It was a cloudy day yesterday at the Sutro Baths which was perfect for this maternity session. As soon as I met my clients Kayla and Darius I wanted to be best friends with them. Such a fun session. More to come soon.
This at-home lifestyle newborn session was such a treat for me. I got to see one of my cutest little clients after four years and I got to meet his little sister. Baby Flora is only 10 days new and so adorable. Her big brother is so loving and so sweet with her.
I love it when my clients have full trust in me and let me do my thing. We spent three hours together and it really didn't feel that way. It was a relaxed atmosphere and in return we captured some beautiful memories.
These first moments when you bring a new family member home are so precious. The curiosity of baby Flora's big brother and first kisses are something families are going to smile at ten years from now. Kids grow fast and change even faster, freezing moments with my camera and transforming them into photographs is so important and priceless.
I don't know about you, but I consider myself super lucky to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Great people, great food, but most importantly, the Bay Area has some of the most beautiful, natural and urban landscapes in the world. Another factor which makes this area great is our great weather. It's unbeatable. We can photograph outdoors all year long. For a point of comparison, I lived in Chicago for a brief period and quickly realized that outside sessions in that unforgiving climate were feasible only six to eight months of the year. I am a natural light photographer and I often work in public locations, so Chicago's weather was a major hurdle for my business. But not here in the Bay Area! We can spend time outside virtually any day of the year and have a great time creating beautiful memories.
Picking a location for your next photo session does not need to be a daunting task. There are many wonderful sites to choose from. The challenge, however, is narrowing down and choosing a location that best suits your family.
To make your decision a little easier, I made a list of my top 10 favorite family photoshoot locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The list contains some of the most popular areas and also less known hidden gems around the Bay.
1. Lands End, San Francisco
This is probably a favorite amongst many photographers and for a good reason. Lands End is located on the north-western corner of San Francisco. It's set amongst gorgeous eucalyptus and cypress trees on the edge of the coastline with spectacular ocean views. My absolute favorite aspect of this landscape are trees that curved over time due to the force of wind, which creates an unusual and quite stunning backdrop. One thing to be aware of is that the weather at the Lands End can be very unpredictable and those same winds which bend the trees beautifully can make your hair fly in every direction. This is a perfect location for a family that is ready for an adventure.
2. Crissy Field, San Francisco
Another favorite amongst local Bay Area photographers is Crissy Field. It's proximity and views of the Golden Gate Bridge are simply unbeatable. Crissy Field is easy to get to for families of every size. What makes it special to me is that it offers a variety of scenery. There is a large open green field and easy access to the beach. However, a major drawback to this location is that it's super popular, not only with photographers but also with every tourist who visits San Francisco. To fully enjoy it and get stunning shots, I would strongly suggest going either early in the morning or late afternoon on a weekday.
3. Regional parks and Open Spaces
How awesome it is to be surrounded by vast open spaces and regional parks! They are scattered throughout the entire Bay Area and surprisingly very easy to access. It’s hard to believe that in such a populated area we have these vast open spaces at our disposal, but we do and they make great photo locations. I live in Walnut Creek and we have a few in just a 5 mile radius. One of the main things to remember is that for sessions in the open spaces to work well, the timing must be perfect. The best natural light is very early in the morning or in the late afternoon (closer to sunset). The creamy and soft natural light produced at this time of day when the sun sets behind the hills is termed the “golden hour.” The image below was taken at the gorgeous Rancho San Antonio Preserve but similar landscapes and lighting can be found at other Bay Area open spaces.
4. Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland
Joaquin Miller Park is located in the Oakland Hills just off the state highway 13. It's a 500 acre park with rustic woodland trails that wind through redwood groves. It is a perfect spot for a family who is looking for a lush green backdrop. The sunlight which filters through redwood trees creates an "Alice in Wonderland" type of scene.
5. Jewel Lake at Tilden Park, East Bay
This is a perfect location for family photos for many reasons. Jewel Lake is located just a short walk away from the Little Farm, about a quarter mile down a fire road. There's plenty of parking, it is flat and easy to get to. My favorite part is the zig-zag wooden pathway that leads to the lake. It is very green and lush. A one-mile trail loops all the way around the lake which makes for a perfect photo family adventure. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in this area.
