Oakland Family Portraits | The B Family

Oakland Family Portraits | The B Family

I head out early with my camera gear to Lake Temescal in Oakland on what is promising to be another scorching hot day in the SF Bay Area.  Summer is almost officially over and yet it has been blisteringly hot the past several days. I suggest to the B Family matriarch that an early morning session time will not only be better for the softer light but also help to keep us all from melting in the sun.  They are all game and I catch up with them standing in the shade as it is already inching up to 80 degrees before 8am!

We spent our time shooting around the Lake Temescal Beach House, which is a pretty cool stone building with a beautiful, lush garden with a stream, waterfall and other fun features to use for our portraits.  Also, thankfully, on this day a goodly amount of shade.

It is a real pleasure for me to spend time with a grown family that so clearly enjoys each other.  The oldest son was home from college and mom wanted to snag the opportunity to get some updated portraits.  They were good sports as I asked them to do silly poses and the boys had a blast when they realized I was down for them goofing around and jumping off the life guard towers.  As long as we all stay safe, I’m always up for something fun that shows off the families personality.

Thanks B Family, it was a great pleasure to work with you all.

 

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A Dog Portrait Fundraiser for Milo Foundation

A Dog Portrait Fundraiser for Milo Foundation

As a pet photographer and lifelong animal lover, I’m always looking for ways I can help out rescue organizations. Since I started my business in 2009, I’ve been photographing dogs and cats to help them get adopted. That is why, when I saw a Facebook post back in May from the Milo Foundation about the amount of kibble they need daily to feed over 175 dogs, I told myself I needed to find a way to help out.

Our portrait fundraiser in July was just the ticket. My crew and I, over two days, shot (in a good way, with a camera 😉 ) 37 dogs of every type, age, breed, and size. The youngest and smallest was 4-month old Francois, who my assistants and I, did not want to let leave the studio, to stately Susie, a 16-year-old Aussie Shepard, still going strong in her golden years. Some were excited to visit the studio, others not so much so, but we coaxed them all with yummy treats and squeaky toys and got some fabulous results.

We also donated over 1,100 pounds of dog food to Milo in Pt Richmond, along with some collars, bowls, and toys.

I want to thank every person who helped to make this fundraiser a success and to all the staff and volunteers at Milo who work every day to improve the lives of companion animals.

Now onto the important part – meet some of the sweeties I had the pleasure of working with!

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5 Easy Tips to Get a Good Pic of your Pup

5 Easy Tips to Get a Good Pic of your Pup

Who doesn’t love taking pictures of their pups?

But so often, the perfect photo ops happen without any planning and we don’t have a camera with us. So we whip out our cell phones and click away, hoping to get good results, usually with varying degrees of success. There are ways to help ensure the quality of those spur-of-the-moment pictures – here are five tips on camera phone photography to help sway the odds in your favor.
TIP #1
Take lots and lots and lots of pictures! Many cell phones have a “burst” feature when you press one of the volume buttons, which takes rapid-fire pictures at a high rate. This is especially great if you’re taking action pictures. From all these images, you typically end up with a good selection to choose from.
TIP #2
As with any camera, try not to shoot into the sun. Sunrise and sunset are optimal times for phone photography because they offer the best colors without too much brightness. Overcast or cloudy days can also work in your favor – any color in the picture is sharper and bolder by contrast.
TIP #3
Some camera phones are very sensitive to even slight movement, so if you can lean the phone or your hands on something to keep the phone steady, that can help eliminate blurring. Shooting indoors where the light is lower creates even more of a stabilizing requirement because the shutter speed is slower. You can also help to decrease movement by keeping your elbows against your sides and holding the phone with both hands.
TIP #4
Don’t shy away from selfies with your dog! You can get some amazing shots of that loving look in your dog’s eyes when you’re nestled up against him. You may also end up with some incredible candid surprises you may not have expected but will cherish forever, like your dog giving you a big kiss.
TIP #5
Squat down to your dog’s level to get some great shots. If there’s a lot going on behind your dog – movement or even just a very busy, distracting landscape – zoom in on your pup so he takes up most of the frame and the background doesn’t take away from the subject.
BONUS TIP
And don’t forget to check out the apps available for camera phone photo correction; some are free and can make a big difference. For ideas on professional photos of your best friend, contact us about how we can create the image you’ve always wanted.

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Family Portraits – Strolling Around San Francisco

Family Portraits – Strolling Around San Francisco

Meeting and photographing the W family was a whole lot of fun.  They wanted a portrait session walking around in their Sunset District neighborhood, as they were about to move.  We headed out along Noriega Street and strolled along visiting the shops and looking for cool backdrops for the portraits.

We made our way down to the Great Highway and crossed over to the beach.  There is some cool graffiti down there and we made use of it for our photos.I had them take of their shoes and run around and play in the sand.  They were great to work with and up for playing around.

It was a typically day next to the ocean, which is to say not warm and sunny, but the W family is used to the overcast skies and moody weather of San Francisco.  And I love that light for portraits.

Who says having your family portraits taken is boring?  Not this family!

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Bay Area Family Portraits – Welcoming the New Baby Boy

Bay Area Family Portraits – Welcoming the New Baby Boy

When Sam first contacted me she was considering a newborn session, but that is not my specialty so she decided to wait a few months until her baby was old enough to smile and make it a family affair. And smile little D did. What a sweet and easy going baby and he was so fun to work with.

They are a beautiful, charming family with a gorgeous home in the Oakland hills that had great light streaming in through the windows the day of our session. And to top off all the fun they have stunning and amazingly well behaved Akita who very sweetly got in on the act for a few shots with the little man.

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