Photographer for Family Portraits

Parent Q&A

Looking for a Family Photographer in East Bay Feb 24, 2021 (8 responses below)
Photographer for Family Portraits Nov 29, 2020 (11 responses below)
Photographer for Porch Session May 28, 2020 (6 responses below)
Looking for a photographer for holiday family photos Oct 26, 2019 (4 responses below)
Family/baby photographer in Berkeley for November Oct 2, 2019 (8 responses below)
Photographer for family portrait Nov 10, 2017 (5 responses below)
Looking for family portrait photographer? Jul 27, 2016 (5 responses below)
  • We would like to have a family photo shoot session (outside) and looking for photographer recommendations in the East Bay. I am looking to pay $300-500 so I am open to hiring an individual that does photography on the side. Let me know if you have recommendations, thank you!   

    Our family has used Angela Lang for kid and family photos for over 10 years. She is fantastic and has a real way with kids!

    I recommend Lauren Feddersen she’s done our family photos and some business ones too and she does a nice job and is in your price range. She can also suggest location based on yours.

    We’ve done a handful of family photo sessions with and are always really happy. Definitely recommend her. 

  • Photographer for Family Portraits

    (11 replies)

    We are looking for a photographer that will do family photos for us (socially distanced). Any recommendations?

    We’ve used Rhea at Halona Photography and Sara Pietras - both are lifestyle photographers and really capture the personalities of your family in a very natural way!

    We recently had family portraits done by Eric Longren outside in a park, and the results were amazing. It was a long session and he got lots of different backgrounds and configurations of our family of 4, and he made many great suggestions. We are very pleased. Also he wore a mask the whole time. He has also done socially distanced (outdoor) school pictures for Oakland Tech and other Oakland schools. His email is eric.londgren [at]

    I would like to recommend Eugene Tsipenyuk. We found him through a Groupon offer last year for a one hour photo shoot of our family. We chose to do it at our house, but he'll travel to meet you at the location of your choice, I think it's up to forty miles from his location. Berkeley was not a problem. He then processed the photos and made a digital package of about 40 available to us online. We could buy just one, or ten, etc., but we bought all of them. This year I contacted him directly on his website and bought the shoot for $149. This included the edited digital photos. There was no additional cost.  He is very low key and quiet, but friendly, patient, responsive, on-time, and gets the photos ready quickly. I know that there are more expensive photographers who might give you Vogue-worthy photos, but he is really good. I have a good eye, and was happy with the results. [at]

  • Photographer for Porch Session

    (6 replies)

    Seeking recommendations for a local photographer who is currently doing "porch sessions" (family stands on the front porch; photographer takes photos from >6ft away). Preferably someone in the Easy Bay (Berk/Albany/EC).


    RE: Photographer for Porch Session ()

    Check out Rhea at Halona Photography ( She's an amazing photographer that did our newborn photos for our third kid and they came out beautifully. She isn't formally offering porch sessions though we were just emailing about it this week. She is Oakland based but works in the greater East Bay, I believe.

    RE: Photographer for Porch Session ()

    Yes! We recently did that. His name is Rhett Jones and he is fantastic! He is from Oakland and you will not be disappointed. Here is his information:

    Good luck-

    RE: Photographer for Porch Session ()

    Celia Catalano is great and has started doing porch sessions. We've done 3 or 4 minj sessions with her over the last couple years and have gotten some treasured images.

  • Hi - do you know of any great photographers who are doing holiday family sessions?  thank you!

    Our beloved family photographer has mini-sessions going on the first and second weekends of November:

    I highly recommend Dina Uretski ( She is fantastic. She's done our family photos for several years now. We also recommended her to our friends and they loved their photos too. 

    Renée Allen was our wedding photographer, and she has sent us info about being available to also shoot holiday family photos before. We loved her work, and she was comparatively affordable.

  • Can any recommend a good photographer for some family photos? 

    I'd love to find a photographer that's reasonably priced and pleasant to work with to take some photos of me, my husband and our 8 month old daughter in time for the holidays (aka available to shoot in November). 

    I found a photographer we like but she only serves SF - it would be great to find someone East Bay local. There are so many photographers to choose from - I figured I'd ask for a BPN recommendation! Thank you everyone. 

    We got GREAT family pictures from Arlene Easterwood this past summer. She came to our house in Richmond (though she does other locations if we'd been interested in that) for about an hour photoshoot. It included myself, my husband, our 3-year old son, and 9-month old daughter. I'd never actually had professional pictures taken, but she was able to get everyone to feel relaxed (and had a fantastic manner with the kids to keep them engaged). The pictures turned out incredibly, and I couldn't recommend her more highly.


    (We found her through 510 Families who also has an extensive list of local photographers, if you are looking for a different sort of style.)

    Shoey Sindel!

    She did our wedding photography, did a wonderful job, and is so personable and wonderful to be around. Her office is on Solano Avenue in Berkeley.

    Check out Shoey's website at:

    We love Kimberly Dillon! She is so great at getting babies and kids to smile and is really efficient and professional. Based in SF but will happily travel: 

  • We've just moved to the East Bay and are looking for a photographer to capture our family in 2018 (we've had portraits done every year for the past 6 years).  In the past we've thoroughly enjoyed supporting and working with a few artists looking to build their portfolios - moms returning to work, dads looking to expand into family photography, etc. - and we'd love to do it again.  Is anyone looking to build their family portraits portfolio?  Our family will happily be your subjects and poster family in exchange for a fair fee and 1-2 jpegs!

    Roots & Shoots does fantastic family portraits.

  • Photographer for family portrait

    (5 replies)

    I'm looking for a photographer that will take some family portraits, as well as some of just my 4-month old. I need someone who can work well with my camera-shy husband, and is willing to include our dog as well! Ideally would love the pictures taken in nature. Thanks!

    Anna Myers did pictures with our newborn yesterday. She was great to work with, can’t wait to see how they come out!  

    The pictures on her website are absolutely perfect so I’m sure ours will be too!

    You should contact Nancy Rothstein in Oakland, she took my head shot and was amazing, plus the image is fantastic. I know she loves working with families.

    I highly recommend Dina Uretski: She photographs our family (including our dog) every year. 

  • Looking for family portrait photographer?

    (5 replies)

    Hello there!

    I'm looking for an experienced, easy-going family portrait photographer; any recommendations?

    Roots and Shoots in Berkeley do a great job and are easy to work with. They just did portraits for our family and individual ones, too, and we are very pleased with the results.

    We used Reenie Raschke, and ended up with some amazing photos of our family of 4. She is friendly and easy-going, but she keeps things moving; and she got full cooperation from the younger generation. Her studio is in Montclair, but I though it was worth the drive from El Cerrito. Here's her family page:!/page/400855/families

    I highly highly recommend Amy Perl, She took our portraits a few years ago and they are fantastic. You can see her work on her website,, she is talented, warm, and playful in her work. Every time I look at the photo she took of my son I'm amazed all over again. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Looking for a family photographer w/high res jpgs

July 2015

Hi. We have hired photographers before who for one fee charged us for the session to shoot our family as well as the hi res photos for us to use and print at our leisure (I am an amateur photographer who loves to play with Lightroom). If anyone knows of a good photographer, even a student, who is willing to do this, we would be appreciative. Thank you. marilisa

I highly recommend Laura Morita Yeun. She takes breathtaking pictures and is great with kids. Check out her website,

Check out Spencer Sarson Visuals. He's an incredibly talented photographer and videographer with a top of the line camera. He specializes in weddings so is great at getting candid shots. Contact him and he'll put a custom pricing package together for you. Annie

Sara Hougan at Bloom and Zoom Photography sends hi res jpgs via Dropbox. It is super easy and the photos are GREAT! I think she can do something fancier on a flash drive if you want it. Her website is

Reasonably Priced Family Photographer

Nov 2014

We are considering having professional pics taken of our family for Christmas, but are very tight on money and so I am not sure we can afford it. I am looking for a reasonably priced photographer who will also supply all the final digital images. I know this is becoming less and less common but we just cannot afford the additional costs for expensive prints or digital files. Looking for someone to come to our home or an outdoor space. Not opposed to a photography student. Thought I would post a new request since the info in the BPN archives seems to be pretty outdated. Thanks All! Adrienne

I recently contracted a photographer for our family portraits. and would wholeharteadly recommend her. The portraits turned out great and we were very pleased with the experience. The photographer put the kids at ease - not an easy task in our case, had excellent suggestions for poses, locations, etc. Her prices are very reasonable, and just like you asked - you will get all the digital files. I believe she is in SF, but will travel to you. You can see her work here: milena

I wanted to recommend Darwin Sayo at Shades of Beautiful Photography. Darwin is a skilled and creative artist who is adept at capturing all stages of family life. He recently photographed my wife's music recital, and really captured the joy and pride of all the performers. He is a great guy and very easy to work with. Check out his work at Happy Customer!

