San Francisco Twin Photography Session

 This San Francisco twin photography session was really fun because we were in the family home. My favorite thing about in home sessions is getting everyone on the bed for cuddles and play.

 I was so impressed with the calm, cool demeanor of these parents.  Nothing like when my kids were little, exhausted and overwhelmed, they made it look easy.
Twins are double the fun when it comes to photography.  It’s fun to see their differences and similarities.  My favorite part was watching this brother sister duo interact with each other.  They already seem to have such a strong bond.

twin 6 month old siblings during a san francisco bay area twin family session

mom with twins during a san francisco in home photography session

I always like to make mom the center of photos with her babies! It’s often moms that are taking photos of the kids so it’s nice when mom can be present and exist in photos.

mom and daughter on lap during a san francisco lifestyle session twins with parents on bed during a san francisco family photography session six month old boy during a san francisco family photography session

couple embracing during a san francisco beloved photography session

I approach all my sessions with an open heart.  I like to get to know my clients and become friends with them. It is super fun to see everyone relax in front of the camera.  The Beloved technique helps everyone become photogenic as they are showing natural expressions.

dad and daugher during san francisco family photography session family with twins on front porch during san francisco photography session

The front door photo is one I always try to capture during in home sessions. It is a special memory for families of their family at their home.

nursery photos from a san francisco twins photography session This San Francisco twin photography session had a sweet ending with the babies taking their nap while I was there.

family of four with twins during a san francisco photography session

Authentic capture is something I strive for during in home sessions.  I tell clients they don’t need to worry about cleaning up and real life bottle caps, coffee cups, iPhones and lists are all part of their daily life that should be remembered.

Anna Dobrenski Photography is a boutique studio specializing in lifestyle portraits for modern families.  If you are looking to capture heartfelt authentic images of your family in the San Francisco Bay Area, please contact me at 415. 518. 8880.

Menlo Park Photography Class!

Saturday, June 6th I co-hosted a photography class, Snap Happy, in Menlo Park. It was an item a fellow parent and I donated to the Las Lomitas Education Foundation. This is the third year I’ve gotten the chance to work with some moms from school to teach them some photography skills.  The goal of the class is to help them learn tips to improve their photography no matter what camera they own.  I also share some iPhone photography tips as well.

The class started with a delicious brunch and coffee, followed by a class presentation, demonstration, hands on learning along with Q & A. We raised over $1,100 for the morning and had a terrific time! Plus I got to photograph the attendees, bonus!

women with cameras during a menlo park photography class

head shots taken during a menlo park photography class

brunch during a menlo park photography class headshots taken during a menlo park photography class

We talked a lot about what it feels like to be in front of the camera.  I think sometimes we forget how much direction and feedback people need to get comfortable while being photographed.  My preferred method is using the Beloved Technique to help people be their most photogenic. My style is natural, honest and authentic so it’s important that people look like themselves while showing real emotion. women taking photos during a photo class by anna dobrenski

Working together in pairs helped the attendees remind each other the new tips they learned.  There was lots of chimping to see how they did. Some even shared their “old way” of photographing a person versus the “new way” and the results were fantastic!

women taking photos during a snap happy photography class by anna dobrenski

Thankfully each attendee was willing to be photographed.  I feel it’s important to be on both sides of the camera to learn how to photograph people. You have to be willing to do what you ask of the person you’re photographing. attendees at a menlo park photography class

We ended the morning with a group photos.

anna dobrenski during a photography class she teaches in menlo park

                                     photo courtesy of christine arnould of me photographing some of the attendees

If you are looking to improve your photography skills I offer one on one mentoring and small workshops for groups.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning more at 415. 518. 8880.

Anna Dobrenski Photography is a boutique studio offering lifestyle portraits for modern families. Areas serviced include San Francisco, Hillsborough, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and beyond.

Rambunctious Portola Valley Family Session

One of the absolute best things about being a photographer is watching a family grow and change year after year. Children start to know you and respond to you like a favorite aunt and let their guards down more and more each year. The result is even more fun and authentic images the longer we work together.

This sweet family I have been photographing for the last three years, watching them go from a family of four to a family of five.


photo of siblings playing during Portola Valley family session

A sense of humor is a must when you have three kids. This mom and dad clearly have that.

photo of mom and dad laughing outside in Portola Valley California

Little sister, just 18 months, tries so hard to keep up with her big brothers, aged 5 and 7.

Photo of little girl exploring the outdoors during a Portola Valley family session

boy playing in the redwoods during a portola valley family session I love this one, it displays their dynamics so well. Fun loving boys and a little sister who wants to be just like them.

rambunctious portola valley family session kids romping in the redwoods

I live in Portola Valley and this is is one of my favorite spots to shoot a family session because it showcases our area’s natural beauty so well while giving young ones lots of room to run and explore.

