Category Archives: Family Portraits

Family Portraits at Crab Cove – Alameda, CA Portrait Photography

Family Portrait at Crab Cove

One of my favorite locations in Alameda for family portrait photography is Crab Cove. This is especially true for families with young children, as there is plenty of onsite parking, and a large, safe area for the kids to explore while getting their photos taken. As a photographer, I appreciate the wide variety of backgrounds available in close proximity to each other. This means we can make the most of our session time by taking lots of photos without having to spend much time walking to various locations in order to get a variety of backgrounds.

Alameda Family Portrait Session

Fall Season Family Portraits

Crab Cove is a great place to shoot year round – this session took place during the Fall season, after most of the leaves had fallen from the trees. We took advantage of this, and let the kids have some play time with the leaves, which we, of course, captured in their photos!

Kids playing in leaves photo

For families who can’t decide if they want to do their family portraits near the water, with the trees, or in a grassy park setting, Crab Cove is a great choice!

Outdoor Family Portrait Brothers photo Family Portrait by Clayton J Mitchell Photography

Dramatic Family Portrait Session at Gray Whale Cove, near Pacifica, CA

With a high fashion concept, and super dramatic location, we knew that this family portrait session was going to be amazing. The photographs did not disappoint! We met at Gray Whale Cove on an overcast afternoon, which acted as a natural soft box to give us a very flattering light. As promised, the family showed up dressed to the nines. Their impeccable styling combined with the breathtaking landscape was the perfect recipe for some pretty amazing family portraits!black and white family photo Family portrait Pacifica CA fun family photos SF Bay Area dramatic family portraits Pacifica CA

During the shoot we photographed the entire family, some of just the kids, as well as some striking portraits of mom and dad!

youth lifestyle photography dramatic couples portraits in the San Francisco Bay Area couples photography black and white childrens portraits black and white couples portrait

We continued the shoot through dusk and were rewarded with high drama, vivid imagery.

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We love ending our family portrait sessions with a little unscripted fun time where everyone can get their silly on. 🙂

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Urban Family Portraits with Pets – Alameda, CA

When this family contacted us about shooting a family portrait they knew they wanted to shoot outdoors and have photos with a modern, urban vibe like an old brick wall or graffiti wall. Our studio just so happens to be in a neighborhood like that, so we met at the studio and shot at a few different spots along the block.


We love dogs so we were really excited when they mentioned they wanted to bring their Silky Terrier Snowy along to include in the family portrait!

This shoot was a lot of fun, and we had a good time playing with the variety of background options on our block!

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Pet Photography and Family Portraits – Oakland, CA

We consider our dog Lola to be a pretty important member of the family, so we definitely love it when our clients dogs take part in the family portrait session. We recently did a pet and family portrait session starring an extremely adorable senior whippet in Oakland.pet_photography_oakland family_portraits_with_dogs_oakland dog_photography_whippet oakland_pet_photography


It really does not get any cuter than this.

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Family Portraits in Benicia, CA

family portrait by gazebo in Benicia CA

We recently had the chance to shoot again with one of our favorite families. For the past 4 years we have done a Fall season shoot with these guys, and it was great to see them again and see how much the kids have grown! This year we went to a park in downtown Benicia, then moved to the nearby fishing pier for the second half of the shoot.

kids jumping at the park Benicia CA family portrait kids running at the playground girl at the park boy looking up at the camerafamily portrait at the pier Benicia CA family portrait at twilight Benicia CA

Urban Vintage Family Portraits in Oakland

Gritty. Urban. Retro. Chic. These are not usually the words you’d associate with family portraits, but for this family, they are a perfect fit.

gritty urban elegance family portrait near MacArthur maze

The Dallas family wanted artistic family photographs that juxtaposed a gritty, urban environment against their elegant formal wear and I am very excited about how the photos turned out! It is always really fun to work with someone who has a creative vision of how they imagine their perfect family portrait, and be able to coax and refine that into the final images, while also putting my artistic mark on them.

