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Photographing Toddlers - 5 Tips from a San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

October 02, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

5 Tips for Getting Great Professional Photos of your Toddler

Portrait of Little Girl Playing at the ParkPortrait of Little Girl Playing at the ParkPortrait of a two-year old toddler girl playing and hanging from the bar at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA by San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

We've all been there -

  • Booked a professional portrait session for our adorable toddler at their "good" time - check.
  • Bought the perfect outfit - check.
  • Made sure they were all cleaned up, etc... check.

Because we DESPERATELY wanted that perfect shot, right?

 

Then, we watched helplessly as our little angel :

a) Ran away.

b) Had a full on temper tantrum.

OR

c)  Just plain ignored us!

 

In fact, I think toddlers should come with a warning - "Must have infinite patience, a sense of humor, and be in excellent physical shape to photograph me. And... you will need to run... fast!"

 

Seriously, two-year olds are the cutest, but sometimes us parents want SO badly to get that perfect shot for Facebook, Instagram, etc..., that we forget to capture who they truly are at this age. As a professional family photographer here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I've photographed lots of active toddlers, so thought I'd share a few tips to help you out. And scroll down for great examples, and loads of cuteness from sweet Natalie's Two-Year Portrait Session!

 

5 Tips for Photographing Toddlers

  1. Choose a Comfortable Location - Your own home, a favorite local park, or anywhere familiar. If the weather isn't comfortable, take it inside.
  2. Bring Toys - A brand new toy is a great way to hold your toddler's attention! And so fun to catch their excitement and curiosity with something new.
  3. Let them RUN - A good professional photographer knows how to capture them in motion, and they LOVE to run!
  4. Please do NOT do this... "Say Cheeeeeeeeese"! You will get what you asked for - a very "cheesy" smile - maybe :)  Oh ok, one or two cheesy smile pics are cute. But you will love the real smiles and silly expressions you get from just letting them play.
  5. BE PATIENT AND FLEXIBLE - As you know, sometimes it takes awhile for toddlers to warm up. If something isn't working, don't force it. Try something else - a different toy, a new activity, a treat, etc...

 

It's Just a Big Playdate

The more you and your photographer can become kids yourselves, getting down to their level, and just laugh and play, the better your pictures will be. Once a toddler realizes it's just a big play date, not a high-pressure portrait session, they'll relax (and so will you) and have way more fun. You'll get a great variety of looks too!

But toddlers move FAST and their expressions can change in a split second, so it's your photographer's job to be ready to capture anything at any moment!

 

Patience... this was Natalie's serious face which she wore for the first 20 minutes of our session... at her "good" time. Even though it's not a big cheesy smile, I still love her sweet innocent look.

Two Year Portrait of a Little GirlTwo Year Portrait of a Little GirlPortrait of a two-year old toddler girl at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA by San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

New toys! Natalie loved playing with her brand new tea party set. Mom brought a comfy blanket for her to sit on.

Two Year Old Tea Party PortraitTwo Year Old Tea Party PortraitPortrait of a two year old girl having a tea party at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA. By San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

I asked Natalie if she could make her mom a cup of tea... so cute.

Little Girl Two Year Tea PartyLittle Girl Two Year Tea PartyPortrait of a two year old girl having a tea party at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA. By San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

And once the dollies got invited, Natalie was very pleased!

A Little Girl and Her Doll PortraitA Little Girl and Her Doll PortraitPortrait of a two-year old girl playing with her doll at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA by San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

Time for a new activity! Headed to the play structure and that's when the real smiles began. This girl is strong!

Two Year Old Girl Just Hanging OutTwo Year Old Girl Just Hanging OutBlack and white portrait of a two-year old girl hanging from a bar at the playground. By San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

Showing off her ninja moves... at two!

Mini Ninja Little Girl PortraitMini Ninja Little Girl PortraitPortrait of a two-year old toddler girl playing ninja at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA by San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

And saved the running for last. Brings out the smiles every time!

Two Year Old Girl on the RunTwo Year Old Girl on the RunPortrait of a two-year old toddler girl happily running at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA by San Francisco Bay Area family photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

Do you have any tips for getting great pictures of the littles in your family? Please share in the Comments!

 

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I hope you've found these 5 Tips for Getting Great Photos of your Toddler helpful. If you enjoyed this Blog and you'd like to hear more helpful tips on family portraits and event planning in the San Francisco Bay Area, or just want to follow along on all my crazy photography/travel adventures, simply Subscribe in the box above and the Blog will be delivered right to your inbox. It helps to keep this Blog going and I'd so appreciate it!

 

 

Service Area

Cheryl Bigman Photography services the entire San Francisco Bay Area including the East Bay cities of Lafayette, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, and San Ramon in Contra Costa County. Dublin, Pleasanton, Sunol, and Fremont in Alameda County. South Bay cities including San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, and Mountain View in Santa Clara County, Peninsula cities including San Mateo, Burlingame, Foster City, Menlo Park, Woodside, Atherton, and Redwood City in San Mateo County, San Francisco, and North Bay cities in Marin County including Tiburon, San Rafael, and Sausalito.

 

 


Tales from a San Francisco Bar Mitzvah Photographer - 3 Ways NOT to do the Hora

September 25, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Tales from a San Francisco Bay Area Bar Mitzvah Photographer - Top 3 Tips on How NOT to do the Hora

 

As a San Francisco Bay Area Bar and Bat Mitzvah photographer for the past 10+ years, I have experienced a LOT of Horas - the traditional chair dance done at Jewish celebrations where everyone gathers in a big circle, and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, bride, groom, etc... is lifted up in a chair in the center while everyone joyously dances around them. SO much fun, and such a great photo op!

 

Hora-Dad-Celebrates-Bat-MitzvahHora-Dad-Celebrates-Bat-MitzvahBar & Bat Mitzvah photography of a dad celebrating while being lifted in the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

But Horas don't always go as planned. In this installment of Tales from a San Francisco Bar Mitzvah Photographer, I'm giving you my Top 3 Tips on How NOT to do the Hora. And keep scrolling for photos from the Trifecta of Hora DONT'S all in one Bar Mitzvah!!! 

 

How NOT to do the Hora

1. DON'T Use a Flimsy Chair - Make sure the Hora Chair is sturdy, and preferably has arms to hold onto. Avoid seats with slippery material. Typical rental dining chairs are not usually the best choice.

This chair with arms made the perfect Hora chair (especially after Max caught some air)!

Airborne-Bar-Mitzvah-Boy-HoraAirborne-Bar-Mitzvah-Boy-HoraBar Mitzvah party photography of a boy lifted airborne in the hora chair. By San Francisco bay area photographer Cheryl Bigman photography.

 

2. DON'T Let Just Anybody Lift the Chair - Make sure you have designated chair-lifters who are strong enough to do the job. Prep them ahead of time on the importance of keeping all sides of the chair even to avoid the dreaded "tipping chair".

Max's Mom felt secure enough to put hands in the air with all those strong guys in the driver's seat.
MaxGoldbergBar-1024MaxGoldbergBar-1024
 

 

3. DON'T LET GO - UNLESS YOU ARE CONFIDENT THAT YOU HAVE #1 & #2 COVERED. It is SO tempting to let go, and do "Look Ma, no hands"! This is especially true for us adults. We SO want to celebrate in front of all our friends and family. (And most Horas happen AFTER cocktail hour - enough said.)

As your photographer, I have to admit that these are the moments I live for! But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, make sure you are safe. There is nothing worse than having an accident and bringing the entire party to a screeching halt!

Fearless! Even with a tipping chair.

Bar Mitzvah Little Brother HoraBar Mitzvah Little Brother HoraBar Mitzvah photography of a little brother celebrating in the hora chair during his big sister's Bat Mitzvah. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

3.5. For the girls, DON'T uncross your legs! Especially if you're wearing a short dress. I've had a few amazing Hora shots where this one tip would have saved me hours of hemline photoshopping to cover the unmentionables. Guess I can now add "Digital Seamstress" to my resume. No photo needed for this one - just keep those legs crossed!

 

The Hora DON'TS Trifecta

These tips may seem obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen accidents happen that could have easily been prevented. Just a couple of weeks ago, I experienced the Trifecta of all of my DON'TS in one B'nai Mitzvah that landed this poor Dad in the ER! Here's the play-by-play...

 

Slippery Chair with No Arms AND "Look Ma No Hands"

Dad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceDad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceBar Mitzvah photography of a dad celebrating as he's lifted in the air on the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

 

The Dreaded Tipping Chair

Dad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceDad-Celebrates-in-the-Hora-Chair-DanceBar Mitzvah photography of a dad celebrating as he's lifted in the air on the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

 

That Moment When You Realize there is Nothing to Hold Onto!

