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Do you have a backup drive or two?

He was just around six in this photo. Those were the days when I had beautiful eye contact from this kid which has now become a thing of the past. Just like you, all my images are dear to me and the thought of losing them gives me serious heart ache.

Just yesterday, my backup drive crashed. What? I called a company to purchase a replacement for my erratic main external drive. Previously, I had purchased my backup drive from them. The inexperienced customer service person asked me to turn the perfectly working backup drive upside down for the serial number. I had a little voice in my head cautioning me to turn a fragile drive and I should have listened to it. Bam. Just liked that it stopped working. I had just moved older client work from my main drive on to it which is now gone. I have had drives die on me in the past and I have tried to keep up with backing up data.

It certainly was a light bulb moment to back up my backup remotely which I haven’t done for a while. I have a few external drives but not an offsite backup. In the past, I tried it and gave up as the user interface wasn’t the friendliest (ha, what happens when you make a mac person embrace the pc world). Yesterday I got a recommendation from a photographer friend for a company called Crash Plan that I decided to try out. My PSA is if you haven’t backed up please do! And here is an excellent article on options for backup services that you might want to check out for your needs.


And most importantly, print your images.  I can’t stress it enough. Today, a lot of our images die on our phones or facebook. I know time gets away and I am behind printing my own personal work. Making albums can be time consuming but so worth the effort. Pictured above are some of my personal albums done through Blurb. They aren’t perfect but better than not having anything. I would be crushed not having a tangible copy of my son’s photos from the yesteryears. This has also been my philosophy for my clients and I try to encourage them to get a tangible product rather than rely on digital files that you may or may not print.

To book a spring mini-session, please contact me.


San Francisco Lifestyle Photographer | How to Steal a Dog

Film Photography by Storyboxart

I found him the other day with this book “How to Steal a Dog”. My poor kiddo has been asking for a dog for a long time. Begging, pleading, bribing… “I am an only child and don’t have siblings. At least get me a husky. Or…I won’t play video games if I have a dog.” Sadly, it isn’t happening. He has a pet lizard and hermit crabs that don’t get cared for by him. But finding him with this book, makes me mommy heart wonder if desperation is setting in?:-)I might be caving in a bit as well.

These images were inspired by the Five Minute Project where I am a regular contributor. Also, what started this project was the above polaroid image that I took of him shortly before taking these. This little vintage camera has been inspiring me to look at light differently!

wendy laurel - beautiful per usual. one word of advice on the dog — you must love it and want to care for it too.. since it will actually be your dog. 🙂 (said from mom with 2 dogs owned by kids, right.)

Lisa - Love your work….. and you use of light in this series. The shadows on the wall….perfect!! Good luck with your decision! Dogs sure are cute and fun, but they are also a lot of work. xo

Lisa O'Dwyer - Love how you capture these fleeting moments Alpana! My son really wants a cat. He is reading the Warriors series of books now where the characters are cats 🙂

Stefanie Kapra - these are beautiful and honest. Great photographs

victoria o'leary - How do you think i ended up with a cat AND a dog….and a turtle….and two fish 😉 LOVE your eye…the light on the wall, the angles. Pure perfection!!

Narelle Bailey - These are great. Love your use of light. Really helps to convey the mood.

Jaine Kershner - love your use of light and shadow!

Lindsay Madden - Get the pup! It will be the best addition to your family. I couldn’t imagine life without my 4 year old fur baby. Beautiful images as always!

melanie - these are precious!

Helen Bartlett - I love these, the light is fantastic. The second one in is my favourite, lovely pictures

Kel Ward - Alpana, I could spend all day looking at your work! You’re so talented and your images are always so artistic and beautiful!

Sabrina Gebhardt - What amazing light. And what amazing variety. I love this.

Top San Francisco Family Photographers | Park playdate

Hello 2015! It has been a bit slow waking up to the New Year as I am still catching up with sending out cards. I figure it is a little more fun to get a card in the New Year which also buys me a little more time to put one together. This year, I am not making any resolutions. While watching Kelly and Michael at the gym, I heard the buff trainer from the Biggest Loser talk about New Year resolutions that rang true for me. He said, “Making a resolution for a whole year is setting up yourself for failure. It made more sense to make one for the day.” And I have to agree as my yearly resolutions fall apart pretty quick. Wish I could remember his name but some of you savvy folks may have seen him on the show kicking Kelly and Michael’s butt working them out.
On my to-do list was to share some favorites from this family’s portrait session from last year. A park playdate with this beautiful family in afternoon light… couldn’t be a better way to create these memories for them.

happy new year!