6. Hap Magee Ranch Park, Danville
If you are looking for a manicured location that is very easy for everyone in your family to access, I would suggest Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville. It's a beautiful park located in the foothills of Danville and Alamo. This park is very close to highway 680 but it feels very natural and secluded. In the autumn you can actually find foliage there. It's not a lot, but for California it can be surprisingly colorful.
7. Old Borges Ranch, Walnut Creek
If you asked me my most frequented photoshoot location, regardless of the season, I would not even hesitate to respond. My response is automatic, it's Old Borges Ranch! This location is perfect for all kinds of photo sessions but it is absolutely the best for families. Old Borges Ranch is a historic ranch located in the foothills of Mount Diablo. It has barn structures, antique farm equipment, old tractor machinery scattered around, a manual water pump and a number of farm animals. Kids can pretty much climb on everything, explore and pet animals and best of all, it's free. Another aspect which I love about Borges Ranch is that it is attached to Shell Ridge Open Space so we can hit the trail and walk under beautiful oak trees.
8. Wente Vineyards, Livermore
If your vision for your next family photo session includes a beautiful winery setting, look no further then the beautiful Wente Vineyards. It is closer than driving to Napa and it's just as stunning. Wente vineyards is a popular wedding location so it's good to check ahead about photographing there.
9. Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, Palo Alto
One of the most tranquil locations that I photographed at is the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden. It is located in a quiet neighborhood of Palo Alto. It consists of a historic home, carriage house and wide array of beautifully manicured plant landscapes. It is quite small but it offers lots of variety. It's an oasis that is worth exploring.
10. Berkeley Rose Garden, Berkeley
I was considering omitting this "hidden gem" from my list because it is my most recent discovery and I love photographing there. I will not say much more about it. I am keeping it hush hush (at least till this post goes live).
BOJANA KORACH IS A PUBLISHED LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN NEWBORN, FAMILY & CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HER PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES.
Beautiful baby Flora. Only 10 days new. More from this lifestyle newborn photo session will be coming very soon.
FLEETING MOMENTS | PRECIOUS MEMORIES
I had so much fun taking photos of this beautiful family at the Berkeley Rose Garden a few weeks back. It was a gorgeous morning for a family photo session and it just so happened to be baby Alice's first birthday. Alice is so sweet and adorable. She is not quite walking on her own yet but is definitely on the move. We had a great time playing on the playground and walking through the forest.
As a family photographer I always strive to get fun and unexpected photos, tender moments and also some classic posed shots. During this session we managed to capture it all.
Happy Birthday Alice!
FLEETING MOMENTS | PRECIOUS MEMORIES
Baby is on the way and the pregnancy glow is a real thing. Those are the two real facts about this maternity session that I photographed a few weeks back at the Tilden Park. It was a perfect evening with the sweetest couple. They are about to become first time parents and they could not be more excited. I also loved meeting their new dog Rusty who they adopted just a few weeks prior.
About the Location
The time is almost here for Jamie and Matt to enter the joy's of parenthood and for this maternity photoshoot they picked one of their most favorite locations in Bay Area (Lake Anza, Tilden Park). As the sun was going down we weaved carefully around the lake discovering together it's beautiful pockets that made a stunning backdrop for our images.
Choosing my favorites was not an easy task. Enjoy!!!
One of the most frequent questions that I get from my clients is what to wear during a lifestyle newborn photo session. Those first few weeks after a baby's arrival can be hectic and the last thing you need to be concerned about is what to wear. I want you to feel beautiful and confident and not to worry about anything else other than loving your new bundle of joy. Once you have decided on your wardrobe, everything else will fall into place.
Here are some tips on what to wear during a newborn lifestyle photo session:
1. Stay in your "Fashion Lane"
First and foremost, I like to emphasize that your style and personality are very important. Let your every day wardrobe influence your outfit for this photo session. Staying within your "fashion lane" is basically listening to your inner fashionista and wearing what makes you, you.
