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!

stay connected on facebook subscribe to rss follow me on twitter check out my pins contact annie

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.

Conga Dance

Life is like a Conga dance.  It is rhythmic.  It moves in a direction — can be right or wrong, and sometimes moves erratically.  You’re part of a larger group, made up of family and friends.  Even when you’re not in the mood for it, it always turns out alright. 

Jennifer and Jonathan and their J-kids are first-time clients, and they arrived with THE best attitude:  willing to try anything!

This is what I sounded like throughout their shoot:  “Ooh ooh, I have an idea!”  And sometimes I’d throw in:  “But you can say no.”  They never said no.  Once I saw a spooky outdoor corridor and suggested to “do something scary for Halloween!”  I was able to imagine what the eerie light would look like photographed, and I also imagined they’d say no – haha.  I am so glad they trusted me.  See monsters below.

Sometimes I’d spot beautiful light or colors, so I’d ask them to hang out.  What they did was up to them.  Once they broke out in a musical theater number, a few times they hugged it out, and once they did the Conga.  :)

This family was so much fun to photograph.

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-playing-on-wooden-ramp-closeup

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-playing-on-wooden-ramp

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-children-photography-playful-siblings-sitting-in-morning-sun  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-smiling-at-big-sister

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-walking-hand-in-hand-down-sunny-alley

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-photography-black-bird-flying-overhead-by-old-theater

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-father-and-son-playing-monsters

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-parents-and-sister-reacting-to-young-boy-monkeying-around

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-father-and-daughter-talking

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-happily-hanging-out-on-curb-by-decorative-window

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-couple-photography-gazing-into-each-other-after-eighteen-years-of-marriage  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-photography-store-sign-downtown

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-photography-pink-roses-in-morning-sun

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-Los-Gatos-lifestyle-family-photography-dancing

Smells Like Sunshine

What does the flower smell like?  Grape.
How about this one?  Cotton candy.
What does that one smell like?  Sunshine.

I adore kids for so many reasons.  The way they experience the World around them lands somewhere at the top of my list.  Ask 10 adults what a flower smells like, and I’m sure the answers would not be as interesting.  Just try it!  I asked two (that’s all I could handle), and their answers were:  flower and good.  Yup, for real.

These two carefree sisters, Olivia and Emma, had the best time at a garden this weekend.  Emma had the best descriptions of flower scents.  Those were her answers above!  Olivia was a champion reader.  She read the flower signs:  Ageratum Houstonianum, Gazania, Alchemilla… wow.  And they both hopped like bunnies, flew like butterflies, twirled like dancers…

And laughed with each other like best friends. ❤️

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-two-young-girls-smelling-a-flower-in-tall-garden

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-flowers-in-garden  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-reaching-to-smell-flower-in-garden

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girls-hopping-in-garden

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-lone-purple-flower-in-garden

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-young-daughters-twirling-while-parents-watch

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-two-sisters-standing-on-bench-and-laughing-together

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-two-girls-grabbing-pretzel-snacks-from-mom

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-girl-grasping-fistful-of-pretzel-snacks-tightly

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-closeup-of-young-girls-face-with-missing-teeth-smile

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-looking-away-closeup

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-sisters-sitting-together-and-playing-rock-paper-scissors-in-garden

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-sisters-laughing-together-and-touches-own-face

Commercial Photography: Connections

When you live in the San Francisco Bay Area — one of the most expensive areas in the country — it can take a few or even one unexpected life change to put you in dire straits.  I’ve always believed this shocking reality.  People who find themselves in these situations can be anyone:  our teacher, our friend, you, me.  So my Commercial Shoot at LifeMoves, a nonprofit that helps individuals and families in these transition stages get back on their feet, was one of the most touching shoots I’ve ever done.

I concentrated on the relationships/connections, whether they are of family members who are residents at LifeMoves, of staff who work there, or of case managers with their clients.

They are the connections between people that make life meaningful.

And connections to helpful services, like at LifeMoves, is what we need sometimes. ❤️

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-young-boy-melted-into-fathers-lap  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-family-holding-and-carrying-each-other-by-housing

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-father-kneeling-on-ground-while-talking-with-daughter-in-playhouse-window

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-staff-hanging-out-and-laughing-on-bench

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-case-manager-about-to-hug-girl  San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-case-manager-hugging-girl

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-family-connection-in-grass-between-mom-and-baby

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-baby-girl-smiling-at-mom-on-blanket

San-Francisco-Bay-Area-commercial-photography-lifemoves-girl-sitting-on-dads-lap-in-garden