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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!

Toddler 411 | Family Portraits in San Francisco

“It is difficult to see the picture when you are inside the frame.”
~ Unknown Author 724

What are you doing in my castle? ~ Gabby, Age Two


What do you get when you mix a two year old and a newborn? A pretty unpredictable session. Here is what it looks like frame by frame for a few minutes hanging out on the sofa for portraits.

Within a few minutes of being there, it was quite clear to me that the two year old wasn’t going to sit still for family portraits. What ensued was rather comical as you can see in the frame by frame sequence above. Perhaps, the last frame or as I will call it the exit frame may be my favorite as the dog is also perched up and watching the scene unfold. These are going to be treasures in their family album that I am currently putting together!

What you see above are just a few frames from this family’s lifestyle session. I will be sharing more at a later date!

Currently booking Mini-Sessions! Please email me to reserve a spot. Also, please note that I will be traveling overseas next week and will have limited email access through my return on October 11th.

Lindsay Madden - What a great session! The B&W’s with the girl and her pup are my favorites!

Kristin Sweeting - What a sweet family! Love how laid back and fun this session is!

connie chang - so sweet!

Corey - These are absolutely perfect family portraits! What a great story they tell!

Kel Ward - Looooove!!!

Kina - I love sweet silly moments like these

Valentina - Beautiful session and such a sweet family!

Kelsy McCartney - So cute!! Love the ones with their cute pup :)

Holiday Mini Sessions are Here!

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. ~Charles R. Swindoll

Fall is here and it is time to start thinking of family portraits. This year, I am offering family mini-sessions with the focus on holiday cards. With my design background, I am able to put together a contemporary, custom holiday card like the ones above. Your session will include the sitting fee, your choice of a set of holiday cards or 11 x 14 art print. In addition, a high-res digital file of the purchased image will be included. The cost will range from $250-300*.

Holiday Mini’s completed. No more dates through the end of the year.

* For families with children under 5 years a longer time slot is recommended for an added fee of $50. Time slots may be adjusted 15 minutes based on bookings. Please allow for some flexibility so I can capture some amazing memories!

Please contact me for bookings.

NOTE: I am leaving for India for 3 weeks on Sept 22nd and will not be readily available in that duration.

Model film portraits at Sutro Bath

A few film portraits from a film shooters meetup and shoot with this lovely model at Sutro Baths in San Francisco.
F100 + Kodak Portra 160 // Little Film Lab

Jaine Kershner - love the black dress on the beach!!

Amber Snow - Super gorgeous!!

Lindsay Madden - Wow! So pretty & what a tattoo. Gorgeous images.

Ashley Kelemen - Well this is absolutely beyond gorgeous!!!

Emily Anderson - Wow! She is fierce and these are rad!! <3

Kristin Sweeting - Beautiful! Love the movement in her dress and the color & grain!

Nicole Spangler - What stunning images! I love the black dress!

Lisa O'Dwyer - How gorgeous! Love the flowing dress!

Meghan Boyer - Wow, Alpana. These are gorgeous!

Kelsy McCartney - Such a gorgeous dress, model, and set of images!! Truly stunning work.

Black and White Film Portraits

A few Black and White Film Portraits of my boy finishing up a roll of film from a family session. I wanted to challenge myself and play with difficult life using film and was pleasantly happy with the results. It did cost me some $$ to get the model to be ready to walk the walk. Worth it, don’t you think?

For film geeks, these were photographed using my Nikon F100 with Tmax 400 pushed one stop.

Five minutes of light play. | 5 Minute Project - […] I decided to challenge myself using dramatic light to finish off a roll of black and white film. […]

Kel Ward - Wow, Alpana! These are seriously awesome!

Amber Snow - The grain is so perfect, super shots!

Rachel May - SO SO gorgeous, Alpana!!

Kina - You are so lucky to have such a sweet handsome little model! :)

Jaine Kershner - absolutely love b+w – so amazing alpana!

Joyce Kang - Alpana! I love your black and white work. This is sooo good!

Wendy - Always fantastic. That kids lucky

Trish Barker - Every time I come to your blog I expect to see amazing shots and amazing eyes. You do not disappoint!!

Nicole Spangler - Love these!

Kelsy McCartney - WOW! Love them all – especially that last shot. Just killer!

Chicago Family in San Francisco

I may be a twin but I’m one of a kind. ~Author Unknown

A recent favorite real life moment with a Chicago family of twin girls. This family was visiting the Bay Area from Chicago and had booked a professional portrait session. Originally, we had planned on a session in Chicago during my recent trip but the timing didn’t quite work out. This turned out to be a fun shoot with the sisters. Their personalities were quite apparent in the time that we spent together. It can be challenging active two year olds but I also find it fun as you can get glimpses of reality. Here was a moment when the naughty twin smacked her little sister that burst into tears. I loved her expression and body language as she looked at her parents. She did apologize to the wounded party. Sort of.

I can’t say how much I love capturing these candid moments. When a family lets me in to there lives, there is a certain intimacy I experience for which I am grateful. My heart is in documenting these moments and capturing a slice of life that can be reflected upon in the years to come. I can certainly imagine this image being a topic of conversation!

If you like this image and are interested in a family session, please contact me through the website.

E. M. Anderson - So cute and I agree with you about candid moments being the best. :)

Lindsay Madden - Love this! Candid moments are the best even if they come with tears. Beautiful!

Jody Savage - I just love love love this image!!! I love how real it is and it will always take them back whenever they look at it!

Valentina - That is such a cute and real image. I love it! I am sure the parents do too!

Jaine Kershner - this photo make me smile. so stinkin’ cute!!

Kina - Real temper tantrum crying moments have always been my very favorite! Maybe it’s weird but I feel like it encapsulates this moment in life when you can wear your emotions on your sleeve and just let it all. hang. out. I love this.

Kelsy McCartney - SO cute!! :) And your words couldn’t be more perfect – this will surely be part of a laughter-filled conversation in years to come!

Fotogrupa - I love kids pics – they are always natural and this is it what I see here. Very very nice :)

Central Park Family Session

Central Park in the summer! It was a lot busier than what I remembered or expected but we somehow got through the session with an active toddler and thousands of people to dodge out of the frame. Recently, I visited NYC with my son, and managed to pack quite a bit in. You can see one of my favorite Lady Liberty film photos here. It is always fun to see client’s and their growing families. You can see big brother here from their last family session…such an adorable kiddo and still is at five. And his little sister was gorgeous as well and I wanted to whisk her away with me to California.

I am in the process of designing a custom fine art album for this family and hope to share some images once I get it back!

kristen - I love the black and white photos! Wonderful:)

Lindsay Madden - I love seeing Central Park captured through a fresh pair of eyes! Absolutely beautiful.

Lisa O'Dwyer - Sweet! Love the little girl twirling her dress!

Valentina - That little girl has gorgeous eyes!! And I love the motion blur

Kel Ward - I’m such a big fan of your work, Alpana. You somehow manage to make a family session totally artistic. These are fantastic and I can’t enough of those big, beautiful eyes!

Trish Barker - All about the eyes. Such beautiful and unique work!

Carolee - Such beautiful portraits!!!!!!!!

wendy laurel - always love you

stefani wedl - alpana, this one of the little girl looking up reminds me of the one of Will you took last year. remember?
so adorable.