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

Your Own Sunshine

What do you do when you have an outdoor Lifestyle Photography session, but it is raining cats and dogs outside?

You can reschedule or….

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Find your own sunshine!

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The power of ASKING and the power of BEING NICE got together and made this happen…

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Our very own floor of a historic building was opened just for us!

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Later we migrated downstairs to have snacks, read books and hang out.

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The F Family didn’t mind that it was raining.  We changed locations last minute and made it work!

For them, their “sunshine” was having the family together.  :)

Bodhi

I can tell you how the blanket is made up of Penna’s mom’s angora sweaters or that the handmade mobile over the crib represents the baby’s family members.  I can talk about the ring Penna is wearing, and how she got it after hearing her baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

But I won’t.

There are stories behind every object and backdrop and nook in this North Bay Lifestyle Shoot, and they are all meaningful and touching.  Here’s the problem…

Once I look at this little man’s face, I am in the present.  I forget about history, that I have a headache, and even the news of the World.  Bodhi (pronounced “Boe-dee”) has that effect on me!  Just look at his squishy cheeks, those soulful eyes, the perfectly messy soft curls on his head, his flirty smile, and the delicious fat rolls…and you’ll see what I mean.

Alright, you may begin ogling now.  (That means me!)  :)

 

  

Pure Joy

The G Family’s shoot was a relaxing morning of eating pastries, drinking coffee and apple juice, dancing, exchanging silly faces, snuggling and kissing.  Now that’s what I call PURE JOY!

This series makes my heart flutter…

Picnic time…

Gabriel fed his dad strawberries…

And wanted ME to eat too! 

He asked me several times and then started handing me food.  (He is one of the most polite 5 year olds I’ve ever met.)

Love, love, love…

The Trust Fall

I was in the 4th Grade when our class went on an overnight camping trip.  You see, I grew up with a single parent who worked full-time, so outings, like camping, was never on the radar.  But I digress.  We did so many things at camp that I will never forget, like picked and ate edible plants in the woods.  (You know how much I like eating, so this was a winning activity in my book!)

Another activity was the Trust Fall.  We took turns standing on a wall about 5′ high with our backs turned, and the kids below would catch us.  It was scary, yet invigorating because regardless of your personality, IQ, appearance or any other detail that seemed important at age 9, the person falling backwards was always caught.  Always.

Being the subject in a photoshoot is like the Trust Fall.  You have to trust in your photographer — their creative vision, their ideas, their ability to “see” what will work best for you.

This weekend’s Bay Area Lifestyle Photography session with The P Family, a first-time client, reminded me of the importance of trust.  Christy said verbatim, “You have to trust your photographer.”  (I love Christy!)

Per my suggestions, they placed baby Melanie on a dirt path, they removed her coat for part of the shoot, and they also took a stroll between bushes that divided a church and a PARKING AREA, just to name a few things.  They didn’t question me once… at least not audibly;)

Meet Christy, Richard and Melanie who did a Trust Fall with me…

 

The Perfectly Imperfect Art

As the year closes out, I had the pleasure of having a truly urban shoot with The S Family in San Francisco last Sunday.  (I say “truly urban” because some neighborhoods in SF are pristine and manicured.)

Urban shoots are like a mix of Lifestyle Portraiture and Street Photography.  I find it to be a fun challenge in that I need to find beauty in the gritty streets.  There is graffiti, litter, unswept sidewalks, residentially-challenged people sleeping on the ground, and a multitude of pigeons.

You really have to embrace this kind of environment and have an adventurous spirit to want to have a shoot here.  And you need to be the kind of photographer who welcomes what I call “the perfectly imperfect” art to enjoy this kind of shoot.  (Me me me!)

What makes my heart race from excitement is shooting in this kind of environment with people who are game for anything, can take a little bit of direction and make it their own, and have the kind of attitude that makes even walking a lot of fun!

Little Circles

Rock On

Elaine and Tim

 

Petting the Dogs

The vivid mural makes it hard to spot Isabella and Sophia.

Happy Dance

 

Furry Giggles

Little Sophia was so giggly and wore a furry vest that made her irresistible to hug during the shoot.  Hugging her was NOT an option!   :)

City Life

Bakery