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 classheadshots 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.

[caption id="attachment_2122" align="aligncenter" width="980"]anna dobrenski during a photography class she teaches in menlo park                                      photo courtesy of christine arnould of me photographing some of the attendees[/caption]

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.

Read more

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.


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.

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!

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


Read more

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.


Read more

Beloved Session Giveaway!

couple kissing girl wearing cowboy hat in a field for their beloved session
“A successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Unknown

Whether you’ve been dating for a few years, married for sixty, or somewhere in between, you have long term love that should be celebrated! I’m super excited to share this Valentine Beloved session giveaway with my friends and fans!

Beloved sessions are being incorporated into all my solo, children and family sessions but I thought it would be fun to offer one up just for couples!

Beloved sessions are a unique, feel good experience that will warm your heart and touch your soul. And, I’ll just happen to be there documenting the natural play and expressions with my camera. It truly is a gift to enjoy a Beloved session with the most special person in your life. Head on over to my FACEBOOK PAGE then “like” and comment to be entered to win. The Beloved session giveaway winner will be announced after selection tomorrow, February 14th, 2014 at 5pm.

Winner will receive a complimentary Beloved session for a couple (sorry, no children) lasting 60-75 minutes at a location within 20 miles of zip code 94028. A pre-session consultation to design and plan your session is included. Within two weeks of the session completion, winner will receive an in-home Session Premiere to view and select products. A $300 product credit is included. Session must be completed prior to March 30th, 2014. A signed model release is required from winner(s).

What are you waiting for? Click on over and enter to win! You can also tag friends and family you think might want to enter also.

Please contact me if you are interested in scheduling a Beloved session for you and your loved one(s). I have limited session times available for spring and am booking through the end of 2014. I can be reached at 415.518.8880.

Read more

BELOVED/ San Francisco Photographer

A while ago I promised I would tell you more about BELOVED. When I first met Jesh De Rox at a talk in June, I knew that BELOVED was the direction I wanted to take my photography. I was doing bits and pieces on my own but now I had direction and actual support for the technique. I was blown away by the impact BELOVED could have on my photography.

What is BELOVED you ask? It is an emerging style of photography that celebrates and emphasizes the importance of relationships in a unique way. It blends the beauty of portrait photography with the authenticity of photojournalism.

I’ve always wanted to show authenticity and real moments between people that I photograph. I used to say, “Why photograph people who look like they are happy? Why not photograph happy people?” This technique helps achieve natural expressions and interaction between people in love. It’s playful, it’s connection, it’s powerful, it’s deep, it’s understanding and it’s encompassed with love.

In June I did not hesitate at the opportunity to learn more about BELOVED through an online training course and signed up to attend the annual conference. After completing my training and doing a BELOVED session as part of the course requirement I was hooked. You can see my BELOVED session HERE. Seeing Morgan and Will so joyful and full of love was wonderful. It was a gift for them to take time to be together and I was lucky to be a part of their togetherness.

Here is the feedback Morgan posted on her Facebook feed after our session, “Just had the BEST engagement session with Anna Morgan Dobrenski!! Thank you- you made us feel so comfortable- made us laugh- and made us fall in love all over again. We can’t wait to see the pics! – feeling excited with Anna Morgan Dobrenski”

The conference in October was a whirlwind, it started with a 3/4 day of the BELOVED conference. There was an opportunity to apply for certification in front of live judges in a two part assessment: theory and practical. The theory was sharing my understanding of the technique. I felt really good about that part. The practical part was a photo shoot using the technique based on requirements from the judges. It was a bit of a wild ride, being thrown into a controlled situation with judges and an audience. Whew! I was relieved when it was over although I felt calm during the ten minutes I had with the volunteer model couple, fellow photographers and business partners, Angela and Drew. Here are a few favorites from my time with them.

beloved san francisco photographer

san francisco photographer

san francisco photographer

beloved san francisco photographer

Now that I am officially a certified BELOVED photographer I will be incorporating more of this technique into my photography and you’ll be hearing and seeing lots more about BELOVED. I will be expanding my offerings beyond children and families to include people with the ones they love, with or without children. I even hope to incorporate some of the ideas when I photograph individuals for profile photos. I truly would enjoy the opportunity to share this experience with my friends and clients. If you know someone celebrating an anniversary, long term relationship, engagement or simply wants to recognize someone they love, please contact me. I can be reached by phone at 415. 518. 8880.