Hora-Fail-Dad-about-to-FallHora-Fail-Dad-about-to-FallBar Mitzvah party photography of a dad about to fall off the hora chair by San Francisco Bay Area event photographer Cheryl Bigman.

 

 

The Aftermath - Dad landed on his chin and left for the ER.

Caution-After-Bar-Mitzvah-Hora-AccidentCaution-After-Bar-Mitzvah-Hora-AccidentAfter dad fell off the hora chair at his kids' bnai mitzvah. San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman photography tells the story.

 

 

Dad Returns from the ER - to the tune of "Rocky". Chin all stitched up and ready to party!

Bar Mitzvah Hora FailBar Mitzvah Hora FailA Bar Mitzvah photograph of a dad returning from the ER after falling off the hora chair. By San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cheryl Bigman.

Now go celebrate your Bar or Bat Mitzvah! And give your photographer amazing Hora moments to capture.. SAFELY!!!

 

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I hope you've enjoyed this Blog and found it helpful. If you'd like to hear more helpful photography/event planning tips for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the San Francisco Bay Area, and follow along on my other photography adventures in Travel Photography, Family Portraits, and Senior Portraits, you can Subscribe in the box above and the Blog will be delivered right to your inbox. It helps to keep this Blog going and I'd so appreciate it!

 

 

Service Area

Cheryl Bigman Photography services the entire San Francisco Bay Area including the East Bay cities of Lafayette, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, and San Ramon in Contra Costa County. Dublin, Pleasanton, Sunol, and Fremont in Alameda County. South Bay cities including San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, and Mountain View in Santa Clara County, Peninsula cities including San Mateo, Burlingame, Foster City, Menlo Park, Woodside, Atherton, and Redwood City in San Mateo County, San Francisco, and North Bay cities in Marin County including Tiburon, San Rafael, and Sausalito.


Exploring the Charming Town of Cassis, France

August 28, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Charming Cassis - The Perfect Getaway in the South of France

Colorful Boats in the Port of Cassis, FranceColorful Boats in the Port of Cassis, FranceTravel photography of the charming port in the Provencal town of Cassis in the south of France. Colorful boats lined the docks ready to cruise the blue mediterranean sea.

After an incredible week of teaching photography in Provence (and a year's worth of portrait sessions, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, and weddings), I was SO ready for a few days of rest and relaxation before exploring the South of France on my own.

 

I wanted to be somewhere by the sea without any specific agenda, and just explore. After weeks of googling (and LOTS of indecision), I finally chose the charming port town of Cassis.

 

Cassis had everything I hoped for. Beautiful turquoise blue water, Provencal-style houses, cafes, and restaurants with pastel-colored shutters, quaint shops, and the loveliest little cobblestone streets just made for endless wandering. Needless to say, no shortage of things to photograph here! And of course, there's Cassis Wine.

 

Here are a few highlights, a list of things to do, where to stay, and helpful insider tips I learned along the way during my time in Cassis.

 

Port View - so colorful!

Colorful Boats and Architecture Cassis FranceColorful Boats and Architecture Cassis FranceA travel photo of colorful boats and Provencal architecture in the charming port town of Cassis France.

 

That water!!!

Boating on the Cote d Azur Cassis FranceBoating on the Cote d Azur Cassis FranceTravel photo of one of the many boats heading out of the port of Cassis, France, enjoying the beautiful turquoise blue Mediterranean Sea.

 

Every restaurant more charming than the next!

Cassis France RestaurantCassis France RestaurantTravel photo of a charming seaside restaurant in the beautiful Provencal port town of Cassis, France.

 

Meringue Desserts at the local patisserie.

Meringue Treats in Cassis FranceMeringue Treats in Cassis FranceAmazing meringue dessert treats from a local patisserie in Cassis France.

 

Enjoying the cool water. It was HOT!

Azure Blue Mediterranean Sea Cassis FranceAzure Blue Mediterranean Sea Cassis FranceTravel photo of the gorgeous azure blue mediterranean sea along the coast of Cassis France.

 

Can't resist a decorative door... and there were a LOT of them. That knocker!

Decorative Wood Door Cassis FranceDecorative Wood Door Cassis FranceA beautiful decorative wood door of a residence with iron detail and stone framing in the Provence town of Cassis France.

 

Early morning before the tourist rush.

Colorful Restaurants in Cassis, FranceColorful Restaurants in Cassis, FranceTravel photo of a row of colorful seaside restaurants on a charming street in the Provencal port town of Cassis, France.

 

Kiddie Sailing

Every morning, these miniature sized sailboats filled with little kids headed out of the port and sailed right past my apartment. They were all strung together, being pulled by the sailing instructor. I could hear their giggles a mile away. SO cute!

Kid-Sized Sailboats Cassis FranceKid-Sized Sailboats Cassis FranceCute kid-sized sailboats at the sailing school in the port town of Cassis France.

 

Things to Do in Cassis

While I really wanted this part of my trip to be restful, Cassis had a LOT to offer and I didn't have time to take advantage of it all.

If you go (and when I go back), here's a list of Things to Do:

 

  • Calanques - Inlets that have been formed in the limestone cliffs, leaving behind a series of beautiful little bays with small beaches. Hike, take a kayak tour, hire a boat tour, or rent a boat of your own, and swim in the clear turquoise water.
  • Wineries - Several in the area, including producers of white Cassis wine.
  • Beaches - There are a few gorgeous beaches in Cassis. As with most beaches in the South of France, they are not sandy. Instead, they are covered in small pebbles. But that azure blue water is stunning!
  • Cap Canaille - Hike or drive for spectacular coastal views from the highest sea cliff in France.

 

Where to Stay

By the time I decided on Cassis, there were no hotel options left as July is the height of tourist season. But I totally lucked out and found the most beautiful apartment right on the sea! Villa Calanco.

 

If you ever visit Cassis, I highly recommend Villa Calanco. Your back terrace is literally right on the Mediterranean. I was SO happy just enjoying the view from every room, laying out on the terrace, breathing in that clean ocean air, and being lulled to sleep every night by the sound of the waves. The owner Stéfanie was so gracious, making sure everything was perfect. Check out Villa Calanco here: http://www.villacalanco.com/.

 

View from my bedroom at Villa Calanco.

Travel Photo of the Blue Mediterranean Sea in Cassis FranceTravel Photo of the Blue Mediterranean Sea in Cassis FranceView of the deep blue mediterranean sea from my terrace at Villa Calanco in Cassis France.

 

Terrace View of Cap Canaille - The highest sea cliff in France. Had to break out the tripod for some sunset shots.

Cap Canaille Cassis FranceCap Canaille Cassis FranceTravel photo of Cap Canaille headland in the Provencal town of Cassis, France at sunset. Cap Canaille is the highest sea cliff in all of France. Photo taken from my terrace at Villa Calanco, Cassis, France.

 

Travel Tips When Visiting Cassis

Best Time to Visit - May or September for the best weather and fewest tourists. June, July, August is the height of tourist season as Cassis is a popular holiday spot for Europeans, and it gets very busy. It's also very hot. That being said, I visited in July and enjoyed every minute!

 

Best Way to Get There - Fly into Marseille-Provence Airport. The quickest way to Cassis is to hire a taxi, Uber, or other car service to take you to your hotel/apartment. About a 50-minute drive from the airport. ~100€.

If you're on a budget and don't mind a longer trip, there are less expensive train/bus options. Check out Rome2rio for an easy way to see all the options in one place. Website: https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Marseille/Cassis

 

Best Way to Get Around - Walk! Everything in the port area is walkable. Hire a car if you need to venture further out. Parking is not easy in Cassis, so I don't recommend renting a car unless your hotel/apartment comes with a parking space.

 

Best Place for Tourist Info - Office de Tourisme (Tourism Office), located right in the port, has loads of info. Website: https://www.ot-cassis.com/

 

For Solo Female Travelers - I felt very safe in Cassis. As with all solo travel, be aware of your surroundings. I did not go to the port alone at night as my apartment was about a 20-minute walk through dark streets.


What's Your Favorite Travel Destination? Are You a Solo Female Traveler?

What's your favorite travel destination so far, and why? What places are still on your bucket list? Got any tips for solo female travelers? Please share in the Comments.

 

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Back to School... What do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

August 14, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Custom-High-School-Senior-Portrait-GirlCustom-High-School-Senior-Portrait-GirlCustom high school senior portrait outdoors at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville, CA by Cheryl Bigman Photography.

So, What do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Ahhh, that is THE question, isn't it? And now that it’s Back-to-School time, kids in high school and college (and their parents) are feeling the pressure to have an answer. Are you feeling it? I photograph a lot of high school seniors, and it's always the hot topic of conversation.

 

We see it all over social media. Friends posting about how proud they are of their son or daughter, majoring in rocket science, at a prestigious ivy league school, and ready to change the world. I'm not in any way diminishing the accomplishments of these kids, and the pride their parents feel. But for some of us, it's hard not to feel inadequate if your kid (or YOU) hasn't figured it all out just yet, right?

 

I grew up a Baby Boomer in the heart of Silicon Valley WAY before the internet. Attending college (and even better, grad school), was considered your ticket to success. In fact, where I grew up, it was expected. I definitely felt the pressure of picking a major in a lucrative field and sticking to it. And now as a parent, I find myself fighting off the same old mentality with my kid! Working on that...

 

The ONE Piece of Advice I Wish Someone had Given Me...

Find Your Passion.

You know, the thing that gives you that little jolt of excitement deep inside.

The thing you love SO much that you never get tired of doing it.

The thing that makes you YOU.

Yes, you have to be able to pay the bills. (Parent translation, “Mommy and Daddy want you off the payroll.”). But if you take the long view, have some patience, and a bit of tenacity, you will eventually be successful doing something you LOVE. And most importantly - be HAPPY!

I am living proof. Some might say I'm a "late-bloomer". It just doesn't matter. As long as you get there and enjoy the journey.

 

Custom-High-School-Senior-Portrait-BoyCustom-High-School-Senior-Portrait-BoyCustom high school senior portrait with graffiti outdoors at Baker Beach in San Francisco, CA by Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

Let's Talk - What's YOUR story?

Please tell me I'm not alone here. Let's talk.

  • Are you a high school or college kid who's feeling the pressure of picking a major or selecting your career path?
  • Are you a parent who followed your parents' advice and ended up in a career you didn't love? How are you handling this with your own kids?
  • Are you an "empty-nester" who's considering a mid-life career change?

 

If you can relate, I'd SO appreciate you sharing your story in the Comments. You never know who might really need to hear what you have to say. I'll be sharing the story of the biggest career change of my life in the next Blog.

 

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Thank you!

 

 


Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton - I don't have the answer BUT...

August 05, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

How do we Cope?

 

It's been quite some time since my last Blog entry and I've missed connecting with all of you here SO much! I have a LOT of catching up to do, but in light of the recent tragic events in our country, I'll start with these thoughts...

 

Like most people I know, the recent rash of gun violence in the U.S. created a mixed bag of feelings... anger, sympathy, frustration, fear, and helplessness. These tragic events along with all the past mass shootings wreak havoc on so many innocent people and their families. Gilroy in particular hit a little too close to home. The only other time in my lifetime that I've felt this unsafe in my own country was during 9/11. And to know that these recent acts of violence are being committed against U.S. citizens by U.S. Citizens is even more disturbing. So how do we cope?

 

I'm not a therapist, nor do I have all the answers to this problem. But during difficult times, either personal or global, the only way I know to cope is to put something beautiful out into the universe. Something that made me feel the exact opposite – joyful, happy, and carefree. Exactly how I felt when watching this sweet little girl splashing in the water park in Nice, France without a care in the world.

 

Toddler-Girl-Jumping-in-Water-Park-Nice-FranceToddler-Girl-Jumping-in-Water-Park-Nice-FranceCandid photo of a little girl toddler splashing in a water fountain park in Nice, France.

Toddler-Girl-Jumping-in-Water-Park-Nice-FranceToddler-Girl-Jumping-in-Water-Park-Nice-FranceCandid photo of a little girl toddler splashing in a water fountain park in Nice, France. Reflection.


Can you remember a time when you felt like her? Do you have a photo, a letter, a poem, a song, or a special memory that brings up those same feelings? Please share in the comments below and put a little more beauty out into the world for others who might need it. I'd love to hear from you!

 

I hope these photos and comments bring a smile to your face, a little joy to your day, and spread good karma out into the universe.

 


A Story of Hope - Razia's Family Portrait Session

January 13, 2016  •  2 Comments

Razia, Abe, and Family | Family Portraits
Date | 8.21.15
Location | Hap Magee Ranch Park, Alamo, CA

 

Everyone has a story...

One of the things I love most about my job is getting to know my clients on a personal level, and telling their stories in both words and photographs. Razia's story in particular, really got my attention.

Family-Portrait-with-Two-Girls-Wearing-Matching-Plaid-DressesFamily-Portrait-with-Two-Girls-Wearing-Matching-Plaid-DressesA beautiful family portrait of an Afghan family of four with two little girls wearing matching plaid dresses. Taken at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

So first, her incredible story...

Imagine being just 3 years old and living in the midst of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Razia's family knew they had to leave everything behind for their own safety, but leaving was no easy task. There were no planes to take them out of Afghanistan. The family had to pay perpetrators to walk them to Pakistan. Yes, walk! As Razia recalled, "Even though I was so little, I still remember hearing the sound of rockets being fired over my head." Frightening!

Razia's family finally made it to Pakistan where they moved into a crowded place with an aunt. To make matters worse, the thousands of refugees entering Pakistan were seen as illegal aliens and considered "less than" in society. Many left successful careers in Afghanistan, only to find menial jobs in Pakistan. Razia's grandparents, who previously fled to Germany, were both successful professionals in Afghanistan. Her grandmother ran the first hospital there and her grandfather was a cardiologist. Her grandparents moved to Los Angeles in the early 80's and sponsored their children. After 2 years in Pakistan, Razia's family was able to join them in Los Angeles on 3-15-83 where she spent the next 10 years.

 

Life in the U.S.

Razia knew she wanted to go to college, and eventually moved to the east bay to attend Cal State Hayward. She also knew she wanted to use her experience as a refugee to help others going through the process. She graduated Cal State and attended the California School of Professional Psychology where she was the youngest in her class. She earned her PhD at the age of 26, doing her residency at UCSF. Such an inspiration!

Razia has worked as a clinical psychologist with Jewish Children and Family Services (JCFS) since 2009, helping refugees through the resettlement process. She is the only psychologist in the entire Bay Area who speaks Dari (Afghan), Farsi (Iranian), and English which is huge in gaining the trust of the people she works with. She also appears on an Afghan TV show called "Women of the World" and recently gave a presentation in Washington DC on refugees and immigrants, and the cultural differences between South Asians and Afghans.

Interestingly, Razia's husband Abe's family also came from Afghanistan. Without knowing it, both Razia and Abe's families lived in Fremont for a time. Must have been meant-to-be.

Those of us who have grown up in the U.S., especially the San Francisco Bay Area, cannot even begin to know what it was like for Razia's family. Risking your life for your freedom, leaving everything you know behind, moving to a foreign country where you don't speak the language and have no job. It's a story that has repeated itself throughout history, most recently with the current Syrian refugee crisis. The strangest thing for me listening to Razia's story was thinking about what I was doing back in the early 80's compared to what she went through. Night and Day. Like many high school kids, I was completely oblivious.

I am so thankful I got to know Razia and create beautiful keepsake portraits to document her more recent family history. Knowing her story makes it all the more special. Razia's little girls will hopefully never experience the struggle and sacrifice their parents endured to get here, but Razia assured me that someday they would take the girls back to the places they grew up when they first arrived in the U.S.

 

And now, Razia's Family Portraits...

Afghan-Family-Portrait-Hap-Magee-AlamoAfghan-Family-Portrait-Hap-Magee-AlamoA sweet family picture of an Afghan family of four. The two little girls decided to wear matching plaid dresses. Portrait taken at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

Big-Sister-Love-and-HugsBig-Sister-Love-and-HugsA big sister wraps her arms around her little sister for an adorable portrait. Girls are wearing Burberry-style matching plaid dresses in neutral colors. Photo taken at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

I think these two like each other just a little...

Mom-and-Daughters-HugMom-and-Daughters-HugPortrait of a mother and her two young daughters of Afghan descent getting close for their photo op. The two girls are wearing matching plaid Burberry style dresses while mom wears a beautiful pastel floral print. Picture taken at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

Sister-Love-and-HugsSister-Love-and-HugsTwo sweet sisters in a loving hug for their portrait at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA. These adorable little girls wore matching plaid dresses and gave me the cutest smiles in every one of their pictures.


Jodee's Fall Family Portrait Session

January 08, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Jodee & Robert | Family Portraits
Date | 10.30.15
Location | Family Home
 

 

Fall Family Portraits

When Jodee called me asking to do Fall family portraits, I was a little concerned. Here in the East Bay Area of San Francisco, we usually get a pretty good show of Fall colors, but with our severe draught, October was looking pretty dull. Luckily, Jodee suggested using her home for her portrait session which had an amazing wall of ivy in the backyard - ivy full of beautiful fall colors!

 

We decided to start with Jodee and her husband Robert's sweet daughter Chloe.

Girl-in-Fall-Color-SceneGirl-in-Fall-Color-SceneA young girl poses for a portrait in front of a decorative iron gate with fall color in ivy behind her.

Chloe was quite the little model and made my job so easy.

