Pet Portraits

Dog portrait

As many of our clients know, the Adams family are HUGE animal lovers. So much, in fact, that we use to have a small retail dog and cat boutique in downtown Benicia for awhile. The shop, Koda & Co., was named after our beloved beagle and was located First Street in downtown Benicia.  But that brings me back to PET PORTRAITS! As you look through the family portraits on this site, you will notice A LOT of dogs in our family portraits. Of course, because dogs are people too :). But did you also know that you can schedule a session JUST for your pet? It really is such a wonderful image to capture and, in my opinion, just as important as any other family member's portrait. Here are some examples of recent pet portraits, but as with any portrait session, keep in mind that these are completely customizable to your taste and style. So while these are done with a very european feel, we can also create some beautiful beach or park images or even portraits right in your own home. If this is something that has been on your to-do list and you would like to chat about the options, give us a call on the studio line at 925-676-7036 or drop an email to and we can talk about the possibilities.


Making memories with family portraits

IMG_94359002gretchen-adams-photographyFamily is important and that's no surprise. Another thing that's no surprise? One of the best ways to make memories with your family is to have family portraits taken each year. Hanging these photographs on the wall is a great way to see how your family changes over the years, with new additions, children growing up, and even pets included. We offer you extensive family portrait services with a personal touch. It's the Gretchen Adams touch that makes us so great at what we do. Before you head to any studio, check their qualifications. If they have a portfolio, take a look and see if the photographs match your expectations for your own family pictures. Gretchen Adams Photography has an extensive portfolio, so you can see our experience with family portraits. It surely speaks for itself. Deciding how you want your photos to look can be one of the biggest challenges, but we make sure that we take the time during our personal design consultation to really get to know your family's style so we can design a session that will truly reflect YOU. Remember that your photos will be displayed in your home, and you might even send them to family and friends. You want to make sure it shows the essence of your family and that it’s something you will be proud to show off. We work closely with our clients to make sure that all the details, from outfits to location, have been expertly planned out.

Speaking of location...that is another big consideration! Many big photography studios only offer in-studio shots, which will use a colored backdop. However, you may decide on a more natural aesthetic with us. We're more than happy to travel for photo shoots, including to your own home, the beach, or a park. This can be a convenient time to have your portrait done and spend some time together, especially if you're doing a family portrait that involves family members who don’t live together. Everyone can meet up at a special place, which will make taking the actual picture more memorable and a less stressful experience for everyone.

If your family includes some four-legged friends, a photographer who travels—that's us!—can be useful. Some of the bigger studios don't allow for the inclusion of pets. A photographer who is willing to travel can meet you on location and include your four-legged family member in the photo. We're happy to travel to accommodate your furry little friend. Because we are animal lovers ourselves, we know exactly what items to have on hand to make sure we get the perfect shot and our time together is a blast for your pets as well!

Gretchen Adams Photography offers convenient family photography for people living in Walnut Creek or Pleasant Hill, as well as the East Bay area. As a small boutique studio, we'll travel to your desired location to provide you and your family with truly stunning results.

Planning your high school senior portrait

high school senior portraits Orinda CA gretchen adams photographyHigh school is one of the most memorable stages of life, and it can be bittersweet to leave this stage behind. Capture the memory of your senior year with high school senior portraits. Whether you decide to display it proudly or keep it safe in a photo album, these pictures can evoke fond memories as you move on to the next stage, whether it’s college, a career, or traveling. While you may get a yearbook photo taken by your school’s photographer, you'll probably want a more personal touch. Small studios are able to focus on you so that you are represented in the best possible way. At Gretchen Adams Photography, we can take your photo whether it’s for your yearbook or for a memento. Instead of relying on the typical solid background, we'll have a bit of fun with some travel so that you can get your photograph taken at your school, outdoors, or even at your home. All the details will be considered so that you will look your best in your high school senior portrait.

One of the best things about working with a smaller studio like us is the ability to take your time to get the perfect shot. In a typical school photography shoot, you are rushed and this shows in the final result. At the school, you are also typically limited to headshots, with no flexibility in poses. With Gretchen Adams Photography, you’ll have the time to try out different poses and the fun of different photo touches and lighting. Full body shots are really big, too, so be sure to consider those as one of your potential options. The hard part comes when you have to select the ones you like best, but don't worry, we actually make that a snap with our private in-person preview appointments. We're here to help guide you towards the very best images and the best ways to package them together. Although every family is unique in their portrait needs, most of our clients decide on one of our gorgeous folio box collections so they can have a set of beautifully matted prints with matching digital files.

If you find yourself in the SF bay area, consider consulting Gretchen Adams Photography to learn more about our senior portraits. Instead of waiting to see if you get a photograph you like from a typical school photography session, know that you’ll get excellent results you can be proud of by working with our studio.

