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.


Sweet Saratoga In Home Family Session

This sweet Saratoga in home family session was a delight to photograph as this is the third time I’ve had the opportunity to photograph the family!

adorable girl in red smiling mary jane shoes on little girl smiling girl sitting on sofa reading a book during a family portrait session


Their son was born in October and I got to photograph his newborn photos which you can see HERE..  It was adorable to see the daughter’s happiness in being a big sister!

siblings sitting together during a san francisco family portrait session

The light at this family’s home is my favorite kind of light. Their backyard is filled with beautiful trees that filter the sunlight.  We had fun capturing the kids and parents together with the family dog, Bella.

family of four outside during their in home portrait session

There were smiles all around as we played and even pretended to ride this dad’s motorcycle.

little girl riding on dad's shoulders during a san francisco family portrait session dad with one month old son during their outdoor photo session beautiful family of four during their in home family photo session mom kissing one month old son with beautiful light during a saratoga family photo session mom and daughter cuddling during a saratoga family portrait session family on motorcycle during a san francisco portrait session

If you or someone you know you would be interested in documenting your family similar to this sweet Saratoga In Home Family Session, please contact me. I would love to help you document your family at your home!  In home family sessions are wonderful for newborns or little ones that are slow to warm up.  Giving them a familiar environment is awesome to help with comfort level.  I can be reached on my personal cell phone at 415. 518. 8880 or by email


Children’s Health Council Glitter and Glue

by Anna Dobrenski

San Francisco family photography provides many opportunities to document families and children over the course of the year. I focus on providing value and service to the families in the community that commission me. It is important to me also to give back any way I can to help others.

When asked to become a Children’s Health Council Dot as their preferred photographer, I did not take the position lightly. It’s important that my contributions are making an impact. I carefully choose a few philanthropic partners that align with my business and personal mission statement. Here’s a description from the Children’s Health Council website. “At CHILDREN’S HEALTH COUNCIL we’ve been helping children and families for over 60 years believing there is a world of promise and potential in every child. Using a personalized approach, we help children and teens become happier, more resilient and more successful. Our Center, two schools and Community Clinic serve families in the Silicon Valley as well as the greater San Francisco Bay Area.”

The first event 2014 produced by the Children’s Health Council Dots was Glitter and Glue, named after Kelly Corrigan’s new book. Kelly Corrigan is the New York Times best selling author of The Middle Place and Lift. If you have not had the pleasure of reading Kelly’s books you are in for a real treat. Her books have this magical way of making you drop everything you are doing to join in her journey, following stories of personal experience and reflection. Her writing style is just as she is in person, warm and casual. You will most likely laugh out loud, cry streams of salty tears and sigh with a deep yearning for more once you finish the last page. I finished The Middle Place in one sitting. I’m confident Glitter and Glue will be just as captivating. I’m bringing it to my book club next month since we are all mothers who enjoy books and conversation.

Here’s a sneak peek from the inside cover of Glitter and Glue. “When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as ‘Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.’ This book is about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about whom you admire and why, and how that changes over time.”

The event drew a crowd of close to 350 women. It was great to see the shared laughs, knowing glances and touched hearts during Kelly’s talk. What an amazing sense of community!

author kelly corrigan photographed by anna dobrenski, san francisco family photography

author kelly corrigan photographed in menlo park by anna dobrenski, san francisco family photography

woman laughing during a menlo park event by anna dobrenski


menlo park event photographed by anna dobrenski photography

san francisco family photography

menlo park family photographer

san francisco family photographer

san francisco family portraits

san francisco family photography

children's health council event

san francisco family photography

author kelly corrigan photographed by anna dobrenski

author kelly corrigan at book signing photographed by anna dobrenski

If you attended the event and would like to view, share or purchase prints from the gallery log onto my storefront HERE. San Francisco family photography is my specialty. I would love to get to know your family and capture the joy and love that you share. Contact me for more information at 415. 518. 8880.


Menlo Park Children and Family Photographer

One of my favorite parts of being a Menlo Park Children and Family Photographer is capturing beautiful memories for the families that commission me. I feel super excited when they like the images and experiences I provide so much they return again. I love watching little children grow up!

I was fortunate to photography Baby Kate last year when she was a newborn. She is the fourth child in her family but the first girl so there is always lots of pink involved with her photo sessions. Yay, team pink! She is one happy girl, always smiling and content. Kate is adored by her three big brothers as well as her loving mom and dad. Lucky girl!

You can see her last session HERE.

mom with six month old daughter during a menlo park family photo session

mom holding daughter in the air during a menlo park family session


baby girl looking down out of crib by Anna Dobrenski, Menlo Park Family Photographer

baby girl peeking over top of crib during a menlo park family photo session

baby in antique crib during a menlo park family session

baby's feet captured by Anna Dobrenski, Menlo Park Family photographer

6 month old baby crawling towards camera during menlo park family session

dad kissing baby lying down during a menlo park family session

dad looking at baby lying down during menlo park family session

It’s always amazing to me how quickly little ones grow. If you or someone you know is looking for a Menlo Park children and family photographer I’m your gal. I specialize in children and families so I am experienced in capturing children of all ages. I can be reached at 415. 518. 8880 or via email I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the experience with you!

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