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!)


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…


san-francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-daughter-hanging-out-by-heart-artwork-downtown  san-francisco-lifestyle-photography-leaves-of-color-with-one-feather






san-francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-daughter-in-downtown-corner  san-francisco-lifestyle-photography-downtown-city


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…




san-francisco-lifestyle-photography-colorful-leaves  san-francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-sitting-together-at-golden-gate-park






san-francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-tired-young-girl-with-pigtails  san-francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-baby-brother-and-big-sister-snuggling

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…


east-bay-lifestyle-photography-cobweb-in-redwood-forest  east-bay-lifestyle-family-photography-family-being-silly-in-redwood-forest


east-bay-lifestyle-family-photography-family-picnicking-in-redwood-forest-bxw  east-bay-lifestyle-family-photography-parents-carrying-their-children-in-redwood-forest-bxw


east-bay-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-talking-with-brother-on-log-in-woods  east-bay-lifestyle-children-photography-blonde-boy-profile



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

san-francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-family-looking-at-koi-pond  san-francisco-lifestyle-photography-red-foliage







san-francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-siblings-walking-on-ramp  san-francisco-lifestyle-photography-light-purple-flowers



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!  :)




East-Bay-lifestyle-photography-lemonade-tray  East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-sisters-having-fun-selling-lemonade-to-mom



East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-preschool-girl-happy-eating-cookie  East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-two-young-girls-playing-lemonade-stand-backyard






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…




Bay-Area-San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-flowers-in-garden  Bay-Area-San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-couple-laughing-holding-hands-in-garden



Bay-Area-San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-little-hands-holding-heart-shaped-snack  Bay-Area-San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-dad-and-daughter-playing-jenga-game



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

East-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-womwan-with-glasses-laughing-at-picnic-table  East-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-family-hanging-out-by-white-building



East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-three-blonde-siblings-happily-standing-on-table  East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-girl-happy-with-hands-in-denim-overalls-pockets



East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-looks-over-after-climbing-tree  East-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-looking-at-feather



The Gift

Sometimes you get gifts, and sometimes you receive gifts.

The best gifts are those that give you an experience of some kind.  And it can be small.  Like 2 packs of gum.  ;)



San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-japanese garden-structure-with-tree  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-family-standing-on-top-of-drum-bridge-in-japanese-garden


San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-family-talking-on-bench-between-trees  San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-yellow-triangle-leaves


San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-with-braces-about-to-chew-gum  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-with-glasses-blows-big-bubble

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-woman-in-white-laughing-and-fixing-hair  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-teen-boy-laughing



Beach and Donuts

One of the things I love about The H Family is how they don’t fret when their kids get down and dirty because… hey, they’re kids and that’s how they play!  Add to that, Dave and Winnie get down and dirty too because they all play together.

To me, being amazing parents isn’t about saying “yes” all the time, buying their children the latest in electronics and toys, or policing them every minute.  It’s about knowing how to keep the important things in balance… and teaching them — by example — how to lead healthy, happy lives.  And that’s what Dave and Winnie do with their children.  They’re so humble that I’m sure they will say I’m exaggerating, but certain parents I bow down to.



San-Franciso-lifestyle-photography-palm-tree-and-moon-in-sky  San-Franciso-lifestyle-photography-beachside-plants





San-Franciso-lifestyle-photography-small-bird-waiting-for-donut-crumbs  San-Franciso-lifestyle-photography-bike-and-shadow-near-waterfront-cafe


San-Franciso-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-peeking-through-donut-hole  San-Franciso-lifestyle-couple-photography-man-kissing-wife-by-waterfront