When I Grow Up

As a parent, a former teacher, and someone who has always loved little people, I think children are…in one word, incredible.  They learn at amazing speeds and absorb everything.  They develop unique personalities from the time they are babies.  And unlike adults, they always know what’s important:  eat, sleep, play, love, poop.   :)

So with that said, I have a fun little story to tell you about my weekend’s Lifestyle Family Photography session with Josie and her parents, Vivian and Freddy.  It’s told through the eyes of a little one.  Enjoy!

WHEN I GROW UP…

I will be taller.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-orange-flowers  Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-year-old-girl-reaching-tall-by-flower

I will have the World in my hands.  

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-year-old-girl-peeking-through-hands

My parents will still be my Protectors and be by my side, even when they’re not.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-year-old-girl-leading-parents-through-garden

My dad will always be the first man I’ve ever loved.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-toddler-daughter-dancing-on-fathers-feet  Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-father-lifting-daughter-in-air-1

I will have faith — in myself.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-year-old-girl-praying

I will continue to be an independent thinker.  And a do-er!  I will stay brave and do what I believe is right, even if it’s not the most popular view.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-young-girl-standing-horizontally-with-parents-by-tree

I will let you know if I like something.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-giving-thumbs-up-to-parents

And squash the things I do not like, such as negativity.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-year-old-girl-with-hands-together

I will always remember that my mom is the most important person in my life.  The one who brought me into this World. 

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-toddler-daughter-running-to-her-mother-BxW

The one who will always welcome me with open arms and a full heart.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mother-and-toddler-daughter-hugging-BxW

Above all else, I will laugh.  I will laugh hard!  And often… with the people whom I love.

That’s what life is all about, right?!!

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-young-girl-hugging-parents-faces-closeup

And of course I will always remember my photographer, Annie.  ;)

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-year-old-girl-peeking-through-camera-hands

[If you want to see Josie’s first shoot with me back in 2012, here is The Best Medicine.]

The Hungry Caterpillar

Alright, so Connor isn’t really THE Hungry Caterpillar from the famous children’s book by Eric Carle, but there were similarities, like they’re both cute, they both have little round bodies, and they both eat everything in their way!  ;)

This shoot was for Connor who is turning one year old next week.  His proud parents are Chris and Connie, who have San Francisco close to their hearts because they grew up here and still live here now.  They even work here… in the same place actually!  In fact, here’s a fun fact:  Chris is a doctor and Connie is a registered nurse at the same hospital where I gave birth to my three monkeys!

Check out this San Francisco Lifestyle Family Photography session of a doctor, a nurse and the cutest hungry caterpillar in a cool, urban playground.

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-cityscape-from-a-park

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-family-of-three-lifting-baby-into-air

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-urban-park-through-trees

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-man-chilling-out-with-baby-on-blue-slide

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-parents-looking-at-baby-through-play-structure-BxW

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-parents-standing-aside-while-baby-crawls-away-from-train

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-parents-sitting-with-baby-at-play-structure-BxW

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-boy-standing-at-play-structure  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-father-climbed-tall-play-structure

Nom nom. 

See what I mean?!!

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-boy-crawled-to-eat-the-play-structure

Oh no, not Snoopy!

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-parents-holding-baby-who-was-eating-Snoopy

San-Francisco-lifestyle-baby-photography-family-of-three-holding-hands-with-emotion  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-mother-snuggling-with-her-baby-boy

Disclaimer:  No playground equipment or animals (ie, Snoopy) were harmed during the photoshoot.  (Connor is teething!)  :)

The Biggest Hug

Twelve month old Bennett is enamored with his mom.  And for good reason.  She is all that and a bag of chips!  (I used to work at Frito-Lay, so I can say that and mean it.  Yummo.  Chips!)

Bennett’s love for his mother, Jennifer, was apparent throughout their South Bay Lifestyle Family Photography session from the way he called out “mama mama” ever so sweetly whenever she left the room and would give her THE BIGGEST hugs whenever she was close enough!

*melt*

Below is a peek into the life of Jennifer, Baelson, Lucy (the furry big sister) and Bennett.  I’m sure you’ll adore them as much as I do.

