Posts in Category: news & business

….and we’re back!

So, somehow fatcow managed to figure out my issue after all since my last post and they’ve already cleared it up as you can see.


I’m just grateful it’s resolved.

I’ll be back to share some pics again soon! It really has been far too long.


I’m working on it

As you can see, I’ve been hacked and my blog has some gross looking background talking about ‘Like Free Stuff?’ etc. Please ignore and don’t go to that website!!! It has nothing to do with me and I’m trying to get rid of it.

My host is absolutely no help – as usual. I cannot tell you how unhelpful FatCow is. If you’re in the market for a host, go with someone else. Anyone else. They’re expensive and when you have a problem, it ALWAYS (literally without fail) turns out that whatever it is JUST happens to be something you’re not covered for and they can only help you if you pay additional fees for some special add-on. I’ve been with them for years and it’s happened every time.

Speaking of- I’ll soon be in the market for a new host. Any recommendations?


5 ways to prepare for your portrait session

So you’ve booked your portrait session and you’re super excited about your session. Yay! You’re finally going to get some amazing portraits. And then the nerves set in a little. Maybe you should have waited until you lost weight or had more money or had finished decluttering or… there’s always a reason not to, isn’t there?

Well, fear not. I’m going to share five ways you can prepare for your session which will hopefully leave you feeling more relaxed and confident about what’s about to happen!!!






Make a list of questions to ask your photographer, don’t be shy! Or better yet, send that list of questions in an email. Get all the information you need to feel prepared and secure about the process. Many photographers send clients an information packet after booking that answers frequently asked questions. If yours doesn’t, have a look at their blog, facebook page or twitter and then ASK your questions!




Schedule your session with care. Pick a time of day when everyone is rested and well fed, and there’s nothing else to rush off to. That way everyone can relax and focus on enjoying each other instead of watching the clock! If your shoot involves styling or props, make sure you have time enough to get everything together without feeling rushed.




Focus on what you can control – make sure everyone involved knows what to expect, has an outfit picked out and that you’ve talked about what you want to do with the images. Bring as much or as little as you like to the session, whatever works. You could bring toys, props and clothing options or simply come in whatever you’re wearing.




You’ve done your research, reviewed the portfolio and chosen to fork over your hard earned cash to this person. Trust that your photographer will capture images that delight you.




Don’t worry, keep breathing. We’ll make amazing portraits. You and yours just have a good time together and really take the opportunity to enjoy each other, and let your photographer work her magic!

Hope that helps. If you’ve got any questions, give me a shout!

It’s been a while…

Did I get that Stained song stuck in your head now?

Well. Life has happened since I last posted. Unsurprisingly. They really meant it when they said ‘Time marches on’. Don’t ask me who they is. I have no idea.

I got hacked. Not as glamorous as you might imagine. Decidedly less so in fact. And more likely some bot built by a 6yo than the 6yo herself as she’s busy doing more interesting things. Anyway, I’ve not had access to post or edit anything on the blog for most of that time. Happy to be back. I’ve been posting more on my personal blog and that has been really good for me.

You may see a few wonky things about the site that I’m still working on resolving. I’ll get there. Thanks for being patient.

In about a month’s time I will have a 5 year old child. Mind. Blown. That’s been true throughout my experience of motherhood… I am constantly blown away by the experience… it is always more and different than I expect. My heart keeps growing and I keep learning.

I’m working on  various personal projects- which has been incredibly rewarding. Love staying excited about making photographs.

I’ve got a few slots open for March, so give me a call and book a lifestyle session today. It’s the perfect weather for it!

Have you heard? Two great contests for 5D Mark III or Nikon D800 going on!

Hey, you! Thanks for popping in. Always lovely to see you. This post is utterly, totally mad-geekery (which may or may not have been a word before this very moment) about photography gear. So if you’ve come by to see gorgeous birth and lifestyle portraits, maybe skip this one and go here instead! 😀


So. There are a couple of incredible contests going on, where folks are giving away the Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800… SUHWEET prizes! I would love to upgrade my backup camera! I’ve been thinking of actually switching to a 5D Mark III as my big gal is rather heavy on her own, let alone with a bugger of a lens attached. It’s hard for me to let go of her though. Maybe if I had the Mark III on hand, and found myself reaching more for her, it would be easier. That’s what I’m telling myself, at least. Truth be told, I love my 1D Mark IV. LOVE. But it would be nice to have a lighter (and still comparable) alternative sometimes.

