san francisco bay area maternity, child and family photographer »

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A photographer’s journey can be a lonely one specially if you are self-taught or if you are making a switch from a different career. As someone that went to art-school, and started my own photography business back in 2007 it isn’t always easy stay connected as a self-employed professional. However, the years have taught me so much through my personal and client photography work and I am in a good place to give back and help others. As a busy mom and business owner, I have limited availability for mentorships and am also available in-person in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am a film and digital photographer with numerous cameras. My collection has grown over the years, however I have largely stuck with my gear without frequent upgrades. My workhorse is the Nikon d700 with a Sigma 35 mm that I use quite a bit for client work. My film gear includes a Contax 645, a Mamiya 645, a Nikon F100, a Polaroid SX-70, an Olympus XA-3, a Nikon P&S, a Golden Half and a Holga. My favorite may be the plastic toy camera – the Holga! One of the reasons I love this camera is its ability to create layered images and the unpredictability with the end results. As much as I love the surprise element, I try to make some calculated decisions when I double expose. They don’t always work but when they do, I love it! For family sessions, I love using the Contax and the F100 as well.

While gear is important you don’t need to run out and buy the latest DSLR. A couple years back, Lara Jade, a fashion photographer was put through a cheap camera challenge where she was given a toy camera to capture a model. While she had access to various professionals, ultimately it is pretty amazing to see what she was able to capture with the cheap camera that you can see here.

To get started, we might have a quick phone chat to get to know each other. It is important that we are a good fit for each other.

Mentoring Options-

Online Skype Sessions $375
Two hour Skype Sessions that can cover topics of your choice. I will send you a questionnaire to fill out to get to know you and your needs prior to our first session. This will help me guide your individual needs. This is suited for hobbyists, and seasoned photographers.


Cathy Ronalds
I spent about 6 months searching for the right fit for a mentor. I met Alpana online through Instagram. Her work, her business approach and her friendly way online all resonated with me. I was searching for someone who had taken lots of different paths along the way; someone who had been working at the craft a long time; someone who had an experienced and independent view of the world. Alpana had all of that and more for me. A lot of her work is built on connection with her subject, which I love. And she also pushes herself creatively frequently. She has a very pragmatic and intuitive approach to business which resonates with me strongly.

Alpana is a very grounded, thoughtful, energetic, open minded, refreshing, pragmatic, authentic, interesting and interested person. She is honest, frank and well meaning. She pin pointed two key areas for me that have really held back my personal and client work and helped me see how I can improve in a compassionate and pragmatic way. She made observations about my portfolio of work that I’d not seen, nor valued, properly before, which was incredibly empowering.

For me, I felt I needed a lot of trust in my mentor, to really push me. I certainly feel this trust with her.

She has broken the ‘it’s all a big mystery’ spell for me.