Local photographer for holiday pictures

Sept 2014

I am looking for a photographer in the Berkeley/Albany area who isn't too expensive for holiday pictures. We have a toddler and kindergardener, both boys, so ideally this person is experienced with that kind of energy, and we prefer a more natural, outdoor style. Thanks! Beth

Danielle Merry at is such a gifted photographer! She has years of experience photographing children and families and uses a candid approach to capture their true spirit, versus stiff 'sit&smile' pictures. She will work with your boys' silly&energetic attitude to get great unique shots. She prefers working with outside natural light. And she also has experience shooting fashion photography so she knows angles to shoot that Are always flattering. I have loved every shot she has taken of my kids and I. She is located in Benicia but travels all over the bay area and central coast. 831-233-9624 Happy repeat customer

Hi! I can recommend two talented, local, caring, intuitive photographers who can really bring out the love in a family portrait: 1. Reenie Rashke: 2. E & B Photos: Check them out! Shona

Shoey Sindel ( is a very gifted photographer. She has a studio on Solano Avenue in Berkeley and has been a fixture in our East Bay community for many years. Shoey has that rare ability to capture intimate moments among family members with dignity and soul, allowing a family's true essence to shine through. I have seen many of her photos (a good many friends have used her services over the years) and think she has a way of telling stories through timeless images that speaks directly to the heart. Aside from her wonderful pictures, she has a warm, playful, and kind presence, putting family members at ease immediately. She did so in my family, when she came to my home to discuss a last photo shoot before my late-wife died of terminal cancer. I recommend her whole-heartedly. Her phone number is (510) 917-0659. Van M.

We just had Cindy Hegger take our daughter's Bat Mitzvah photos. She did a great job. She may be just who you are looking for: Jessica Weiss

I highly recommend my photographer Shoey Sindel. She is very good with kids (and adults). She has her magic ways to make you feel comfortable and let you be yourself. She takes care of the rest. Her studio is on 1607 Solano Ave. Ph# (510) 917-0659 or shoey [at] Have fun, Lan

Affordable Family/Baby Photographer

Dec 2013

Hello BPNers, I'm looking for a photographer to take baby pictures of our 10 month old and a few with the baby, me, and my husband. We are looking for someone affordable and also where we get to keep the digital files. We took pictures with someone who was about $200 for an hour long session and the digital files included. This price range is right up our alley. The problem is that we don't really like how the photos came out. Any recommendations that fit our price range? The archives don't have anything recent. Thanks so much! Mama in Oakland

The best photographer I've used for our family is Sharon Goldstone. She gives customers the digital images. She has captured the sweetest images of my son from birth through his toddler years. I've had other photographers, before her, but feel most comfortable with her style, and her fees are very reasonable. She has a web site now, but her phone number is 415-608-9373. Good luck. I'm certain you won't be disappointed. PK

I highly recommend Sara Hougan with Bloom and Zoom photography. She did a fantastic job capturing our family of five on Thanksgiving weekend, even the dog! She was flexible with our schedule and accommodating and she sent the link to her photos just a few days later. She's been doing a lot more newborn photography recently. I was really happy with the photos. She captured funny moments as well as more posed shots. I would definitely contact her. Sara [at] Angie

Affordable family portrait for single mom and daughter

Jan 2011

Hi BPN - I'm looking for a photographer that isn't too expensive and can produce really good photos. I need photos of my daughter & I as I don't have any of us together. My budget is limited so I don't know if that will be a problem in finding a decent photographer. thanks, Lindsay

I have previously recommended Mark Joseph Studio on BPN. I am extremely happy with the photos he took of my family. You can contact him via his website Verna

We just got a photo shoot from Sara Hougan and she is awesome. She has a website where you can look at her work and know for yourself. She is not expensive and does a great job. anon

Affordable photographer for digital images

May 2015

We are looking for a photographer for family portraits. I have looked around but it seems that most photographers sell prints as part of (or in addition to) the portrait session and digital images are very expensive. We would prefer to have a handful of digital images from the session (5-10 images is fine), rather ordering prints. Can anyone recommend a photographer who does this? We don't need a long photo session (~30 mins is ideal). Ideally under $150, if possible. liz

Hi Liz, I recommended Andrea. She is a great photographer and person. Her prices are in your arrangement. Zuzka

we absolutely love Opal from Opal Moments photography. She did our engagement and wedding photos and we really lucked out - we've had excellent compliments on her work from people who know a whole lot more about photography than I do. We just liked her so much and felt comfortable with her, and lucked out on great photos, too. We also hired her for fun last year for anniversary photos. She always sends us a disc of many digital photos, and her photo shoots are definitely in your price range. Highest recommendation! Kirstin M

Family holiday photos

Dec 2010

Hello All, My Mother is coming to town for the holidays and I would love to get some nice candid but professional shots of her with the kids...ya know, nothing staged but warm and life-like. or in-the-day-of (if you will) Who's currently out there, can work with short notice? good with kids (I have 3 .. toddler, 2nd grader, pretween) Thank You, Karen

Shoey Sindel in Berkeley does wonderful candids of kids. She has examples (maybe not exactly candid) on her website. She is very warm and a pleasure to work with. Francesca

Hi, What a great idea to have professional photos taken with your mom and the kids. Your mom will love it. I recently had a photographer, named Kelli Yon, take portraits of my family together. Both my husband and I are artists so translate that to mean that we have pretty high standards of wanting interesting composition, color, and naturalism in photos. We're not into the Sears portrait studio aesthetic at all. And, we're really not bad at taking our own portraits of our beautiful son -- however it is next to impossible to take that kind of shot by ourselves with all three of us in the frame! Timers don't cut it. So, we got a bead on Kelli from some friends and she came to our house (though she was willing to go pretty much wherever we wanted in the Bay Area). She took photos of us for an hour and we ended up with beautifully lit and interestingly composed images which we felt really captured the essence of our close family dynamic. Kelli was low key, friendly and so great with our son (she is a mom of two young children), and she had a way to draw out both his silly and his serious sides. She took an absolutely stunning image of him, reading with a stack of books near him, that I treasure. And also a very funny, poignant image of his knobby knees! But, truthfully, her skill came out when both my husband and I were in the frames together with our son. See, although we're OK looking -- he ALWAYS closes his eyes and I inevitably have weird expressions on my face in photos, so we're not easy. But Kelli captured images of all three of us together looking relaxed, natural, and engaging with each other (ok she took A LOT of photos but persisted until there were several amazing ones)-- and everyone looked great! For the shoot, we read together, baked some cookies, and played piano all the while chatting with Kelli. She made you almost forget there was a camera in hand. Now, I have stunning photos that will definitely be great Christmas presents for the Grandmothers! And, I am happy to have a family portrait for ourselves. Now, I am thinking of giving a portrait session with Kelli to some friends of mine who have are due to have a new baby. Check out her portfolio: Tis the Season. Hopefully she is available for you. carol

What a great idea to do candid pictures for a gift. They tell a much bigger story than those perfect studio portraits... I highly recommend Heidi Ezial. Her images really capture the magic of a close relationship between mother (or grandmother!) and child. Not only is her work timeless, but she's so warm & intuitive that it's easy for subjects of all ages to be at their best. Here's her link: Good luck and Happy Holidays! JoAnne, a Maxwell Park mom

I recommend Lori Fuller. You can look at her website: to see samples of her work. She takes excellent, natural, 'un-posed' shots, and has a knack with kids. Colleen

Shoey Sindel is a great photographer in Berkeley. She's done headshots for me and my partner, and her candid photography is beautiful. Shoey just seems to be able to capture those unique moments that tell a story and show the personality of everyone in the picture. See her website - - for some examples of her photography. You can contact Shoey at 'photos [at]' or phone 510.917.0659. I'm a very happy customer! David

We used Auey Santos, and she is fabulous with kids and adults (she has 2 young kids of her own). She is based in Oakland but will go anywhere. Give her a call, (510) 6762725. I don't know her schedule the next few weeks but call and ask or send via her website. I can't recommend her highly enough Wendy

I would like to recommend Mark Joseph Studio. Mark recently took photos of my family (Mom, Dad & 2 year old) at our home. He did a fantastic job capturing the nature energy of our family with a very active 2yr old. You can contact him via his website Verna

I would highly recommend Kim Larson. She is great, listens to what you want and VERY talented. We have used her for several BIG 'kodak moments' and are always so pleased with the outcome. Her prices are very reasonable as well. KIm Larson Photographer PH#510-610-9384 (email/website) photos [at] BD

Holiday photos of our family

Oct 2010
I'd like to have some holiday photos taken of my family which includes 2 little kids. Does anyone have a local photographer to recommend? Thanks!