Anyway, as you may know, I was lucky enough to win my dream camera from Scott Bourne a few years back (on Twitter of all places!) and it seems only fair to spread the love! I was sharing these contests on FB when it occured to me that perhaps some of my lovely blog readers might be interested in entering too. Even if you find the camera to be more than what you need, you could always swap it for a more fitting camera and another lens! 😀

So, click here for the package that Kelly Moore Bags, FStoppers and SLR Lounge are giving away… I’ll take anything off your hands that you wind up not using! HA! (and also? You’re welcome for the intro to these great sites if you’ve not heard of them before!)

And here’s the other from BorrowLenses (which is an AWESOME service for renting photographic equipment btw).

And just so everything’s on the up and up, please note that by entering the contest through the links provided here, I am getting another entry into the drawing too! Win-win. Hope-hope, more like! Ha!


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….and we’re back!

Yay! The image links are working again. Phew! They were broken yesterday. Thanks so much for your patience! I’m so glad I didn’t have to resort to some interim fix. You can just see all the good stuff right here. I’ll definitely be posting more images on my fb page as well but this is the main spot, for sure. Ha! 😀

I’ve got tons of stuff in the drafts queue here and lots more images to blog! I’m excited to share them with you!


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Broken image links.

My apologies- random image links seem to be broken so there are blank spaces in random places all over the place! So frustrating but I am speaking to the Powers That Be to figure out what needs to happen to get them sorted.

Thanks so much for your patience! I’ll post recent images on FB later tonight in the meanwhile, so please be sure to check that out!


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12 in 2012

D’oh. (geddit??! geddit??!!)

I’ve written this post a few times over the last month. And lost it all twice. It’s been driving me nuts. Gah! Anyway. Onwards and upwards.


I’ve been giggling at all the posts I’ve seen online where people say, ‘I don’t usually make resolutions, buuuuuuuuuttttt….’ because that’s what I often say. And yet, I make resolutions just about every year. I’ve tried having just one or three. I’ve tried making them super simple or super complicated. Partnering with someone else and other ways to keep myself accountable… and still my general sense is that I usually don’t keep them. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but it’s how I feel about it.

This year is chock full of big plans and ideas though, so I’m trying something different. First, I’ve got my word for the year. Now, here’s a short list of 12 related goals for this year. One for each month seems fair and somewhat surmountable. And we’re already done with January!! Eeek!!


1. Sort out my office. Once and for all. This means actually setting it up so it works for me and clearing everything else out.

2. Purge. Start with my office and then go room to room until I’ve been through the whole house. There’s stuff I already know is ready to be passed on or tossed. It’s just a matter of, well, passing it on or tossing it! 😀

3. Decide on, map out and launch some ideas like beginning photography workshops, Q&A’s and connecting with local vendors.

4. Write more. About parenting, feminism, social justice…. whatever strikes my fancy. Here and everywhere.

5. Shoot three personal projects. Start to finish.

6. Print albums for HRG. Year 0, 1, 2, 3.

7. Meditate for 30 consecutive days and have a releasing ritual at the end.

8. Walk four days a week, for the whole year.

9. Take HRG to a museum or gallery, at least once a month.

10. Eat out less than once a month for the whole year. Eat more veggies and fruit, less processed foods, more water.

11. Visit a state park every week.

12. Give myself a treat once a week.


This is the final list I’ve come up with. Pretty broad but I’m going with it. Lots of list making and plotting and planning this year. I got kinda lax with it last year and I think it made a difference.

Will be coming back to this list to share how I’m going with it. And I’m linking up with a few other bloggers that I adore to keep myself accountable. How about you?


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Protect Your Internet

5 reasons to get that Living Social voucher NOW!

hello friends,

It’s the last 9 hours of this deal and I have to admit that the last week has been a crazy one for me. I’ve so enjoyed connecting with new folks and I’ve improved by a factor of a bajillion at blowing my own horn. Thankfully, I have friends who are not shy about telling me when I’m pushing it, though! Ha!

Here are five great reasons/uses for you to buy that awesome deal that I’m offering through LivingSocial. By this time tomorrow, it’ll be only a sweet memory, so get on it! 😀



What a gift to send someone! I know it can be a struggle to fit in family portraits, so your giftee (yes, that’s a word. I just wrote it, so it must be) will be doubly appreciative to have a custom session all bought for them. All they have to do is get in touch with me. How awesome is that? I could even jump out of a cake! Or not.