I scoped out locations in advance of their session and we spent time in Emeryville and Oakland along Mandela Parkway and underneath the MacArthur Maze.

gritty urban retro chic family photography in Emeryville

Our homage to Abbey Road

elegant family on the train tracks Emeryville

The first half of the session had a very urban vagabond feel to it as we were using major transportation landmarks as our backdrop. We accentuated this by using vintage trunks and suitcases, as well as smaller props for posing and to enhance the scene.

retro glamour family portraits emeryville

teen wearing a vest and tie in front of a mural in Oakland   urban chic teen cheering on the train tracks

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We spent the second half of the session off Mandela Parkway exploring an urban garden and areas surrounding American Steel Studios.

elegant family in an urban garden off Mandela Parkway timeless modern family photos  urban garden family photography

photo of a girl wearing a black dress and pearls holding a shell kids wearing formal wear in an industrial setting Urban family photography Oakland family portrait behind American Steel Studios Oakland

My favorite shoots are the ones where we get to step out of the traditional family portrait box and create beautiful artistic images with a timeless feel, and this session with the Dallas family definitely qualifies! We had a great time hanging out with this beautiful family and I think we really captured their individual personalities in these images. I love shooting out on location and having the opportunity to take advantage of our fantastic Bay Area weather and all of the beautiful locations. While the locations we chose for this shoot are non-traditional, they were an absolutely perfect match for this wonderfully unconventional family.

What do you think of these urban-chic photographs? We love hearing from you, so please let us know in the comments!


Family Portrait at Oakland Lake Merritt

Family portrait in Oakland Garden

One of the most rewarding things about being a portrait photographer is working with families year after year and seeing the kids grow and change from year to year. We recently met with this lovely family for what has become our annual photo session with them at The Gardens at Lake Merritt in Oakland. This was our 3rd springtime session with them, and as usual we had a great time keeping up with this energetic family!

children having fun on a bench Oakland couples photography Father and daughter mother and daughter

Sausalito, CA Family Portrait Session

One of the perks of being a photographer is you never have the same day twice. One of the perks of being a photographer in the SF Bay Area is that we have an amazing and endless supply of locations to shoot at. We recently did a shoot with this gorgeous family in Sausalito and took advantage of the beautiful light and scenery to get these fun and dynamic shots.

Cavallo Point Family Photo

Family Photo with Mom and Teens Sausalito California

Mother daughter photography Sausalito California

Golden Gate Bridge Family Portrait

Fall Family Portraits – Benicia, CA

By November, “Fall Family Portrait” season is in full swing! The usual hustle and bustle of Back to School has eased up as everyone settles into their schedule, and we finally have a moment to look forward to the upcoming holidays. For a lot of families this means getting together to take a photo for this year’s holiday card.

Classic Family Portrait

Silhouette and Shadow

As you can see, this family likes to get fun and creative!

It’s been a lot of fun seeing how the kids have grown and changed over the past three years we’ve done their family pictures. I love how they have coordinated their look without being too matchy-matchy. We did their photo shoot at the Benicia State Recreation Area – a gorgeous park with great views of the Carquinez Strait!

Running Boy

Sometimes you have to be fast to keep up with these kids!

Kids Playing at Benicia Shoreline

Anything can be a see-saw, apparently.

Girl Playing in a TreeQuirky Black and White Family Portrait

As you can see, we got a great range of fun pictures for them to send back to their family in Iceland!  Already looking forward to seeing how much more the kids have grown by this time next year.

Family Portraits at The Gardens at Lake Merritt – Oakland, CA Portrait Photography

It’s really wonderful to work with a family over time and see how everyone grows, changes, and yet is still exactly the same over time. We met this lovely family last year, when there were only three of them, and caught up with them earlier this month to meet their newest addition!

garden at lake merrit family photo

Because everyone had such a great time here last year we shot again at the Gardens at Lake Merritt, which is definitely one of our favorite spots in Oakland for a photo shoot. And we got to meet this little cutie who is just so perfect she doesn’t even need funny hats or fancy headbands to look adorable.

garden at lake merrit family photo

We love shooting at the Gardens because there’s so much variety here, so there’s something for everyone. And, no matter what time of year it is there is always something gorgeous in bloom. The paths are wide and neat so there’s plenty of room for the kids to run and play. It’s also just really fun having your photo session be a walk through a beautiful park!

mother holding her baby

Oakland, CA child photography Oakland, CA child photography