I recommend Shoey Sindel Photographer. She's an excellent photographer and a pleasure to be with. I've hired her to take photos of me and my family, and I've been very happy with her work. Her contact info is: Shoey Sindel Photography, 510-917-0659 Find her website at Shoey Sindel Photography. JoAnne

We recently had our family photographed by Madeleine Tilin. She has a photo journalistic style that captures the essence of her subjects and my husband and I were both amazed by the outcome. Her work is really beautiful and she is fun and easy to work with. I highly recommend that you check her out. Here is her contact info: Madeleine Tilin Photography mtilin [at] 510-435-3832 Laura

I recently used Madeleine Tilin for some professional head shots and got to know her style and personality easily in the short 30 minutes we spent taking the photos. She is amazing! She chose gorgeous backgrounds for the shots and kept me laughing and at ease with the entire process - I was thrilled with the results! I've since seen numerous photos she had taken of kids and families and immediately hired her for our holiday family photo shoot and can't wait to see the results. Please contact her at: 51.435.3832 or mtilin [at] and check out her website: to see her beautiful work - she does weddings too. Best of luck! Rebecca

I highly recommend Shannon McIntyre: She is in my mom's group and did a couple of photo shoots while she was building her portfolio for kid work. Her stuff was so good I bought prints for us and our entire extended family. She has a wonderful knack for catching the spirit of playfulness and joy that is in children. None of my snapshots even come close to bringing out my son's personality. Sarah

Hi, you should definitely hire Priscila at Primagine Photography. She's a local photographer and not only she takes some amazing pictures, she can also make very creative greeting cards. I had an idea of I wanted for my greeting card last year, but I had no idea how to make it happen. She did it for me and our card was the talk of the season between my friends and family. I'm using her again this year for sure! Check out her website: She's great and very affordable! Amanda

Hi, You didn't mention where you live, but I have 2 fantastic recommendations for photographers. Both are in Oakland. I have personal experience with both women, who have each taken *great* photos of my 2 year old son.

Shannon McIntyre is a professional photographer with many years of experience. She has shot for multiple publications, has done advertising, editorial and catalog gigs but is focusing on families and children lately, as she has a young daughter herself. Please check out

Fairlight deMichelle has an art degree from Santa Cruz, and has a great eye behind the lens. She recently launched her website and photography business, and has a bright future ahead of her. She's also lots of fun to work with and is a Mama, too. Please check out (Proud Mama bragging rights: my son is on her front page)

I think either woman would be great for your holiday photo. The tough part will be which one to choose! Caryn

I'd like to recommend Jennifer Graham photography ( for your family photos. In the spirit of full disclosure, Jen is a friend, but also a very professional and excellent photographer who runs her own studio and business. She has taken some great shots of our family, and I know many others who have used her services for great results. Most importantly, she put us at ease (which is almost even harder to do with a friend than a stranger looking through the lens), so that our photos were natural and joyful. She sometimes runs a holiday special for 30 min portrait sessions out of her studio - check her website to see.

Family portrait after Baby #2 - don't want paper prints

Oct 2010

After deciding that we will need a family portrait session after baby #2 is born in November, I became aghast at the cost of photographers recommended in BPN's archives. I am happy to pay a professional for their time for the session and any post-production, but I do not want to pay them for prints. Are there any photographers who will come to our house in El Cerrito, shoot awesome photos of a newborn and toddler, and then provide a CD of images? Prefer Not to Get a Second Mortgage for Prints

I would strongly recommend Emily Heller of Hello Junior Child & Newborn Photography. Emily comes to your house or wherever you want to take the photos, she has a great sense of humor, and most importantly she is truly talented at what she does. She'll give you a CD of the pics and then you can print however many you want on your own, which makes it more affordable. Her contact information is: 415.409.9690 emily [at] laura

Hello, I wanted to recommend Jamey Thomas. He was actually our wedding photographer a few years back and he is amazing. We actually had him do a family photo shoot for us a few months ago and I was thrilled with the results. I was hoping for 'candid' family pictures, so Jamey picked a couple outdoor spots close to our house and let the kids do their thing and he was able to capture many amazing moments. And he is very reasonable. He charges $300 for a 2-3 hour session. He gives you all the files on a disk in color and BW, all of which are individually adjusted and optimized---in hi-res and web (email) sizes. I highly recommend him and I am planning on doing an annual family photo session with him. His contact info is: jamey [at] James Thomas 415.509.3353 anon

Ted Jocson is a talented local photographer and will give you your photo files on CD so you can print them yourself. His website doesn't show his family portfolio but you can contact him for samples.

Eliot Khuner photographed my wedding, and we had the option of purchasing a CD of the photos. He is good with relaxing people and he uses multiple lights for a professional look. 510-524-3569 stu

Family portrait plus photos of each child

March 2010

I've done some research, but would love to get recommendations on photographers in the Bay Area Specifically, need the following done: 1. My son is turning 5 soon, so would like portraits of him. 2. My oldest daughter is 17 and graduating this year from High School, so we would love some great Senior Porraits. and, 3. Would like some family portraits of our family of 5 Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!! Stephanie

Great photographer: Anna Meyers, studio in Alameda, but she does site visits as well. Check out her website: I had maternity photos done, and they were beautiful and very artistic. annette

I highly recommend Maggie Fessler. She did a maternity session with us and was great. I generally do not like having my pictures taken, but she made me feel at ease and she took some great memorable shots! Lindsey

I can wholeheartedly recommend Anna Kaminska as a wonderful and skilled photographer for your family. Anna has taken photos of my children, which are displayed on my livingroom wall at home, and many people have commented on their high quality and asked me for the name of the photographer. I have also viewed other photos she has taken of other children and families and found them really unique. She helps make everyone feel at ease, and has a great eye for composition. You can view some of her art at, and reach her at 510-599-0639. Anon.

I would like to recommend Dorothy Brown located on the Albany/Berkeley border. Dorothy has been helping me with some photos for my website and I'm very happy so far. She is good at putting her subject at ease and its obvious she enjoys being with her client as much as she enjoys photography! I've known Dorothy for a long time and what impresses me most is her great attention to detail and desire to produce a great product! 510-524-8071 You can also contact her via her website. Good luck! Sandy

Hi Stephanie, I'd like to recommend Shoey Sindel. She's a fabulous photographer. I love her work. Her website has a number of samples of her work, and this is the best way to evaluate whether she's the best photographer to hire for you and your family. You can phone Shoey at 510.917.0659 or email her at photos [at] Best wishes, David

Hands down, Shoey Sindel. Her photos are amazing. I was just in an office and noticed some great photos, hanging as an exhibit. Sure enough, Shoey's! Shoey Sindel: 510/917-0659. See so samples at Photos [at] Jennifer

Eliot Khuner 510-524-3569 photographed my wedding and my son's bar mitzvah. He is great with kids of any age, and he is a very experienced family portrait photographer. He often works in outdoor locations or at his clients' homes, and is very flexible and easy to work with. Stu

I highly recommend Mary McHenry Photography. Mary is wonderful with kids and is very skilled at capturing the essence of your family. Her photographs are beautiful. You can check her out at: Megan

Shoey Sindel ( is a professional Berkeley photographer who does beautiful work with people of all ages, including active young kids. She was the photographer for my daughter's preschool and her class portraits and individual unposed(?) shots were amazing. Her website is very representative of works of hers that I've seen. Francesca

Amy Perl in Oakland came to our house in Berkeley and took beautiful photographs of our family. She's really nice too. Amy Perl Photography 4456 Piedmont Ave Oakland, CA 94611-4219 (510) 595-1039 Rebecca Landes

My husband, daughter and I have had annual photos taken for three years (since my daughter was 3 months old) by Mary McHenry. She's truly a gifted photographer and would do a great job for all three of your situations. I find it amazing that Mary can completely capture the essence of a person and a family with such ease and elegance. You can check out her work at

You can not go wrong with Reenie. Her studio is on the top of LaSalle in Montclair next to the Farmstead Cheese Shop. Her studio # is 339-8565 and check out her website at Tell her JM sent you!

