local outdoor portraits

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.

The perfect family photo—it's no myth!

family photos walnut creek, CANo home is complete without that perfect family portrait to grace the wall. They capture all types of families, from the largest to the smallest, in a framed moment of togetherness. And, honestly, how beautiful are those moments? These photos are meant to invoke joy and a sense of family pride, but often picture day can turn into a total flop. Here are a few things to remember to ensure a lovely family portrait and a fabulous experience!

  • Don’t worry about everything being perfect. They say you usually find perfection in imperfection anyway. And you can have that perfection, but it shouldn't cost you weeks of stress. The purpose of having the portrait done is to show family unity and happiness for years to come, and to make memories tangible. You definitely don’t want to look at your family portrait and remember it as a point of anxiety. At Gretchen Adams Photography, you’re in the hands of a capable and seasoned photographer.
  • Try to have professional family portraits done regularly. Families change, children are born, parents and grandparents age. This is a perfect reason to make sure every member is counted in your still shots. The holidays are the perfect time to get the whole family together and have a portrait done. Kids are home from school and out of town family members are arriving. You might even give some thought to using the photos as holiday greeting cards!
  • Consider switching up the scenery aesthetic of your portraits. We at Gretchen Adams Photography will shoot for you on-location. This way, you're not confined to a studio if that doesn't work for you. You can have your portrait done in a place where the whole family enjoys being. This includes everywhere from your living room to beautiful wine country in the spring! Get comfortable—when your location is less hectic or confining, your finished photos will reflect that.
  • Be sure that you’re doing business with a reputable and skilled pro! You've heard that photography is an art? It's never been more true. We care about your comforts and concerns for the details of your shoot, down to the very outfits you wear. You can view samples online in order to get a better idea for the high standards being met with our studio. We at Gretchen Adams Photography are dedicated to spending time capturing the best of the best shots for you, and when you work with us, you won’t have to breathe through the hassle of rushed photos shot in your local mall.

Gretchen Adams Photography is located in the San Francisco Bay area, and our professional family shots will not leave you disappointed. We can honestly say that the artistry and expertise shine through every shot, so portrait day won't be "just another stressful ordeal." We've all had them. Contact us in a hurry and schedule a session for your family, because bookings are limited and, as of today, the holidays are officially here!

Summer evening by the water | larkspur, ca

I first met Meg and Jim when they were expecting their first daughter. We had a beautiful maternity session at my cottage studio back then, and now to see them as a family of four is such a special treat. It seems like just yesterday they were starting their family, and now that little baby bump is twirling circles in the fields! We had a beautiful sunset session with all four of them done by the water's edge, and here are a few favorites. I am purposely not sharing their family portrait yet because I want Meg to see it for the first time all complete when she comes to pick up their gorgeous canvas print. 

Twin sister's outdoor sunset portraits | bay area, ca

I'm very behind on blogging! This portrait session was a Mother's Day gift from these gorgeous daughters to their mother, Karen. The oldest sister, Kristin, brought her little twin sisters out for a surprise session and Karen was indeed surprised on Mother's Day with a beautiful slideshow of the images! This was a styled shoot, meaning that all Kristin had to do was meet me out on location and I provided the kids' outfits and accessories and styled their hair. It was a lot of fun and the girls were such a delight. I thought for sure the surprise would be ruined because Kristin said when she brought the girls back home they continued to talk about how nice Miss Gretchen is and that I gave them pretty dresses. Oops! Well, luckily Karen didn't catch on to their comments, so we pulled it off! Here are some of our favorites from the shoot...

A perfect Valentine's Day gift for your wife or mother | Walnut Creek, CA

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! What do you have planned? Flowers die, candy gets eaten, but a portrait of your family or just your children will last generations. Why not present your wife (or your Mom!) with a beautifully packaged gift certificate for a portrait session? To help you last minute lads out a bit, I have several prepped and ready to go, and can arrange to meet you at my studio or somewhere local to your work on Thursday  (assuming it's not too late in the day, since it's MY Valentine's Day as well!) so you can go home at the end of the day with a perfect gift she will LOVE! Ladies, if you are reading this and want to give your hubby a hint, just email him this link or post it on your Facebook wall by hitting the "share" button below ;) perfect gift for valentine's day for a special family portrait in walnut creek, ca

My little buddy

Rarely do I create a blog post about my own children, but believe me, they are photographed A LOT! I always intend to share their images, but somehow taking the time to do so never seems to happen. So since I just shot these of my youngest just today and literally JUST downloaded them onto my computer, I figured I would take a few extra minutes and actually put them on my blog! For those of you that know our family, you already recognize this sweet face as our little dude, Canon. He just turned 7 and is just the best little boy in the world (I'm biased). What might be hard to recognize is that Canon is affected by autism. Which, of course, means we are ALL affected by autism. We are affected because sometimes Canon has strong reactions to certain stimuli and that can cause strangers to stare and pass judgment on his behavior and our reaction to his behavior. But autism has also affected us in a very positive way. We have learned that each of us is wired differently and just because someone doesn't fit into the same box that we do, doesn't mean that there is something "wrong" with them that needs to be corrected. It's our reaction to people who are different from us that needs to be corrected. Canon has taught us to accept people as they come, appreciate the gifts and talents they bring, and to recognize that life would be pretty boring if we were all cut out of the same cloth! And I have to add...Canon is not only a very bright child, but he is absolutely the sweetest little boy on the planet! I overheard him telling his sister yesterday "I hurt my leg, but Mommy kissed it. Her kiss is magical!" Love that kid!!