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 gretchen@gretchenadams.com and we can talk about the possibilities.


Why kids ought to be in pictures

children's portraits by Gretchen Adams Photography walnut creek, caWho wouldn't want to freeze all of their little one's precious, candid moments and put them in a frame to keep forever? Kids say and do the most adorably cute things, but their youth is so brief. That's why children's portraits are so incredibly vital. They're time-sensitive memories that people often forget to seize, and in the blink of an eye, years have drifted by. Parents, you may be avoiding the idea of professional children's portraits for fear that your little one won’t cooperate or sit still for very long. This is completely understandable, but what's great is that there are photographers who are experienced in working with children and have more than enough patience and skill to get through a session, and to do so with finesse and ease. The importance of children's photos cannot be stressed enough. As time passes, grandparents are going to want to look back and share memories of their grandkids with friends. Those same kids are going to grow up fast and become nostalgic—let's be honest, haven't we all been there? It’s so worth it to catch those moments of innocence.

A Few Ideas

You can have these portraits of your children done in-studio, in a variety of poses and backgrounds, or you could do something unconventional and book a shoot on-location, in a place where he or she is comfortable. At Gretchen Adams Photography, our specialty is casual, yet polished photos. Have some candid shots taken of your little ones playing or running around with siblings. It's like tackling 3 different things: new memories are created, the children are having a great time, and the portraits look beautiful, natural, and totally genuine.

Often, when people think about kids in professional photos, they think about dressing the child in their nicest sweater, getting their hair to look just right, not a strand out of place. And this is great if your child is old enough to maintain the look, but if you’ve got a very young one who can’t stand dresses or ties, then it might be a good idea to have an on-location session in a comfortable place where things aren’t so perfectly postured.

In children's photo shoots, you need a photographer who is professional, flexible, and patient! You want to be able to collaborate on ideas and get the best results. You can check out our line of work here and see for yourself that simplifying the entire experience for you and your child will yield gorgeous photos that will be in your family for many, many years. Contact Gretchen Adams Photography today!

Studio vs. outdoor headshot sessions for men

Outdoor business headshots for men SF Bay Area Sometimes our male headshot clients assume that their headshot should be taken indoors in a studio environment.  That is a pretty common route, and we can certainly create some very polished and modern images in our studio, we do it all the time! But for some business professionals, especially those in a creative field or a highly competitive industry that requires you to really stand out, an outdoor session might be a better fit for you!

When a location shoot is schedule, we choose our locations very carefully. Maybe your headshot set needs to include formal business attire as well as some causal wear so that you have final images to use in a variety of ways. Not a problem! For a more business formal style, we love to use locations that have a lot of hardscape or architectural elements. It helps set a powerful tone, and can be a great compliment to a well-styled business suit. Taking the images outdoors also takes a bit of the “corporate feel” out of the traditional posed headshot. While your images will still come across as very polished and professional, they will also feel more welcoming and authentic. Not everyone thinks to have their headshots created outdoors with natural light, so your headshot will stand out against all the other head-and-shoulders-against-a-white-background headshots that you will see all over social media sites like LinkedIn.

Every business is unique so we work closely with you to plan a session that is just right for the image you want to convey. Give us a call or drop us a note and we’ll be happy to talk with you about what we can create specifically for you!

Eliminate senior portrait stress!

outdoor senior portraits walnut creek One of the great milestones in everyone’s life is graduating high school. There are a few things to look forward to (including the glory of seniority): Homecoming, Prom, and—of course—senior portraits! You know graduation is coming up fast when the topic of senior portraits comes about. Though this is an incredibly exciting time, it can also be a little bit nerve-wracking to make sure that the perfect photo is taken. This is the portrait that everyone is going to see and every family member is going to ask for! The pressure is definitely on! Worry not—Gretchen Adams Photography has all your bases covered. Lots of students use the photography company provided by the school, but many times, seniors see their yearbook photo or their prints and aren't exactly pleased with them. Why is that? Can somebody say, "Re-do!" Well, the reason for this is that the company provided by the school sticks students in a few awkward poses, takes a couple of quick shots, and then jumps on to the next. They don’t pay much attention to hair and make-up, nor do they make sure that all accessories complement the photo. Frankly, they aren’t paid to consider most of those details so, sadly, every celebrating senior just becomes a ticket number.

But no worries!—You've got options. If you're a parent or high school senior, you may want to seek professional photography services elsewhere, like with us here at Gretchen Adams Photography. This way, you aren’t restricted to the poses, the time constraints, and the fixed photo packages of the school. Some senior portraits are taken in cap and gown uniform, but others are taken in the standard black dressy shawl for ladies and suit and tie for men. With Gretchen Adams Photography, the choice is yours! Barefoot with jeans and a tee? Your letterman jacket and a ball cap? Sure! The photograph should be the perfect précis of who you are.

When you independently seek a photographer for senior portraits, you're essentially guaranteeing a top notch and quality experience. Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera or taking pictures amongst their peers. Most students would actually prefer a private setting, and a little more time than just a few minutes to get comfortable with the idea of being in front of the camera. Having senior pictures done professionally also means that there are a variety of poses, and even backgrounds, to try, rather than the much smaller selection that may be provided at school. A better photograph means that, ultimately, you have acquired more for your money and the difference in care, quality and sheer aesthetic will be obvious.

If you live in, or can travel to, the San Francisco Bay area and would like to have senior portraits done independently, make sure you get in the studio with us here at Gretchen Adams Photography, and experience what it's like to have photos done with a seasoned professional. Not only will we deliver portraits that you'll be incredibly taken with, but we'll take our time with you and work at your comfort level.