I highly recommend Jamie Grenough. She is a beautiful, talented, generous woman! mail [at]

Check out Anna Kuperberg. She's amazing - took the most gorgeous photos of my newborn. amy

I highly recommend Helen Bae (mommyphotographer [at] as a wonderful family photographer. We first hired Helen to photograph my son when he was one month old and the photos she took were amazing and we continue to use her. She is very gifted and took incredible photos even on days when my son was tired and cranky (and didn't seem to smile at all). Her photos really seem to capture my son's personality and she is so warm and kind that she immediately puts him (and us!) at ease and makes the photo session fun. Helen's photos are gorgeous and unique and to me they are pieces of art. I feel so lucky to have found her! Check out Helen's website (temporary site is Sarah

My family had a great experience with Helen Bae. She did a photo shoot with my daughter when she was four-months-old. Helen took a lot of time with us (around two hours) and was really fun and adept at getting my daughter to smile. She also let us hang out for a while so that we could take some sleeping shots. We were thrilled with the resulting pictures and the quick turnaround time. Several of my friends have worked with Helen and had similar experiences. You can check out her website at Nicole

Affordable photographer for family with small children

Feb 2010

Can anyone recommend an affordable photographer who can shoot beautiful family portraits, b/w + color and can work with very young children (i.e., infants)? Don't have a lot to spend unfortunately, but want to get something reasonably good done for our memory book. Thank you! - new mommy

I would like to recommend Shoey Sindel to you. A selection of her beautiful photography has been on display for several months now and we get a lot of compliments and inquiries about the photographer. Shoey is a wonderfully warm and kind professional, good with kids (she has two of her own). She does what she refers to as life stages photography: anything from pregnancy/pre-birth to memorials. I recommend you check out her website at and give her a call to find out whether she'd be a good fit for you. Rosie

We have used an amazing local photographer, Sapasorn Ridhikerd(sapasorn [at] the last two years. He comes to our home so that helps our son to be relaxed. Sapasorn is great with kids, incredibly patient, has all the right equipment, previews the shots on his laptop so you know what your getting before he leaves, makes great suggestions for setting up the shot but also tries to capture spontaneous moments and he is an all around great guy. Seriously, this is your guy. And, the price is incredibly affordable, I can't believe he doesn't charge way more than he does, he could easily charge double for the service and quality. Happy Customer

Peter Lyons ( is a maritime photographer who this year has branched out and is doing some portrait work. He may still be offering a free sitting and will make a complete CD of the shoot available at a very reasonable price. There are a couple of galleries under ''your photos'' that might represent the sort of photos you are looking for. Nice guy. Very good photographer. His baby photos are really special and some families I know have started using him regularly. Maria

I definitely recommend Rita Ferrando, who is a great photographer and also my daugher's daycare provider. She is (obviously) very comfortable with kids, and since the daycare and the studio are in her home, there are lots of toys for little ones to play with. I had my daughter's 1- year pictures taken with her, and it was less than $200, including a CD with all of the images on it. Her website is Cassie

Family photos in digital files

Nov 2009

We're looking to do a really nice set of pictures for my daughter's first birthday of her alone, and some with the three of us. I'm looking for a photographer, preferably in Berkeley, who will provide us digital files of the photos. Our wedding photographers did this and it was great, we paid extra, but it was worth it to be able to easily share the pics with our friends around the world. We live far from family and regularly share photos through our blog. Of course we will respect copyrights (none of our use is for profit) and will buy some prints from the photographer. Does anyone have a recommendation of a photographer that's good with kids and that does digital proofs? Thanks! April

Ruth Woodruff! She just did photos of my family and son and did an amazing job. Check her website. I know many families who have used her. She will come to you, and work with you in whatever space you are comfortable in (inside, outside). She has a great sense of light, and so not only does she capture unique moments with your child or family, but the color and feel of the photos are just gorgeous. Her number is: 510 655 6081. Her website is: She does a good package where she offers you the digital photos. I highly recommend her. Ruth makes family photo magic!

Margaretta Mitchell is an amazing portrait photographer. You can check out her work by googling her and getting to her web site. I would hire her in a minute to do photography. I am not sure if she offers what you want, but you can ask her. I will pass on your email to her and have her contact you to answer questions. Do look at her web site, though ( I think you will be as impressed as I am. She's really fun with her clients, too. Good Luck! Leah

Ruth Woodruff did a beautiful job with our newborn photos and she does digital proofs. She came to our home and was a joy to work with. She has kids of her own, too, so she has a particularly sensitive approach to family photography. Check out her website or email ruthwoodruff [at] -Sarah

I highly recommend Fernando Aguila. He was our wedding photographer and provided digital files of all the photos. He is great with kids and he took wonderful pictures of all of the kids at our wedding (we had a huge wedding with at least 80 kids on the guest list). We have since hired him for prenatal photos, baby shower photos at Tilden Park, newborn photos, and family portraits. He's a very versatile photographer and is great to work with. He has a studio in Berkeley. Contact him at photo [at] or 510-502-1566. Laurel

Eliot Khuner photographed our wedding last year and provided us with digital proofs on DVDs. They are like photo CDs, just have high-rez images and a lot of them. He is really easy going and fun to be with. He uses multiple lights to add depth to photos and he has a knack for posing people for portraits. His website is and his phone is 510.524.3569 Stu

Seeking creative photographer for candid family photos

May 2009

Seeking a creative (and affordable) child and family photographer in the East Bay or SF. I want somebody who does candid, natural portraits, not so much posed stuff. Any recommendations?

I highly recommend Anna Kaminska for child, family photography that is natural and easy. She is great with children and adults, and helps everyone to relax. She has taken pictures of my family, for myself for my work, and other families I know, and they have all come out great. Anna is a joy to work with, and her prices are reasonable. Check her web-site at or phone 510-599-0639. Yvonne

Shoey Sindel did a great job on pictures of my 6 month old and family pictures for Christmas cards. Tina

Stephanie Silk (mailto:jackalope [at] took pictures of me and my SO when I was pregnant and again when baby was 5 weeks old. She was good at making everyone feel comfortable and took a bunch of great shots. She also has excellent photoediting skills in case something needs a touch-up! Nicole

I highly recommend Winona at Shoot Me Now Photography. She specializes in casual, natural photography and did our shoot at the beach. She made my 18mo. old as well as my husband and I feel very comfortable throughout the shoot. The pictures were beautiful and affordable and I couldn't believe how many shots we received. I think her website is Ann

Definitely give Christina Shook a call. She is located in Orinda and captures the natural essence and beauty of everyone she photographs. She took individual as well as family pictures of myself, husband and 2 boys. She was able to immediately connect with a 12 and 16 year old and establish a nice repoire. We did the pictures in nature which made the whole experience very relaxing and natural. Both boys enjoyed the experience and I think really liked the attention they got. The hardest part was trying to figure out which pictures to purchase because so many of them were exquisite. Check out her website at You'll immediately see the joy in the faces of those she's photographed. Her # is 415.713.9717 or christina [at] a Christina Shook fan

Christina Hernandez from Nightingale Photography Call: 510 338 2997 She took stunning photos of my son and also loves to take candid photos in natural settings- she is so much fun to work with and got amazing smiles from the baby!! rachel

Dirk Setchko is a great photographer. He's taken many, many pictures at school events that are fantastic portraits of the children. I think he has a real gift for capturing people, particularly kids, at candid moments. I highly recommend him. Email him at dirksetchko [at] Burr

Try Heather Carpenter, heather [at] Unbelievably good photographer. She's done our family since before our first son was born. Can't say enough about how great she is. Be sure to look at her website. Em

I just used an awesome photographer (Courteney Coolidge) for a Father's Day shoot last week. Her style is definitely candid & natural, and I am highly pleased with the results. The best part is, we got to keep the negatives/digital files. She has different pricing depending on what you want to achieve. Here's her website: Good Luck. She has a little one of her own. Easy to work with and is very reasonably priced. We loved being photographed on location vs. in a small room under hot lights. We went to the beach. Our pictures were much more candid our baby didn't even know she had a hundred beautiful pictures taken of her. Love her work uses all natural light. meesah

I had planned to recommend this guy that my friend just happened to tell me about right when I read your post... But then I saw how many responses you got and worried that you're already going to have too many to choose from! Well, I'll throw this one in too. His name is Michael Angelo and he was recommended to me by my friend Kelly. Mailisha

Documentary style photos of family with 2 year old

Feb 2009

I'm looking for a local photographer that specializes in candid or documentary style photographs that will capture my 2 year old and the rest of my family as they really look. Thanks! scott

Cowley Studios is excellent. They are based in San Francisco, but came to meet me and my son at Lake Temescal for no extra charge. Gregory and Debra have two pretty different styles, but they are both excellent. They come as a team, so you get the best of both of their work. There is (or at least was last spring) no sitting fee, and photo printing was reasonable. They were very attentive to my schedule (my six month old wasn't awake for very long, but they got him at his best) and chose a beautiful location. The photos are posted on line for over a month so I could send the password to family to help me choose. Plus, they could order directly. Their work made for the perfect father's day gift.