Read more

Cherish This Day/ San Francisco Children Photographer

The Cherish This Day project continues at we roll into fall. This time of year always seems to move too fast. While at the pumpkin patch this week I photographed families to help support Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. I will post more on that soon.

I’m sharing a favorite image from that day. This adorable girl with her tiny sized cowgirl boots perched on a pumpkin made me pause to enjoy the moment. I recently noticed how I feel like I am always running and dashing places. Like there is never enough time. Children move through this world with such confidence and grace, like they know there is all the time available to them that is needed in a day. I love how the Cherish This Day project has helped me stop to reflect on the little things and the simple things that are so important. Every day is a gift and every day is to be cherished. Today I might just make another trip to the pumpkin patch to giggle on a pumpkin in my very own pair of cowgirl boots : )

cherish this day/ san francisco children photographer

Please check out the work on the blog of some of my favorite lifestyle photographers HERE.

If you would like to schedule a session with a San Francisco Child Photographer or say HELLO, please contact me by clicking connect with me button below:

Read more

Menlo Park Children Photographer/My New Red Shoes

Being a Menlo Park Children Photographer, there are many opportunities to partner with community organizations to give back. Because my family is my priority, I limit the amount of time I donate to philanthropic organizations throughout the year. My New Red Shoes is an organization that I am proud to partner with to help raise funds for homeless and low-income children. The funds they raise go towards helping those children look and feel confident as they start the school year by providing them with new shoes and clothes. Additionally they rally youth and adults around this effort through volunteer and educational opportunities for individuals, families, schools, corporations and community groups. You can read more about how to donate your time, talent or treasure to My New Red Shoes HERE.

This year was the second year I was lucky to be involved with the annual fashion show. It was lots of fun photographing the models (all 80 of them!), parents and audience members. If you attended the event you can find photos for purchase at Anna Dobrenski Storefront.

menlo park family photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park family photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park family photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park portrait photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park family photographer

menlo park family portrait photographer

menlo park children photographer


Read more

Beloved/ San Francisco Bay Area Photographer

Meet Morgan and Will.

Morgan is the woman I feel privileged to call my hair and make up artist. If you choose me as your photographer, you’ll have the option to add to the experience with Morgan’s talent in the hair and make up department. She’s extremely knowledgable in the health and beauty arena.

Will shines in the medical field. He grew up on a ranch, therefore looked right at home in his jeans and boots. He even showed me some of his swing dancing with his lovely bride to be in hand!

To celebrate Morgan and Will’s engagement we met in Palo Alto for an evening photo session. As you’ve probably noticed, my specialty is photographing children and the people who love them. This is my first official engagement session! The timing couldn’t be better because I have been diligently working on becoming a certified BELOVED technique photographer. This technique is a game changer for me (therefore my families). It’s helped me shift my approach to sessions in a way that aligns with my heart. BELOVED technique is an emerging style of photography that celebrates and emphasizes the importance of relationship in a unique way. I’ll be sharing lots more about this in the future.

No more words for now, I think the photos say it all. Enjoy!

beloved/ san francisco bay area photographer


anna dobrenski photography

san francisco engagement photographer

san francisco bay area photographer

menlo park engagement photographer

beloved photographer

palo alto beloved photographer

san franciso beloved photographer

menlo park beloved photographer

atherton beloved photographer

san jose beloved photographer

bay area beloved photographer


Read more

12 Feelings: Alone

The 12 Feelings personal project continues this month with the emotion ALONE. It’s rare that I am alone for very long. My children are frequently by my side throughout the days and evenings when they aren’t in camp or school.

