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

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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″!

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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.

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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.]

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DETAILS

  • 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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COVER CHOICES

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.]

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

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

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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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Commercial Photography: The Bigs

I call them “bigs”, but they’re still littles to me.   :)

High School students are very special because they are capable of applying what they’ve learned academically, socially and emotionally compared to the lower grades.  It’s also a time they are preparing to soar into their adulthood.  The possibilities of their achievement are boundless.  Their excitement for College is palpable.  And to photograph them at this junction is invigorating.  Whoa, that’s a lot of adjectives!

Below is my final sneak peek of last week’s Commercial Shoot (Pinewood School, Upper Campus).

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Hop, Skip and a Jump

I first met this lovely family six years ago when they only had one child, Charlotte, and a beautifully round baby bump.  We later had a second shoot after baby Philip was born.  I still remember his always-wet thumb — heehee!

Since then, they moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area, but not too far.  It was only a hop, skip and a jump… to GERMANY!  Waaahhh… but lucky me, they came to visit this week, and I got to see them again.

And this time, I got to meet their third gorgeous cutie, Marie, and photograph the entire family doing what they do best:  playing, laughing, eating and relaxing together.  Just look at these images and you will get a feel for what their shoot was like.  There is so much awesomeness in just being present!  <3

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Commercial Photography: The Middles

Middle School students are sometimes the hardest to photograph because they either love being photographed or they’re the complete opposite, so getting the kind of images I want usually takes more patience, a long lens (so they don’t see me — heehee), and a certain flair for making the students feel at ease.  :)

Here is a sneak peek from last week’s middle school shoot (Pinewood School, Middle Campus).

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Professional Prints

The quality of a photograph depends on the image captured as well as how the image is printed.  I learned quickly that not all photo labs are created equal.  The professional lab I use for prints is phenomenal.  I know this because I sent the same image files to multiple labs to evaluate their print quality as well as customer service.  (I do this with all my vendors.)

I offer two types of paper.

Lustre Paper produces excellent skin tones and has a matte-like finish.  The standard archival value is 100 years in home display and 200 years in dark storage.

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Metallic Paper uses a patented combination of film and laminate layers that make images “pop”.  The pearlescent surface provides gorgeous color saturation and makes the paper resistant to tearing and curling.  Metallic Paper looks great for both color and monochromatic images.

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[Important Note:  Of the sample photos on this page, only the surface of the products are “Professional Paper Prints”.  The full products are called “Standout Mounts”, which have a professional print mounted on the top.]

FAQs

Q:  How do you know which paper type to choose?

A:  It depends on whether you like a matte finish or shiny finish.  Some people know they don’t like glossy in general, so I’d recommend the Lustre Paper for them.  For those who like the appearance of metal or want your images to look more vibrant and unique, I’d recommend Metallic Paper.

Some people don’t have a preference, so then you can consider what else will be displayed near the print, which paper type will best match the decor of the room, and the image itself.  If want my advice, please don’t hesitate to ask!  I’d be happy to help!

Taken at an angle, you can get a good sense for the paper’s finish.  [Below left:  Lustre Paper.  Below right:  Metallic Paper]

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Q:  When you say “prints”, what do you mean?

A:  “Prints” refer to loose paper prints.  “Products” or “Printed Products” refer to the larger umbrella of products.

Thus, if a collection of products includes “print credit”, it means credit towards professional paper prints.  Paper prints can be a part of a larger product, such as Specialty Frames, Standout Mounts, and Proof Books, but they will have different names.

Q:  How is Metallic Paper different than a Metal Print?

A:  These are entirely different products because of what the image is printed on:

  • Metallic Paper is printed on paper.
  • A Metal Print is an image printed on a sheet of metal.