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Friends at Lake Tahoe

As luck would have it, these two friends got to spend a warm afternoon at the Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe. This year for Spring Break, we decided to go up to Lake Tahoe. Neither my husband or I ski or snowboard so we were thankful to have friend’s that are avid snow people. This was his first time snowboarding and it was great to be with folks that know what to do. I took these images of the boys playing in the snow on my film camera.

F100 Nikon + Kodak Ektar 100

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few pictures from our trip. Our hotel room was steps away from the beach.

Lisa O'Dwyer - Fun! Love your use of Ektar here!

Kel Ward - These are great! It looks like so much fun.

Sandra Coan - Fantastic!

Rachel May - The colors are absolutely gorgeous and it looks like it was a blast!

Marcie Lynn - How fun! Tahoe is one of my favorite places ever.

christina - magic!!

Ten year old portrait

Nikon D700 // freelense

My beautiful boy. Almost eleven. Where did time go?
We took this portrait after getting back from track. A day of mixed emotions. Your relay team got disqualified after one of the team mates dropped the baton. This means your gold-medal winning team won’t make it to the regionals next week. You took it well. Life happens. However on the personal front you won the gold in 400 m and the bronze in 200m. You ran against Jimmy Jones. I hope these memories will stay with you for a long time. I am so proud of you. I can’t wait to see what you do in the regionals. Run hard!

This is a box full of wishes & every one is different & every one lasts for just long enough for you to decide if it’s really worth doing & when you finally decide on your real wish it will fill up your whole heart & soul & it will leak out of your eyes sometimes when you least expect it & you will start to glow just a little & here & there, you will see other people who glow a little, too, because they have found their real wish. That is how you know someone who has a real wish, because it marks you forever with love. ~ The Storypeople

Carolee - oh my goodness! what an amazing portrait!!!

Blenda Montoro Miller - Love, love, love!!! What a precious son you have! XOXO

kel ward - You have the most beautiful muse! I love your work and this is no exception. You have some mad free lensing skills, lady!

Lindsay Madden - This portrait is fantastic! And I agree with Kel, you really do have the most beautiful muse.

Lisa O'Dwyer - So stunning! You are a real poet and artist Alpana!

Marcie Lynn - Amazing. I love your portraits of your son!

Krystle Akin - WOW! He has the best eyes!! Such a muse

Jaine Kershner - what a wonderful portrait of your son. the bokeh is amazing!

wendy laurel - you have such great portraits of that kid! another perfect one. I have to pay mine to sit still now 🙂

Mirelle - Portrait perfection! He really does have the best eyes!

Portraits on FIlm | A Montclair Family

montclair_family_mediumformat-2 montclair_family_mediumformat-1
montclair_kids_portrait_film boy blowing dandelion


dad holding baby

Portraits on Film…

…an all-film session? I didn’t think I could really pull a portrait session on film given the age of the subjects… but it seemed like a given, as I was photographing a film photographer’s family. I had posted a preview from the session here. And I am quite thrilled with the results! There are only a few digital images in this post and the rest are medium format and 35 mm film. Can you guess which ones they are? If you can’t (which I secretly hope is the case), as it took bit of work to make the digital look like film 🙂 And for you film lovers, the film stock is Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-x 400 that I used for the first time. Film scanned and developed by LFL.

For this session, I trekked out to the Oakland Hills to photograph this sweet family of four. DJ hired me to take professional photographs of his family and wanted me to capture their every-day. He told me he wanted photos in Zalmy’s documentary style. For those of you that don’t know Zalmy is a pretty amazing photographer and huge inspiration. No pressure, right?? I am no Zalmy, but I have to say this session made me quite happy and wanting to shoot more film. I loved being able to hang out and capture little moments with this family. My favorite may be the family hanging out on the porch with both parents holding on to their littles. And little Noah sitting on his green ball holding on to his Korean snack refusing to give it up with mom trying to negotiate that transaction.

I hope you will consider a family portrait session on film!

Jody Savage - so very sweet!!!

Joyce Kang - What a beautiful family! I love family portraits on film.

Rachel May - Such a gorgeous session! The light and the colors are beautiful!

Meghan Boyer - wow, great session! I love that you did all film, and you rocked it! 🙂

Ashley Kelemen - These are so beautiful and natural!! Love!

Lindsay Madden - I have so many favorites! I always love you B&W’s though! Stunning work!

Trish McCoy - LOVE all these. Such amazing beautiful work.

Kimberly Barnes - Beautiful!I just love all the black and whites!

Jaine Kershner - such a sweet family!

