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.


Please follow and like us:
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!

Please follow and like us:
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.

Please follow and like us:

Family Fun and Portraits in Tiburon

The O Family is another wonderful repeat client that I have been privileged to work with for the third time. Well, twice for family portraits and once with the daughter for a BFF Tween session.



They are sweet and loving family and mom believes in getting a formal portrait each year to record the changes, which, includes the families two dogs.


2015-12-20_0040 2015-12-20_0039 2015-12-20_0038

I love going out to visit them as they live in beautiful Belvedere where there are numerous cool locations to shoot, not the least of which is their home.


[callout type=”left, center, right” title=” Is it time to update your family portraits, get in touch and let’s find a fun place that brings out the personalities in your tribe!” message=” Get In Touch Today” button_text=”Contact Cyndi” href=”http://chickpeaphotographystudio.com/kids-contact/” target=”blank”]

Please follow and like us:

A Sibling Holiday Portrait for Mom and Dad in our Richmond Studio

As anyone who scrolls through my galleries will notice, most of my siblings are kids, so it was a nice change of pace to photograph adult siblings. I met Mary last year when I did a headshot for her LinkedIn profile. She contacted me before Christmas because she and her sisters wanted to surprise their parents with a portrait. They came into the studio and we had a quick 30 minute session that was a lot of fun.

2015-12-20_0006 2015-12-20_0005

While they were mainly interested in a more formal type of portrait, these three know how to get silly and I encouraged them to laugh and goof around a bit.  It helps to make your subject feel more relaxed and in that way you get more genuine emotion captured in the image.

2015-12-20_0004 2015-12-20_0003

After our session the sisters agreed on the image they thought their parents would most love and they ordered a large print on metal as the Christmas present. I found out in the New Year that the parents were thrilled with the gift. I call that a success, happy clients, fun during the session and a great gift.


[callout type=”left, center, right” title=”If you and your siblings have been photographed since you all lived at home together, get in touch and will capture a few family memories for you.” message=” Get In Touch Today” button_text=”Contact Cyndi” href=”http://chickpeaphotographystudio.com/kids-contact/” target=”blank”]

Please follow and like us:

Why Chickpea Photography?

There are a number of questions that I am regularly asked, so I thought I would write a post that addresses them.

  1. How long have I been in business?
  2. How did I get started?
  3. Where did the name Chickpea come from?

Let me start with that last one first.  When I started my business in 2009 (oops, I guess I actually answered the first question first!), I decided right away that I didn’t want to use my name for the business.  It is a very common practice, many photographers use their names and I wanted to be different, but that isn’t the whole story.  I like my name; unfortunately people frequently have difficulty pronouncing my last name and I felt that would get old really quickly for both myself and my clients.

I started as a pet photographer and I knew I did not want to pick a pet genre specific name like purple leash or sit stay photography.  Instead I wanted a name that could still be used if I choose to expand at some point in the future.  And most importantly I wanted a name that was catchy and memorable.

Over the period of several days (maybe even weeks) my spouse and I tossed dozens of names around, trying to decide what sounded like THE right name.  This many years later I can’t even recall all of them any more, though I do remember Little Red Fox Photography was one.  That came from my love of the book “The Little Prince”.  However, it was not quiet right either.

Then one day my spouse, who happened to be a middle school English teacher at the time said “How about Chickpea? It is one of my favorite words in the English language.”  As soon as I heard it, I knew we had THE right name this time and Chickpea Photography was born.

Now, as to how I got started – well it is simple really – the short version is I just spent 30 years wanting to be a photographer and then finally decided to do it.  The longer version is that I knew I wanted to be a photo journalist when I was in high school.  In fact, it says so in my high school year book.  Right under my senior school portrait are the words:  Career Aspiration – Professional Photographer.

I had dreams of traveling the world working for National Geographic or Time magazine, but life has a way of interrupting our plans.  Believing the well meaning advice of my elders that I could never make it as a photographer, I abandoned my dream and instead got a job working in a boring beige cubicle.  That actually turned into a good career in in Corporate America as an IT Manager, but it was still just a series of window-less cubicles for nearly 30 years until one day I saw those forgotten words in my year book.

I picked up a camera again, taught myself how to use it, entered contests and charity auctions and realized it was long past time to start living my dream.  Being a professional photographer and owning your own business is a dream, but it is also a lot of hard work, though I’ve never regretted my choice to leave that cubicle.

Cyndi Kuiper Photographer

Cyndi Kuiper Photographer


Please follow and like us: