forest…


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Love is Love

In one of my Psychology classes at UC Berkeley, I learned about the different kinds of love.  I remember pondering which kind “was the best”.  I was probably 19 years old, so the topic of love sounded mystical.  Almost fictional.  Now, at the age of *cough cough*, it’s entirely different.  Do I label love?  No.  Do I weigh which kind is better?  No.  Are there many forms?  Sure, but…

Love is love, it’s that simple.

That brings to me to the photoshoot I had last weekend in San Francisco.  I’ve known The M Family for many years.  Over the years, things change.  For instance, the kids get older, taller, wiser.

One thing, no matter what, stays the same:  their love for each other.  There’s a realness in true love that you just. can’t. fake.  Joe, Yolanda, Teo and Nea have that!  It’s in the way they look at each other.

It makes my heart melt a little.  <3

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Coffee Table Book


After years of offering Fine Art Books and Proof Books, I’ve been yearning to have something in-between.  Something not as glorious and hefty as a 10×10″ Fine Art Book and something not as small and casual as a Proof Book.  I wanted a book that has thick pages and a nice hard cover while is also pretty and medium-sized, so you can see the photos!  It also has to be affordable, so that clients can order it as often as they want.

And at last, I found it.  Cue dramatic music…

VOILA!  My Coffee Table Book!!!

It is the perfect size to put on your table, hold in your hand, and flip through:  8×8″!


The hard cover has genuine leather.  [The one shown is in Merlot -- a deep red, my favorite color.]

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The press-printed book is made of heavy matte card-stock.


It is a lay-flat book with hinges.  Tthere is a gutter in the middle of the spread, so images are a maximum of 8″ in height and width.

[In my photos, the design of the book interior is an "All About Me" theme that highlights one child or baby.  For shoots with multiple people, like Lifestyle Family Shoots, your design will be clean and modern with mostly full page images.]



  • It is 8″x8″.
  • There are 20 pages (or 10 spreads).
  • You can choose from a variety of covers:  genuine leather, soft suede or textured fabric.
  • I will choose the photos that will best fit in the book and create a custom layout that will tell your “story”, so the process is easy for you.
  • Your Coffee Table Book will arrive in a bow-wrapped box — perfect for gifting.
  • For Lifestyle Family Shoots, the design of the book will be clean and modern with mostly full page photos.
  • For single child and baby photos, you can choose to have an “All About Me” themed book, as shown in the sample images in this post.

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Genuine Leather (left to right):  Midnight Alligator, Woodland Alligator, Merlot Alligator, Midnight Leather, Dark Chocolate Leather, White Winter Leather, Merlot Leather.

[Sample photos in this post have the Merlot Leather cover.]


Soft Suede (left to right):  Rustic Red, Pumpkin Pie, Vanilla Cupcake, Olive Green, Midnight Blue.


Textured Fabric (left to right):  Midnight, Sand, Chocolate, Slate, Ocean, Lemon, Pink Grapefruit, Summer Sky.


Just for clarification because I now offer two types of books…

When you should choose the Coffee Table Book over the Fine Art Book:

  • You are giving multiple gifts or want to order a book every year.
  • You are satisfied with a smaller collection of images in the book.
  • You fully trust your photographer (ME!) to choose your images.

When you should choose the Fine Art Book over the Coffee Table Book:

  • You want a larger book.  (Coffee Table Book is 8×8″, Fine Art Book is 10×10″.)
  • You want more control in choosing the photos.  (We work together after your shoot to select the images.)
  • You prefer a higher quality, thicker paper.
  • You want a custom-designed cover.

Lemonade Stand

From shoes that keep falling off to making and selling lemonade… from koala hugs to massages and giggles on the swings.  These are only a few things I encountered (and photographed) last weekend with The T Family.

Michele and Albert had just installed this killer patio (Al painted it) and planted a plethora of flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruit in their backyard.  It was the perfect location for their Lifestyle Shoot.  [Last year, they were at a rose garden.]

Not only do I absolutely ADORE this family (we’re talking eagerly hopping like a bunny to get to their front door), but also, I was reminded of how much I love doing home shoots!  There is a certain type of “chaos” that occurs when people are at home that doesn’t always come out when people are out in public.

Home Shoots put me in a creative high, if you will — like every second, there are layers of emotions and activities unfolding in front of me, so all my senses are heightened in order to spot them and quickly decide the best way to capture that story.

Ahhhh, it was so much fun!  :)




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To Pieces

It is that merry time of year again.  No, I don’t mean Christmas.

It’s that time again when I get to photograph my dear friend Brenda’s family!  (By the way, she goes by Mamacita, at least to me.  The name is pretty ironic because we don’t speak Spanish, though we’ve needed to tap into our very limited vocabulary when we traveled to South America together, but that’s a story for another blog.  Hola!)

Mamacita’s last shoot was a styled one (The Travel Shoot), so this year, we did the opposite:  Lifestyle!  There were times we did nothing and times we goofed around.  Certain times, I even thought maybe we’d get KICKED OUT of the garden.  Thankfully we weren’t, but if that happened, then I’d get to photograph that, so it’d still be a win.  ;)

Love this family to pieces.  Need I say more?  Check out their sneak peek…




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