 

We also decided to include Winston, their adorable West Highland Terrier, and he did not disappoint. Such a cute boy in front of my camera!

 

Then we added the rest of the family... aren't they gorgeous!

Fall-Family-Portrait-with-DogFall-Family-Portrait-with-DogAn attractive family poses for a family portrait with their pet west highland terrier dog using a background of fall colored ivy plants.

 

It's always fun to see how kids interact with each parent separately. Snuggles with mom and dad...

Mother-Daughter-Snuggle-PortraitA young girl snuggles check to cheek with her mom while mom is holding her. This portrait was taken against a background of fall colored ivy.

Father-Daughter-Fall-PortraitPortrait of a father holding his young daughter as they pose in front of a beautiful fall colored wall of ivy.

 

and then Dad giving Chloe some air time.

Dad-Throwing-Daughter-Up-in-the-AirDad-Throwing-Daughter-Up-in-the-AirA father playing with his young daughter, throwing her up in the air and catching her. Caught her mid air in this fun portrait set against a background of fall colored ivy.

 

And of course, we had to get some shots of just Jodee and Robert. Such a beautiful couple!

Beautiful-Couples-Portrait-with-Fall-ColorsBeautiful-Couples-Portrait-with-Fall-ColorsA beautiful husband and wife couple pose for an outdoor portrait in their fall colored garden of ivy. Dressed in burgundy and blue jeans, they fit perfectly into the fall foliage.

 

After exhausting all the great backyard locations, we moved to the front of the house and Chloe changed into the most adorable new outfit. Such a fashionista she was! The grounds around Jodee and Robert's home provided endless sets for us to use.

Little-Girl-in-Red-and-Leopard-PrintLittle-Girl-in-Red-and-Leopard-PrintPortrait of a young girl dressed in a red and leopard print outfit with designer black boots. She's posing in front of a rustic wood door with iron accents.

 

Then it was back to getting shots of the whole family. 

 

One of those "unplanned moments". Chloe and Winston just happened to look at each other at the exact same time.

 

And of course, we had to have some fun with the dog, so Robert broke out the treats and Winston was all over it!

 

Thanks to Jodee and Robert for allowing me to photograph their very personal family portraits at their lovely home. Could not have asked for a better location or a nicer family to work with.

 

 

San Francisco Bay Area Family Photography

I hope you enjoy this San Francisco Bay Area Family Photography provided by Cheryl Bigman Photography, specializing in portraits of Families and Children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheryl Bigman Photography is unique among other San Francisco Bay Area Family Portrait photographers. Each family is one of a kind, and Cheryl feels your Family Portrait photography should be one of a kind as well. Every family portrait session is treated with the utmost care and attention in order to creatively weave together the story of your special family.

 

 

Service Area Information

Cheryl Bigman Photography offers Photography of Families and Children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including but not limited to the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa areas of Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, Burlingame, Redwood City on the Peninsula, Marin County in the North Bay, and the South Bay.
Not looking for a Family Portrait Photographer? Please consider Cheryl for your custom high school senior photography and all of your special event photography needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination photography outside the San Francisco Bay Area available upon request. Call for more information.

 

The Agony and the Ecstasy... of being a Professional Photographer that is.

September 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

A Short Personal Story...

Did you see the amazing super blood moon/eclipse the other night? If not, you undoubtedly saw the pictures posted all over social media. I knew it was happening, but I had already scheduled a family portrait session and new client consult during that time, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be able to shoot it.

As the day went on, I couldn't stop thinking about how photographing the moon has been on my list of things to try for a very long time. The closer it got to the big event, the more anxious I became. This is the fight that goes on inside the head of a pro photographer. Do I drop everything to get the shot, or do I let the opportunity go?

I finished my portrait session in Oakland and began the drive to my consult in Marin. Once I crossed the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge, I could see people standing around with their iPhones and iPads pointed up to the sky behind me. I knew they were trying to photograph the moon, but I couldn't see it.

Then it happened - I turned onto a dark road high above the bay, and suddenly the view opened up to a wide open clear sky with the huge blood red super moon hanging over the water right in front of me! The words that spewed out of my mouth... you don't want to know. There I was with one of the best views in the San Francisco Bay Area of this once-in-a-lifetime event. I wanted to stop SO badly! Then I remembered... I had a client appointment to get to AND I had no tripod with me. Even if I wanted to photograph the moon, I couldn't.

 

Another Opportunity

The next night, I was blow-drying my daughter's hair when she said, "Mom, look at the moon! Why don't you take a picture?" Right outside my window was the coolest full moon illuminating a sea of clouds in a warm glow. That little fight inside my head began all over again. It was 10:30pm on a school night. I needed to get my daughter to go to bed. But how could I pass up another opportunity right outside my door?

My daughter rarely asks me to photograph anything when I'm with her. She hates it when we go somewhere together and I have to stop every so often to take a picture. And she knows it's never just one picture. I linger to work the scene until I get what I want. That night however, she actually encouraged me to take some shots of this amazing skyscape, so I grabbed my gear and went for it. This is the result...

Full-Moon-in-the-CloudsFull-Moon-in-the-CloudsPhotography of a bright full moon illuminating the clouds surrounding it, casting a warm glow. Photographed in San Ramon, CA by Cheryl Bigman Photography.

 

Worth it? Absolutely! I think my daughter was as amazed as I was by how clearly we could see the details in the moon. I can't think of anything better than the feeling of photographing something I've never tried before, and learning from it. That's what fills my cup. That's what ignites my passion for photography over and over again.

 

For all you photography enthusiasts, here is how I got the shot...

Gear: Canon 5DMarkIII, 100-400L IS II, Gitzo Tripod

This is actually two shots of the same scene combined in Photoshop. One is exposed for the moon, and the other is exposed for the clouds. Because the moon was so bright, there was no way to get both the clouds and the moon exposed correctly in the same shot. The clouds were also moving fairly quickly across the scene, but I decided to show some motion blur as I thought it would add a more artistic feel to the shot. Here are my settings:

Moon Exposure: ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/320, 214mm, manual mode

Clouds Exposure: ISO 250, f/5.0, 1/5, 214mm, manual mode

In order to get the moon tack sharp, I used Live View mode and zoomed in 10X on the back of the camera. I then focused manually. It was literally like looking through a telescope!

 

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Amanda and Bobby - One HOT Wedding... Literally!

September 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Amanda and Bobby | Wedding
Date | 8.16.15
Location | Coyote Ranch, San Jose, CA

 

What do you do on the hottest day of the year???

Have an outdoor wedding of course! At least that's what Amanda and Bobby did, and I got to capture their entire story in pictures.

No one ever plans to get married on the hottest day of the year, especially if your wedding is outdoors. But Mother Nature was in control and decided to bring on the heat big time! The day topped out at 106° to be exact.

Amanda and Bobby are used to spending a LOT of time in ice rinks as they're both hockey coaches, so this was going to be interesting. All I kept thinking as I was driving to San Jose was, how am I going to keep everyone as cool as possible and still get all the beautiful portraits I had pictured in my head?

 

Getting Ready

My day started with Amanda and the girls getting ready at a nearby hotel - air conditioned thank goodness. I walked into their room, turned to my right, saw Amanda (or so I thought) getting hair and makeup done, turned to my left, and saw Amanda's double! I must have looked totally dumbfounded as everyone started laughing. No one told me Amanda had a twin, Marie, who was actually the one in hair and makeup! Guess the joke was on me :)

 

The Details... nothing like a little blue box from Tiffany & Co.

The-Little-Blue-Box-from-TiffanysThe-Little-Blue-Box-from-TiffanysDetail wedding ring shot with the famous little blue box from Tiffany & Co. What girl wouldn't love that!

Custom-White-Bridal-GownCustom-White-Bridal-GownDetail picture of a custom made white bridal gown hanging on custom made hangar against a black background.

 

 

A Special Moment - Amanda's sister and mom helping her put on the wedding dress she MADE for her daughter! So beautiful!!!

Mom-Helping-the-Bride-Get-ReadyMom-Helping-the-Bride-Get-ReadyBlack and white picture of a bride getting ready, putting on her wedding dress with the help of her mother and twin sister. Her mother made her dress. Photographed in natural window light.

Mother-of-the-Bride-and-her-DaughterMother-of-the-Bride-and-her-DaughterA mother of the bride looks lovingly at her beautiful daughter who is about to get married wearing the wedding dress her mother custom made for her.

Bridal-Portrait-Natural-Window-LightBridal-Portrait-Natural-Window-LightClose up black and white portrait of a bride looking down at her bouquet of flowers in natural window light. Shot from a high vantage point looking down on the bride and focusing on her eyelashes.