High school senior portraits are important in every way

high school senior portraits san ramon ca gretchen adams photographyHigh school senior portraits are a long-standing tradition—a tradition that represents a step taken toward the adult world. This milestone deserves to be marked, and for many decades now, senior students have been getting their own personal photographs to help mark this milestone.

The trick to getting that absolutely spot-on high school senior portraits is to be sure that the personality and character of the student shows through. Many times, shooting on location is the best way to do this. On location shooting helps reflect the interests, habits and loves of the student while still ensuring quality photos. Whether the senior wants good head shots or wants pictures on the hood of their classic car, a high-quality photographer can ensure that the final results are more than worth the effort.

We know that you and your high school seniors are in the midst and chaos of one of the busiest times of the new adult's life, so Gretchen Adams Photography does everything within our power to snap a great shot with minimal fuss. What this means is that it's up to you to contact us and set up a time when we can begin this fun process. We'll all plan the shoot from the top of A to the bottom of Z, coordinating locations, poses, looks—all of it. That's one of the incredibly enjoyable parts, we've found, for everyone involved.

Students who've spent their high school lives playing a sport or instrument might like to don their letterman jackets, poms, or use their saxophones and violins as props. Some students really like to be photographed doing a certain activity, like drawing or playing with a pet. Others really enjoy straight on, face-forward headshots. Either way, it's important that you, at the end of the day, be happy with the final product.

To all you seniors out there, these photographs are an important part of senior year, and are the pictures that parents will send out to family and friends and with graduation announcements as well. To that end, it's pretty crucial that you get the very best photographs possible. Many times these headshots are the treasured mementos of this time of life and are those that will be kept for many years to come.

If the student is looking for a photographer who can generate something creative or of a certain quality for them, we at Gretchen Adams Photography, in combination with the student, can work together until that quest for awesome senior portraits is realized.

Authentic family portraits at your own home

outdoor portraits of kids by old vintage truck walnut creek ca gretchen adams photographyYou're probably pretty familiar with the traditionally posed family portrait. You may have even tried variations on poses to make the picture appear more fun, and to convey the personality of you and your family. After all, you want this to be something you can share with other. You want them to get a sense of how vibrant your family is from those images. But when you attempt to take these portraits yourself, do you ever feel rigid while posing? Are you the one responsible for the auto-timer, which leaves you having to rush back into position before the timer runs down? You have to admit that these shots are probably not the best representation of you and your family. Even studio portraits can be less than ideal, since this involves packing your family up and bringing them to an unfamiliar environment. Whether you're keeping these images to chronicle the growth of your children over the years, or sending pictures as gifts to your loved ones who aren’t nearby, you really want to be able to capture the essence of your family life. The ideal family portrait, then, should project a natural comfort that truly shows the joy and bonds of all the members in your household.

You know how lively, comedic and loving your family is. You want others to know that too.

a place of inspiration

At Gretchen Adams Photography, we like to step away from the classic studio image for family portraits. We realize that they don’t always capture the real interaction between family members, and even in a still shot, the dynamic that you all share is what really makes the portrait shine. You’ll find that you can get a more satisfying result when we're able to come to your home for a series of shots in a space that's natural for your family. We can take pictures indoors, in your backyard, or even at an outdoor location that your whole family loves and adores. Taking pictures in a space where you feel comfortable will let everyone’s personality and exuberance show.

We also understand that a studio can be difficult if you have younger children. When we bring all the equipment to you, it lets you be at ease. This makes the whole photography session a good experience for everyone in the family.

the art of not putting on airs

Stress is an emotion that isn’t easily hidden in pictures. Your self-portraits of the family and studio outings can generate a lot of what we like to call "performance tension." While we at Gretchen Adams photography pride ourselves for having an eye for balance within the image, we also do our best to coach you and put you at ease. Our ability to guide and comfort you and your family is part of what allows us to capture a memorable and honest shot. Basically, we're not only balancing the physical composition of your family portrait, but also balancing your personalities within the portrait.

four-legged family members

You may also have loved pets who are seen as members of your family. Studio portraits totally exclude your pups and kitty friends from the picture. When you contact Gretchen Adams Photography, you’ll find that we have extensive experience in making sure that everyone in the household, four-legged or otherwise, gets their time in the spotlight.

If you want your next family portrait to be a fun experience with stunning results, contact us today for an in-home photography session. We can help you not only capture the essence of your family, but also the fullness of the love that you share.