2. Light and Neutral Color Palette
We want your baby to be the central focus of the session so keeping everything else simple and neutral is kind of the key. Soft pastels such as blush, grey, browns work great. If you are running out of ideas, white/grey and ivory/brown color combinations are always a good option but please don't exactly match with your spouse, rather coordinate within the same color scheme.
If I were to pick one color that you should stay away from, I would say to definitely avoid BLACK.
3. Play with Texture
Texture is just as important as the color that you are working with. It gives dimension to the images and can add additional softness. Layering can also help in adding more interest and can be very flattering. Many new moms feel uncomfortable with their post pregnancy bodies and it is very important that you feel confident and beautiful. A white tee with a soft grey cardigan would for example be a great choice.
4. Keeping it Casual
Lifestyle newborn sessions are photographed in the comfort of your home. Therefore you should compliment the "comfort" only a home can provide by opting for a more casual option when it comes to clothing. I would stay away from fancy dresses and especially high heels. I would even go further to suggest that bare feet look most natural in a home setting. The clothing should compliment the surroundings.
Before making a final decision on what to wear, I would do a what I call "movement challenge". We will be photographing you laying down, standing up, from up above, from below... the clothing should allow you to move as freely as you can. Not to forget, you will most likely be doing some diaper changes and feeds during the session. One of my go-to suggestions is a long flowy dress in a soft pastel color (white and ivory also work well). I personally love when new mothers wear dresses, it's often the easiest choice and it always garners the most compliments.
6. Baby Attire
I prefer babies dressed very simply in plain white onesies, wrapped in muslin swaddles or to just be in a diaper. The most important thing to pay attention to is that we want the chosen outfit to fit snug. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with knotted gowns and swaddles by Lou Lou and Co. that come in very beautiful designs. If we photograph your baby in the diaper, I find that diapers from The Honest Co. photograph very well. Including a special item that holds meaning is always encouraged. Often, my clients have a blanket that they had as a baby themselves or for example a hat that someone in the family knitted and I am happy to include them in the session.
FLEETING MOMENTS | PRECIOUS MEMORIES
I had such a wonderful time getting to know Barrett family during this lifestyle newborn session at their lovely home in Redwood City. They welcomed their second child seven days prior to our session and wanted me to photograph these first sweet moments as a family of four in the most natural way possible. My natural approach to newborn photography matched perfectly with their vision so I knew going into it that this newborn session will be nothing but a beautiful adventure and so it was.
Newborn lifestyle sessions are done in the comfort of your home during which I usually photograph at least one part of the family photos in the master bedroom. I love photographing family snuggled together on a bed enjoying each other and taking in the reality of bringing a new baby home. In this case, this room was also very special because baby Tennyson was born there just a week before I came to photograph.
After we spent some time photographing in the master bedroom we walked outside to capture some moments outside in their beautiful garden. Baby Tennyson's big sister Winslow was so loving and gentle and at the same time very playful during the entire photo session. The connection and love within this family was so wonderful to witness and to be able to translate these sweet moments into images was an honor. This is exactly why I love being a newborn and family photographer.
FLEETING MOMENTS | PRECIOUS MEMORIES
I had a great time photographing adorable baby Alden's lifestyle newborn photo session at his home in San Francisco. Baby Alden is just adorable! He is already sporting a full head of spiky hair and showing off his big personality. The entire session ran smooth and we ended up with a beautiful gallery of precious moments.
My style of photography is very natural and organic. I do everything in a minimal fashion in order to show the perfection of a newborn in the truest way. This little guy is as perfect as can be and my job as a photographer was just to capture it.
It was a a beautiful sunny day in San Francisco and my client's home was filled with natural light. We photographed most of the family shots in the nursery. The nursery was decorated in a refreshingly unique way with framed menus from well known restaurants in San Francisco and New York. It turned out that baby Alden's parents are serious foodies. In fact, his mommy Dana is a CEO of a local food company, Render. I can attest to the delicious State Bird Seed snack. My favorite was the Almond Rosemary.
I had such a great time hanging out with this cutie yesterday during his newborn session at my client's lovely home in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco . Baby Alden is 14 days new with a full head of hair. More from this newborn photo session will be coming soon.