 

Then it was the boys's turn in the hotel next door. Both hotel rooms were very small, so I had to get creative. The boys' room had a great mirror on the wall which I thought would be fun to play with. I'm a bit vertically challenged and these boys were TALL, so I had to improvise. They all had a good laugh at me balancing on the bed to get this shot.

Groom-Before-the-Ceremony-ReflectionsGroom-Before-the-Ceremony-ReflectionsBlack and white wedding portrait of a groom anticipating the moment when he sees his bride for the first time. His groomsmen's reflections in the mirror behind him, looking proudly at their guy.

Bobby and his dad...

Loved the guys looking so cool.

Groom-and-his-Groomsmen-Getting-ReadyGroom-and-his-Groomsmen-Getting-ReadyBlack and white portrait of a groom and his groomsmen getting ready in their hotel room before the ceremony. They're looking very cool sitting on the sofa in their wedding attire, just chilling out before the wedding begins.

 

The First Look

Amanda and Bobby agreed to a very private "first look" before the actual ceremony. I had them each wait inside air-conditioned rooms until the big moment, and then it happened...

Grooms-First-Look-at-his-BrideGrooms-First-Look-at-his-BrideA groom sees his beautiful bride for the first time in a private moment before the wedding ceremony. Photographed at Coyote Ranch Park in South San Jose.

Grooms-Kiss-after-First-Look-at-his-BrideGrooms-Kiss-after-First-Look-at-his-BrideA groom is overcome with emotion on his wedding day as he sees his bride for the first time before the ceremony. He tenderly kisses her on the forehead. Sepia photo captured at Coyote Ranch Park in South San Jose, CA.

 

 

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, it's...

Every event has a funny backstory, and Amanda and Bobby's was no different. After the First Look, we started our wedding party pictures. Suddenly, Bobby's face turned from very very happy to very very angry. Everyone looked to see what was wrong. We quickly realized that a bird decided to relieve itself smack dab on Bobby's dress shoe! (And this bird was either really big, or had some tummy troubles that day.) The girls thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen, but then cautiously looked up to make sure they were not the next target. The flower girl was obviously not amused. The boys helped Bobby clean up, and he was soon back to his happy place.

 

The Ceremony

So many great moments during the ceremony, I could hardly contain myself!

Dad giving away the bride...

Giving-Her-Hand-in-MarriageGiving-Her-Hand-in-MarriageA father sweetly gives his daughter's hand in marriage to his future son-in-law during this tender moment in their wedding ceremony. Photographed at Coyote Ranch Park in South San Jose, CA by Cheryl Bigman Photography.

Exchanging rings...

 

Party Time!

Representing the hockey contingent, Bobby's San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls team came to support.

The reception venue had these very cool rustic chic framed mirrors lining the walls which made for some unexpected reflection shots.

Reflections-of-a-BrideReflections-of-a-BrideA bridal portrait of a bride reflected in a decorative mirror at her wedding ceremony. Photograph taken under the decorative lights and rustic chic decor of Coyote Ranch Park in South San Jose, CA.

And then there was Ellery - flower girl - spinning dancer extraordinairre!

Last Dance...

Wedding-Couples-First-DanceWedding-Couples-First-DanceClose-up black and white photograph of a bride and groom's first dance as they look into each other's eyes. Photographed under the decorative lights during the wedding reception at Coyote Ranch Park in South San Jose.

 

Not even the scorching heat could dampen the spirits of this wonderful couple. Thank you Amanda and Bobby for choosing me to capture your love for each other on your wedding day. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

 

 

 

San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Photography

I hope you enjoy this San Francisco Bay Area wedding photography provided by Cheryl Bigman Photography specializing in weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and other events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheryl Bigman Photography is unique among other San Francisco Bay Area special event photographers. Each wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or other special event is one of a kind, and Cheryl feels your special event photographs should be one of a kind as well. Every special event is treated with the utmost care and attention in order to creatively weave together the story of your family and your day.

 

Service Area Information

Cheryl Bigman Photography offers wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and other special event photography throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including but not limited to the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa areas of Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, Burlingame, Redwood City on the Peninsula, Marin County in the North Bay, and the South Bay.
Not looking for a special event photographer? Please consider Cheryl for your family portraits and custom high school senior portrait photography needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination photography outside the San Francisco Bay Area available upon request. Call for more information.

 

Amanda and Bobby - An Engagement Session to Remember in Half Moon Bay

August 12, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Amanda and Bobby | Engagement Session
Date | 6.28.15
Location | Ritz-Carlton Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA

 

The "Unexpected" Engagement Session

I first met Amanda when she was the head coach of my daughter's ice hockey team a couple of years ago. Bobby was also a hockey coach for another girls team at the same rink, and that is where they first met. When Amanda asked if I was available to photograph her wedding, I couldn't have been more excited!

We met to discuss the details, and decided to do an Engagement Session so Amanda and Bobby would have current pictures that were separate from their wedding day. Honestly, I thought the location was a "no-brainer" - the ice rink of course! But to my surprise, Amanda told me she wanted something different, something no one would expect. I LOVED that because most people are used to seeing these two in their hockey coaching attire at the rink (including me).

Amanda told me a great story about when Bobby took her on a surprise date to Half Moon Bay, CA, and I have to say, I was impressed to learn the softer, more romantic side of B​​obby. We decided right then and there it HAD to be Half Moon Bay!

We set out early the morning of our shoot to beat all the other San Francisco Bay Area people trying to escape the oppressive inland heat. Typical of Half Moon Bay, we had cool weather with perfect overcast skies. Many people think overcast is bad for pictures and sunny is better, but when you're at the beach, direct midday sun can be really harsh and unflattering so I was very happy - great light and no fog!

Engagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-Ritz-CarltonA couple enjoying the scenic bluff overlooking the ocean in Half Moon Bay, CA at the Ritz-Carlton golf course during their engagement portrait session.

 

Before our session, I scoured the internet looking for the perfect stretch of beach with lots of options, and decided on The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. We began shooting on an incredibly scenic bluff overlooking the ocean. It didn't take long before Amanda and Bobby created their own amazing moments for me to capture. It's always those spontaneous, unposed moments that make my heart sing.

Romantic-Moment-Engagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-BayA loving couple taking a moment to enjoy each other during their engagement portrait session at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, CA. Loving-Moment-Close-up-Engagement-PortraitAn engaged couple taking a moment to feel each other's love captured in this close-up black and white portrait.

 

We walked down to the gorgeous beach which had a perfect curved cove in the background. Because Bobby is about a foot taller than Amanda, I was looking for natural props that would even out their height a bit. Once the logistical elements were in place, I let Amanda and Bobby just enjoy each other and their surroundings (with a little direction from me).

Engagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-BeachEngagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-BeachA man and his fiance 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. Beach-Engagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-CAA man and his fiance 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.

Engagement-Portrait-Sitting-on-th-Beach-Half-Moon-Bay-CAAn engaged couple pose for a picture sitting on the beach in Half Moon Bay, CA.

 

Next, I asked Amanda and Bobby to take a leisurely stroll on the beach. Bobby may seem like a tough guy at the ice rink, but once his tender feet hit that cold pacific ocean, I saw a whole new side of Bobby. Too funny!

Tender-Feet-and-Cold-Pacific-Ocean-Funny-MomentDuring their engagement portrait session, Bobby wasn't so sure about getting his tender feet in the cold Pacific Ocean at the beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. Engaged-Couple-Strolling-the-Beach-in-Half-Moon-Bay-CACandid engagement picture of a couple strolling the beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. Engagement-Portrait-Loving-Moment-on-the-Beach-in-SepiaA man decides to pick up his fiance during this candid moment on the beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. Photo processed with sepia toning.

Engagement-Candid-Photo-Fun-at-the-BeachA couple having fun on the beach at Half Moon Bay, CA during their engagement portrait session. Candid moment in black and white.

 

As we walked down to the other end of the beach, we came across this cool outcropping of rock and decided to get a few wider angle shots of Amanda and Bobby surrounded by the powerful ocean.

Couple-Enjoying-the-Ocean-at-Half-Moon-Bay-CA-BeachEngagement session portrait of a couple standing on an outcropping of rock surrounded by crashing waves in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Engagement-Portrait-Couple-Overlooking-the-OceanAn engaged couple stand on a rock enjoying the waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing around them. Photo aken in Half Moon Bay, CA.

 

Couple-Having-Fun-at-the-BeachDuring their engagement portrait session, this girl decided to have a little fun with her fiance who was negotiating his way of a rock surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay, CA.

"Tender Foot" trying to get off the rock - LOL.

Portrait-Session-Fun-in-Half-Moon-BayDuring their engagement portrait session in Half Moon Bay, CA, a couple is trying to figure out how to get off a rock surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.

"You caught me!"

 

Eventually, the sun began peaking out through the clouds so I decided to try a different location on the beach, adding some extra fill light with off-camera flash.

