Published in Love Inc Magazine

I am so excited to see Brooke and Emmy’s nuptials featured in Love Inc Magazine!  They are truly two of the kindest, coolest people I’ve met, and their love story is one worth sharing with the World.  xoxo ~annie

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Thoughts of Summer

Regardless of what the calendar says when seasons begin and end, our end of Summer is marked by the start of school, which is around the corner.  Sigh.  I am already thinking about the Summer, like it was ages ago.

One of my favorite memories of this Summer was when we were on vacation in Cape Cod…

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It had been raining all day.

When the rain was light, I went outside to pick fresh herbs from the garden and was cooking in the kitchen while my husband played Monopoly in the livingroom with the kids.

Because there was a large deck, we were able to leave the windows and doors open, so we could enjoy the sounds of the rain.

All I heard was music, the rhythmic sounds of the rain, and laughter.

***

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Go Fish

I love a family who can play a mean game of Go Fish!  We’re talking a game where no one holds back and you’re out for blood.

Alright, fine — I’m kidding about the “blood” part, though there may have been a tad bit of cheating.  heehee.  Hey, it’s all in the name of FUN, right?!!  :)

The C Family came from Seattle for their Lifestyle Photography session.  When deciding on a location, they wanted one that wasn’t covered in green grass because that’s what they have in Seattle.  Since California is in a severe drought, this wish was easy to fulfill unfortunately.  There isn’t much green here.  We need rain!

Now it’s time to Go Fish!

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Thank you, Alan, Carol, Ethan and Maddy, for visiting me in the East Bay!  I had a blast getting to know you and hope you had a safe trip back home.  xoxo ~annie

Yin and Yang

I have been blessed with meeting this lovely family seven years ago and photographing them twice a year ever since.  (I get choked up when I think about how much their children have grown!)

This year, their two shoots were complete opposites, yet complimentary.  Yin and Yang!

At their last shoot, The F Family was in downtown San Francisco and it rained so hard that we ducked indoors the entire time.  This past weekend, it was gorgeously sunny with white puffy clouds.  It was warm, which is uncommon at the coastline in San Francisco, with an iconic Bay Area breeze.  The dense fog was there to greet us, then cleared, so we could see the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Again, this is something that doesn’t always happen.

With the weather being so nice, Kai, Maya and Nina, along with their parents, were able to do A LOT!

They flew kites, climbed rock walls, played in the sand, investigated marine life, and explored an old 1900′s battery (army artillery area).  Through all the activities, they were united as a family and relaxed to be themselves.

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By the end of the shoot, I was covered in sand, my shorts were wet from the surf, I suffered a cut on my knee from kneeling for a shot… and I had a smile on my face the whole time.

I feel so much gratitude for doing what I love and having clients who have believed in me and trusted me all these years.  I realize they have watched me grow in my career (and grow old in age — haha) as much as I’ve watched their children grow.  And that is pretty cool.  :)

Improve Your Portrait Photography in 5 Minutes

Here is a short article with tips to consider the next time you are photographing people…

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How To Photograph Shy Adults

Here is an article I wrote for some of my readers who read How To Photograph Shy Children and asked for tips on photographing adults!  See?!!  I listen!  :)

This article was published on DPS barely a day ago, so I am happy there are 4900+ shares already.  I love when my tips can help others.

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Oslo to San Francisco

With the help of his youngest daughter Christina, Stephan surprised his wife Anja and daughter Mirella with a photoshoot in San Francisco during their “holiday” from Norway!  He booked the shoot months earlier, but only revealed the surprise after they arrived.  What a thoughtful and romantic gesture!

Stephan left it up to me to choose where to shoot, so we went to the base of the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  There, the wind was so strong that it felt like I was sky-diving again, but falling horizontally!  To walk, I only needed to lift my legs and the wind would push me along like an impatient mother duck to her wandering ducklings.

Even with the cold and unforgiving wind, the shoot went smoothly because The B Family were unfazed by the weather and found enjoyment in being together.  In San Francisco.  With me.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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On Clouds

Amidst house renovations, a brand new baby, visitors, an active toddler, two big dogs, and a holiday, it is safe to say The L Family had a lot going on when I came over for their shoot.  If you met them though, you wouldn’t know it because they were so cool, calm and content!

This San Francisco Lifestyle Photography session had two parts:  an indoor newborn and family session at the house and an outdoor session in their neighborhood.  It was all shot in a relaxed, lifestyle manner, which captured personalities, relationships and stories.

Check out this sneak peek of The L Family hanging out together and how 7-day new Ryan sleep through most of it.  hee hee.

Ssssssstretch and freeze!

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Ryan waking up to gaze at his mom

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Ben believes sharing is caring   :)

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On a bed of clouds

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Fun on the clouds

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In the neighborhood

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The Heart of America

I love buying fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers directly from the farmers.  I love hanging out at farmer’s markets and listening to music.  I love looking at all the vivid colors, shapes and textures of the produce.  And, let’s be real — I love satisfying my uncontrollable need to accept (and devour) any and all fruity taste-tests!

Farmer’s markets are awesome.

And now, after my Commercial Shoot at North Berkeley’s farmer’s market, I was able to talk with some of the farmers and watch them work.  And wow — they are not only incredibly hardworking, but also, they are some of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met.

I am so grateful to be reminded of how farmers are the HEART of America!

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I am also delighted I had the opportunity to take photographs for a great organization, Ecology Center, and an amazing program, Market Match.  Eating healthy can sometimes be a challenge when you have a small budget and this program enables lower income families to essentially “stretch their dollar”, so they can buy fresh and delicious produce at farmer’s markets!

This Commercial Shoot was a dream come true in so many ways:  the visual beauty of nature, the people, the program.  Love it all.

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The Good Tears

We all hope our lives are sprinkled with such heartfelt moments that we cry the good tears.  The I-can’t-believe-it’s-really-happening tears.  The I-think-my-heart-is-going-to-burst tears.

Brooke and Emmy got married on June 11, 2014 in one of the most breathtaking buildings in the country.  It was the perfect setting for a union of two beautiful souls.

I met Brooke and Emmy for the first time on their wedding day because they live in Ohio.  Though we emailed each other a lot and spoke on the phone, it didn’t take me long to learn (and admire) that they are kind, intelligent and charismatic… that they are devoted to, in love with, and entirely respectful of each other… that they are grateful for the big and little things in their lives.

They are inspiring people who bring light and cause smiles wherever they go.

No exaggeration.  That day, countless strangers — some while driving by — cheered and congratulated them.  One couple offered to buy them a bottle of champagne and meal!  You can’t help, but feel the love when you see them together.

 

Brooke and Emmy

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You want to know how cool they are?  They came prepared with pizza for the car ride!

As Brooke so eloquently put it, “Sharing pizza makes a happy marriage!” or something like that.  I was laughing too hard and busy bracing myself in the car to remember exactly what went down.  (Just kidding, Vance!)  :)

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Thank you, Brooke and Emmy, for letting me be a part of your special day — a day filled with laughter, love and “good tears”.   
xo,
annie

 

Wedding venue:  San Francisco City Hall

Restaurant:  La Mar

Hair and makeup:  Kim Carmichael and Anthony Genes of Follicle

Brooke’s dress:  J. Crew

Emmy’s dress:  J. Crew

Brooke’s shoes:  Banana Republic

Emmy’s shoes:  J. Crew

Brooke’s hairpin and bracelet:  borrowed from Melody Wrenn, dear friend of couple

Photographer:  Annie Tao