Family Portraits

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

retro gritty industrial urban child photography

gritty and elegant family portrait under freeway overpass modern vagabonds urban family photo

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!


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