Engagement-Portrait-Half-Moon-Bay-Beach-CAAn engagement session portrait of a couple in Half Moon Bay, CA on the beach below the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

 

Our last stop was this cool wooden bridge lined with beautiful cypress trees.

Engagement-Portrait-Among-Cypress-Trees-Half-Moon-Bay-CAA couple looks into each other's eyes for this engagement portrait on a wooden bridge with cypress trees in the background. Taken in Half Moon Bay, CA. Engagement-Portrait-Among-Cypress-TreesAn engaged couple lovingly looks at each other as their portrait is taken on a wooden bridge with cypress trees in the background. Picture taken in Half Moon Bay, CA.

 

After all our hard work was done, we celebrated with lunch at Sam's Chowder House (YUM!). I had SO much fun getting to know these two on a more personal level. It was great seeing this whole other side of Amanda and Bobby, and it was clear just how much they care for each other. Next weekend, I'll be photographing their wedding day and I couldn't be more happy for them. (Bobby - keep your shoes on!)

 

 

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A Surprise Portrait Session for Lolo's Birthday at Hap Magee Ranch Park, Alamo, CA

August 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Nicole and Andrew | Family Portraits
Date | 4.24.15
Location | Hap Magee Ranch Park, Alamo, CA

 

What do you get your dad for his 70th birthday? - A Surprise Family Portrait Session!

Every year I volunteer to photograph the annual fundraiser for my daughter's elementary school, donating a Family Portrait Session to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. This year's winners were Nicole and Andrew, an adorable couple with two of the cutest kiddos ever!

Andrew immediately asked if I was available on the date they had planned to surprise his father with a big birthday weekend celebration. All of his siblings would be coming to town, so he asked if we could include the extended family. Of course I said YES! What an incredible opportunity to create timeless portraits of this man and his loving family.

 

The Big Day

When the day of our shoot finally arrived, the grandparents, affectionately known as "Lolo and Lola", could not have been happier to have all of their kids and grandkids in one place creating beautiful pictures together.

We decided to start with a big group family shot in case the little ones started to get antsy. I was SO impressed with the amazing job Nicole did in making sure everyone's outfits coordinated. The corals and blue denim together photographed beautifully against the greenery in the background. Just adorable!

Large-Group-Family-Portrait-in-Peaches-and-DenimA father and grandfather's family surprise him with a family portrait session with all five kids and four grandchildren. Portrait taken at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

Group-Hug-Around-Grandpa-Family PortraitA grandfather is surround by his five kids and four grandkids for a fun photo during our family portrait session at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

A-Grandfathers-Surprise-Portrait-SessionA-Grandfathers-Surprise-Portrait-SessionA family surprised their father for his 70th birthday with a family portrait session. All five of his children and their families came to town to celebrate. Family portrait taken at Hap Magee Ranch Park in Alamo, CA.

 

Then we moved on to each sibling's immediate family, beginning with Nicole and Andrew. I had to laugh as the older kids were all smiles, but little Audrey wasn't so sure. When all the other relatives tried their best to get her to smile, she got a bit overwhelmed. Then all of the sudden, somebody hit the jackpot (I still have no idea what they were doing behind my back), and Audrey busted out the most adorable smiles!

 

Andrew's parents were so cute together, I just had to get some photos of the two of them by themselves. Here's one of my favorite tender moments.

 

Once we had photographed all the smaller family groups, it was time to focus on the kids. The cousin shot was a must-have on my list, especially with these sweet faces! Again, Audrey wasn't sure why she was getting so much attention from the peanut gallery and her smile disappeared. It was time to break out the Cheryl magic. I knelt down close to the kids and quietly started asking about their favorite toys and things to do. We discussed "My Little Pony" and "Frozen", and within minutes the smiles returned. (Oh, and the peanut gallery serenaded us with their rendition of "Let it Go...".)

 

Finally it was play time! I really wanted more candid shots of the kids and I love getting silly with them, so we headed to my favorite group of trees and played a game of "Peek-a-Boo". Audrey finally let loose with her belly laughs and here is what we got...

Playing-Peek-a-Boo-Around-the-TreesPlaying Peek-a-Boo is great way to get little kids to smile for a candid portrait.

 

I also took this time to take individual portraits of all the kids as the light was just perfect.

 

Some of my favorite pictures from this session are the ones taken in those "in-between" moments. Posed pictures are important, but I can almost guarantee that right after I say, "Ok, we got it!", someone says or does something funny and we get great moments like these...

 

Then it was "Girl Time". All the girls decided they should get a picture with Lola. So first we did the posed shot...

 

...and then came the "Lola Show". Lola decided it was time to have some fun, and I think the girls were just as surprised as I was!

 

On our way out of the park, we stopped at the playground for more candid moments. Some of my favorites!

 

Nicole and Andrew's family were such a pleasure to work with. They ended up getting a beautiful wall portrait of the whole family to have as a remembrance of Lolo's special day. Happy Birthday Lolo!

Do you have a special occasion coming up?

Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations are the perfect time to schedule an Extended Family Portrait Session. Not only will you come away with beautiful portraits of your immediate family, but you'll also have timeless keepsakes of your extended family to pass on from generation to generation.

 

 

San Francisco Bay Area Family Portrait Photography

I hope you enjoy this San Francisco Bay Area Family Portrait photography provided by Cheryl Bigman Photography specializing in Portraits of Families and Children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheryl Bigman Photography is unique among other San Francisco Bay Area Family Portrait photographers. Each family is one of a kind, and Cheryl feels your Family Portraits should be one of a kind as well. Every Family Portrait Session is treated with the utmost care and attention in order to creatively weave together the story of your family.

 

Service Area Information

Cheryl Bigman Photography offers Photography of Families and Children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including but not limited to the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa areas of Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, Burlingame, Redwood City on the Peninsula, Marin County in the North Bay, and the South Bay.
Not looking for a Family Portrait Photographer? Please consider Cheryl for your custom high school senior photography and all your special event photography needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination photography outside the San Francisco Bay Area available upon request. Call for more information.

 

Maya and Nomi Visit 99.7 FM Radio - A Wish Granted

June 12, 2015  •  1 Comment

Maya and Nomi | Documentary
Date | 1.21.15
Location | FM 99.7 NOW Radio Station, San Francisco CA 
Wish Grantors | Adam Goldstein, Gatsby Entertainment, 99.7 NOW Radio
 

Good People, Giving Back

A few Blog posts ago, I told you the courageous story of Maya's Bat Mitzvah. Maya spoke so eloquently about being the bone marrow donor for her little sister Nomi who is battling Leukemia.

At the party, Maya and Nomi got the surprise of their lives when the good people from FM 99.7 NOW Radio arrived with a special message - an invitation to visit the station for a private tour and meet & greet with their favorite DJs. And thanks to our Bat Mitzvah DJ Adam Goldstein, I was invited to document the visit in pictures!

Surprise Message from 99.7 NOW DJs Fernando and Greg at Maya's Bat Mitzvah PartyA surprise message at Maya's Bat Mitzvah party from 99.7 NOW radio station DJs Fernando and Greg inviting her for a private tour.

 

When the big day finally arrived, the girls were given the royal treatment beginning with a limo ride from school to the station in San Francisco! Nomi decided to dye her hair a rock-star shade of lavender just for this occasion. Love that!

I met everyone at the station to find that one of my favorite DJs, Letty B, was in the studio. She couldn't have been nicer, signing the girls' posters and just having fun chatting them up. Gotta love those pink Beats!

DJ Letty B and Nomi Rocking Out at 99.7 NOW RadioDJ Letty B grants wish to Nomi during visit to 99.7 NOW Radio station in San Francisco. Love those pink Beats.

99.7 NOW Radio Station DJ Letty B Signs Fan PosterNomi gets her fan poster signed by DJ Letty B on her visit to 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco.

 

Then we toured of the rest of the studio. Maya had her "Step-and-Repeat" moment in the same spot all the big musical stars do when they visit the station. 

Step and Repeat Photo Op at 99.7 NOW RadioMaya having her step-and-repeat moment where all the big music starts do on her tour of 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco.

 

Cool signed memorabilia all over the place!

Ed Sheerhan signed memorabilia at 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco.Maya checking out all the cool signed memorabilia on her tour of 99.7 NOW Radio station in San Francisco.

 

Maya and Nomi had fun laying down some tracks with one of the station's mixmasters.

Laying Down Tracks at 99.7 NOW Radio in San FranciscoMaya and Nomi got to record their very own tracks on a tour of 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco. Make-a-Wish granted.

 

All giggles listening to what they just recorded.

Giggles Listening Back to their Recordings at 99.7 NOW Radio StationGirls giggle as they listen back to the voice tracks they recorded on their tour of 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco.