Contact Shoey Sindel for a great photographer. She took my pregnancy photos and they turned out amazing. She also took fantastic photos of my children. She's a real joy to work with as she has such a postive attitude. Plus she is truly a talented photographer. Here's her website: Call her at 510-917-0659 or email her at photos [at] JoAnne

I highly recommend Christina Shook in Orinda ( 415-713-9717). She is great with kids and really captures some great expressions! We took our now 4 1/2 year old and now 1 year old starting when they were both babies. She has a 3 sitting package (little baby, sitting baby, and standing/walking). And she'll put together a book of the best shots. We'll be seeing her very soon for our third sitting with her. The pictures of my 2 girls together make me smile every time. Actually just thinking about the pictures makes me smile :) Andrea

We just had photos of our family taken by Amy Perl, 510-289-4817, and they are beautiful! She came to our house, took candid and posed shots and we're delighted with them. I never thought I could look good in a photo but Amy was able to make it happen. She is based in Oakland, near Piedmont Ave., but shoots all over the Bay Area. She is a wonderful photographer. Rebecca

''I highly recommend Christina Hernandez. Her background is in photojournalism so her pictures are really candid and playful. She also does gorgeous black and white. Her website is:'' Ginny

Christina Shook is a fabulous photographer in Orinda. Her website is and her # is 415.713.9717. Christina just photographed my kids and truly captured the essence of them both. They are, by far, the nicest pictures we have ever had of our children. Christina is very easy to work with and both kids had fun posing for their pictures. The hardest part was choosing which pictures we wanted to purchase! I highly recommend Christina for any family photos or family event. Her integrity, skill and creativity are exceptional. A Christina Shook fan

I would highly recommend Matt Lehman. He's really good, especially with candids. He did a photo shoot of my kids (2 and 4 years old) playing in the back yard - they turned out great. My four-year-old daughter hates getting her photo taken, but didn't much mind because Matt minded his own business, let the kids play, and captured images of what they do best. The photos made a great 70th b-day gift for my mom. His portfolio and other info is here: Dan

Tim Nichols ( is terrific. I love his style - it's almost journalistic - and he has a great eye for color and composition. He did an all-day shoot for my friends' very fancy wedding and did a casual 1-hour, indoor/outdoor shoot with my very active one-year-old. Both of the photo sets turned out wonderfully and everyone was very happy with the results. He's personable yet professional. He listens and is very responsive. He's got a ton of his work up on his website and blog (, so you can get a really good idea of what you'd be getting. A very happy client

I know of a great photographer who specializes in photographing children and families. Her name is Elissa Kennedy. The name of her company is Baby Steps Photography -- phone is 415-948-5285 Her website is Kim

I highly recommend Mary McHenry. She is great to work with. She takes amazing photographs. She specializes in kids, families, and weddings, and also does really nice commercial work. You can check her out at Megan

I just wanted to highly recommend a wonderful photographer. She just did some family shots for our Christmas cards and they turned out beautifully. She is particularly gifted with kids, and I am amazed that she was able to get my sprinting 1 year old to pose with such joy. You can see her work (and get in touch with her) here Happy Customer

2007 - 2008 Reviews

Nov 2008

Hi, I'm looking for a good photographer for relaxed, candid holidays portraits. Thanks! Lynda

Two suggestions: Eliot Khuner Photography,, 888-933-3456 (works well with kids, relaxed) Jim Dennis (I don't have his contact info, I think he's more portraiture than casual) Hope you find someone you're happy with! Talia

We love our family photographer, Christina Hernandez. She's a professional photojournalist and really knows how to capture the most candid moments. She brings us to a park and let's the kids have their way. Her fine art work is even in galleries. So, you get real talent, wonderful energy and a very reasonable package. Her site is Her number is 510-338-2997. Good luck! Virginia

We had a great experience with Allan Ayres of Sprout Shots: he came to our house, it was low-key, and we picked out the pics we liked best. He was a very sweet guy, too. --Have the 5X7s to prove it!

Hi there. I can recommend this photographer that a friend of mine used for an event. Check out his website: (his info is on the site) We are looking into using him for a holiday event and my friend said he was a joy to work with. I saw the slides from the event, which turned out fabulous. I don't know what his rates are, but becuase he's new to the area I think he gave my friend a deal as he builds his clients here. His website is beautiful, check out the portraits and essays for examples. He was good at capturing 'moments' that are important for us. Good luck. Hope this helps. Happy Holidays. anon

We just had some family portraits done by Elizabeth Tichenor for our holiday cards that came out wonderfully. She was happy to meet us at our house and listen to our suggestions of locations, taking some photos at our home and then we all moved on to the Alameda beach to take more photos both posed and un-posed. She then provided us with a great selection of nice photos to choose from. We're very pleased with how casual and easy the photo shoot was for us and our twin daughters, and also with the keen eye Elizabeth has for finding photogenic moments. You can find some of her photos and her contact info at: Mike

May 2008

Over Christmas my in-laws made arrangements for family portraits and they were fine but very posed. After going through all the effort and getting the kids to smile and look at the camera and then not being totally satisfied with the results, I'm hoping to get recommendations for a photographer that could take some pictures of my family that actually look and feel like us. Someone with some artistic sense and who can take beautiful pictures of my kids, my husband and me, our whole family that really capture who we are in our life. I hope this is possible and not exorbitantly expensive... amber

For the past three years we've done annual family photo shoots with Pamela Zacharias, and I can't recommend her highly enough. She is warm, fun, and energetic. Most importantly, she really captures her subjects - everyone raves about how great our photos are! We feel completely comfortable, and it shows in the photos. My daughter (now 10) looks forward to our annual sessions, as Pamela keeps her engaged. Pamela prefers to shoot out of doors (she has location suggestions, or will scout places you've suggested). You can contact her at pam [at], or see her work at Lisa

The photographer you are looking for is Karle Fried. She does great work of families and especially children. She captures her subjects vividly. Take a look at her web site where she has some of her pictures. The site is Her phone number is 510-593-8895. Ronna

My family had a great time with the photographer Maurice Ramirez. We hired him for a shoot when my daughter was 16 months old. His studio is located in Alameda. We did a studio shoot and then went outside to a local park for more pictures. He had a lot of ideas on placement and is defiantly an artist. He doesn\x92t work with props so much, so he really captured the natural side of our family as we interacted with each other. His assistant is fantastic and loves kids. I would definitely use him again to further document our family as my daughter grows. KG

We just had a great experience with a photographer. Her name is Aimee Heinzelman, and she was awesome. She came to our house and took pictures while we played in the yard and garden with our 2 and 4 year old. She took tons of shots - mostly while we were just hanging out, and some that needed some gentle posing (like she'd say, can you look over this way, etc.). It took about 1- 1.5 hours, and we have a lot of really really beautiful pictures - our kids alone, grownups alone, whole family, etc. She gave us a disk of the pictures, and we'll print the shots we want. The whole thing was very inexpensive - and there's no way we could have gotten our kids to sit still in a studio. She can be contacted at avandragt [at] Nerissa

Ralph Granich took our family portraits a few years ago and we were very pleased with his work, as well as working with him. I initially saw his work after he did some photography at our child's preschool. He's particularly good at photographing kids and capturing a sense of their personality. CC

hi Amber, You have to check out Karle Fried's web site, It sounds like she is actually what you are looking for. She captures kids and families as they really are and the results are beautiful, candid, real memories of your family. You will love her. Also check this link on about Karle. karle fried photography karle [at]

Eliot Khuner does a good job of capturing children at play, rather than posed shots, and takes some great photos. Visit for more info, or contact him at 888-933-3456. Talia

I can highly recommend Amy Perl: She did our wedding in 2004, and has a wonderful eye. The photos she took there of my young nephews are priceless. She has a great manner with kids (and adults too!). She's friendly and professional and very easy to work with - her website will give you a good overview of her talents. She does a ton of work with families and kids. Good luck! Maggie

I have a wonderful photographer for you. Her name is Ruth Woodruff. She is professional, kind and great with capturing kids in different settings. She took photos at my child's school and they were amazing, very natural and artistic. I know families who have had her take photos and have been very, very happy. Check out her website You will not be disappointed. cara

We just took some family photos at a park in Oakland with photographer Barbara Jerabek who we absolutely loved! She is this charismatic woman who has this great energy to her and makes you so comfortable that the shots come so naturally. She goes to a site with you and meets with you anywhere from 45 min to 1.5 hours. She'll take a ton of photos, edit them, and the great thing is that she turns over all the edited photos to you so you can develop them into prints, holiday cards, photo books, etc. Best of all, she charges $150 to do all this. We plan on going to her from now on for our annual family shots instead of a studio. Her website with contact info is Good luck! Carolina

May 2008

I am looking for a lifestyle photographer -- someone who will come to our house and take great candid shots of everyday life with our newborn baby. Cara