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-dog-at-top-of-stairs-and-baby-at-bottom

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-at-bottom-of-stairs-and-dog-at-top

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-peeking-around-stairs-and-dog

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-panda-lovey-in-crib

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-boy-walking-away  South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-boy-running

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-tippytoeing

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-pinwheel-mobile  South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-woman-smiling-at-her-baby

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-parents-catching-baby-thrusting-off-couch-BxW

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-on-swing-with-mom-cheering-BxW

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-hand-holding-bench

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-playing-airplane-with-dad-by-tree

South-Bay-lifestyle-baby-photography-baby-giving-a-big-hug-to-mom

Newborn Tara

Being able to hold your baby in your arms after growing it inside your body for three quarters of a year is one of the most wondrous things you could experience.  Ever.  It is one of those experiences that you can’t describe or have explained to you.  It’s a feeling that is so powerful that sometimes, you feel washed with emotion.  This is true for fathers too.  And grandparents.

It is an honor to be able to photograph the delicate nature of a newborn and the emotional complexities of adding another person into a family, as I did this weekend for Arezou, Pedram and baby Tara.

Check out this newborn’s gorgeous full head of hair and THE longest lashes.  Tara was very alert for being 2 weeks new.  And she most definitely gazed knowingly at her mother’s face and felt soothed by her father’s trance-like face massage.  :)

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-making-direct-eye-contact-with-mother-BxW

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-goat-mobile

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-parents-burping-baby-in-nursery-view-from-hall

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-parents-burping-baby-in-nursery

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-colorful-baby-diapers

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-with-hair-looks-directly-at-mom  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-books-of-two-languages

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-father-gives-baby-face-massage-while-mother-holds-baby

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-books-in-baby-nursery

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-fathers-hand-leaning-against-baby-changing-table-BxW

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-with-eyes-wide-open-on-dads-shoulder-BxW

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-profile-closeup

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-hair-closeup

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-baby-feet-closeup

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-newborn-photography-parents-walking-downstairs-with-baby-BxW

Thank you, Pedram and Arezou, for welcoming me into your home and letting me photograph your life now as a family of three.  <3  ~annie

Behind-The-Scenes: Little Princess

As part of my 1 hour Styled Session of my 5-year old’s birthday, Ava changed into her flowy pink dress and wore a handmade glittery gold crown that I ordered from etsy.  (She wanted a Princess theme whereas I wanted The Train Station theme, so we compromised by doing both.  Actually, she had 3 outfits, but that’s another post!)  :)

The fog had rolled in, so the temperature dropped 10 degrees and the wind picked up.  I knew this leg of the shoot needed to be really quick.  It was a time to just “get the shot and go”!  We were there for about 15 minutes, including walking to/from the parking lot.

My oldest daughter held my reflector when I needed it, and she took a couple behind-the-scenes shots with my phone as you can see here.  Thanks, Mia!

Behind-the-Scenes

Ava’s dress had a gauzy layer that kept getting caught on the prickly wild flowers, so I had her stand on a stool.

ATP-BTS-Princess2015-2

I had waited til the end of the day to get the “golden hour” light, but didn’t anticipate the fog that rolled in after we started.  With the dense fog, you can see that we were running out of light quick!

My poor girl was so cold that she used her arms to hug herself to keep warm — which actually looked pretty darn cute, so I shot through it.

ATP-BTS-Princess2015

What I Shot:

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-princess-with-gold-crown  East-Bay-styled-children-photography-pink-princess-with-crown-looking-down

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-pink-princess-looking-down-closeup

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-princess-with-gold-crown-looking-down  East-Bay-styled-children-photography-princess-with-gold-crown-shivering-in-cold

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-princess-with-gold-crown-doing-a-curtsy

Conclusion:

You can’t always control every aspect of your shoot, like the weather.  So find ways to make the most of what you have.  Sometimes that means finding an alternate light source.  Sometimes it means shooting through the cold and having artistic “thoughtful” shots of your subject rather than “happy” ones.

Use the resources you have, think quickly, and have fun!

Commercial Photography: Duchesne Academy 2

Now that you’ve seen Commercial Shoot days 1 and 2 of Duchesne Academy of The Sacred Heart, I wanted to share a peek of day 3… “The Dry Day”.  You can just imagine how I hopped and skipped around campus that morning when I saw the glorious sunshine!  :)

In this blog post of the all girls’ Catholic School shoot, you’ll see students who show self-confidence, curiosity, respect, friendship…

…and beauty from within.