Kina - Fabulous captures here!

wendy laurel - dj is the best and its great seeing his family.. especially on film. Lovely work.

Stephanie - Awesome job Alpana!

Anna-Karin - Beautiful documentation of their family. You really captured their day to day life well. I love these and I am sure their family will treasure these beautiful moments of their family documented so well!

Lina - Absolutely amazing session, love every single image. You are a true artist, love it!

Jennifer B - Stunning! I LOVE that these tell a real story. What an absolute treasure for this family.

Clarice - These are wonderful! What great memories you have captured for them!

Amy - Love the story you told with images on this family. Beautiful

A Venice Beach Family Session

Family hanging out at Venice Beach

Venice Beach Family Session


Last fall, I photographed this colorful Venice Beach Family Session. I had sent out my newsletter about being in SoCal for Adventure Always, a photography conference. When mom emailed me to book a session, I was really excited. The last time I saw  the Hernandez family, they were visiting the bay area with their two and half year old daughter Reese. I adore these black and white photographs of Reese from their prior session! And this one posted on my Facebook page. I was also excited to hear that the family was expecting their second child. I just know that Reese is going to be an amazing big sister.

This was one of those sessions where I felt like I was hanging out with old friends. They picked me up from LAX as I got off my flight. We hung out at Venice Beach for their family session. You might see from these Mumbai photos, that I feel right at home navigating jam-packed areas even for photo sessions. Our first stop was Big Daddy’s O’s pizza. How could we not stop there for a photo of Reese and her daddy-O? The boardwalk with its artsy flair, tattoo artists, performers, funnel cakes and more has something for everyone. We did mosey on to the beach for some quieter moments after the chaos. This was one of those unscripted sessions that fell into place. Truth be told, it makes me a bit nervous but I was really happy to see the images we made together.

PS. I travel on occasion to different parts of the US. This summer I will be in the Chicagoland area. If you are interested in a family session please contact me at the earliest so I can work it into my travel plans or feel free to subscribe to my private mailing list.

Nicole Spangler - I love the urban vibe of this session!

Jainé Kershner - just adorable! what a great family session.

Krystle Akin - I am in love with all of these especially the black and whites!

Kristin Sweeting - super cute! I love all the fun colors!

Lindsay Madden - what a playful session this is! i especially love the ones of the girl on the swing. your work always makes me smile & wanting more!

Kelsy McCartney - What a fun, stylish little family!! Great session! I especially love the black & whites on the swing 🙂

Lisa O'Dwyer - Fun! I love your family portraits Alpana!

San Francisco Film Photographer

It is flattering to be hired by another photographer but a bit nerve racking as well. DJ is an awesome photographer and asked me to do a family portrait session. He shoots mostly film and I thought it wouldn’t be right to capture them digitally only. So I decided to challenge myself and photograph their family with two little ones on film. Not only did I shoot film but used four different cameras (three were film). It was a bit crazy to say the least but I was really pretty happy with the results. I can’t wait to share the session once I finish editing it but for now could wait to share a sneak peek. His wife Ji is just so gorgeous and this medium format image with their youngest boy just melts my heart.

Seeing the results from this session, I am really hoping to do have more opportunities to shoot film! Please let me know if you are interested while booking your session.

Sera Petras - What a sweet moment with these two!

Lindsay Madden - What a beautiful moment & that light shining on them makes this image extra special. Stunning!

christina - So gentle. Beautiful Alpana!

Lisa O'Dwyer - A beautiful moment! makes me dream of summer!

Trish Barker - What a sweet moment. Beautiful.

wendy laurel - you should always shoot film. just breathtaking.

Amber Snow - Adorable! The light and color is great too.

Mirelle - Perfect shot!!!!

Carolee Beckham - such pretty light and a tender moment

Rachel May - So beautiful!! the light is amazing!

jody savage - love this tender moment!

Krystle Akin - Love this image!

Kimberly Barnes - Beautiful shot!

suzyb - I’m so glad you went all film on this Alpana, i cannot wait to see more!!! This photo is gorgeous!!

Spring is here | San Francisco Bay Area Photographer

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
― Mark Twain

Spring in here in the San Francisco Bay Area! Right now, our weather is gorgeous although the worry of the drought looms large upon us. Our cherry tree blossomed in our yard a good month early or possibly sooner. I am not sure what this means for us? I have heard that the farmers’ are planting less produce to factor in the drought which would increase prices this year. I do hope we can continue to get some more rain even if it is later in the year.

Inspite of my allergies, I try to get some pictures with the mustards if I come upon them. I took these with my son recently near a friend’s house as a super short session. The boy is ten and not such a willing model. And yes, it did cost me to take these photos! I did a little session last year as well and you can find the photo here.