If you’ve never tried custom photography, this is a great way to get a taste. Check it out, see if you like it. I promise it’ll be way more personal than that session you dragged the kids to at the mall.


Holiday cards. Need I say more?


Your baby is growing so fast. So, so fast…


You’re worth it. Seriously. This could be one of the most loving things you could do for yourself. Buy a portrait session and then use it on yourself. Leave everyone else at home. Make a day of it and get some pampering in too! If you’re into it, I can recommend some massage therapists, make up artists and the like. You’re worth it. No doubt.


You want pictures like these.


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LivingSocial :: The FAQs

One day left and I’m still thrilled to be featured on LivingSocial this week. I can’t quite explain why I’m so excited but I’ve always been this way. Put me in a situation where I get to meet new people, and my heart starts pumping and I can’t stop smiling. That’s just what floats my boat! Oh dear. Yes, I went there.

Anyhoo! Let’s get down to answering some of the questions folks have been throwing my way.

1.  What kind of session can I use this for?

Honestly? Just about anything you like that can fit into an hour long session- new headshots, engagement or anniversary, family, baby or newborn, maternity… Heck, if you want to get married in that hour, I’m down! Ha!!

2.  Where and when will the session take place?

At a location that is meaningful to you… your home or your favourite park, diner or library. I’ll meet you anywhere within 30 miles of Berkeley (or further for a travel fee of $0.50 per additional mile). Let’s talk and between us, we’ll come up with the best spot.

3.  How many people can be in the session?

The session includes up to five people. For more, add $25 per person.

4.  How long is the portrait session?

The session is an hour long. Typically, if we haven’t met in person for the pre-shoot consultation, I’ll ask that we meet 10-15 minutes earlier so we can get a chance to chat and get comfortable with each other. Especially if there are kids involved. With newborns, I’m happy to wait while they nurse or get diapers changed, of course and then resume the session. We’ll get what you’re after, don’t worry! If you would like a longer session though, to accommodate a fussy husband (ha!!) or have more time for multiple locations or clothing changes, or simply for a more custom experience, you can upgrade to a two hour session for only $100 due at the time of scheduling.

5.  How many images are included in the session?

We will show you 20 – 25 of the best images from your session from which to make your selections.  The deal includes one 8×10 signed print and a slideshow download of all your images. You can download the slideshow to your smartphone, pc or share it online.

6.  How do I view and select my images?

Your images will be ready for viewing at our post shoot consultation. You’ll choose an image for your 8×10 print and order any wall art or albums you’d like to purchase. Once your order is placed, we’ll post an online gallery of images to share with friends and family.

7.  Since you’ll be doing so many sessions from this deal, will the quality of my photos be the same as your “regular” clients?

Absolutely! Each of my clients is treated with the same care and I am available to address any questions or concerns you have about any part of the process. Systems are in place to create the support network needed.

8.  When can I schedule my portrait session?

Send me an email as soon as you buy the deal… and let’s get the conversation started. I’m available any day of the week and depending on the type of image you’re wanting as well as the locations we’re considering, we’ll pick the best day and time to meet your needs.

9.  What if I want more than one image?

I hope you will! You may absolutely purchase digital downloads or choose from a comprehensive menu of professional, archival quality gift prints, wall art and albums.

  • Gift prints begin at $25
  • One high resolution digital download is $65.
  • A digital download of all the high resolution images is $350

10.  I still have more questions…

Please call or text me at (510) 213-8715 or send me an email.  Or a tweet or facebook message! I’ve cleared my calendar to answer your questions and book your session as soon as you’re ready!

Thanks ever so much!! I am SOO looking forward to getting you in front of my lens! Talk soon!


LivingSocial :: The Process


If you haven’t heard, I’m running a super-duper one-in-a-gazillion-lifetimes deal on LivingSocial this week… thanks for checking it out and thanks for buying a session. I’m chuffed. Seriously chuffed and excited to be photographing you and your families. Or just you. Or just your families. 😀

I’ll be doing a series of posts this week to answer some questions that have come up. Okay? Ready? Here we go.


The Process

  1. Buy your voucher from LivingSocial
  2. Send me an email (even if you don’t know your dates yet, let’s start having a conversation… I can help you figure out when might be best.)
  3. Let’s meet over skype or in person (or the phone if the first two are absolutely impossible) for our pre-shoot consultation. This is when we get a feel for each other, you can ask me any question you like and we can figure out what we’re going for in your session… and then settle on the location and styling (fancy word for what you’ll wear and what you’ll be surrounded by. Ha!)
  4. SESSION!!!
  5. Let’s meet again and look at the gorgeousness that is you. In living colour. We’ll pick the shot for your complimentary print and you’ll see your beautiful slideshow for the first time. Then you can tell me what other images you can’t live without and whether you’d like them in a 20×30 canvas or a beautiful leather album!
  6. I deliver your goodies, you drool over them and can’t stop showing everyone! 😀



In case you haven’t heard…

Digital photographs get developed too!