 

We headed back to the on-air studio just in time to watch infamous St. John take his shift at the controls for his afternoon show,  "St. John's Playhouse". I was AMAZED at how fast this guy works! (Although there was an empty Vente-sized Starbucks cup on his desk.) SO much fun seeing all the behind-the-scenes action.

99.7 NOW Radio Station Tour with DJ St. John for Make-a-WishMaya and Nomi get a private tour of 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco including a visit with DJ St. John. On Air with DJ St. John on Tour of 99.7 NOW RadioGirls watching DJ St. John from 99.7 NOW radio station do his show St. John's Playhouse.

We even got to help him judge one of those listener contests! 99.7 NOW Radio Station Tour with DJ St. JohnGirls get to participate in an on-air radio contest with DJ St. John during his show St. John's Playhouse at 99.7 NOW in San Francisco.

 

Then it was Maya and Nomi's turn at the mic. Shout-outs to all their friends at school were a must.

Girls Get a Turn at the Microphone On-Air at 99.7 NOW Radio in San FranciscoNomi and Maya get a shout out to all their school friends while on air at 99.7 NOW Radio station in San Francisco.

Girls Get On-Air at 99.7 NOW Radio During Make-A-Wish VisitGirls get to give an on-air shout out to all their school friends during their tour of 99.7 NOW radio station in San Francisco with DJ St. John.

 

Finally, Adam and the girls headed back home... limo-style of course. What a great day!

Girls Get Limo Ride to Tour 99.7 NOW Radio in San FranciscoA special limo ride to San Francisco for a private tour of 99.7 NOW Radio Station. A Make-a-Wish granted to a little girl who is battling Leukemia.

Special thanks to Adam Goldstein, Gatsby Entertainent, DJs Letty B and St. John, and all the other people at the station who went out of their way to make Maya and Nomi's day so special.

 

My Spring Break in St. Louis or "Angst at the Arch"

April 14, 2015  •  2 Comments

Just returned from Spring Break and thought it was about time for a personal story on the Blog. I'm wondering if any of you can relate to what you're about to read as I'd love to know I'm not alone! Honestly, I wasn't sure if I should even write about this as it's a bit embarrassing, but here it goes...

This year I let my daughter decide where she wanted to go for Spring Break since we haven't had a mother/daughter vacation in quite a few years. It was really a pre-emptive move on my part. I figured if she chose our destination, I would avoid hearing that lovely "teenager voice" complaining about everything wrong with our trip.

So where did she choose? St. Louis! Not exactly what I had in mind for Spring Break, but I had never been, and knowing how much she loves history (and hockey), I agreed.

 

A Visit to the Gateway Arch

The one thing I knew for sure I wanted to do in St. Louis was see the famous Gateway Arch. After all, it's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of St. Louis, right? When I found out you could actually ride to the top for spectacular views of the city, I was SO excited! My daughter on the other hand was less than thrilled. It's about 640 feet high and at first she was hesitant to go. Being the adventurous type, I was determined to convince her we had to "not think" and "just do"!

We arrived at the Old Courthouse to pick up our "Journey to the Top" tickets, and walked past a few exhibits on the history of the Arch.

Side view of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri where you can pick up tickets to the top of the Gateway Arch.Old-Courthouse-St.-Louis-MissouriSide view Old Courthouse St. Louis, Missouri.

 

This one in particular got my attention - a model of one of the original "pods" that carried passengers to the top. It looked like a tiny space capsule with 5 seats crammed inside and no windows. All I kept thinking was, thank goodness times have changed because you would NEVER get me in one of those things!

 

Gateway-Arch-Pod-to-the-TopSt. Louis Gateway Arch pod used to take people to the top of the arch.

 

We made our way to the entrance of the arch and patiently waited for our boarding time to be called.

 

Entering the tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.Gateway-Arch-Journey-to-the-TopEntrance to the Gateway Arch tram ride to the top in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Walking toward the boarding area felt like waiting for the Space Mountain ride in Disneyland. There were lots of interesting displays on the walls about the construction of the arch, but I never saw any photos of what the tram really looks like. We made our way down the stairs and were told to stand in front of the steel door with our boarding number on it. Here is what we saw...

 

Door-to-Enter-Tram-Ride-Gateway-ArchDoorway to enter tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

The door looked like something out of Alice and Wonderland. It was tiny to say the least. I had convinced myself that this was no big deal. Just a short 5-minute ride to the top. I was excited to hear we could spend as much time as we wanted taking in the the views (and of course taking pictures) before returning back down to earth. Camera at the ready, I heard the cars coming down to pick us up. As Door #4 opened, I stared in utter shock and disbelief at what was in front of me.

 

Tram-Pod-Gateway-Arch-St.-LouisTram pod to ride to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

The tram car looked exactly like the "pod" we had seen in the exhibit! (Note: this picture is a close-up of the pod in the museum. I was so stunned after that door opened, I forgot to take a picture of the actual pod!)

My daughter climbed in without hesitation along with another adult dad and his daughter. My heart was racing, my hands started shaking, and all I could say was, "I'm sorry, I can't do this."

I've never thought of myself as being prone to panic attacks, but there I was - completely frozen!!!

Just the thought of being closed into this thing with 3 other people sent me into a full-on panic attack. I said goodbye to my daughter (telling her to please take pictures for me), and walked away. I honestly thought I was going to cry. I was so thrown off-guard by how much this affected me.

 

Panic Attacks? - not me!

I never understood panic attacks before this. I've always thought I would never be "that person". And there I was, sitting in the lobby waiting for my daughter to come back and tell me how ridiculous I was. How could I have let the arch defeat me? Am I getting old? What the heck is wrong with me? I was so disappointed in myself.

About 20 minutes later, my daughter returned from her ride, took one look at me, and wrapped her outstretched arms around me. All she said was, "Come here. Poor mama." I think she saw the sheer terror in my face when that steel door opened.

We walked outside and she shared her iPhone pictures with me. Here's some of what I missed (Photo credits: Hallie Bigman).

 

 

 

 

Shaking it off

Once I started taking pictures outside, all of my anxiety disappeared and I was back in my happy place, looking for that unique shot of the famous arch. Here are a few of my favorites.

 

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri photographed from the side.Gateway-Arch-St.-Louis-Missouri-Unique-ViewA unique view of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Gateway-Arch-St-Louis-with-SunburstGateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri shot from one end with a sunburst.

 

Gateway-Arch-in-Spring-St.-LouisThe Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri at the beginning of Spring.

 

So that was our traumatic event at the famous Gateway Arch. I can only think of one other time in my life when I've even come close to feeling the way I did that day. I was getting ready to shoot a Bar Mitzvah party at UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium and got stuck in a Field Club elevator. Felt like the walls were caving in!

I would LOVE to hear from anyone else out there who's experienced panic attacks or something similar. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

 

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Maya's Bat Mitzvah - A Lesson in Courage

February 25, 2015  •  1 Comment

Maya | Bat Mitzvah
Date | 1.10.15
Service | Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA
Reception | The Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, CA
DJ | Adam Goldstein, Gatsby Entertainment
Decor | Balloon Thrills
Caterer | The Claremont

 

Once in awhile, someone comes into your life who touches you in ways you could never imagine. Several months ago, I met with Maya’s family for a consultation about photography for her Bat Mitzvah. As they told me their story, my heart just ached.

You see, one year ago, their youngest daughter Naomi ("Nomi") was diagnosed with Leukemia and their whole world was turned upside down. It reminded me of the first time I met Chelsea and her family (Chelsea's Hope), who many of you know I've worked with over the years. Listening to the pain in their voices as they described what the last year has been like was heart-wrenching.

 

Maya Pre-Mitzvah Portraits

 

And while Naomi's parents were focused on the endless tests, chemo, hospital stays, and complications, Maya was often left to fend for herself. She had to try and continue living her 13-year old life of school and religious studies in preparation for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah, and she did so with courage beyond her years. One of her wishes was that her little sister Naomi would be well enough to attend her Bat Mitzvah...

 

Maya's Pre-Mitzvah Portraits

 

I had the honor of photographing Maya's Bat Mitzvah a few weeks ago, and I'm happy to say Naomi made it with flying colors. To be the one to capture her and her family having this one day of “normalcy”, celebrating Maya and just being in the moment was awesome!

 

Maya's Bat Mitzvah Family Portraits

 

Maya's Bat Mitzvah Temple Isaiah, Lafayette

 

 

Nomi’s journey of recovery however is far from over, and the entire family's resilience is being tested once again. On Feb.9th, Nomi re-entered the hospital and endured 8 days of intensive chemotherapy in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. Last week, Maya entered the hospital and underwent the procedure to harvest her own bone marrow in order to donate stem cells to save her little sister's life.

 

In Maya's D'var Torah (teaching) about courage, she shared her thoughts on this next step in Nomi's treatment. Maya touched every single person listening that morning including me.