Family with young children portrait in Portola Valley california Daddy and daughter portrait during Portola Valley family session Smiling young boy photo in Portola Valley california Laughing  young boy photo in Portola Valley california Laughing toddler girl portrait in Portola Valley CA


Anna Dobrenski is a full-service lifestyle photographer who works with fun-loving families in the communities of Portola Valley, Atherton, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Hillsborough and beyond.

Fun Front Yard Menlo Park Family Session

We take so many photos of our children when they are little and then, as life speeds up and schedules get crazier, those annual photo sessions falls by the wayside. And then – bam – you have teenagers and it’s been years since you took a family photo together. Sound familiar? As a mother of two growing children myself, I can completely relate.

Enter this fun family with their two sons, age 16 and 14.  Busy with sports and everything else that goes along with managing a family these days, it had been a while since they had got together to in front of the camera.

I had a great time at their home in Menlo Park, capturing some beautiful images to decorate their walls (and totally loving that sea of purple flowers!)


photo of mom and dad having fun in garden at sunset during Menlo Park Family Session                                Taking time to capture mom and dad in a family session is so important to me. When I work with families for the first time I often hear that mom and dad haven’t had a photo of just the two of them since their wedding day! As the glue that holds everything together, making space for some fun and genuine moments of connection is a great way is a great way to remember what’s important, even on the hard days we all have.

We also couldn’t forget Leonard the dog who, of course, is a part of the family too.

photo of black labrador in front yard during Menlo Park Family Session

Beautiful photo of family with two teenage boys standing in back yard in Menlo Park California

Lifestyle portrait of teenage boy at home in Menlo Park California

Lifestyle portrait of family of four standing on the stairs in their back yard in Menlo Park California

Photo of teenage boy standing in front yard of home in Menlo Park California at sunset

I loved this family’s sense of humor and the connection that came through in their images, especially this one of mother and son.

Fun lifestyle portrait of mother  and son at home in Menlo Park california

Fun lifestyle photo of father and son at home in Menlo park California

Photo of teenage brothers at front door of home in Menlo Park California

Fun smiles photo of teenage brothers at home in Menlo Park California

Lifestyle photo of two teenage brothers checking text messages at home in Menlo Park California

Anna Dobrenski is a contemporary and  full-service lifestyle photographer who works with fun-loving families in the communities of Portola Valley, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View and beyond.

Monterey Bay Lifestyle Family Session

When you have family spread in four separate Bay Area locations plus Denver, getting all your grandchildren together in one place can be rare. Which is why these grandparents wanted to make sure that they captured the moment, while celebrating their wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren.

I love the beach and the sense of freedom it gives children.  Seascape Beach Resort was the perfect location for this Monterey Bay lifestyle family session. We goofed-around barefoot in the sand, ate smores and generally had a fabulous time together. My favorite images from this session are the ones of the kids running through the sand – they definitely kept me on my toes and on-the-move throughout!

Monterey Bay Lifestyle Family Reunion Session photo of grandparents on beach with grandchildren
Monterey Bay Lifestyle Family Session photo of grandparents looking lovingly at their youngest grandchild Monterey Bay Lifestyle Family Session photo of little girl posing on the beach Monterey Bay Lifestyle Family Session photo of little boy looking at his feet on the sand

The littlest granddaughter was such an angel. In just a few years she’ll be running on the sand with her cousins but for now she provided warm hugs for her mom on the sand.

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This is what getting together with your cousins is all about, running barefoot, laughing and playing carefree. I love the expressions of pure joy on their faces here.

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Anna Dobrenski is a lifestyle portrait photographer serving the communities between San Jose and San Francisco.


bottom of socks on girl lying down in Portola Valley home

Each week lifestyle and portrait photographers from around the country contribute to the Cherish This Day blog.  Our group of photographers feature work highlighting everyday beauty.  We’ve been keeping the project going for two years now.  It’s a delight to see the images each week!  To see this week’s collaboration on the blog visit CHERISH THIS DAY.

This is one of my daughter.  She loves to walk around and play outside without shoes.  Instead of going barefoot she frequently wears socks.  It only takes one afternoon of play in the driveway to wear out the bottoms.  Funny thing is I used to do this exact same thing when I was her age.  I remember riding my Big Wheel down our hilly street and using my socked feet to brake down at the bottom of the hill. It drove my mom crazy but I had so much fun doing it I couldn’t stop.  I guess I’m experiencing a sort of payback.  At least it brings a smile to my face.

In home photography sessions are a great way to highlight the little details and everyday beauty in your family’s life.  If you would like to have your family’s beauty documented contact me for more details at 415. 518. 8880.


baby feet in mom's lap during a san francisco family session These adorable baby toes are the highlight of this image.  During an in home San Francisco family portrait session there were lots of cute moments to capture.  What a perfect choice for the Cherish This Day blog contribution!

As part of  a talented group of photographers from all over the country, the collaborative project features beautiful everyday moments.  The blog can be seen at CHERISH THIS DAY.

If you are interested in booking an in home or outdoor San Francisco family portrait session, please contact me for details at 415. 518. 8880 or I’d love to help you showcase everyday beauty from your family!


Featured: Pinhole Pro Magazine

It’s pretty awesome being recognized as a San Francisco Bay Area portrait photographer by a vendor magazine. One of my preferred suppliers is Pinhole Pro. Their photo notepads and art pads are fantastic gifts for my clients. Each month they feature pro photographers in their Behind The Studio article of their magazine. I was fortunate to be selected to be one of the featured photographers. You can check out the article HERE.
pro photographer feature
To see more of this article click HERE.

My New Red Shoes Fashion Show

The 6th annual My New Red Shoes Clothing for Confidence fashion show and silent auction was held September 28th. The event, held at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, is a fundraiser for one of my favorite Bay Area non-profit organizations, MY NEW RED SHOES.

My New Red Shoes helps homeless and low-income children look and feel confident as they start the school year by providing them with new clothing and shoes and by rallying youth and adults around this effort through volunteer and educational opportunities for individuals, families, schools, corporations, and community groups.

my new red shoes

Attendees and models showed their enthusiasm and support by wearing red shoes. anna-dobrensk-menlo-park-family-photographer_0610 my new red shoes fashion show

There were lots of children and parents enjoying the arts and crafts area.

my new red shoes fashion show Malvika Behl, event co-chair of the 2014 fashion show with Heather Hopkins, founder of My New Red Shoes and Amy Burnett, event co-chair of the 2014 fashion show. my new red shoes fashion show my new red shoes fashion show my new red shoes fashion show

Some of the Steering Committee members of the 2014 Show. anna-dobrensk-menlo-park-family-photographer_0601

Along with a huge array of silent auction items, there was a raffle prize from Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry.

Children of varying ages dressed up in Old Navy fall fashion and walked the runway.

anna-dobrensk-menlo-park-family-photographer_0606 my new red shoes fashion show

The complete gallery of images from the event can be found HERE.  Scroll down to find MNRS then enter your email address to view, share and purchase prints from the 6th annual Clothing for Confidence Fashion Show.


Menlo Park Family Session | Cherish This Day

little girl looking out the window during a menlo park family session

The Cherish The Day blog is a favorite way for me to feature and share some of my favorite little moments in life.  At times I find it’s the small in between moments I love the most.  The ones that fade away in our memory over time.  While it’s fun to showcase the big milestone moments too, the simple moments of everyday life interest me most. This adorable little girl was playing in her bedroom and climbed up to  look out the window.  She looks so peaceful and content.

Check out the CHERISH THIS DAY BLOG to see other contributions by some amazing photographers throughout the country.


Menlo Park On Location Family Photography

Conducting Menlo Park on location family photography is always a fun experience. I usually like to consider the children’s ages when selecting locations outside of my client’s home. In this case the children were all under eight years old. I feel it’s key to think about how the children play and interact at their current age. Plush grass was a priority for this on location family photography session.

When I visited the children in their home during the planning consultation I noticed they were all playing on the floor. I figured it would be great to let them have that freedom to play during our session.

menlo park on location family photography session with backlight While this family of five lives in Menlo Park, we chose a nearby location in Portola Valley for their session. It met the requirement for grass but also had some interest and variety. The gorgeous light was something I’m always searching for during my sessions. girl looking down with backlight
I adore it when families play and have fun together. Even the challenge of walking in sync while holding hands brought lots of giggles from this family.
family walking holding hands during outdoor photo session dad playing with 3 year old daughter during menlo park family photo session
A big reason many parents commission me for their family portraits is so they can be in the images with their children.

I feel it’s important for children to be able to look back at their childhood memories through photos to jog their memory of family bonds. mom with daughter during family photo session girl playing peek a boo during menlo park family photo session Playing peek a boo is fun for any age child! mom with son during menlo park on location photo session three kids on a fence during menlo park on location family session couple in backlight during menlo park photo session

I’d love to help you design a Menlo Park on location family photography session to showcase your family’s authentic beauty and love! I serve the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached at 415. 518. 8880.


