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Dylan and Chloe. Belmont Newborn Photographer.

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Meet Chloe and her brand new baby brother, Dylan – aka, my newest friends. I am beside myself with how sweet and wonderful this family is, and it’s sessions such as this one that make me wonder how I got so lucky to be documenting people’s stories for a living. In session planning, I always ask if the parents if there is anything special they’d like to incorporate into some of the images. I come with props of my own, but they don’t always tell the story of the family like personal pieces do. In this case, Mom was born in Africa and had three truly incredible and special items she wanted incorporated. One was her kikoi (striped cotton cloth) that she herself was wrapped in as a toddler, second was a beautiful ceramic bowl that used to hold the fresh milk from the local cows that she drank when she was little, and lastly, one of her African baskets that is full of wonderful textures and colors. Dad is a surfer, so the obvious statement there was his surfboard – babies and surfboards? Of course they go together! Especially when Dad is involved. So incredibly sweet and symbolic. Not only was their session down to earth and lovely, but the imagery truly captures who they are and what they are about. This is probably the best session I’ve had that shows how successful using objects that mean something to the family can be, and I will reference it for others going forward.

And Chloe – Miss Chloe. She has to be the most articulate and wise 3 year old I have ever met. Already reading and fully engaged in the world and completely in love with her little brother. My time with her was so special. She completely lights up rooms and hearts! I loved reading with her, and also think she has amazing taste in dresses. Baby Dylan has got it made with such a unique and loving family. He himself is such a handsome little man who was so good for us. He let us wrap him in furry leopard blankets, put him in beautiful bowls and wrap him in mommy’s special kikoi, among so many other fun setups we did. I know in the future these images will mean a lot to him, and Mom and Dad, I hope they mean a lot to you. Thank you, friends, for the honor of being invited into your home to tell your story.

(music by Bright Eyes)

  • Lisa Vicars - Sincere congratulations, Anne, on your beautiful, tender and loving photographs, which I know will be cherished by my sister Sofi and her family. I hope you are as proud as you can be of such a meaningful, positive contribution during an emotionally charged time of a family’s history, literally allowing them to see themselves in the best light possible. Blessed are those who enjoy their work! LisaReplyCancel

  • douglas franke - So amazing how much Chloe looks like the first time I met Sophie I think she was about the same age.
    Beautiful pictures…. Favorite would have to be above shot with Chloe’s feet.
    And surfboard with ted in a beanie, lovin on the boyReplyCancel

Gina’s Story

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Who are you? Do you truly know? Have you stepped into your own light and created yourself to be who you were truly meant to be? On the surface, it appears to me that Ms. Gina Perkins sure has – and on an intuitive level, I have absolutely no doubt that she has not only stepped into her own light, but that she has become a lighthouse for others – in more ways than one. I am humbled and honored to share Gina’s story.

Loving mommy and wife, steadfast daughter, the best friend you could ever have, inspiring and uber-talented writer, successful business owner, passionate nutrition coach and chef, green thumb extraordinaire, super crafty (puts all other birthday parties to shame), and not to mention she’s got mad style – I could go on. On paper Gina looks like a super woman, and she is. I’m not sure she’d describe herself that way, but I do know that she knows she has overcome a lot to get to where she is. While these descriptors are awesome and impressive, they are not what I want to focus on. It’s her fighting spirit and drive to figure out how to step into her own light that impresses me the most. I have watched her sift through the confusion of uncertainty of self, step up to the plate when asked to challenge herself, overcome paralyzing fears and step gracefully into a humbled and beautiful acceptance of who she is and who she is creating herself to be. It is in the observance of a human spirit such as hers that I am reminded of how powerful our species can be when we choose to step into that power. We all know that fear and doubt are the reason we don’t go after what we want. It’s a true journey to recognize this and say, “fear, I see you there, and know you are not real, now get out of my way!”. Okay, so that’s what I say in my mind, but I know we all have some variation on that theme. Not only has she encountered her fears and anxieties, but she has been so authentically honest about it all. Part of overcoming anything is to share in your vulnerabilities. This is truly one of her traits that I admire most. Her unabashed ability to be vulnerable and put herself out there. Her realness is one of her greatest virtues. You know her. She lets you.

When you get to a point in your life when you are genuinely happy in your own skin, you can’t help but shine that light. Things start to happen. The world becomes more beautiful. Life feels fuller. Opportunities arise. Love is abundant. Gratitude reigns. We absolutely get what we put out to the Universe, and Gina is beginning to reap the rewards of her efforts that she is putting in to herself, her passions and her life. She has become a role model to many and has stepped in to a place of knowing she can help others, she does make a difference, she is an amazing mommy, she can rock her business and she can share space with others who are on similar paths and inspire those who want to be. I know this, because I’m one – she’s inspiring me to take a closer look at myself and my fears and see where I’m holding myself back. It’s no secret that many of us do. So Gina, thank you. You are making a huge difference in the world, and your light is pouring out and sending ripples into our oceans, ponds, streams and lakes. YOU my friend, are a game changer.

To follow Gina’s writings and just plain outright be inspired, check out her blog here SAHMSTHEWORD
Gina has also been cast in the May 3rd performance of Listen To Your Mother, a series of live staged readings set to be held at the Brava Theatre in San Francisco. For show and ticket information, please visit the Listen To Your Mother website. It’s bound to be a magical evening!

