What People are Saying...

"Cheryl has a special gift. I know she has worked very hard to hone her skills, but what I see when I look through her work is something really special. It's THE special thing that all photographers hope they have, and all the work in the world will not give them. I'm not sure if her gift is one of sight or heart, but it always resonates. She weaves beautifully a story as it unfolds. Looking at her work, I feel like she handed me a cup of tea and a warm blanket, and told me how truly beautiful the world really is. I think that insight is one derived from her own life story. If you don't know her, I highly recommend you get to."
~Shari D., Professional Photographer
Bat Mitzvah Party Family Picture Roundhill Country Club Alamo CABat Mitzvah girl poses for a family photo before her big celebration at Roundhill Country Club in Alamo, CA. Balloons in her color theme of royal blue and magenta make a great background.
"Cheryl has such a soft, easy-going, but fully in control way. I knew from the day we met her that our daughter would respond to her and the proof is certainly in the portraits. Cheryl's photos are fluid and artistic. She has a beautiful way of capturing that special moment, that split second of raw emotion, that I know we will always treasure. We are so looking forward to putting together a gorgeous keepsake."
~Debbie W., Bat Mitzvah, Temple Isaiah
Engagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-BeachEngagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-Beach-Ritz-CarltonA man and his fiancée enjoying an intimate moment together during their engagement portrait session on a beautiful sandy beach cove in Half Moon Bay, California. Beach was accessible from the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
"Cheryl is so wonderful to work with and so talented. She has the ability to visualize every shot and not only capture the beauty of the nature around us, but capture us at our best as well. She gave us enough direction when we needed it, but didn't overwhelm us which allowed us to be ourselves the entire time. Cheryl made it really easy for us to act naturally and enjoy the moment. I'm excited that she was able to capture a more personal side of my fiancée that many people never get to see except me."
(Excerpt from Amanda's Blog - "Inspire Me". Read the rest here: http://ablanc25.tumblr.com/post/122963100423/for-the-first-time-in-my-life-if-i-recall)
~Amanda B., Engagement Session, Ritz-Carlton Beach Half Moon Bay
Bar-Mitzvah-Hora-SparkysBar-Mitzvah-Hora-SparkysA Bar Mitzvah party shot of a boy being lifted up in the chair for the traditional Hora chair dance. The colorful neon retro decor at Sparky's Hot Rod Garage in San Carlos, CA made for an awesome party venue, and many great photo ops.
"Cheryl recently handled all photography at our son's Bar Mitzvah, both the ceremony and the evening party. She did an outstanding job! First and most importantly, the photos she produced were simply terrific and really captured all the right moments of our special day. In addition, she did her work throughout the day and night without our family even knowing she was there most of the time - this in particular was a wonderful ability of Cheryl, to do her work in a totally non-interfering or annoying way (unlike other photographers I have worked with over the years). Lastly, Cheryl has such a cool and professional manner, which was totally refreshing relative to working with her all day and evening at our event. We would definitely hire Cheryl again, and we would also highly recommend her to others!
~Brian K., Bar Mitzvah, Congregation Beth Am
Girl-Senior-Portrait-on-Baker-Beach-SFGirl-Senior-Portrait-on-Baker-Beach-SFHigh school senior girl sitting for her custom portrait on Baker Beach in front of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA.
"Planning our vacation to California and realizing it will be our daughter's senior year, our family thought it would be a great idea to have an iconic background for her pictures (since we were going to purchase them for this precious year of her life, why not California instead of Ohio!). Pondering on the selection of a photographer without any references, I searched the internet for that perfect person along the San Francisco Bay or along the coastline. I looked at different websites of photographers from San Simeon to Yosemite! My search brought me to Cheryl Bigman's website with the Golden Gate Bridge picture of the family with the dog on the beach. We looked at her website and realized she was the perfect fit for our daughter's senior pictures. Talking to Cheryl on the phone about places and our wishes to have the Golden Gate Bridge somewhere in our daughter's pictures, Cheryl decided on Baker Beach as the perfect place to hold the photo shoot. Meeting Cheryl for the first time, our family loved her kindness, expertise and eye for those special shots to make our daughter's senior pictures monumental! We thank Cheryl for the wonderful pictures of our daughter!"