Commercial-education-photography-sunrise-over-school  Commercial-education-photography-students-walking-to-school-in-morning

Commercial-education-photography-two-sisters-walking-to-school-with-book

Commercial-education-photography-school-grounds-angel-statue  Commercial-education-photography-preschooler-girl-looking-up-in-mini-chair

Commercial-education-photography-basket-of-book-buddies-in-library

Commercial-education-photography-library-bookshelf-next-to-window  Commercial-education-photography-two-students-sharing-a-chair-in-library

Commercial-education-photography-young-student-happy-about-choosing-a-book-in-library

Commercial-education-photography-librarian-kneeling-next-to-student-in-reading-room-of-library

Commercial-education-photography-two-girls-working-on-electronic-table-tablet

Commercial-education-photography-young-student-looking-over-her-glasses  Commercial-education-photography-painting-on-wall

Commercial-education-photography-young-student-sitting-crisscross-on-carpet

Commercial-education-photography-art-teacher-instructing-young-students

Commercial-education-photography-students-playing-instruments-in-music-class

Commercial-education-photography-students-holding-hands-closeup

Commercial-education-photography-student-group-in-science-class

Commercial-education-photography-girl-with-short-hair-and-goggles-doing-science-experiment  Commercial-education-photography-girl-wearing-glasses-and-lab-coat-in-science-class

Commercial-education-photography-school-grounds-colorful-tree

Commercial-education-photography-student-playing

Commercial-education-photography-students-performing-by-butterfly-garden

Commercial-education-photography-students-observing-butterflies-in-garden

Commercial-education-photography-Head-of-School-talking-with-students-wearing-blue-blazers

Commercial-education-photography-students-walking-on-campus  Commercial-photography-flowers-in-campus-garden

Commercial-education-photography-three-female-students-together-between-classes

Commercial Photography: Duchesne Academy 1

I had the pleasure of flying to Houston, Texas last week to photograph Duchesne Academy of The Sacred Heart, a Pre-K to 12th Grade Catholic school for girls.  [FYI:  Duchesne is French and is pronounced "doo-shen".]

I was blown away by the tremendous amount of kindness that exuded from the students and faculty during my 3-day visit.  There were students who helped put away furniture that we moved for the shoot and did it even after we said they didn’t need to help.  People held doors for us and welcomed us with big, genuine smiles.  When we asked for directions to a room, there were students who didn’t just point, but rather, they took the time to walk with us.

That may sound small, but I don’t think any amount of kindness is ever “small”.  And they never went unnoticed or unappreciated.

The emblem for this school is a heart, which I think is perfect because, from what I experienced, this school is full of HEART.  <3

Since I have too many favorites to share on this 3-Day Commercial Photography project, I divided them up into two blog posts:

Part 1:  Days 1 and 2, which were the wet days.  Yep, it was raining.  On Tuesday, there was even a thunderstorm and the darkest sky I’ve ever seen in the day!
Part 2:  Day 3, which happened to be the dry day.  Wahooo… and there was sunshine!

Below is Part 1.  Enjoy!

Commercial-education-photography-father-holding-daughters-hand-walking-to-school  Commercial-education-photography-young-blonde-girl-smiling-during-assembly

Commercial-education-photography-school-grounds-bushes

Commercial-education-photography-chapel-stainglass

Commercial-education-photography-father-and-daughter-before-dropoff-1  Commercial-education-photography-school-grounds-Jesus-statue

Commercial-education-photography-laughing-students-walking-between-classes-outdoors

Commercial-education-photography-student-in-religion-class  Commercial-education-photography-religion-class-inside-chapel

Commercial-education-photography-students-using-microscope

Commercial-education-photography-students-working-on-science-experiment-upward-view  Commercial-education-photography-girl-wearing-green-goggles-in-science-class-and-looking-intently-at-board

Commercial-education-photography-girls-playing-before-assembly

Commercial-education-photography-small-group-working-on-robotics-project

Commercial-education-photography-teacher-instructing-student-in-class  Commercial-education-photography-head-of-middle-school-talking-with-students-on-bench

Commercial-education-photography-female-teacher-at-white-board

Commercial-education-photography-standing-students-listening-to-teacher

Commercial-education-photography-students-happily-paying-attention-in-class

Commercial-education-photography-student-listening-intently-to-teacher

Commercial-education-photography-girls-during-daily-prayer  Commercial-education-photography-girl-with-yellow-headband-in-class

Commercial-education-photography-female-student-typing-on-laptop

Commercial-education-photography-two-students-studying-in-hallway-view-from-above