(music by Kris Delmhorst)

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  • Dianna - What a powerful and accurate description of our dear friend, soul-sister. She inspires me daily and I feel so blessed to call her a friend and auntie to my boys. Her light shines so bright, thank you for capturing it and sharing it with the world!ReplyCancel

  • Vera Merlo - Beautiful work, Annie. You captured Gina’s spirit beautifully. I knew Gina was extra special from the time she was a baby.she is compassionate, honest and wise. Her loyalty goes above and beyond ordinary. I love her beyond words.ReplyCancel

Julie + Corin – San Francisco Wedding

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Most people know me as a newborn, child and family photographer, but once in a blue moon I am asked to photograph a wedding. It had been about a year since the last one I photographed when I received an email from a friend of mine I used to work closely with, asking if I’d be interested in photographing her daughter’s big day. I’ve stayed in touch with this family for other big life events they have so kindly asked me to capture over the years, so this was a no brainer. You would understand too, if you knew them. I hadn’t met Julie yet, but I knew if she was anything else like the family I did know already, that I was about to document something truly special… and of course I was right.

Julie and Corin… what can I say. You two have got “it” – you know, that kind of love that nothing can come between… a connection so strong that there is no doubt when others observe you two that you are the real deal. I walked away from your wedding feeling more energized than when I had started that day, as it had been so full of love from your family, friends and you two. The energy of it all was so positive, real, grounded and beautiful. I was, and still am, deeply inspired. Not only was the day amazing it it’s own right, but for the first time I got to photograph alongside my fiancé. Our wedding is 5 weeks away, and I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to have had this experience together. I can only hope that what our family and friends take away from ours is as poignant as I felt yours to be… just incredibly magical.

The choice of locations was stunning and very special. San Francisco City Hall is mind blowingly beautiful. I had no idea! Liberty Cafe and Succulence in Bernal Heights were such sweet little reception spots for the intimate size of your celebration. Truly touching to use Succulence because of the history of the building’s tie to your father, Julie. I couldn’t help but feel the positive flow in that space. So full of life and love. All three settings were perfect backdrops to the uniqueness of who you both are. It was an honor to both Tom and I to capture your day for you. Thank you so incredibly much for trusting us to with this incredibly important role. You two are beautiful people… it shows in every one of these pictures.

Music: When the Right One Comes Along by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio
Dress: Nicole Miller
Venues: San Francisco City Hall, Liberty Cafe and Succulence
Flowers: Succulence SF
Cupcakes: Kara’s Cupcakes

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A Birth Story

There are few things in life that stop us in our tracks as much as the birth of our children. Time stands still. We could swear the world stops as our dreams and reality collide in a surreal, beautiful, magical moment. Finally meeting the tiny human you having been growing for near 10 months has got to be the most amazing thing a woman can experience. You did that. Yes, you. Powerful stuff. Hearing that first cry, kissing that fresh head of hair, looking into those little windows of eyes for the first time and holding that wee body next to your heart in the those first few minutes, makes all the pain that was just endured quickly fade away.

The journey into motherhood is a joyous, yet sometimes scary ride. Fear is no stranger to pregnancy and childbirth. I have not yet met a woman who has a child or is pregnant who has not questioned… well, just about everything. In a world full of opinions about the best way, the wrong way, the right way, the inundations of the this and the that that could go wrong, it’s no wonder we worry. Over the last few years of working with hundreds of families, doctors, nurses, midwives and doulas, and having gone through labor myself with my now 5 year old wee grommet, Allie, I have come to the conclusion that finding the right support for each pregnant mommy is paramount to feeling totally, 100%, unconditionally supported… in every way. I’ve had the great pleasure and opportunity to work with the amazing group of Doulas at Stork & Sprout and through this relationship have had the honor of photographing a birth for the very first time, almost exactly 5 years (by 1 day) after the birth of my daughter. The experience was stunning. I am still sitting in a space of complete awe. Observing and capturing the strength of a woman, being fully supported by her Husband and Doulas, was truly humbling. We are a powerful species. It is with much gratitude that I share with you this story…

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  • Alys Milner - There is nothing so moving as this. What incredible photos and what an experience for all of you.

    You’ve captured the love between them, the stages of labor and then oh my goodness the little cherub arrives. Thanks for sharing with us. I think the world of you.ReplyCancel

  • Monique wood - So incredibly beautiful!! What a lucky family to have had you capture this amazing time for them!! As always – phenomenal photography – you always capture the light in life! :D ReplyCancel

  • Robyn Reiss - How beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Such tenderness as this wonderful couple became a beautiful family. Tears.ReplyCancel

Full Family + Child Session Gift Certificates for just $500! (save $300)

The perfect gift for Christmas! Custom Gift Certificates for a full family + child session for $500. Savings of $300 if purchased before December 20, 2013. Only TEN available at this price!

Session includes consultation, location and wardrobe planning, 90 minute family + child session and 25 high resolution digital negatives with print rights release. Beautiful Anne Daiva Custom Gift Certificate mailed to your home in time for Christmas.

Excludes newborn + maternity.

Session must take place in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Travel fees apply to areas beyond.

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