You could not find a better photographer for candid, lifestyle shots of your family and baby than Courteney Coolidge. She has photographed my children twice and we definitely plan to use her services again in the future. She had such a wonderful connection with my daughter (4) and son (10 months at the time), I couldn't believe what wonderful shots she got. And she is a technical pro. The black and whites are beautiful, and the color very rich. All with natural light. My brother and aunt are both photographers and both were very impressed with Courteney's work. I spent a lot of time looking for a photographer before I found Courteney because I wanted someone who could do candid shots as well as portraits, and she has extensive experience doing documentary photography of families. Take a look at her website: Another great thing is that you get to own the negatives (or digital media) and can make your own prints, rather than having to buy prints ! from the photographer. And you get a proof of every image. My only regret is that I didn't get photos of my daughter when she was a baby! Lynne

I cannot recommend David BanksKong highly enough. He did our wedding photos, shots of our baby at 3 months, and recently shots of the whole family at Tilden Botanical Garden. He has great, creative ideas for settings and poses and he makes you feel comfortable, and the results are really beautiful--candid but flattering too. Check out his website: We're having a baby in July and will DEFINITELY hire David again. A satisfied customer

May 2008

My extended family will be gathering in the town of Napa in June to celebrate my mom's birthday. We'd like to have a photographer come to the house where we'll be staying to take relaxed, fun, outdoor photos of the whole family. We'll be 8 adults and 6 kids between the ages of 1 and 5, and would like to spend no more than about 45 minutes shooting on a weekend morning. Can anyone recommend a photographer in Napa, or one in the East Bay who is willing to travel there? (It's less than an hour's drive from Berkeley -- we will of course pay travel time or mileage or whatever works.) Thanks in advance. Katie

I would like to highly recommend Paige Green, she is a wonderful photographer based out of Petaluma. You can view her blog, which has many of her fabulous photos here: her email is: paigephotography [at]

Steven bollman at took beautiful photos at a recent family event of ours. I highly recommend him. He did a great job of not being intrusive and yet capturing great moments as well as taking some more ''formal'' shots when asked. He uses a digital camera so everything is on line and ready for you. his rates were very competitive and he was really nice to work with. You can reach him at 415-730-3830.

Feb 2008

I am looking for a good photographer for a family portrait, to be taken outdoors in a beautiful garden. We are planning to do this on February 17, so being able to make it happen even in slightly inclement weather is a plus- as is still having this date available! susan

I would like to recommend Eliot Kuhner. He photographed my family at a local park. We liked the photo so much we used it for our Christmas card. I got lots of feedback from people saying it was the nicest photo they got this year (subjects not withstanding). eliot [at] 888.933.3456 Denise

I hired Eliot Khuner to photograph my family and he is excellent both with making you feel relaxed and getting well-composed professional-looking photos. He is the author of the Everything Photography Book and he really knows his stuff. You can see samples at his website at His phone is 524.3569. Stu

I highly recommend Courteney Coolidge Photography. Her portraits of families really capture the fun, love, and warmth of parents and children, and are absolutely stunning. Her website is worth a thousand of my words, Her style is very warm and friendly, and i know she does all she can to help her clients feel absolutely comfortable during the shoot. I loved being photographed by her and i know she is continuously listed in the BPN archives. Anjuli

We have a great photographer who has done our family portraits for several years now, and specializes in shooting outdoors. Her name is Pamela Zacharias; her website is We love working with her - she's fun, funny, and takes great photos that really capture the people she's shooting. Highly recommended! Lisa

We just had some pictures taken of our children about two months ago by happenstance photography out of San Francisco. The pictures more than met my expectations they where absolutly amazing and breath taking. Maria did an incredible job and the kids just loved her, she related to them very well and got them to enjoy the photo session which was really nice for me. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to do family or kid portraits. Her website is wolfgang

I would highly recommend Christina Hernandez, a photojournalist for the SF Chronicle, for 12 years. She created a relaxed, candid environment, which we wanted, in a nearby park. She'll do beautiful black and white or color and does fine art style as well, or day-in-the-life photo essay. She just sent me a link to the SF Magazine she the main spread for. Check out her editorial website: 510 338 2997 Good luck! Chris

Sept 2007

I'm looking for a photographer to take some pictures of my 8 month old with my husband and I. We'd like both black and white and color, and for the photographer to have experience working with babies. We're not looking to spend a ton of money (ie, like what we spent for our wedding shots!) and we'd like to keep all of the digital files (so I guess that means that we'd like the photographer to use a digital camera). Does anyone have any recommendations? Thank you! JM

I highly recommend Linda Hanson. Check out her site at

For the person looking for an experienced, not too expensive photographer to shoot digital prints of her 8 month old and partner, I wanted to recommend our favorite photographer in the East Bay, Ruth Woodruff. Ruth brings a wealth of experience and talent, and has often captured images of my children with their most intimate expressions. She's a genius at guiding sessions in a way that we felt directed, but not controlled, and is flexible with timing sessions around our schedule. Ruth is also a wizard with touch ups, miraculously ''fixing'' areas of an image that otherwise might have ruined a great picture. Her sense of humor helped to put my husband at ease, and he hates to have his picture taken. If this sounds like the kind of photographer you have in mind, but still need further convincing, check out her website at Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. Mary

Try Eliot Khuner. He photographed my family and he has a gentle way of working with people and an eye for great composition. He uses digital and I'm sure he can provide both color and B phone 524.3569 website Stuart Courtney Coolidge does excellent's the link to her website. aroth

Contact Shoey Sindel at 510-917-0659 or photos [at] She's great!!! And if you schedule a family portrait before Oct. 31 you also receive 25 personalized greeting cards... as a gift. dearsooz

I would like to recommend Courteney Coolidge. She took some wonderful pictures of my daughter and her friends. She gives you the digital images so you can do whatever you want with them. I highly recommend her! She has a website where you can see some of her work. She is awesome! I have recommended her to some people and they were also very happy. Happy with awesome photos!

Hi. shoe [at] ie the email of this really relaxed and fun photographer. She even made my pesky teenager relax and smile for the family shoot. We got both black and white, and color photos and they really are amazing! I've also seen some of her baby and pregnant mom pictures..gorgeous! Anyway, I'd recommend her and use her again for affordable and professional family shoots. Maybe just call and chat with her about your vision. She'a a kick, you'll like her(510) 917-0659

Shoey Sindel, 510-917-0659, is a great family and portrait photographer. She took stunning photos of my kids and of me when I was pregnant, both in color and black and white. The kids really enjoyed posing for her, and the photos turned out simply fantastic. Call her. JoAnne

May 2007

I'm looking for a photographer to take a family photo. I'd like to find someone who could take the photo outdoors, at our house or a park. I want something where we look natural and relaxed. I would like to spend bt $100-$200 for the session. I'm hoping for one good photo, not one hundred. I checked the archives and the last recommendations are from a couple years back. amy

I highly recommend Tracey Prever ( in Danville. We have had two sessions with her over the last several years--portraits of both of my daughters (between ages 1 and 4), as well as our two dogs and my husband and myself. She has a studio in downtown Danville, but does on-site work as well. We had outdoor sessions done both times (once in the spring/Danville and once in the fall/Lafayette) with great results. If you have particular spots you want to use--great. If not, she has lots of wonderful suggestions, depending on the time of year. She is friendly, thoughtful, low-key, a mother of young children (so she understands their temperments), accommodating and a perfectionist (to her clients' benefit). I have recommended her to a friend of mine who was very happy with her studio session results. Suzy

I noticed several individuals are looking a for a photographer. I would like to recommend Russeul Foote. He takes awesome photos, captures the real person, is personable. He had photographed my wedding and the photos were awesome. He does all kinds of photography. Check out his website: Here is information if you want to contact him: Russell Foote Photography 22789 Foothill Blvd. Hayward, CA 94541 Telephone: 510-581-7159 Fax: 510-581-7125 E-mail: footerussell [at] Cindy

I'd like to recommend Monica Michelle for any pictures. She recently took pix. of my children. They came out amazingly! She directed us to meet at a local park and had scouted out some nice spots. She's got great energy and is very easy and pleasant. Check out her web site: Happy with my pix

Susan Louie is an amazing photographer, fairly priced and one of the kindest people that I have ever met! I highly recommend her. onika

Elisabeth Benjamin is a fantastic photographer with a long history as a documentary filmmaker. She is a grandmother and takes incredible photos of children and families. She took photos for our wedding and caught moments and expressions that were absolutely priceless. She is very affordable and will definitely capture your family on film for sure and you barely notice she's there. Her number is 510-277-0665. Karen

May 2007

I am looking for a photographer who can take a family photos of our whole family- grandparents, 3 sets of parents and 4 children (weeks old to 3 years)....while everyone is together celebrating my parents 50th anniversary at my Berkeley home. Any suggestions? nyinsf

Looking for a photographer? Eliot Khuner is great! He captures your soul! 888-933-3456 eliot[at] Good luck! Karen