Woodside Newborn Photography | Isla

Woodside Newborn Photography is a favorite of mine, especially when I get to photograph days-old babies in their new home. When babies are first born, I find it’s easier on mom and baby to conduct their sessions in the cozy surroundings of home. This beautiful first time mom was radiant and glowing while cuddling with her baby girl.

mom cuddling newborn during a woodside newborn photography session

We stepped outside for a bit to capture some of the gorgeous wooded environment around their home.

young mom snuggling with newborn girl during a woodside photo session

This sweet little girl just loved being held and cuddled by her mom.

new mom with baby and dogs at home session in woodside

Their two dogs wanted to be part of the action too!

mom and daughter looking at reflection in mirror at in home session in woodside

Looking at reflections of mom and daughter. Baby Isla was alert most of the time we spent together.

newborn yawning during an in home photo session in woodside

The yawns are just too adorable! Isla was fighting sleep but was content throughout the session.

mom and newborn daughter during an in home photo session woodside

first time mom with newborn during an in home session in woodside


I got to see some of the family heirlooms and gifts for Isla during the Woodside newborn photography session.

If you are expecting a child and would like to have newborn photography of your baby, please contact me to discuss pricing and scheduling at 415. 518. 8880. I adore photographing little ones anytime but there is something super special about the first days of life. I specialize in Woodside Newborn Photography and also serve the towns between San Francisco and San Jose. Please get in touch for location information at


Snap Happy Workshop | Menlo Park Photography Class

Saturday I taught my third Snap Happy Workshop, a Menlo Park Photography Class to teach parents how to take better photos of their children. The class is designed to teach fundamental tools to improve their photography no matter what camera they own. I cover iPhone photo tips as well.  The class was co-hosted with my friends Wendy and Brian.

three children at menlo park photography class

We had three enthusiastic models, and in just a short thirty minute session, had lots of laughs. You’ll probably recognize my son Miles in the green shirt.

group of women at a photography workshop

The Snap Happy Workshop was donated to the 2014  Las Lomitas Auction which raises funds for the Las Lomitas Education Foundation. We had eight awesome moms sign up and attend the class, one was my co-host Wendy, pictured on the far right. Her husband Brian offered to help keep our models (their children Charlie and Betsy along with Miles) and resident dog Phoebe content while I taught the class.


Good thing these kiddos like to have a good time. They were not standing upright for long.

sibling love during a menlo park photography workshop

There’s nothing like sibling love!  Betsy and Charlie made my demonstration of how to get natural expressions from children a breeze!


This was during my attempt to teach how to capture in focus images of fast moving children.

anna dobrenski photographer



menlo park photography workshop

Do you get frustrated trying to get images of your children in focus? Tired of bad lighting and expressions? If you’d be interested in attending or hosting your own Menlo Park Photography Class, please contact me to discuss details. I’d love to help more parents improve their photography skills with the Snap Happy Workshop! I can be reached at


Lunch & Learn | Menlo Park Children’s Photographer

As a Menlo Park children’s photographer, I love when I can give back to the community and help others, especially children. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is where both my children were born and luckily they were two bouncing beautifully healthy children. It is a huge privilege to be able to contribute my talents to benefit children. Philanthropy supports clinical care, research, and education to improve the health of children and expectant mothers, locally and worldwide through the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.


The AMBASSADORS FOR LUCILE PACKARD CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL hosted their 7th annual Lunch and Learn benfiting the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Ambassadors members selected a new medical patient room as their first of four Fund-a-Need goal: $150,000. Suzanne Crandall and Rose Lanham, Co-Presidents, Ambassadors introduced the event speakers.

stack of childrens books for menlo park event

The BRING ME A BOOK FOUNDATION donated stacks and stacks of books to the hospital. Their mission strengthen the language and literacy skills of underserved children.


Susan Ford Dorsey interviewed Dr. Condoleezza Rice about various aspects of her career, political views and personal life.


Dr. Rice, former Secretary of State of the United States, is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC. She was the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State and was also the first woman to serve as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from 2001-2005.


women at a menlo park charity event photographed by anna dobrenkski

Ambassador Board members Sylvia Edwards, Melissa Kepner and Heather Koch were co-chairs for event planning for the 7th Annual Lunch & Learn.

two women at a benefit for lucile packard children's hospital

women at a benefit lunch for lucile packard children's hospital

menlo park charity event


dr. condoleezza rice at a menlo park event

woman laughing at a menlo park event


It was an inspiring talk and my most favorite part was Dr. Rice’s thoughts on mentors. She mentioned that there is a conceit that mentors and role models need to look like us. She suggested we find mentors wherever we can. They should be interested, be able to advocate for you and show you the ropes. We might need different mentors for different stages of life. Very insightful information!

When asked if she had plans to run for presidency, her answer was no. She added, “You have to know what you are cut out to do.”

My specialty is creating photographic art to preserve memories of children and those who love the. I’d love to chat with you about pricing, the experience or session availability. Give me a call at 415. 518. 8880.


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