san francisco bay area maternity, child and family photographer »

Masthead header

Medium Format Film Session for a San Francisco Family

Here is a medium format film session that I had to share! For the most part, as a client you might not necessarily care if the session is film or digital. To me as a film lover, there is just something special about photographing thirty-six frames intentionally. Invariably, the image on film wins over the image shot digitally. These images are the result of two rolls of black and white film added to this family’s portrait session. For film geeks, I shot one roll of Tri-X and HP5 that were developed and scanned by Little Film Lab on a Frontier scanner. I will be also sharing the rest of the images shot digitally as I love so many from this session.

This commissioned session started with am email from Louisa stating that she has been following my work for several years, and she wants me to photograph her with her girls. One of the things that was important to her was capturing her older daughter in a surfing environment which dictated the choice of our location of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. Now, I am not a sports photographer and it was important to go over limitations of what I could or not do in our time together. Ultimately, this family put their faith in me and I wanted to provide an amazing experience and art for posterity.

Things don’t always go as planned. When I got to the agreed location, the waves weren’t the best for surfing. I improvised. I wanted us to focus on the connection images while we had beautiful light so we drove around and stumbled upon a location which turned out to be the perfect spot for their session. It couldn’t have been planned better! Eventually, we drove back to the original location to get a few surfing photos with the not-so-great waves. It all worked out as we got a diverse mix of portraits, candids and the surfing images that were important to Louisa.

Another consideration for Louisa was creating some amazing black and white wall art for her living room. We had discussed this very early on and it is a very important part of a continued conversation. She also sent me some photos that helped me visualize her space and factor the choice of the black and white film into the art creation. In her proofing session, we have selected four beautiful images that will be printed poster like to grace the space. Currently, I am working on ordering some test prints to ensure that the resulting images are of the highest archival quality.

If you would like to create custom wall art please contact me through the website. I would love to chat with you.

PS. On a side note, I have been nominated by Red Tricycle in the photographer category for San Francisco. Please vote for me if you have a minute by clicking this link. Thank you for your support!

Family and Maternity session at Nestledown

A few family and maternity portraits done during a wedding at the beautiful Nestledown venue in Los Gatos. It certainly was a little crazy trying to capture this cutely dressed little guy during this busy event, following him around guests and the festivities. I was happy to capture a few on my medium format film camera with Kodak Portra 400.

Elise - These are gorgeous Alpana!

High-school Senior Portraits in Chicago | San Francisco Portrait Photographer

Since I haven’t blogged forever, I had a burst of ambition to share a recent urban session with a high-school senior while in Chicago. It is a different kind of session, one that I enjoyed with this young man against the city backdrop. When my photographer friend Dena hired me for these portraits there was that added pressure to deliver something amazing. In today’s increasingly photo-centric world, we have easy access to cameras and photographers which makes it difficult to invest in professional photography. It is not always inexpensive however great photography is worth its weight in gold. It is one of those lifetime investments that you won’t regret unless of course, the photographer and you aren’t a good match.

Also, I know from personal experience that it can be challenging for parents’ (even professionals) to photograph their own older kids. At this age, kids’ don’t necessarily want to be photographed however it is a lot easier to have them follow direction from someone other than their parents!

Here is what my friend Dena had to say, “Fun fact, I was a working photographer before I was a mother, so this was the FIRST time I hired
a photographer for my family. I even shoo’d away the in-hospital newborn ‘photographers’. As much as I have tortured my kids with my camera
over the years I promised each of them I would hire someone else for their high school senior portraits.”

Our session was walking and chatting… a fair amount as it was important to have a relaxed subject in front of my camera. These photographs are a combination of digital and film. The film images were photographed on a medium format Contax 645 with color and black and white film. If you are considering portraits please feel free to contact me through the website or at info@storyboxart.com

dena robles - We keep coming back and looking at these! We both love them, it is all SO him. I am very partial to his smiley ones, as such a serious kid, nothing warms my heart more than his grin and laughter.