Happy New Year! Who is ready for 2015? This year has gone by so quickly! So much has happened and so much hasn’t… that was on my mental list of to-do’s! I am hoping for a better 2015 and motivation to get started on some personal projects that have been on the back burner for a while. One of them is to do a little more street photography which I really do enjoy. During my trip to India this year, I purchased a Fujifilm camera that I have been using sporadically. Most of the images in this post were created from it!
A little before Christmas, my son and I took the train to the city to spend some time in the downtown San Francisco Union Square area. As a student, I lived closed to the area but didn’t really spend time enjoying the festivities of the area. Too much homework? On that beautiful day, the city was lit up and festive with the magnificent tree in the square. We managed to get in a bit of pre-Christmas shopping at the Puma and Uniqlo stores before heading down to the square. Take the boy shopping to his favorite stores and he is a happy camper! The photos in part were also inspired by my contribution to the Five Minute Project. Currently, the project is showcasing a collaboration of eight artists from around the globe with the holiday theme. In other news, I was invited to join Clickin Moms as a pro and will be sharing my work in their daily project.

Lindsay Madden - Incredible shots as always! Happy 2015!!

wendy laurel - you know how much I love this..

Lauren Guilford - Love this! And that is exciting news for the coming year, congrats!

Meghan Boyer - LOVE! As always, these are amazing.

Lisa O'Dwyer - Wonderful! You have a great talent for telling stories!

Jaine Kershner - love the motion in these images!!

Valentina - Such lovely images!! Happy new year!

Nicole Spangler - I love the urban movement in these images!

melanie - love these!! the motion is amazing…so fun! happy new year!!

Kel Ward - Very cool!

connie chang - happy new year! i also love the movement!

Holiday Mini Session

Had to share these fun Holiday Mini Session favorites with a new family I photographed recently. It was a short and sweet thirty minute session and usually just enough time to capture a “posed” family photo. However, to be true to my style, I try to sneak in some real moments when I can. And often the not-so-perfect moments are my favorites… like a kid running out of a frame or the family lining up for a photo. The light was gorgeous and the backdrop perfect with these adorable girls!

If you would like to book a session for your family please contact me through the webpage.

Marcie Lynn - Cute family! I love how you captured their kids personalities.

Danielle Defiore - These are stunning!! I love the composition and color.

wendy laurel - super cute and fun!!! love your minis!

Lisa O'Dwyer - So sweet! My favorite is the last B&W

Lindsay Madden - I love the light & the feel in these photos. Absolutely beautiful…as always. 🙂

India on Film

Lately, I have been thinking of my homeland quite a bit. These are some of the film photographs that I have taken over the past years. I am not sure that I have share them together other than here and there through Facebook. My recent trip brought up some emotions following my mom’s passing and I found myself going through the archives to hold on to a semblance of familiarity. Whenever, I go back to India I have a desire to document the city the way I remember it. However, change has been inevitable and these images represent some of the metamorphosis and layering of the old and new. I recall a conversation with a cab driver about the two tower high-rise buildings (in the third image). They sprung up in the past few years and you can see the older buildings in the foreground. He told me that the tenants having parking spots right next to their apartments all the way to the top of the building. He experienced it first hand dropping off a customer. How crazy is that? The city I grew up in was nowhere that fancy. Maybe, it was in other ways but it was more of the richness of the heart. Some of my favorite India photos are the ones taken in Old Delhi (the last three) when I was in the city for the Magnum Workshop with Raghu Rai.
For the curious, these images were all made with the plastic camera Holga using mostly Kodak Portra 400.

Kel Ward - You know how much I love your fine art work, Alpana! These are killer!

Nicole Spangler - awesome images!

Jaine Kershner - so beautiful! i love your double exposures and use of light so much!

Lindsay Madden - WOW! Seriously incredible. My favorite image is the second picture from the top {the sun flare one}. Just breathtaking! You rock!!

San Francisco Family Album

One of my favorite things is to create tangible art for families. Here is a recent album from this lovely San Francisco Family Session with their newest addition. I had previously photographed the family with their first born a few years back. Now it was fun to see her as a grown toddler and big sister with so much personality. I always find that the sessions take a life of their own in the security of the family home and kids can be themselves. Some of my favorite moments from this session were documented in this blog post. This session was photographed using a combination of digital and film. For film, a medium format and 35 mm camera were used.

Carmen Pampeyan - Stunning album! Beautiful photographs!

Kelsy McCartney - Such a beautiful album!! A true treasure 🙂

Lisa O'Dwyer - So beautiful! What a fantastic heirloom!

wendy laurel - i am a big fan. you just kill me… so good! im hiring you next for our family photos. you are amazing.

Jenny Owens - I love albums too! I’m sure this family will treasure this one.

Lindsay Madden - Gorgeous. Everything looks better in print. 🙂

Kel Ward - Wow, beautiful work and gorgeous album! Every family should have albums like this!