Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

One Summer Break during High School, I went to Disneyland with a girlfriend.  We thought it would be fun to go on a kiddie ride, but as a teen.  So we stood in line for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

This ride was anything, but wild.  The car we sat in wiggled slowly on a visible track through a not-so-dark room.  The car went so slow that a toddler could’ve walked faster!

So, as juvenile teens, we pretended the ride was scary and screamed throughout, thereby making the preschool-aged kids in line think it was actually scary!  Of course now, I am truly embarrassed!

Today’s shoot reminded me of this ride in that it was the opposite of what I had imagined just as the kids thought the ride was going to be scary, but it wasn’t…


Today’s shoot was of Fred and his family.  Fred is a loyal Annie Tao Photography Blog reader from Saudi Arabia!  Yahoo!  He is — and will most likely always be — my furthest client!

So, here was my line of thought before the shoot:  Hmmmm… a shoot of 5 adults and 3 dogs… no little kids to chase after… no high activities… Oh, I’ll bring lots of gear (4 lenses, 2 camera bodies) since we won’t be moving around a lot!

Here were some of the activities during the actual shoot:  running, jumping, climbing and monkeying around!  I even climbed up onto an upside down trashcan to get a shot!

It was also a photoshoot that had it all:  silliness, athletic activities, tender moments, jokes & laughter and just hanging out!

“The Kids”:  Heather, Brent and Brian


The Other Kids:  Marley, Nali and Harley

When Fred and family were trying to decide on their photoshoot location, I asked what things their family liked to do.

“Anything with their dogs” was Fred’s answer!

So you’ll see a lot of Marley, Nali and Harley on this blog.  🙂


The Family

The family shots were all about capturing images of the family hanging out together.  They sat, chatted, strolled, drank coffee and played with the dogs.


Merrily and Fred:  Tender Moments

This tree was unbelievably beautiful.  The branches hung down all the way to the ground and all the way around the tree!

So it may have sounded a bit contrived when I asked Fred and Merrily to go under (or is it inside) the tree for some casual shots of the two of them because we actually had to move branches aside to get in.  The light from inside the “tree cave” was just divine!


Happy Anniversary

Brent and Heather have been married 3 years as of last Tuesday!  They have a playful kind of relationship that was so endearing to watch.



Brian reminded me so much of my brother-in-law, Darrin Gee, who lives on The Big Island of Hawaii!  They’re both really great guys who are sweet and fun-loving, so it was really easy to get along with Brian and joke around.



I loved all the dogs.  They were all soft, sweet and cuddly!  But there’s something about the face of a Boxer… and Harley gave great face!

So here are a few fun shots of Harley…



This week marks the ONE YEAR anniversary of my blog!

I am so happy that I decided to give up 2 of my Personal Days for Fred’s family and yesterday’s Miracle Triplets family.  They are both very special families to me for different reasons.  And I had fun sharing extra photos for 2 extra-long photo blogs as a celebration of my blog’s anniversary!

Fred, many thanks for reading my blog and choosing me to be the first person to shoot your family’s lifestyle photographs!  Have a safe trip back to Saudi Arabia, Fred and Merrily!

#EastBaynaturallightphotography #petphotography #SpiritofGolf #lifestylephotographyEastBay #EastBayfamilyphotography #EastBay #MrToadsWildRide #DarrinGee #WalnutCreekfamilyphotography #Anniversary

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