For most people, gone are the days of inhaling those delightful (not!) darkroom chemicals while staring, gobsmacked, at the magic of an image appearing right before your eyes. There’s really nothing quite like it. Just thinking about it gets me itching to step back into it. These days however, most people are shooting digital and even those who do use film are not developing it themselves but instead sending it off to a lab. Which doesn’t reduce the magic much but still makes the experience a little… different.

However, just because you can print digital images directly off your card or camera doesn’t mean you should!

LOL. I’ve always wanted to apply that ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ phrase to something. Yes, I’m feeling quite pleased with myself right now. Tickled pink, in fact.

Back to what I was saying though- although my awesome (seriously, she’s AWESOME. So awesome in fact that I’ve named her Wondee… 1D… Wondee… geddit? geddit?) camera does a fabulous job capturing a slice of your life…. what she gets is really just the base of what I’m seeing. She’s got a lot to track after all, even with me manually setting the ISO, aperture and shutter speed, so what she gets is really just the beginning. After I get the images loaded up to my computer, then I get to complete my vision by enhancing the images so they look like what I saw AND what I want to convey through it.

In my digital darkroom.

Sans the stinky chemicals.


My web-buddy, Alex Beadon, illustrates this super effectively through a little thing she calls Edit This Photo. She posts one of her own photographs and invites one and all to download and edit it. Then she shares everyone’s results. It’s pretty amazing to see how differently people treat the same image. This last time she did it, I managed to participate. Yay me!


This is the original photograph, unedited, taken by Alex:

And here’s my edit of her image:

Editing someone else’s image is pretty intense for me as I have no idea what Alex (or the model) was seeing or thinking about when she shot this. I did a colour edit first which was pretty clean and bright but… I just didn’t click with it. So I futzed a little more and when I got it here, it just fit. For me. There’s a dreamy, ethereal quality about her expression and the way her arms are placed that really comes across in this b&w edit which I love.

Go have a look here to see the many different edits that folks from all over the world came up with. It’s quite incredible really, and I hope it provides you with further insight into the artistic process. It’s definitely not just about clicking that shutter!

Oh, and have you booked your mini session yet? 😀

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Mini vs The Whole Shebang

Doesn’t that sound like the title of an awesome adventure story? Okay, I’m putting the chai down. Ha! I’m talking about this kind of mini though, not this one. Yes- mini photography sessions! Yay- I hear you scream!! I know, you’re excited. 😀

As you may know (ahem, read the post before this one)… I’m offering three days of mini sessions (October 30th is all about Halloween and Nov 5th and 6th are all about you! Hahaha. They’re all about you!) this year! I’ve had a few people ask me how they would know whether a mini session is best for them or if it would be better to go with a full session… so here’s my response:

Mini sessions are great for folks who want to see if my style (or boutique photography in general) suits them. It’s a minimal investment but at the end of it you still get incredible, custom imagery that is literally all about you. If you’ve only ever had the ‘sit over there and smile’ kind of session, this would be a great way to check out how much fun, beauty and artistry I pour into capturing spontaneous moments of connection between you and your family in a relaxed and natural environment. It may also be a good fit if you think your kids (or you!) might really struggle with a session longer than 30 minutes. It’s also a great way to bookend your yearly full session… especially if you have a family with small kids or babies… because they grow SO fast, and you know you want to have in print what they’re like and what they’re doing RIGHT now.



Full sessions provide a much more custom experience however since we’ll talk before hand about what you’re wanting to do with the images (wall art in your home? an album?) and we’ll have the time we need to make sure that we get a range of emotions and action in a variety of spots with as many clothing changes as you wish. We can create a theme or setting for the session and have time to play and get comfortable while capturing a large and varied range of images you can choose from. If you (or your kids) take a while to warm up, a full session may be better for you as well so that you’ve got a chance to relax and we can minimise the ‘deer in headlights’ expressions. 😀 Lastly, if you’re all about getting a slice of your daily life captured, definitely go with a full or lifestyle session! I’m excited to come over!





Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, please give me a shout!

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