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Richmond Family Portraits – Extended Family at Alvarado Park

Richmond Family Portraits – Extended Family at Alvarado Park

I first met Barbara, the matriarch of the B family, when her grand-daughter, Xoxa, participated in my Tween ‘Who I Am‘ Project.  At the time we were reviewing Xoxa’s portrait, Barbara let me know she wanted a portrait of her entire family and she needed to do it soon, as her husband was ill.  So we got to work on the logistics of finding a time and place the family could gather.

We choose Alvarado Park in Richmond, as they are long-time residents of the area and Alvarado Park is a hidden gem in the city.  It is part of Wildcat Canyon Regional Park and is a really beautiful area with many trails, picnic areas and even streams to splash around in on a hot day. The park has been around since the 30’s and it nestled in a residential area, so you might not find it unless you know where to look.

A lovely park and a lovely morning with the B family.  As it turns it, a great spot for a family portrait.  I was very glad to have been able to provide this family with images with their patriarch, as he passed before he had a chance to view the portraits.

Thanks Barbara and Kriz for letting me a part of your family for that short time.

I love working with the whole entire extended family, so if your family needs a moment captured, please get in touch.

East Bay Pet Photography – Sunset at Albany Beach

East Bay Pet Photography – Sunset at Albany Beach

One night last summer, while walking my dogs in the twilight, I was enjoying the gorgeous sunset and it occurred to me try shooting dogs along the shoreline as the sunset is creating this beautiful light against the skyline. This may sound easy, but it really isn’t.

First off it requires an alternate light source otherwise all you end up with is a silhouette. Then comes the trick of balancing that light source against the ambient light. If not, you end up with a nicely lit dog but a dark, uninteresting sunset. This took some practice and I appreciate my own dog’s willingness to spend time posing on the beach!

This beautiful dog is named Luke. He is a lab/pit mix who is trained as a search and rescue dog, which meant that he was extremely well behaved and patient. Since we are shooting as the sun goes down we don’t have time to take many shots and a dog that will hold a pose is a great help. Luke was a great subject, friendly, playful and willing to work for treats!

These images are some of my personal favorites. It was an early fall evening at Albany Beach and we got lucky with a terrific sunset. The colors in the sky were amazing and Luke looks so majestic with the sunset in the background. Thanks, Anja for letting me work with Luke, it was a delight.

If you think your dog would be a good fit for a special sunset session, please get in touch.

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.


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!

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.
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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