Susan Louie is an amazing photographer, fairly priced and one of the kindest people that I have ever met. I highly recommend her! www.susanlouiephotos[at]

Elisabeth Benjamin is a fantastic photographer with a long history as a documentary filmmaker. She is a grandmother and takes incredible photos of children and families. She took photos for our wedding and caught moments and expressions that were absolutely priceless. She is very affordable and will definitely capture your family on film for sure and you barely notice she's there. Her number is 510-277-0665. Karen

I highly recommend my friend Lea Delson, a photographer in Berkeley, for the portraits of your extended family. She takes great photos of families and children that reveal personalities and show the warmth among family members. Her gentle, creative and enthusiastic approach brings out the best in her subjects. She works well with both children and adults. Her outdoor portraits are especially lovely. She's also great at photographing events and makes beautiful albums. She's photographed many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and other events locally. Her photos can be seen at and she can be reached at (510) 528-6725. Ellen S

2005 - 2006 Reviews

October 2006

I am looking for a photographer who takes good photo journalism type shots for some family pictures. I'm hoping to find someone reasonable. The wedding photographers are soooo expensive. Does anyone know any budding photographers who would like the work and the experience? bonnie

Hello, Bonnie. I highly recommend that you talk to Cathy Cade (510.251.2774, cathy[at], and/or Anita Medal (510.845.8105, anitaphoto[at], They are both fabulous family photographers. Talk candidly to either of them about your budget. A few photos from either of them would be incomparably more valuable to you over time than a larger number from a less-experienced photographer. A photo Cathy took of me and my baby son 24 years ago still takes my breath away. Best wishes ann

I'd like to recommend Pregnancy & Family Photographer Adina Meastas, she is just beyond talented! She has photographed my family several times and I could not be happier with her work. She knows how to interact with clients to produce photogenic, natural results and make you feel completely comfortable in front of the camera. She also photographs pregnancy, children, weddings and more. She just really produces beautiful work! We recommend her to all our friends. Her info: Photography by Adina Meastas B. Concha

October 2006

Can anyone recommend a good photographer for family/child photos? We're interested in finding someone who takes great candid shots (as opposed to really formal studio portraits). Ideally we'd like to be able to purchase the digital images and/or negatives for a reasonable price Thanks

Mark Estes is a wonderful photographer. Estes Photo. 510-653- 8950. mark[at] Kimberly W

Sam Deaner takes fabulous documentary style photographs of kids. She followed mine around our yard and a local park for 2 hours taking pictures of them while playing and running around. We did a couple of sit-down-portrait type shots, but even these were very spontaneous. I don't think she would sell her negatives or images to you, but I think that is standard for a professional photographer (maybe I'm wrong). You can reach her at 504-4434 or sammydeaner[at] Liz O.

Terry Riggins, a local photographer and parent in the Orinda school system, donated pictures of all 5th graders to our child's school auction last year. I helped her get the kids ready and take the pix. She was wonderful with them, creative about using the natural environment and light available, and each package of pictures included a CD with all the photos. The pictures of our son were terrific and really captured his spark. I'd hire her in a heartbeat for family photos. She can be reached at rigginsphoto[at], or at 925-253-1658. Glorietta mom

Our family friend Loren Weltsch is great with kids and families at very reasonable prices. We recently did a shoot with my brother- and sister-in-law and their kids and our son, and she gave each family one set of prints, a CD with all the photos and a collage of some of the better photos.

I would like to suggest Karle Fried. Her work is brilliant. It is atypical, haunting, and gorgeous. Minimalist and art-inspired. It captures the infinite range of emotions, not just ''someone ticked me and ran out of the frame'' giddiness. True childhood magic.

She is not cheap, but is worth every penny. It's been a while but I think she charged us $350, including unlimited printing to several images.

She was classicaly trained. Her lighting techniques are stunning. Her portraits are on the walls of master photographers, celebrities and regular folk alike. I can't say enough. She can be reached at 510.593.8895. Check her site Impressed Mom

i want to recommend dean bradley (zdbradley[at] or 510/517-1154) for pet/kid/family photos. you can see some of her pet photos (poster size) in the windows of the store on the corner of university & san pablo. she has done at least four sessions with my family since my 3-year old was born, and we've been thrilled each time.

dean uses digital equipment, and she has been willing to just hand over the images we wanted after our sessions (she's flexible). her sitting fee is $150+ --and she'll come to you at your home or favorite outside space (light/weather permitting). please email dean to see samples of her work. jenny j

June 2006

As a Mother's Day gift my parents have offered to pay to have some photos taken of our 9 month old. We'd also like to get some family portraits taken at the same time. I've looked at the reviews on the website and found that most of the photographers listed seem to work mostly in black & white. We're looking for someone that works primarily in color and on location rather than in a studio (although we are hoping to get a few b and studio shots as well). Since we're not limited by budget, who would you recommend as ''the best'' given our style preferences. Lia

I have used Russell Foote in Hayward. He is very good with kids and has both a studio and can come to your location Juliet

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am with my photographer! I live in Walnut Creek and she also resides and works here. If you are open to coming out this way, Laura is the one to talk to! Here is her website: Her name is Laura Cottril and her phone is 925-465-4466. I have had maternity photos, newborn, two year old and four year old shots done. She has done more formal poses but her favorite thing to do is let the kids just be kids and see where it takes them. She works from her home and has a backyard that doesn't look like much but turns out wonderful photos. She will also go on location and I think is pretty open as to where. She does color and black and white. She has two young children and really has a way with kids. I could go on and on about her! She is wonderful!! Her sitting fee is around $200-250 and her photos aren't cheap, but definitely in the range of others. People ask me all the time who did my photos and I truly feel that this time in their life is priceless. She is able to capture my children in such a wonderful way! Call her! Samantha

Rudi Halbright (Rudih[at] tel 655 2633is an excellent photographer who works in color. His creations adorn our hallways. metaorna

I highly recommend Jim Fidelibus of James Brian Studios, with whom we have been working for all major life events since our engagement more than 10 years ago. He is in Walnut Creek, but will come on location. Really FUN to work with but also an excellent, experienced photographer. Find him at Linda

Jonathan Payne of Jonathan Payne Photography works in digital, so does both color and black and white. He doesn't have a studio, he did my kids at a park, and the pictures were great. He has three kids of his own and is very good getting the kids relaxed to photograph. Sally F

I can highly recommend Anna Kaminska who is a talented photographer for families and children. The photos she has taken of my family are much treasured, and I have seen a series she did of a class of children, capturing the spirit of each child in an amazing way. She has 3 children herself and is able to put even shy kids at ease right away. She works in color as well as black and white. You may contact her by e-mail at kamvera[at] ym

Jonathan Payne does amazing work in black & white and color: He can do both or one or the other. Although we didn't use her (yet), I was also impressed with Heather Whiting's work: She is also incredibly nice. Both can come to your home or choice of photo shoot location Catherine

We highly recommend Jonathan Payne. He takes digital photos which means you can choose color or b for any photo and that you aren't limited by the number of photos he takes. He doesn't tend to do a ton of posed photos, but rather uses more of a photo journalism style. We've done 4 shoots with him (we bought a Year in the Life package for our daughter's first year) and now that she's two, have what we hope to be an annual occurence scheduled. He also has photos up in the window at Cotton and Company in Rockridge. Michelle

I highly recommend Valerie Kippen for photos of your family. She came to our house, worked with available light and got some truly amazing photos of our whole family. She works in digital, so you can see the photos in color or black and white. She donated a gift certificate to a school auction (which I love) and she was very nice to work with. Katia

My husband Chris Roberts has his own photography business and is happy to meet you on location at your home or in a nearby park. He loves child and family portrait photography, and the majority of the photos he takes are in color (although black and white is always an option). He works with professional digital cameras, which means that clients are able to see the photo samples within days of the photography shoot. He uploads the photos to a password-protected gallery where you can review the prints and order any combination in any size you like. You can find out more about his photography service Norcal Photo at or give him a call anytime for more information at 510-921-3946. Good Luck! Brenda

Amy Perl is an amazing photographer that works in color. Her website is: She does private sessions, but I've gone to her twice for these more affordable 15'' sessions she does at Crackerjacks consignment store several times a year. The last time we went we had one set done in B, and another set done in color. The quality and natural feel of her photos are great. ebba

We used our wedding photographer for our son's one-year shots. She also did family shots for us (his b-day is close to the holidays). Her name is Stephanie Pool. Her website is she charged us around $300.00 for the photos and gave us 100+ proofs (she also will give us our negatives and we get to keep all the proofs). We asked for a mix of color and black and white, and got good representation of both. She met us at our house and we drove to the waterfall area of Jaoquin Miller Park for the photos, but she said we could do studio shots too. You can contact her for further details. kukana

