san francisco bay area maternity, child and family photographer »

Masthead header

San Francisco Maternity Photographer | Waiting

Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be. ~ Carrie Fisher

From a recent Maternity session with this lovely mama. I am in the process of designing an album from these lovely images. Please contact me through the website if you would like to schedule your own maternity session. If you would like to see other maternity images please view the gallery here.

Christine Sargologos - Ethereal and lovely. What a gorgeous take on maternity portraits.

Tara Haney - Beautiful looking images!

Lindsay Madden - Wow, these are so beautiful!

Jaine Kershner - a mother to be’s beauty at it’s finest. such a treasure to have these moments captured forever. xo

Lisa O'Dwyer - So beautiful Alpana!

Kel Ward - Gasp! These are gorgeous! So artistic.

Blenda Montoro Miller - Amazing!!! so perfect in black and white 🙂

Valentina - I love the one of her standing by the window. Beautifully captured!

Nicole Spangler - These are stunning!

San Francisco Family Photographer | Around the Hood with Vyana.

When mama contacted me to do a San Francisco Family Session, I was both excited and nervous as she is a photographer. We met a few years back at a mutual friend’s home in San Francisco and she mentioned following my work since. We talked about what she wanted from the session and one of the things she wanted was to simply be in the pictures. In reality, photographer or not, moms are largely under represented in photos as they tend to be the ones taking the pictures. If you are a mama that has been shying away from the camera, please be sure to find a way to be in the pictures whether they are taken professionally or not. If you need more convincing check out this Huffigton Post article that has made its rounds through social media “Mom stays in the picture.”

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities having lived there for several years before moving out to the east bay. We started out in their lovely home which is filled with some amazing artwork. The art in baby Vyana’s room is by Sanjay Patel. I have been a huge fan of his work and have his Little Book of Hindu Deities. I have taken the book to share with my son’s class on a couple of occasions (talking about Diwali, the festival of lights). A couple of the kids came back and told me that they loved the book so much that had their mom purchase a copy.

If you are a Ganesh fan you would absolutely love Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth, the book you can see in the photos below.

How adorable and stylish is she? She wasn’t quite walking at the time of the shoot but scooting very, very quickly! In case you are wondering her fabulous wardrobe is from Zara.

How cool is it that we chanced upon this alley Ganesh art? And the style is so much like the artwork in Vyana’s room?

I photographed the last few frames on my Contax as we wrapped up the session. She was all tuckered out but the light was gorgeous. I am also partial to quiet moments and how gorgeous is mama in these?

professional photography _film


I don’t usually post as many images in one blog post but I love the way this session turned out. And if you have wondered what a Day in the Life signature session looks like wonder no more :-). We spent an afternoon together starting out with family photographs at home and then wandered around their eclectic Mission District neighborhood. I love capturing snippets of the neighborhood as you never know when you might relocate to a different area or even out of state.

If you love this session, please post a comment for the family. 25 or more comments gets the family a complimentary 8 x 10. And look out for a giveaway coming up soon. If you don’t want to miss it sign up for the newsletter here.

A huge thank you to 100 layer Cakelet blog that featured this Day in the Life Family Session!

Rachel - Gorgeous photos of a beautiful family! I love what you’ve captured here.

Julie - Simply beautiful! You really captured the spirit and love of the family!

Dana - I can’t decide which one is my favorite! So lovely!!

rachna - Love the photos you captured of us!!

rachna - Love the photos!

Jennifer - I love this family. These photos are so gorgeous and reflect the beauty of my favorite mama, and her family. I’m positive these will be cherished forever.

Arun - Alpana – what a wonderful session, thank you so much!!

jyoti - I love the beautiful pictures you took of my precious granddaughter Vyana with her mommy and daddy.

Anita - Beautiful pics which your photog captured of you!

Jamie - Beautiful family and amazing pictures!!!

Ashish - Is this when Shreya and I were in SF?? Awesome pics and lump-a-gus looks adorable! Can’t wait to see you guys soon!

Kunal - Beautiful family pics. nice artwork.

Shreya - I love all the pics and the fact that they are at home or in the hood… Makes it all so personal. 🙂

Shreya - Love the photos, esp the ones at home… Makes it so personal and endearing 🙂

Winona - WONDERFUL session! Blown away again by your talent. This family is gorgeous, too!

Chas - Gorgeous. Captures your family’s moment perfectly

Mina patel - Beautiful pictures and gorgeous family.

Anna - Not only mommy in the pictures, but Mommy AND Daddy at the same time! Unheard of! Patel’s Ramayana is also great for the older kids.

Dilan - I love my baby cousin Vyana!

daxa - we like all the pics. we love vyana.

Patel - All these pictures are so cute. Vyana, Mom and Dad will have very good memory of the time. The photographer has done a great job capturing these moments.

Akhil - beautiful pictures. They seem like a truly amazing family

Shilpa - Gorgeous family! Loved all the wonderful images!

Golda - Rachna, these pictures are sooooo beautiful. You have a gorgeous family. 🙂

dulu - great pictures of my grand-daughter!

Christina - These photographs do a great job capturing the essence of the couple’s love for V. I’m not a photographer myself but one of the main things I look for in family photos is the story behind them. Knowing the couple, these photographs do just that!

Michele - I love it! Beautiful work and posting!

Alpana - Beautiful family pictures and just purchased a copy of Ganesha’s Sweet tooth for my daughter.

Alpana - Great lighting of all the pictures, sure pure and gorgeous! Love the story book Ganesha’s Sweet tooth. Just purchased for my daughter. Great art in the house too!

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!