Reach for the Stars | San Francisco Baby Photographer




As a professional baby photographer, Alex contacted me to book a Mother’s Day Session for his wife Chita and their new addition. A few years back I had documented their wedding and she continued to stay on my mailing list. Every once in a while, I would get a message from her and one of them read, “I know this is three years later- but I wanted to thank you again for capturing a wonderful day in our life. Looking at the photos you took continues to bring us joy.” I remember the message being such a bright spot in my day and to this day makes me happy to know that I was able to bring joy to the family. Naturally, I was very excited and eager to meet the new addition and we did an extended short story session in their home. Look at the ridiculously adorable little one and you can possibly understand my need to overshare after a long overdue blog post.

In the month of July, I will be traveling to the midwest and will be spending time in Chicago, Peoria and Springfield. If you are interested in a family portrait session in any of those areas between July 6-19, please get in touch through the contact form.

Thank you Clickin Moms | San Francisco Family and Kids Photographer

A lovely surprise to find my name included in this Clickin Moms list of 100 photographers to watch in 2016! I am sure this list wasn’t an easy one to come up with and so grateful for the inclusion along with some of my well-regarded friends and fellow photographers.

Some of my work shared through the Daily Project can be seen at the link.

My Photo Shot on iPhone6 in the Apple World Gallery

The above Shot on iPhone 6 image above was licensed by Apple for their current World Gallery campaign. It was among the very first images I created with my new iPhone with my boy and his friend Zach. These two call themselves twins as they are born on the same day! Am excited to share the image and be a part of one of my favorite brand’s campaign.

I have been an Apple user for as long as I can remember since its launch! This campaign takes a human approach focusing on people. 53 portraits captured by 41 photographers will adorn outdoor billboards, print publications and various Apple channels across 26 countries.

There have been sightings of it in Manhattan, NYC and Philladelphia thanks to social media. My childhood friend Shilpa spotted the one in NYC finding herself face to face with my son on the transit shelter below. A huge thanks to her for the above photo!

The image will be on a billboard in Chicago, IL and Shanghai, China.
US – Chicago – Addison & Sheffield
CN – Shanghai – Grand Gateway Wing Building
CN – Shanghai – Hongqiao Airport T2

Since I am not planning a trip to any of those spots, I have been asking the community as well as friends to take some photos if you spot the above photo! I’d be so grateful if you can share this with a friend or relative in the above areas.

Kel Ward - This is seriously INCREDIBLE, Alpana!! I want to walk by one of your images out in public and yell, “I know her!” Congrats.

An Angel Island Playdate

To photos that remind us that everything becomes a memory.

To right now, passing like water in every breath, to happier times slipping in tendrils through our fingers, to friends who make villages who make chains of hands to lift us from the deepest holes, we are saying thank you no matter what, and fighting with quietly fisted hearts.

~ Amy Grace


When I am old and gray, I think of the moments I want to remember and people I would want in my life. If I could freeze time, this would be one of those days that we spent together on Angel Island. The time Amy and I met up for a playdate of our own with our kids. Our friendship has grown to a close one and time always flies when we are together. Most of the time, we talk and talk and at the end of it laugh about the pictures we could or should have taken. Amy is the gifted artist behind Motherhood with a Camera and a magician with words. I love the way she sees the world in poetry and words that blend together seamlessly. She is a rare bird, that girl, and I am so very thankful to have her in my life. A few images of our unintentional session and a quiet glimpse of something pure… her mama heart and the love those two siblings have for one another.

 

 

Kel Ward - This location is super cool, but you and your artistic eye brought it all to life. The light, the expressions, the subtle wind in the hair…nailed it!

Trish Barker - Gosh I love your work. So beautiful.

Meghan Boyer - Ok, next playdate, I want in on! Your work is always amazing Alpana, and of course I just love Amy and her beautiful tribe. <3

Sandra Coan - Love these! What a fun day!!

Linda - This looks like an amazing place. Looks like you guys had fun. Great photos.