Commercial-education-photography-student-working-on-oil-painting-outdoors  Commercial-education-photography-student-working-at-ceramics-turntable

Commercial-education-photography-student-working-on-ceramics

Commercial-education-photography-school-grounds

Commercial-sports-photography-girls-softball-team

Commercial-sports-photography-girls-softball-umpire  Commercial-sports-photography-girls-softball-second-base

Crackers and Caterpillars

When you have three young boys — ages 2, 5 and 7 — there is a good amount of activity, volume, and adventure.  “There’s never a dull moment,” says James (the dad).  :)

Crackers and caterpillars were the main attraction for Nathan, Evan and Logan, but for me, it was all about their soulful eyes and sincere smiles.  (And lucky me, I get to watch these boys grow up!!!  I’ve been photographing them since Nathan was in diapers and was the only child!)

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-smiling-boy-laying-on-fathers-lap-closeup

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-boy-looking-upward  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-toddler-son-riding-on-fathers-shoulders-by-tree

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mother-holding-young-son-while-older-son-kisses-him

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-holding-up-crackers  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-iris-in-garden

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-three-sons-laying-on-mothers-lap

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-boy-holding-caterpillar-on-finger  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-boys-holding-caterpillars

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mother-reading-book-to-family-on-bench

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mother-holding-laughing-son-BxW

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-boy-touching-fountain-BxW  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-bubbles

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-three-brothers-playing-on-picnic-blanket-BxW

The Joy of Family Life

The joy of family life is not about having everything “perfect”, but rather, being able to roll with whatever comes your way and having fun no matter what.

The C Family encountered a couple injuries, car sickness, soiled clothes, wet shoes, dirt on faces… and it didn’t stop anyone from having smiles on their faces.

They were also in a fabulous area of San Francisco with the beautiful Bay as their backdrop, yet were completely happy playing on building ramps, signs, bike racks, spider-infested basements and the edge of streets!  Jason and Emily wanted to do whatever their girls, Jules and Audrey, wanted to do… and it was awesome.

This is what family JOY looks like!

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-Presidio-Park

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-father-and-daughter-racing-on-wooden-horse

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-giggling-under-giant-bell

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-girl-peeking-through-chair-with-sunflare

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-black-bird-watching-me

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-parents-and-daughters-sitting-on-opposite-stairs

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-playing-by-bike-rack  San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-sidewalk-path-to-golden-gate-bridge

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-toddler-looking-up-at-her-mother-on-deck-BxW

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-wearing-a-sign-on-her-head-BxW

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-standing-with-pink-boots-while-little-sister-is-peeking-through-legs

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-family-playing-on-deck

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-girl-knocking-on-giant-door  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-family-on-stairs-with-sunflare

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-daughters-riding-on-parents-shoulders-laughter-ensues

Train Station Shoot

This East Bay Styled Photography session was of my very own angel who just turned 5!  (I celebrate each year of my monkeys with a photoshoot.  Lucky them!  heehee.)

Here is how the planning went down…

I picked up this cute little suitcase from a local store for $10 a year ago because I thought it would be a great prop for a child’s shoot.  I then found the perfect dress while browsing at Nordstrom’s that match the ‘look and feel’ of the suitcase.  Before running out the door the day of the shoot, I grabbed my 10 year old daughter’s straw hat.

As for the location, I needed a reason for my subject to be holding a suitcase, so I thought, “Aha!  A train station!”  Then I remembered a restaurant area that reminded me of an old train station, which I drove past earlier that day.  Voila, our location!

Since this was a public place and it was a Saturday evening, we were only here for 15 minutes.

So you can see, you don’t need expensive props, a lot of time, or complicated details.  The location can be in your own neighborhood too.  You just need a vision!

Check out my little Ava who was at “the train station” this weekend…. :)

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-waiting-at-train-station-with-suitcase  East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-standing-by-door-with-suitcase-BxW

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-sitting-on-bench

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-pensive-preschool-girl-holding-hat  East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-closeup

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-waiting-at-train-station-with-suitcase-2

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-girl-touching-hat

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-walking-with-suitcase  East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-with-hat

East-Bay-styled-children-photography-preschool-girl-sitting-on-stairs-with-suitcase

If you liked this, then you’ll want to check out my Fairytale Shoot from last year!  It was also a windy day, but the light was completely different.  It was full-on sunshine!