~Lisa H., Destination High School Senior Portraits, San Francisco
Bar-Mitzvah-Reading-Torah-Temple-Isaiah-Lafayette-CABar-Mitzvah-Reading-Torah-Temple-Isaiah-Lafayette-CAA Bar Mitzvah boy reads from Torah on the raised bimah at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA with its beautiful stained glass window and ark in the background.
"Cheryl is the best photographer. All of our family and friends said she was everywhere all day and night, but non-obtrusive. And the same day slideshow pictures we saw at the evening celebration were spectacular. Thank you Cheryl!"
~Caren K., Bar Mitzvah, Temple Isaiah
"I felt a huge sense of relief when I booked Cheryl for our daughter's Bat Mitzvah. Cheryl's own daughter had a Bat Mitzvah, so Cheryl realized the importance of this event. She also knew how it all worked, including the rules of the Rabbi and temple, and the format of the service. I heard such positive things about Cheryl, and knew we were in great hands.
Cheryl photographed my daughter Jenna along with our family in a beautiful Pre-Mitzvah Family Portrait Session. She has great artistic style using colors, poses, backgrounds, and lighting. She took fabulous portraits, some with our very active puppy, and then took many action shots of Jenna playing tennis.
The day of our event, Cheryl was with us every step of the way. She confidently and calmly directed the wonderful family portraits, took priceless pictures during the service, then blended in with the crowd to take amazing candids that afternoon and at the evening celebration. Cheryl went above and beyond the call-of-duty to photograph the entire Bat Mitzvah experience. She really captured the feeling and spirit of Jenna reaching this huge milestone amongst family and friends.
After the event, Cheryl worked tirelessly editing pictures, creating a gorgeous album, and making sure we were happy along the way. As soon as my son gets his Bar Mitzvah date, we definitely will book Cheryl again! And I would recommend anyone to hire this very talented photographer.
~Lisa B., Bat Mitzvah, Congregation Beth Chaim
"Cheryl - I'm still in awe from viewing the pictures last night! Your talents as a photographer are absolutely amazing. I've probably taken 5,000 pictures of my daughters over the years and have been fortunate to capture a few nice shots.
I don't believe that a truly great photographer is made through education and practice, (doesn't hurt of course) but rather you are either born with it or you aren't. It is about talent Cheryl, and you have it. You were able to capture images of Rachel that make me want to look at them over and over again. You have evoked the most positive of emotions and permanently etched them in my memory.
I'm not an expert photographer but IMHO your photographs are technically perfect and beyond reproach. Thank you for your time, your passion and for this amazing work."
~ Richard I., High School Senior Portraits
"Thank you, Cheryl, for capturing our daughter Nicole's Bat Mitzvah so beautifully. The photos truly reflect the whole aspect of the Bat Mitzvah - from the service to the party. You brought to life the fun, the meaningful moments, our family and friends - and the magic that we felt that day and evening. You were also a pleasure to work with. We can't wait for you to photograph our son Ben's Bar Mitzvah!"
~Debbie F., Bat Mitzvah, Congregation Kol Shofar
"I hadn’t given much thought to having Senior portraits taken of my son, Greg.  Actually, it wasn’t something I thought about at all! He had the “tuxedo” picture taken for the yearbook and his annual student ID picture, and I moved on to thoughts of college visits and applications. Then I received Cheryl’s postcard in the mail. I saw samples of beautiful outdoor portraits and her promise of “No drapes… No fake ivy… No 1-2-3 Cheese.” I suddenly knew I wanted to see my son’s natural smile and personality captured during this special, fleeting time in our lives!
I am so glad I made that call. Cheryl was so pleasant and professional throughout the process that Greg and I really enjoyed it! She kept the mood playful and fun while capturing the best natural light and Greg’s personality. She took hundreds of shots of him in several locations and in several outfits, and took extra time to get the shots she wanted. I was so impressed by her talent and her passion, not to mention her ability to work so well with a 17 year-old young man!
When Greg and I viewed the images at her home studio, we felt so comfortable.  Cheryl made the process of selecting the best portraits out of hundreds so enjoyable! We weren’t rushed or pressured, and we were able to come to our decisions quite easily. She designed a package that met my needs, and we couldn’t be happier with the finished portraits. I am especially pleased with the DVD slideshow that includes not only our selected poses, but also many of the great shots we didn’t select, and the ability to make DVD copies for Greg’s grandparents, aunts and uncles.