Thanks for the memories

outdoor high school senior portraits for guys san ramon ca gretchen adams photographyWhether you're looking forward or looking back—high school senior portraits are the pretty much the definition of tangible memories. They're an awesome way to remember what sort of things you spent your high school career doing as well as, perhaps, what you'll be doing as you move forward.

changing it up

You want your high school portraits to stand out, seniors. Here's why. First and foremost, your parents will likely send these portraits out to friends and family. And those friends and family are going to want to hang those photographs around their homes and offices. You know what that means—lots of eyes getting a glimpse of your photos. Having your portraits taken with us here at Gretchen Adams Photography means you're signing up for quality portraits taken with your wants in mind.

Another reason? These images also get sent out with your graduation announcements. Grandparents across the country, aunts and uncles, distant cousins—they're all likely to receive these photos with the announcement of your commencement. So, let's do this right. Let's do something a little different this year. Let's shake things up. We'll work together to figure out what looks, locations, and poses work for you.

lasting spirit

Parents. We've got some news for you too. Your graduating senior has got a style all their own and it's likely they've got a few ideas in mind for their senior portraits as well. With us here at Gretchen Adams Photography, we can capture a few stunning shots on location or in a studio. Either way, the portraits will be something both you and your teen can love. Our goal is to make these portraits into lasting memories. They've got the potential to capture the essence of the things your teen loves most—sports, nature or even just a few great pieces of clothing—and showcase their hopes for the future. After all, for some of us, those things do include the things we were doing in high school.

Senior portraits done with us have just what's needed to make those images standout from all the rest. Unique is just what we do. We also make sure that the individual portraits stand apart from each other. You might be wondering, "Well, how's that?" We do this by getting your senior to relax and show of their unique personalities. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of conversation and a smile to bring out that spark.

personality, quirk & interests

The personality that your seniors are growing into is an important thing to encourage. Naturally, you want them to achieve future success and further development, so why not support those goals with fabulous portraits? Half the fun is planning the portrait session. Parents, think back to your high school careers. What were your interests? Some of us were sports lovers, some of us were math lovers, others were band and cheer enthusiasts. Some of us might have even been a complex combination of all those things. If that's your senior, then half out battle's already taken care of.

Gretchen Adams Photography specializes in not only capturing the perfect shot, but also keying the photographs to the person in front of the camera too. We'll do everything we can to make sure the session is 3 things: stress-free, fun, and a perfect depiction of the graduating senior to-be.

Contacting us at Gretchen Adams Photography can get you started with planning an exciting senior portrait day.

Putting on a winning face

business headshots SF Bay AreaYou probably know how important image is when trying to attract clients. Although our society has always had an affinity for looks, modern technology has definitely driven people to become more visually acute. You see these aesthetics of advertising in any print ad or television commercial, to the point that we all have to admit that we'll try a product based, simply, on the way it looks or how appealing the packaging is. When you provide a service, you're basically selling yourself, so you have to make sure that your visual impact will drive your business. A good headshot can be your best ally when it comes to persuading a potential consumer to seek out your expertise. If a customer likes the way you look, or feels that your the photo on your website looks trustworthy, then you'll almost certainly have the guarantee of a new client.

visual cues

You may have tried taking your own pictures. Selfies definitely run rampant on the Internet, but they're not always the most flattering images. Part of the issue with this route for headshots is that, since you're viewing yourself, you don’t have the same objectivity that a professional photographer can give you. At Gretchen Adams Photography, we not only take great headshots, but we can also help you choose which images will reach your intended market.

When you look at your photos, you're also seeing them through the perspective of your own self image. If you’re having a stressful or off day, you tend to see your own pictures differently than you would on a good day. We can help to give you that objective eye, by putting you at ease, photographing you from different angles, and also taking your headshots in an environment where you feel most at home.

overdoing the editing

Of course, everyone wants to look their best, and editing software for photographs is used extensively for celebrities, models, and anyone who has their face in print. You may have some experience with editing your own pictures, but are your touch-ups turning off your clients? It’s very common to have your pictures end up looking unauthentic, and this can make your potential customers feel that you aren’t trustworthy. What you want is a natural looking headshot that highlights your best features, and is inviting to other people.

Contact us here at Gretchen Adams Photography. We can set you up to get your professional headshots taken. You’ll end up with a series of pictures that appeal to a range of customers, and make you look like the superstar you absolutely are! This can drive your business, and brand your name for better marketing reach.

light & shadows

Your new headshots can not only drive more service sales and business by providing an appealing face for your venture, but they can also communicate the fact that you’re a professional. Think about it. A shoddy image projects the idea that you’re not as capable as you really are. Your business deserves to be well represented, and an image that says you have experience will also be an image that looks polished. We give you that edge, not only by helping you look awesome, but also by giving you headshots that are high quality.

Gretchen Adams Photography can provide your business image with a richness that’s generated with the expert use of light and shadows. You’ll have a realistic representation of yourself that’s also appealing. We can help you show the world that you are a competent business person, and you can show your customers that your business is worth the effort of a great portrait.