 

 

 

Tears filled Maya's eyes as she spoke so eloquently about being the bone marrow donor for Naomi, and about her fears as she and her family enter this next phase of her sister's treatment.

 

 

 

Here is an excerpt from Maya's speech:

"In new situations, we often need a push. We need someone who believes in us and helps us build our confidence to try a new experience.

Early last year, shortly after my sister, Naomi, was diagnosed with cancer, I had to have my blood tested to see if I might be a match in case she needed a bone marrow transplant. I have a phobia of needles, and I was scared to have my blood taken. My mom and I went to have this done at the same time. Even though I was scared, it helped to have my mom with me.

Even more than that, I kept thinking about Nomi and everything she was going through. I thought, if she can do all of that, then I can do this. Even though I knew I had to do it, her experience helped me build up my confidence to face my fear and do something scary.

Nomi will be getting a stem-cell transplant in February and I am her donor. When I found out, I didn’t hesitate about doing it, at all. But, I am very nervous about how uncomfortable and painful it will be, and I am anxiously anticipating the day. I know I need support to help me get through it and have the confidence in myself to be able to deal with it.

I have learned that I am capable of doing more than I might think.

We are all capable of doing more than we realize. When we come up with excuses and try to get out of doing things that are hard,  we might not ever get the chance to see that we can be good at the difficult challenges we were too scared to try."

 

Wow, what a powerful lesson for us all! Really makes you stop and think...

  • How many times have you let fear stop you from trying something new?
  • How many times have you passed up an opportunity to grow as a person?
  • How many times have you looked back at a missed opportunity in your life and said, "I should have..."

 

Maya's celebration that evening was such an incredible event, truly a celebration of life. Photographing Naomi and her family letting lose and having the time of their lives was such an amazing experience.

 

 

Maya's Bat Mitzvah Party The Claremont Hotel, Berkeley

 

Thank you to Maya’s family for sharing their inspiring story and to Maya for having the courage to share her innermost thoughts and feelings about a very difficult situation.

Thank you to Bar/Bat Mitzvah DJ extraordinaire Adam Goldstein (Gatsby Entertainment) for making so much of Maya's party possible.

 

I will continue to follow Maya and Naomi's story in a series of future Blog posts so stay tuned. In the meantime...

 

Maya's family needs our help 

A Fundraiser has been established to help the family pay for Naomi's mounting medical expenses. For the past year, they have been living off of the father's salary as an 8th grade science teacher since mom quit her job to take care of Naomi. Please read more about Naomi's story and consider making a donation today. Goal is to raise funds by Naomi's 12th Birthday on April 27th, 2015.

Find Fundraiser Ideas that Work

 

 

 

San Francisco Bay Area Bar & Bat Mitzvah Photography

I hope you enjoy this San Francisco Bay Area Bat Mitzvah Photography provided by Cheryl Bigman Photography specializing in Bar & Bat Mitzvah photography throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheryl Bigman Photography is unique among other San Francisco Bay Area Bar & Bat Mitzvah photographers. Each family is one of a kind, and Cheryl feels your Bar & Bat Mitzvah photography should be one of a kind as well. Every Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah is treated with the utmost care and attention in order to creatively weave together the story of your special day.

 

 

Service Area Information

Cheryl Bigman Photography offers Bar & Bat Mitzvah Photography throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including but not limited to the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa areas of Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, Burlingame, Redwood City on the Peninsula, Marin County in the North Bay, and the South Bay.
Not looking for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Photographer? Please consider Cheryl for your custom high school senior photography and family and children's photography needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination photography outside the San Francisco Bay Area available upon request. Call for more information.

 

“An Officer and a Gentleman” Comes to Life in San Ramon, CA

November 11, 2014  •  2 Comments

Paula and Zack | Surprise Portrait Session
Date | 10.17.14
Location | San Ramon, CA

 

The Call

So I get this call from New York and I’m thinking maybe I’m finally going to fulfill my dream of photographing an East Coast Bar or Bat Mitzvah! But little did I know that the gentleman on the other end of the phone was about to give me the photography opportunity of a lifetime. Storytelling through pictures is and always has been what I love most about photography. (I think I must have been a photojournalist in a previous life.) Whether it’s a B’nai Mitzvah, a wedding, a high school senior, or families and kids, I’m always looking for the backstories, and this gentleman had one of the best I’ve ever had the honor of telling.

 

The gentleman proceeded to tell me that he was flying out to California to bring the love of his life back to New York with him, and he wanted to surprise her on her last day of work. He asked me if I was familiar with the last scene in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman”. Well, duh, who from my generation doesn’t know that scene! Richard Gere playing the role of Zack Mayo, after graduating from the military academy against all odds, shows up in his whites at the factory where his girlfriend Paula works. He scoops her up in his arms, places his hat on her head, and carries her off into the sunset. One of the best movie scenes ever, right? So when this real-life Officer and a Gentleman asked if I’d be willing to capture the moment when he re-enacts this scene with his girlfriend, I could hardly contain myself! He told me his girlfriend works at the elementary school down the street from my house. That’s how he found me on the internet (isn’t Google awesome!). So for the purposes of this Blog, the Gentleman shall be known as Zack, and his lady, Paula.

 

We talked about all the details of the shoot, and I was already strategizing about how I was going to capture that special moment in all of about 30 seconds. No pressure! The plan was to wait down the street from the school until about 12:15pm, follow Zack into the school, and then into Paula’s classroom for the big surprise. I would then follow him as he carried her out of the school and walked down the street. For all you photographers (and photo enthusiasts), keep in mind that I was going into the classroom completely blind, no idea on white balance, lighting, etc…, and then going right into shooting outside at high noon. I decided to carry 2 cameras, one with a wider angle lens for the classroom, and one with a long telephoto lens for outside, both with flash at the ready.

 

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While we were waiting down the street for the big moment, I decided to capture some portraits of Zack by himself as he was looking so sharp in his uniform. It was at this time that he shared his very special story with me and I can’t tell you how close I came to breaking down in tears…

 

JeffMackston-9530-Edit

 

 

The Story

Zack and Paula first dated in high school. Then, they each went their separate ways, and he joined the navy. They ended up marrying other people, having kids and living separate lives. As is so common, especially in my generation, they married young and as the years went on, grew apart from their spouses. They reconnected at a high school reunion and began communicating more regularly when they realized how much they enjoyed being with each other, and that they had a very special connection. Fast forward 5 years after trying to have a bi-coastal relationship, they finally decided that they did not want to spend another minute apart. Paula gave her notice at work, packed up her house, and prepared to move back to New York.

 

The Big Moment

I love surprises, but I tend to get caught up in the same emotions that my clients are experiencing, so the challenge for me was to stay focused on getting the shots. Not an easy task! We walked into the classroom and this is what I saw through my camera…

 

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It all happened SO fast, and Zack was obviously VERY excited as he booked out of that classroom SO fast I had to run to catch up (while shooting!). Sometimes these things don’t always go as planned. Zack hoped this would be a very private moment, but we didn’t realize it was a Minimum Day – the whole school was out at 12:15! Parents were everywhere picking up their kids. Kids watching knew something great was happening, but they had no idea what. As a result, we had a curious audience watching all of this unfold. I really love the shots that show their reactions because they help to tell the story. Can’t you just hear them saying, “Awwwww”?

 

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After…

After the big moment, I introduced myself to Paula. I’m sure she was probably wondering the whole time who this crazy lady was chasing her down the street taking pictures. I decided to do a few quick portraits of Zack and Paula at the same spot I used earlier for Zack’s portraits. I just let them be in the moment and the results were exactly what I hoped for. Every time I look at these pictures, I feel the love and the passion these two have for each other.

 

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I feel so honored that I got to be the one to capture this very special time in the life of a true Officer and a Gentleman. A turning point in both their lives for sure. Zack and Paula, I hope you will look back on these pictures years from now, and remember this moment like it was yesterday. Thank you Zack for finding me on Google. Thank you Paula for being so lovely. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together in New York.

 

 

San Francisco Bay Area Photography

I hope you enjoy this San Francisco Bay Area Portrait Photography provided by Cheryl Bigman Photography specializing portrait photography throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Cheryl Bigman Photography is unique among other San Francisco Bay Area portrait photographers. Each family and each story is one of a kind, and I feel your portrait photography should be one of a kind as well. Every portrait session is treated with the utmost care and attention in order to creatively weave together your story.

 

Service Area Information

Cheryl Bigman Photography offers Portrait Photography throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including but not limited to the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa areas of Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Mateo, Burlingame, Redwood City on the Peninsula, Marin County in the North Bay, and the South Bay.
Not looking for a Portait Photographer? Please consider Cheryl for all your special event photography needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination photography outside the San Francisco Bay Area available upon request. Call for more information.

 

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