This was one of the best investments I have ever made.  I am already looking forward to working with Cheryl again in two years when my younger son is a high school Senior, and for family portraits. Thank you, Cheryl!"
~Judy L., High School Senior Portraits, Monte Vista High School
"Cheryl, thank you so so so much for my amazing pictures! I love every single one of them and my whole family loves them all as well! The whole process was an amazing experience and I loved every single minute of it! As soon as I met with you for the first time to talk about where I wanted to go with these pictures, I knew it was going to be great! You are extremely talented and I really could not have asked for anyone better to capture the amazing moments of senior year! Also, thank you for incorporating a way to take pictures with Steph (my best friend). It was so much fun and I know these will be great pictures to keep forever! Thank you so much again, I truly could not be any happier!"
~ Ally F., High School Senior Portraits, Dougherty Valley High School
"We can't begin to thank you for the incredible work you've done with our family. It truly started from our very first conversation. Without even asking for a commitment to work together, you got to know us, and our dear Smokey, and made us feel really comfortable about the whole process. You understood that our emotions surrounding Smokey’s illness were raw, and you were incredibly sensitive to that. We just knew that you were the perfect person to work with.
The photo shoot was amazing. You chose the perfect location, and made it fun. But most important to our family, you captured us enjoying our last, precious moments with our beloved pet. Thanks again, from the bottom of our hearts, for helping us create amazing memories that we will cherish forever."
~ Jeff R., Family Portraits
"Thank you again for all of our time last night and the beautiful pictures!  You made it very difficult for us as you saw :-). We are really excited to continue working with you over the next year and our daughter in particular is very happy that you will be with her through this wonderful experience. You have done a great job at making her feel very comfortable in front of a camera-not always easy to do, and she is so happy with the results."
~ Alyce R., Bat Mitzvah & Family Portraits, Congregation B'nai Tikvah
"Cheryl thanks for making Daphne's Bat Mitzvah memorable. Your pictures captured our emotions, our happiness and our fun!! You are a wonderful and sensitive photographer, besides being a very sweet and kind person. You have created beautiful memories for us to go back to, and for that I am forever thankful."
~ Diana N., Bat Mitzvah, Congregation Kol Shofar
"The opportunity to pose for a headshot at an acclaimed professional photographer’s studio can generate great excitement. For me, not so much. The day Cheryl and I picked for my photo shoot had seemed reasonable. But in the ensuing two weeks, I picked up two projects to complete and two work trips to plan. Though the sky smiled with full sun on the day, the last thing on earth I wanted to do was pick out an outfit and pose for the camera.
As it turned out, the afternoon's experience was picture perfect. The beautiful part had nothing to do with me. It had all to do with Cheryl’s generous style. She has a soft, sweet approach which makes you feel totally at ease and happy, even if you have fifteen things on your mind! By the end of the shoot, I felt like a celebrity and was ready to do it again the next week. But I had to go on that trip—to Hollywood as it happened. And now the lovely photo featured prominently on my website looks like I belong on the red carpet—thanks to Cheryl’s terrific photographic skills!"
~ Deborah G., Travel Writer, Poet Laureate of Pleasanton, Professional Headshots
"Last year, Cheryl came to my home to take family pictures of my wife, two daughters, one son, one daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. Cheryl was patient, funny, accommodating, and suggested great locations in our yard, and in our house for posed and candid shots. She got priceless photos of my granddaughters interacting with me and with their parents. These are the best family photographs I have ever had taken. Cheryl then consulted with me carefully to help me select enlargements of certain photos. Cheryl also produced a beautiful musical slide show from these photos. I have gotten compliments from friends, relatives, and co-workers for these photos and for the slide show.  
Recently, Cheryl took professional photographs of my children, daughter-in-law  and me for us to use in internet advertising for our law  practice. These replaced some very unsatisfying photos taken by a studio in Burbank, California. Cheryl’s photos are great, very flattering and expertly taken.
I would give Cheryl my highest recommendation as both a family and a commercial photographer."
~ William M., Family Portraits & Business Portraits