I could not recommend Courteney Coolidge Photography more highly. Courteney's website is mostly black and white although the shoot she did for us was almost all in color. In fact, I think she does most of her shoots in both black and white and color. She makes any family look gorgeous - her photography is super creative and fresh - far from the studio look. Her website speaks for itself. http:// Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about her work or her style. Courteney has an amazing ability to make kids feel at ease so you get really natural shots and it's actually fun! Tracy G

Hello- In response to your request for a portrait photographer, I highly recommend ArtVisions Portraiture. I think Kirstin's been photographing for over 20 years and she does exceptional professional photographs. Her work is stunning. She places photographs on canvas, stone and even makes watercolors out of them. Or just does regular printing. I cherish (both my black and white and) my color photographs. The colors are rich and vibrant and her black & white is done well. If you really want a piece of art, I think she is the only one to call. Some of my friends have used her too and they are beyond happy. Her work is very special. She's also extremely kind and sweet with children - just a very good person. Don't expect bargain prices - she works hard to create her photography. I see that she devotes many hours to each client she works with from beginning to end (not to mention what things must cost her--I run my own business and I know!) She did something miraculous for my family because everyone looked young and sparkly again. If my child had drool or bruises or whatever that I wanted taken out, she includes that in the price already. I know that she frames too. She has a great play area for your children while you look at her work. Her studio is beautiful. It's near Chez Panisse in North Berkeley. I can't say enough about her work!! http:// 510-848-5450 anonymous

Loren Weltsch did our wedding photos--which we were very happy with--and does kids and families too. She takes great photos at very reasonable rates. Usually outdoors. Color and black/white. loren[at]

May 2006

I am looking for someone to take some family portraits. I left messages with several of the recommendations from the website but haven't gotten any return calls! Can someone recommend a good professional photographer? thanks kb

Hi, I'd like to recommend Shoey Sindel (c_sindel[at] She's great with kids and takes wonderful photos jamie

Anita Medal creates fabulous portraits. I recommend that you call her and take a look at her work. 510-845-8105 Julie P

I have a wonderful photographer. They are a husband and wife team. They were our wedding photographer and also do family portraits. Patricia does fabulous work and they both ahve such great warm personalities. Her website is Patricia France and her website is We are going to have them do our family portrait this year for our annual Christmas cards. Let me know if you have any questions about her work. Jennifer jennifer.g

I highly recommend Inga Heuser. She does beautiful work, in both color and black and white. She has great ideas about where to shoot the photos, (we went to the merry-go-round!) Or, she has a great studio in the Montclair Hills. She is easy to work with, and her work is top quality. Check out her website at or call her at 800.822-1428 Susan

Hi, I can highly recommend Shoey Sindel for family photography. She has done both candids and portraits of my daughters, and we were very pleased with the photos, but even more with her great approach with our kids, creating a warm, fun environment. And I can guarantee that she'll call you back! Here is her contact info: shoeysindel[at]; phone 510.917.0659 Cheers, pc

I would highly reccomend Pia Navales-Cook as a family photographer. In May 2006, she photographed our family of four at our home -- and I believe she really captured our family's personality. The photographs turned out absolutely beautiful. I think she is comprable, if not cheaper, than other photographers out there. She charges $60 per roll of film -- and if you choose to do what I did and buy each roll of film on disc ($200/roll) -- then you can easily print out your pictures at a high quality pretty much anywhere (I used We in fact loved Pia's work so much and her friendly easy going demeanor -- that she will be photographing my parents, two brothers and their families, and my family (there's 12 of us in all) in just a few short weeks. Besides doing family photos, she also does ''belly shots'' (pregnancy), kids pictures, and portraits. Reach her at 387-7927 or pianavales.cook AT gmail dot com. Paz

2003 - 2004 Reviews

April 2003

My mother & sister will be staying with me for a week from April 18th. We would like to get a 3 generation portrait taken (2 yrs- 60yrs.) Ideally, the photographer would be in the Concord/Pleasant Hill area. I've looked in the archives and would appreciate recommendations. Thank you. KB

Hi, I recently hired Fernando Aguila to take pics of me and my two kids. I was really pleased with the results, and his rates were quite reasonable. He gave me a CD with all of the pictures on it, which was great. I'd definitely recommend him. I don't know if he works in your area, but you could give him a try. He's posted in this newsletter a few times and I believe his website is Good luck- Jennifer

There is a photographer that I used and she is absolutely amazing. Her name is Patricia Kingsley and she can be reached at (415) 203-8423 or patriciaATpatriciakingsleyDOTcom Take a look at her stuff at Although in SF, I am sure she will travel and again, she is the best. Vincent

I highly recommend Courteney Coolidge to take your family portraits. You can see some of her work on She is an extremely talented photographer and a close friend -- she photographed our wedding and the pictures were amazing. She works in Point Richmond and I'm sure she would be happy to travel to your home for the photo session. Her email is cmcoolidgeATaolDOTcom.

I have a wonderful photographer to recommend: Wentling Studios in Concord. They are on Colfax right off Willow Pass Road. Their number is: 925.685.7760. They have a fantastic way with kids and are great with adults as well. Please tell them that I sent you! Melissa Heller

Check out for family shots. You can see the wedding work at and commercial work at a much photographed family

Fernando Aguila takes wonderful photos of families and babies. He lives in Oakland but is willing to travel pretty much anywhere in the Bay Area. Check out his portfolio at and html. Carrie

Tracey Prever (a good friend) is a great portrait photographer located in Danville. Please look at her web site portfolio listed below and call her with any questions.
Tracey Prever Photography Traditional & Digital On- Site Photography Phone: 925-837-5804 Fax: 925-837-1604 E-mail: photosATtraceypreverDOTcom WEB SITE PORTFOLIO: Portfolio.Com Page:

If you're interested in some beautiful but affordable black and white candid photos of your baby or kids, this is a good deal. Andreina Febres, a photography student, comes to your home and captures your child in his or her natural environment with or without the whole family in the picture. Her rates are less than half of what most photographers charge since she develops even the big the pictures by herself, rather than sending them out to a studio. Very good with babies. I wish I had a scanner to put up on the web the pictures she took of our family, but you can always meet and see her portfolio. email her at: andreinafebresATyahooDOTcom

2002 & Earlier


Regarding the request for a photographer, my sister and I used a great photographer who does do color and black and white. We used him for our weddings, but he also did a black and white portrait for each of us and our husbands. At my sister's wedding, he did just a ton of portraits of all her guests that came out great. If you'd like to reach him, his name is Craig Merrill and he's in Alameda. I don't have the number, sorry. But I would think he's listed. Good luck.

I can't recommend highly enough Stephanie Tabachnikoff (Oakland). She is a wonderfully skilled photographer with an artist's eye and a warmth that enables her to truly capture the essence as well as the image of people and relationships. You can reach her at fuff AT

I had the most incredible pictures taken by Tami DeSellier in San Francisco. She specialized in children. You get one and half hours and two rolls of film. You can join your child or children in the photo. She is so good at capturing the babies different expressions. I have never seen pictures like hers. Several friends have gone and been as equally happy. It is slightly expensive, but well worth it. I recommend black and white.

From: Karen

This is in response to the person looking for a photographer to do portraits that is something between Sears and Sarber's. I can recommend a photographer who recently took our family portrait. He was great. We got a lot of good pictures to pick from (including a couple of great ones of just our son), and he is really good with kids. (He used to teach in a Montessori preschool). He doesn't have a studio -- he came to our house and set up all his lights and stuff. (He lives in Oakland). He's very reasonable and a very nice guy. You should be very specific about what your'e looking for though just the make sure that he can do what you have in mind. His first name is Stu (Stuart)-- I can't remember is last name off-hand. His phone number is 510-336-0345.

From: Gloria

We used Jamie Westdal for our family portrait. We took several poses with the whole clan (grandparents, uncles, aunts, in-laws, kids and infant) in both black and white and color. My sister's proofs looked great. Unfortunately, when the one proof was blown up, my brother in law's eyes were closed. I was surprised that Jamie did not notice the error and still tried to sell the picture to my sister. The pictures with the whole entire family turned out well. I was not happy with our family picture which included our 7 week old infant. I think she ran out of patience by the time we posed for the pictures with our infant.

I have mixed feelings about her work. I don't think she did anything too creative with our family. I was disappointed because her portfolio looked great. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

From: Linnea

If you're interested in an excellent and creative photo (black and white or color), try Claudia Marseille Photography. She was previously located for a number of years on San Pablo near Cedar in Berkeley; she's now in Oakland. Her fee is $200 for a sitting. I haven't had a photo done by her but have seen her work, and knew her when she was a student on campus years ago. Very creative and talented. 595-1144