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!

Branding your business with professional photos

Gretchen Adams Photography Business HeadshotsIn every industry, there are those businesses that simply set the standard for quality and professionalism. Trust us when we say, you want to be that business! Those who go the extra mile often see the most success. So what is it that sets some apart from others? Creating a signature image or branding oneself is one of the keys to profitability. Though, yes, profitability and branding can be done in a lot of different ways, everyone knows that establishing an online presence is incredibly crucial. Whether you run a small business or are self-employed, the most widespread exposure is found on the Internet, which means that you really want to be branded and individualized from all of the other entrepreneurs out there. When your name or business is searched on the web, what will people see? What images will appear? Will you have a signature presence or will you be obscure?

One of the most important steps to take in branding yourself or your business is to invest in excellent photos. As a progressive individual, professional business portraits are a must-have for moving endeavors forward and broadening a client base.

Pictures divulge a lot about you and the type of service you aim to provide to your clients. So it makes sense that a headshot of you as the leader of your business, and of your industry, can help push potential patrons toward a feeling of comfort and trust when it comes to bringing their business to you. Headshots are certainly that first point-of-contact. Photos are powerful branding tools because they're visual and, therefore, unforgettable. They say a person is less likely to forget something if they can see and visualize it. Professional pictures of you, or your business partners, are different than just a simple company logo. They establish who you are and what you intend to provide. This is more than just a symbol—it's personal.

High quality pictures are so important because they represent you and the amount of care that you've invested into your brand. Therefore, a photo taken at home or on a cell phone won’t exactly be up to par. This is not something that business-minded individuals should cut corners on. The better the quality, the bigger the impact on your ventures.

Professional business headshots and photos can be done in a variety of locales. They can be taken on-location, in the photographer's studio, or at the place of business. Gretchen Adams Photography is a full service studio that knows how to cater to your needs, and produce an image that embodies your brand. Don’t sit on this concept. Take your business to new heights and call us here at Gretchen Adams Photography to schedule your studio session time. Please check out examples of some of our recent headshot sessions here.

What you need to know about headshots

What You Need To Know About HeadshotsHeadshots highlight the facial features of an individual from the top of the head to somewhere around the chest area and are very popular among people who want to establish their name and face in a particular industry. While, they are often used by actors and actresses in the world of performing arts, headshots are not limited to the creative set. Business people and entrepreneurs utilize headshots just as much to promote their services and present themselves as professionals.

Who Might Need Headshots?

You may wonder why a business person like a real estate agent, a contractor, or an event planner, would need a headshot. In actuality, investing in a quality photograph can be highly profitable to business for several reasons. It makes the statement that you care about how your clients view you and that professionalism is important. Plus, isn’t it comforting to enlist services from someone who is more than a name, but also a face? A headshot represents you even before meeting clients. This can take business to the next level.

Tips For Taking An Awesome Headshot

An excellent headshot is one that illuminates one’s true appearance from hair, to eyes, to skin color. The face is the focus here, rather than body type. When photographed in the right lighting, headshots reveal what a person looks like on a regular basis. This kind of picture doesn’t require a lot of staging or make up; it’s just a true shot of person, though natural makeup is always acceptable.

To get an even better photo, solid colors which complement the skin tone should be worn. Excessively bright colors, logos, or busy patterns can take away from the focus of the picture which is the face. Keep in mind, headshots aren’t the same as glamor shots in magazines. The purpose isn’t to model clothing or promote anything but yourself. The photo should be an honest depiction of you.

Clients want to feel like they’re doing business with real people. Headshots provide the perfect opportunity to show personality and give others the chance to see who you are before meeting you. This is a must in the entertainment industry but also in the everyday professional realm. Invest in some polished, high quality headshots and the value will quickly become evident. In fact, if you are in the SF Bay area, trust us here at Gretchen Adams Photography to take care of your professional photo needs. Please check out examples from some of our current headshot sessions here.

Outdoor senior portraits | san ramon valley high school

Another senior portrait session! These shoots are so much fun, I really enjoy working with the high school seniors to create special and memorable portraits for them. For this session, Madi brought along her sweet little dog, Kitty. It’s obvious how much Madi loves her and she was a good little doggie during our session! We started in town and captured some of the urban scenes and then headed down to the water as the sun was setting to get a different feel.  We even lucked out with a beautiful little tree that was changing color for the fall and had perfect light.  These are some of Madi’s favorites from our shoot…

Senior portraits by the water | san ramon valley high

Such a fun shoot with Claire to celebrate her senior year! I have known her since she was a baby and it's so cool to see what a beautiful young lady she has turned into! We had a gorgeous evening for our shoot with nice warm weather right at the end of the summer. The sun was setting fast, so we moved quickly and got a great collection of images with a few outfit changes in less than 30 minutes! Here are a few of our favorites from the set...

Senior portraits monte vista high | danville, ca

Justine and I met a few weeks ago for her senior portrait session and had so much fun. I had her text me shots of her outfit choices prior to our session and then I planned our shooting route based on the outfits she had lined up so that we were able to get a good variety of images while the light was still perfect. We had a gorgeous summer evening to work with, so we started in town and then ended by the water to capture the last little bits of setting sun. The sunset that night was amazing! After the sun set, the sky was such an incredible vibrant pink color, and it was reflecting on the water around us while I shot. One thing that drives me nuts about blog post is that I can't control how my images will look on every monitor they might be viewed on, so I hope the soft pastel colors are coming across on at least some of the devices out there! Here is a selection of images that Justine and her family chose to go into her folio box collection, and I know the prints will be incredible! I can't wait until they arrive!!!