You Can Dance

There are times things go the way you planned, and there are times you hit bumps in the road.  Some big, some small.  Some easy to forget, some that stay with you forever.  One thing you can always do…

You can not let things bother you and… you can dance!   :)

This lovely family demonstrated just that!  We had an obstacle the morning of their shoot, but it didn’t matter.  We ran around San Francisco, ate some sweets, and The L Family even danced in the corridor by some mural posters.  They had the best attitude that translated to everyday matters as well as bigger life situations.  I adore them!

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Football at Sunset

Part of my Commercial Shoot last week was to photograph a High School football team during practice.

It was early evening and the sun was starting to set over the tall pine trees.  Between the golden sunlight and the intensity and passion of the players, I don’t think football has ever looked so good!

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New Guinea, France and an African Savanna

Photographing The C Family made me realize a couple things:

1. How completely amazing it is to see Dani and Charlie over the past few years because not only have I watched them grow physically, but also watched their relationship with me grow!

It made a huge difference in the kids feeling relaxed the minute the shoot began.  I could tell they didn’t hold back AT ALL.  Dresses were flying and big smiling faces were so close to me that my camera couldn’t always focus!

2. I wish I had a sister growing up!

When Dani and Charlie are near each other, they have to make contact and interact — like holding hands, whispering in ears and hugging.  Sometimes their hugs looked like WWE Women’s Wrestling moves, but still.  ;)  Their relationship is the epitome of Sisterhood.

This Lifestyle Family Photography session was full of adventure…

Alex, Roberta and their darling girls stopped by New Guinea to see artwork, set up a French dessert shop near a pond reminiscent of Claude Monet, and then went trekking in an African savanna.  (That’s what it looked like at least!)

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Saturday Morning

The L Family live in the cute, sleepy town of San Anselmo.  Julie and André have two darling children, Alex (3) and Ethan (8 months), and their days are busy, but filled with oh-so-sweet moments.

This shoot was more of “A Day In The Life” as I just followed them around and photographed their Saturday morning.

Morning rituals are extremely precious because they evolve as the kids grow older.  Years from now, when Julie and André look at these images, they will be transported to the time when their 3 year old learned to pour her own milk and their son is a happy, drooly chunky monkey!  :)

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Thank you, Julie and André, for inviting me into your home and letting me spend the morning with you.  Tell Alex I had a lot of fun playing with her and hope to see her and her brother again soon.  :)    ~annie

Soaking It In

It was recently my son’s 7th birthday.  Like I mentioned in my girls’ Fairytale Shoot, birthdays aren’t my favorite.

I’ve learned from having my dad, stepmom and other family members pass away that you have to enjoy the everyday moments because what may seem small and inconsequential now are often the things you’ll miss the most later in life.  Reading bedtime stories to your kids, helping them brush their teeth, teaching your kids how to tie their shoes.

Soon, we as parents just sit back and watch our kids soar, with wings, on their own.  It is a miraculous thing to watch, and I am filled with pride when they develop new skills and with joy when they learn new things about themselves.  I just don’t want time to move too quickly.

I am glad Ian still feels comforted to be with me when he is having a bad day.  He holds my hand when we are out and carries my bags like a gentleman.  He gives me kisses and shows me things he is proud of or excited about.  He gets sad when I am sad, which I don’t prefer, but it touches my heart that he can be empathetic and caring.  He loves to read, hates to write, and has discovered a love for soccer.  I’m trying my best to soak it all in — my heart, my soul, my memory.

I don’t want to get too sentimental, so I’ll just share with you some photos I took for Ian’s birthday shoot at a library and a few of my favorite quotes about children. <3

Enjoy the everyday moments, my friends!   xoxo   ~annie

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Family = where life begins and love never ends

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Silence is Golden….
Unless you have Kids,
Then silence is just Suspicious.

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While we try to teach our children all about life.
Our children teach us what life is all about.

The Impossible

I didn’t think it was possible to adore these kids and their sweet family EVEN MORE than I already do!

Seeing Mateo and Anea speak respectfully to one another and play gently together…. my jaw dropped in awe.  (Really!  I came home and told my hubby all about these amazingly sweet kids.)  Hearing Mateo come up with lines to his latest poem during our hike in the woods… my heart melted.  Watching Nea stop what she was doing to smile at me showed how she grew up with me and my camera… my arms hugged her.  Twice. 

So I’ve learned it first-hand:  the impossible is possible!

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Fallen Tree

What do you do when you plan an early morning shoot in the city to get coastal fog and cool air in a location you’ve shot at a million times, a lush woodsy park…

But once you arrive, you are greeted by unusually bright sun and discover that California’s severe drought had dried up most of the woods, so the area was now mostly dirt and piles of dead branches?!!

You veer off-course to get some urban images and then hang out on an uprooted, fallen tree.  That’s what!

Check out how much fun The S Family had a few days ago in San Francisco!  Dirt schmirt…we didn’t care.  :)

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Go Fish

I love a family who can play a mean game of Go Fish!  We’re talking a game where no one holds back and you’re out for blood.

Alright, fine — I’m kidding about the “blood” part, though there may have been a tad bit of cheating.  heehee.  Hey, it’s all in the name of FUN, right?!!  :)

The C Family came from Seattle for their Lifestyle Photography session.  When deciding on a location, they wanted one that wasn’t covered in green grass because that’s what they have in Seattle.  Since California is in a severe drought, this wish was easy to fulfill unfortunately.  There isn’t much green here.  We need rain!

Now it’s time to Go Fish!

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Thank you, Alan, Carol, Ethan and Maddy, for visiting me in the East Bay!  I had a blast getting to know you and hope you had a safe trip back home.  xoxo ~annie

Yin and Yang

I have been blessed with meeting this lovely family seven years ago and photographing them twice a year ever since.  (I get choked up when I think about how much their children have grown!)

This year, their two shoots were complete opposites, yet complimentary.  Yin and Yang!

At their last shoot, The F Family was in downtown San Francisco and it rained so hard that we ducked indoors the entire time.  This past weekend, it was gorgeously sunny with white puffy clouds.  It was warm, which is uncommon at the coastline in San Francisco, with an iconic Bay Area breeze.  The dense fog was there to greet us, then cleared, so we could see the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Again, this is something that doesn’t always happen.

With the weather being so nice, Kai, Maya and Nina, along with their parents, were able to do A LOT!

They flew kites, climbed rock walls, played in the sand, investigated marine life, and explored an old 1900′s battery (army artillery area).  Through all the activities, they were united as a family and relaxed to be themselves.

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By the end of the shoot, I was covered in sand, my shorts were wet from the surf, I suffered a cut on my knee from kneeling for a shot… and I had a smile on my face the whole time.

I feel so much gratitude for doing what I love and having clients who have believed in me and trusted me all these years.  I realize they have watched me grow in my career (and grow old in age — haha) as much as I’ve watched their children grow.  And that is pretty cool.  :)

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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