Hello there!

My name is Annie Tao. I am a photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in lifestyle photography where you get to play, hang out, and be yourself. I capture the moments, real emotions and stories that occur during our time together. Check here often or subscribe to my blog (RSS feed) to see what I am up to or get creative inspiration. Thanks for visiting!

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The Buzz

My Philosophy

I scoured through thousands of my client photos and pondered my philosophy on photographing people.  What I realized was that my philosophy was incredibly simple.

Looking at all these gorgeous faces and families, my heart melts a little.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.   ~annie

Want to see more?  Yippeee… here’s a video on why you should choose Lifestyle Photography.

My Candy Store

Quiet moments, laugh-out-loud moments, sweet tender moments, serious moments.  Having all of these things and beautiful sunlight in one Lifestyle Shoot is my “candy store”!  I am gasping in delight at the plethora of emotions and stories that unfolded that morning.  Take, for instance, this first photo below of the dad walking with his youngest daughter.  That was my first frame.  My very first shot.  When a shoot starts like this, it’s just…WOW.

There is no magic pill or fancy formula.  My advice to you, if you have a photoshoot coming up, is…

Relax.  Be yourself.  Have fun.  Don’t have an agenda.  Let your kids be kids.

Now come check out my “candy store” of moments from this past weekend!

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Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-garden  Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-looking-straight-into-camera

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Commercial Photography: Rice University

I went back to Houston, y’all!  :)  This time, I spent a few days photographing the beautiful and prestigious Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.  (For short, I call it Rice Business School.)

All important projects have goals. 
One of my goals was to capture the personality and essence of Rice Business School in an authentic way.  My days consisted of attending classes, taking casual headshots of students within each MBA program, capturing images of professors collaborating with students, scouting locations, and sculpting images based on the light.  Putting someone in the stairwell because there was “good light” was not unfathomable!  ;)

All great adventures have obstacles. 
One that surfaced was the weather.  There could be sun and clear skies and then a half hour later, it would turn dark, rainy, and windy.  And no one would blink an eye… except me, a California girl whose State has been in a severe drought for years.  When it rains in CA, it’s reported on every news channel!

No obstacle was too big, however, even when we found out on Shoot Day 1 that there would be no students on Day 3 and few students on Day 2.  So yes, I had to photograph a school with limited students.  Meh, not a problem!  ;)  All kidding aside, I wholeheartedly believe challenges are opportunities for growth, so bring them on, I say!

Now take a look.

These are the faces of Rice Business School… the faces of the campus, faculty and students.  They have much to celebrate at this school, and I am humbled to be a part of their creative process.

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Bay-Area-Commercial-Photography-business-school-building-upward-view  Bay-Area-Commercial-Photography-business-school-building-table-view

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Want to see what I worked on the last time I was in Houston?  There was a dark and windy rainstorm then too!  Click HERE and HERE.

Urban Playground

San Francisco is full of urban playgrounds, whether it’s an actual children’s playground or cool things around the city you can play on!  With imagination and a free spirit, we can find fun things to do anywhere, right?!!  :)

My Lifestyle Shoot with The Y Family this weekend had both types of playgrounds.  Add to that, great people and nice weather during an El Nino Winter.  It was fabulous!

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One of the things I love about shooting in the city is having the contrast of nature and man-made materials, like a park in front of giant skyscrapers.  It’s a visual Yin and Yang!

IMAGE ANALYSIS

In the below image, I yearned to break up “the pattern on top of pattern” (shadow against the brick wall) with these two amazing women who describe themselves as opposites, so I stood them apart from each other for symbolism.

It’s one of my favorite photos of the shoot because of the patterns, coolness in colors, and compositional balance of the two women, who are obviously different, but in that second, their mannerisms mirrored each other!  <3

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San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-bush-with-flowers  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-standing-between-bushes

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