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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Milk Boxes and A Shadow

This East Bay Lifestyle Photography session of The W Family was full of exploring, fruit-picking, tail feather-shaking and, most of all…

Laughing.

Cole enjoyed blowing bubbles, but no more than hoarding all the milk boxes — haha.  He also had so many funny sayings.  It was as if a grown man was trapped inside his little 3-year old body because… how could he come up with all of this on his own?!!  He cracked me up all morning.

Mia loved picking flowers.  She was warm and playful.  She also really enjoyed being wherever I was!  She made a fantastic shadow.  I tried to out-run my shadow a couple times, but it never worked.  ;)

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Simon and Connie:  You have a wonderful family, and I am honored to be your first family photographer!  xo ~annie

Forever and Priceless

The best gifts are those that you will remember forever and are priceless.  Brian knew that for his wife, Tara, this would be a Lifestyle Family Photography session.  So we had her Christmas present shoot on Mother’s Day.  Makes sense to me!  :)

I absolutely love this family.  Kevin and Marinn were so sweet to each other and full of personality, and Brian and Tara were laid back, “got” my vision and trusted me.

Thus, they were in a barn, in a tree and in a cemetery!  Seriously.  How cool are they?!!

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Backyard Bliss

This weekend’s Lifestyle Family Photography session in the Peninsula went something like this…

Weeeeeeee!” (swinging), “Hahahaha!” (telling stories in a tree), “Indy!” (playing with their four-legged baby and watching him steal the balls), and lots of family sweetness.

The entire session took place in The C Family’s blissful backyard.  I wonder if they’d mind if I pitched a tent and camped back there for a weekend… with my husband and 3 kids!  ;)

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A Love Story

Once upon a time, there were two people named Louisa and Jeff who both went to UCLA.  In their first year at school, they started dating and fell in love.  Years later, they got married and recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Now they are in love….again.

This time, with little Jacob.   <3

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Congratulations, Louisa and Jeff! 

Thank you for welcoming me into your home for the afternoon to photograph your life with little Jacob.  I can see he is surrounded by love!

xo

annie

A Spy In The Woods

Eight-year-old Nicholas shared his reservations of Lifestyle Photography by declaring that it’s sort of like SPYING!  hee hee.

I found that funny, yet, in a way, it was somewhat accurate too!  Only thing is, I am not that stealthy.  I’d be a terrible spy.  :)

He was very astute in coming up with the comparison though.  Don’t you love how kids always say what’s on their minds?!!

Below are a few images from this weekend’s spy work…oops, I mean, Lifestyle Family Photography session with one of THE SWEETEST families!  We hung out and played among the redwood trees in the East Bay.

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The afternoon was relaxing and fun, as you can see, and there was lots of love!

Lisa and Steve:  I can’t wait to share your entire gallery with you!!  Stay tuned.  ~ annie

Interesting Locations (Part 2)

My list of interesting locations where I’ve had client photoshoots continues!  Click here to see Part 1.

[Some of these images have my old logo as the watermark.  Sorry for the inconsistent branding in these 2 "Interesting Location" posts.  I don't have the time to redo all of them with my new logo and thought you wouldn't mind too much.  Thanks, guys!]

Train Station

Train stations are great photography locations when you are with kids who love them.  You can watch the trains go by….

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…or walk on the tracks.  (Just listen out and be careful, if it’s an active track.)

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Boat

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Cafe

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Rooftop

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Tunnel

Tunnels have great light.  You can shoot people inside for a silhouette or just outside the tunnel to light them up.

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Garage

If that’s where your little one wants to hang out, then that’s where I’m gonna shoot!  :)

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Garden Nursery

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Bakery

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School

Teams of Architects put a lot of thought into the design of school buildings and campuses, which make schools a great place to have a shoot!

It could be a small school…

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…or a large university.

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Ice Cream or Gelato Parlor

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Farmer’s Market

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Stores

Be it a bookstore or an antique store, you can get unique images from the colors, textures and natural props.

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*PHOTOGRAPHY TIP*

Next time you are deciding on a shoot location, you may want to think beyond the typical ones.

Let me be clear.  There is NOTHING WRONG with shooting in a place that is considered “common”.  I love shooting in parks, gardens and client homes!  My point is, don’t be afraid to mix it up once in awhile.  Step out of the norm.  Be adventurous. 

You may find that you love it.  I know I do!

Interesting Locations

I believe you can have an incredible shoot anywhere.  What makes a successful shoot isn’t as much about being at a picturesque location as it is about having your subjects feel comfortable and relaxed….and of course, having great light.

Most of the time, I don’t choose an atypical location right away because I realize my clients will probably think I’m kidding or worse, think I’m crazy.  Rather, my crazy/weird ideas usually come up during the shoot.  :)

It usually happens when I spot “good light”.  To me, it doesn’t matter where exactly that spot is because good light is good light!  Maybe it’s in the little “island” in the middle of a busy city street (see first photo below).

If a client tells me they want to shoot in an atypical location, I would welcome it.  In fact, I’d probably do one of those jumps where you clap your feet to the side.  I have many talents!  ;)

Middle of the Street

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Elevator

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Library

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Parking Lot

What can I say?!!  The light was perfect and cast a beautiful golden tone on her skin.

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The next two images are examples that beautiful plots of land could be right next to where you park your car.

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Bathroom

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Mountaintop

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Alleyway

I stepped around broken glass by a dumpster to capture this shot.

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My father-in-law (cute older gentleman below) probably thought I was nuts for stopping here for our 3-generation image.

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Carousel

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Museum

Whether you are inside or outside, museums usually have beautiful architecture, sculptures and artwork that are beautiful backdrops for images.

[Note:  Some museums don't allow photography inside, so you will want to check first before heading there.]

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Car

Whether you’re getting in the car…

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…sitting inside the car…

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…playing outside the car…

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…or people are divided inside and outside the car, car images can be a pretty fun place to shoot!

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Stay tuned for Part 2!  (The list was too long to fit all in one post!)

Favorite Images of 2013

I don’t know how it is already February (WHAT?!!), so I am a bit late in this… but it’s time to look back on 2013!  I know I love oh-so-many images that it was hard to narrow them down, so luckily my Facebook readers voted on their favorites to come up with this list.

[If you haven't voted yet, hop on over to my Facebook business page, click on Photos, find the Favorites albums for 2013 and chime in!]

Below are the winners of the 2 categories as of today…

MOST DELICIOUS LIGHT OF 2013

To be considered for this category, I imagined how the image would be impacted had there been a different type of light.  Most often, the light was one of the main elements in the imagery.

#1

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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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Tied for #7

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FAVORITE MOMENTS OF 2013

“Moments” can mean different things.  It can mean a fleeting second captured or a special period of time.  Or both.  All of our lives, whether short or long, are made up of these moments.  Some of them are from the simplest, smallest, everyday activities.

#1:  Hip Hop Newborn

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#2:  Seeing Mom

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#3:  Rock Star Parents

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#4:  Sisterhood

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Tied for #5

Quiet Hug

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Laughing with a Mouthful of Food

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Baby Giving His First Hug Ever

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Want to see some favorites from the past?  Check out:  Favorite Images of 2012 and Best of 2011:  Moments