If you are interested in a Spring session, please email/call me through the contact page. I may be able to do a Pop-up session if there is enough interest. If you are wondering what the pop-up sessions look like check them out here.

Lindsay Madden - Such a great post. Your son is so handsome!

Kina - Such a sweet session… and those EYES!!

Lauren Guilford - I always enjoy looking at your images of your son! Love the sense of adventure in these.

Christina - Those eyes!! Your son is so handsome!!

kel ward - I love these so much!

Trish Barker - I love your eye! And his eyes!

Jenny Owens - His eyes are amazing! I have a 10 year old too and he’s the same – trouble is he’s even resisting my attempts at bribery!

Kimberly Barnes - So sweet!

suzyb - Sooo jealous, it’s definitely far from here in Chicago 🙁

Love all of these though, the brightness and the pretty flowers.. I love Spring!!

Marcie Lynn - Gotta love the mustard! Beautiful shots!

And Then There Were Three | East bay Children’s Portraits

A portrait session with these gorgeous siblings, their pet chickens in beautiful light. This session was done for my son’s school auction for this family. I may be doing another one in the near future. If you are interested in bidding on it, please email through the contact page and I will send you a link to the auction. 🙂

Marcie Lynn - These are all so beautiful! I always love the light in all of your images.

Jainé Kershner - the light is gorgeous!

Lindsay Madden - What an incredible session! You are so great with sun flares too! 🙂

Christina McNeill - Love that light!! 9th one down is my fave!! So good Alpana!!

Kimberly Barnes - Beautiful! I love the baby chicks!

Sera Petras - The second shot is amazing. Gorgeous sun flare and so controlled! Great session with these kids!

Joyce Kang - These are incredible images!! The light is gorgeous!

Kristin Sweeting - Very cool! Love the documentary feel!

Christine Sargologos - I love how natural these are!

suzyb - LOOOOVE! And I love the little chickies (and so perfect there are 3 ;))

shannon harrison - dude Alpana, love your slices of life always. come shoot the Harrisons?

Tutorial on Deleting Photos off your iPhone

Alpana Aras | | #storyboxart

Have you ever had it happen before where you suddenly find your iPhone at full capacity? Well, I did recently. Being a chronic over-shooter and all. And, it wasn’t the first time. In the past, I have gone through and painstakingly deleted images one by one to keep the few I wanted. That took so loooong that I was ready to jump off a cliff.

I did some research and found various forums that gave suggestions on how to do it. Sadly, none of them worked for me. I called Apple Support (they rock) and found a way that actually works. Now, if you are happy deleting all the images off your iPhone after importing it to your favorite app, carry on…

This is helpful if you want to keep a few favorites and selectively delete images off your iPhone. Like I do to share them on my Instagram at a later date.

This is only for Mac Users. I am not quite sure about the apps on a PC!
Follow these steps…
1. Open the Image Capture Application after connecting your iPhone to your Apple Computer.
2. Your Images will show up in preview like the image above.
3. If you have already imported the images to your computer go to step 5.
4. To import the images to your computer you can click on the Import to and designate a folder. I import to Lightroom and designate a folder. The default may be IPhoto. Or you can just import to your desktop. At times, I import different images to different folders in Lightroom too.
5. Once you are done with the import you can delete one or more images. To do so, click on the little red button with a line across it as shown above.
6. A window pops up that asks “Are you sure you want to delete the select item permanently?” Hit Delete.

That is it. You can close Image Capture and disconnect your iPhone.
If you find this post helpful, please feel free to share it, pin it! You can also find me on Pinterest here.

PS. I use iPhone 5 and haven’t tried it with prior models. If you try it out and it works with other iPhone models please let me know and I can update this post.

kel ward - Well, this sure would have been helpful last week when I was deleting 500 photos by hand. LOL.

wendy laurel - i always struggle with this!! thanks

Sandra Coan - I’m forwarding this to my husband ASAP! Great info!

Mirelle - I totally needed this!!!

Kina - This is very helpful Alpana! Totally going to do this.

Jodi - great to know – thanks for the share

jody savage - so good to know! bookmarking for later as this always happens to me!

Kimberly Barnes - Ooooh, so glad you posted this! I really need to go through my phone and clear out some photos!

Jenny Owens - Thanks for this post Alpana. So useful.

Kristin - Perfect timing and great tip! I need to clean up my phone too!

Lindsay Madden - I have an Android 🙂 But this tutorial seems super helpful!!!

Clary - This so helpful!!