From National Parks to Airlines

This two-day Commercial Photography project was ACTION-PACKED!  I toured all around the San Francisco Bay Area to meet managers and senior executives who hired City College of San Francisco (CCSF) students and graduates.  It was a diverse set of businesses in terms of industry, company size and job type.

Some businesses I photographed were:  Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, BMW of San Francisco, McCalls Catering and Events, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Michael Raifsnider Law Office, and United Airlines.

Photographing real people in their actual workplace during work hours in a lifestyle way is exciting.  There was constant movement all around us, limited time, and distracting elements at each location.  Yet, very quickly, I had to decide how and where to shoot that will tell the visual story I wanted.

See what I mean?  Exciting, right?!!  :)

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Commercial Photography: Enjoying Life

When I was in my 20s, I realized there were three things that make me stop and let out an “AWWWWWW”.

Babies was the obvious group.  The largest group was puppies and pretty much any furry animal, which is what led to a slew of travel to destinations where I could see animals in their natural habitat.  And the group that surprised me was seniors!  Even if I were driving, I would always notice the elderly couple holding hands or the senior who was doing something they loved.

Enjoy life at any age is a great mantra to live by.

Last week, I had the privilege of photographing residents of TODCO, a community-based housing development company in the South of Market neighborhood of downtown San Francisco.  I met many vibrant seniors and residents in SRO housing.  Some opened up about their life’s struggles and achievements… one super woman was 98 years old… many couples were married for many many decades… and one even gave me a gift.  Awwwwww.  (See what I mean?)

My time at TODCO reminded me of all that I am grateful for with my business, which is the opportunity to make real connections with people, so that I can capture them in an authentic way.  ❤️

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Commercial Photography: Be Distinct

It’s funny that when we are young, we find it important to blend in.  Myself included.  By the time we reach adulthood, we realize that it is — and has always been — best to stand out.

Choosing the right graduate school is the same way.  You want a school that is positively distinctive, so you can continue to be unquestionably distinct too.

That’s why it was such an honor to return to Rice Business School for a one-day Commercial Shoot.  There were so many new bright faces with even brighter minds.  They were proud and thoughtful and….

Distinctive.

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Commercial Photography: City Build

It was time for shoot #3 of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) adult education ad campaign.  This time, I photographed students from their City Build program.  [Here is my post about the first two CCSF shoots.]

They only need one of these images.  Good luck with that ‘cuz I love them ALL!

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Commercial Photography: City College of SF

Perhaps you returned to school after you identified your passion.  Maybe life got in the way and you are now back on the path to earn your GED.  Whatever your story is, I applaud those who return to school because it takes a lot of tenacity and desire to grow to do that.

I met a few students from City College of San Francisco and had the privilege of capturing part of their lives with someone who supports or inspires them.  It was invigorating to hear their stories, and the culinary class made me want to take a class (and made me hungry).  :P

Here’s a peek of my 2-day Commercial Shoot with City College of San Francisco.  I can’t wait to see the ads around my favorite city!

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Whoops, that’s my iced tea!  ;)

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Relaxed Headshots

Julia and Aaron needed headshots for work, but not stuffy ones — so I pulled them aside at the end of their Landfill Shoot.

We walked to an area between the water, parked cars, and large shipping containers (seriously!) where there was diffused light.  The light was so pretty there that I widened my scope to include the kids.

These relaxed headshots are more like relaxed portraits.  Ahhhhh…

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For more information about taking headshots, you can read A Change Is Coming and How Your Subject Feels.

Or if you just want a LAUGH, you can read about doing headshots of my Worst Client!

Commercial Photography: The Coder School

I met this guy in College who told me I apologized too much.  My response was:  “Sorry?  What did you say?”  haha…just kidding.  But it wasn’t far from the truth.  So I’m going to make it a point to NOT apologize for this super duper long blog post!  And I’ll tell you why…

This after school program I photographed was so cool:  The Coder School.

Headquartered in the Silicon Valley, The Coder School offers a variety of coding classes to kids and teens.  Knowing how to code has changed from giving people an edge to being a basic building block necessary to excel in many professions.

I photographed several classes, hung out with the founders and some of the managers, watched the coaches make their classes fun, and pulled out a few solo students for a marketing campaign.  There is a lot to share in this Sneak Peek… and I’m not sorry.  :)

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Commercial Photography: Oakwood

When I photograph a school, my goal is to answer these questions through imagery:  What makes this school different than other schools in the area?  Are they the programs and classes?  The faculty?  The campus?  The student body?

From being at this Preschool to Grade 12 private school for 2 days, I could clearly see that there were teachers who felt passionate about infusing knowledge and confidence into their students, and there were students who were eager to learn and having fun.

Oakwood School was surrounded by natural beauty, but the coolest part was seeing all the joyful, hopeful, and thoughtful faces that filled the grounds.

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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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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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