It was unique to experience some alone time recently while my children were at an event. I took advantage of this time and decided to make an attempt at capturing this emotion. I felt somewhat joyful, independent and free while at the same time longing, empty and ALONE.

I am so grateful to have found this project to experience and portray these emotions. To continue the circle, please follow my friend Cris to see her version of the emotion this month HERE.

12 feelings

My studio is currently scheduling session through the end of 2013. Please contact me if are interested in pricing information. Click on one of the links below to get in touch with me.


Read more

Menlo Park Photographer/Anna Dobrenski Photography/Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends held their annual Lunch & Learn was May 1st in Menlo Park. I was pleased to be asked to photograph the event again this year. Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, was the speaker at this year’s luncheon.

The organization supports Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. The funds raised at the event support patient care, pediatric research, outreach and education. Both my children were born at Lucile Packard so it means a lot to me to be able to contribute my time and talent to this wonderful organization! To learn more about Circle of Friends please visit their website HERE.

circle of friends

menlo park photographer

circle of friends

menlo park photographer

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to photograph the Circle of Friends annual Pumpkin Patch event in October. The idea is that you bring your family to the pumpkin patch to “buy a pumpkin and donate a pumpkin.” There is a pumpkin patch set up in the Forever Young Zone at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for the patients to decorate a pumpkin. To see photos from the event on the blog CLICK HERE.


Read more

San Francisco Bay Area Photographer/ Anna Dobrenski/ Happy May Day!

As a San Francisco Bay Area Photographer I am continually attending workshops and learning online. As previously posted, I attended the Sweetlight Collective workshop in Southern California.

Happy May Day! When I heard that Skye’s husband, Gary, made a maypole for the Sweetlight Collective I was delighted! May Day is one of those holidays with a quirky but fun tradition that not everyone knows about. The maypole is usually put up on April 30th then on May Day people from the villages would dance around it to celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring/summer.

The girls at the ranch were beautifully dressed with perfect flowing hair donning gorgeous feather and floral headpieces. Add some yummy light, a camera and ta-da…MAGIC! You know I love to add in a little out of focus images occasionally and this seemed to be the perfect venue.

san francisco bay area children photographer

San Francisco Children Photographer

San Francisco Bay Area Children Photographer

San Francisco Child Photographer

As always, if you want to continue to see my work make sure to “LIKE” my Facebook business page HERE.. If you are considering booking a conceptual session featuring your children with a San Francisco Bay Area photographer, please contact me! Click one of the tabs below to find me online.


Read more


Where to begin? Almost two weeks ago I traveled to Southern California for a workshop with Skye Hardwick Edmonds of Work of Heart Photography. The workshop was held on a 20 acre private ranch in the hills of Pala. There were endless locations with personality on the property to choose from with gorgeous golden sunshine “sweetlight”. I was in heaven! Little did I know, once the children started arriving to be photographed I would really be in heaven!

Skye is a master at photographing children. She knows how to connect with children, how to style sessions with props and clothing as well as posing and creativity.

This was a hands on workshop where the other 11 photographers and I collaborated on ideas and execution. Just what the doctor ordered! I have so many images that bring a huge SMILE to my face so I’ll be sharing lots over the coming weeks.

I first wanted to share this project I worked on using a cute little cottage that inspired a conceptual session with two sisters that were travel writers. Our team selected wardrobe, props, set and storyline that prompted a shot list. We had help from hair and make up artists that helped pull the looks together. These two models, Maddux and Hayden are actual sisters. They are pros in front of the camera and a delight to work with. I love the way the session turned out!

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer


Read more




I am thrilled to be celebrating my business birthday today! To share my appreciation for all the support, love, Facebook likes/comments, generosity and words of encouragement you have given me over the past two years, I am offering a limited time promotion. Nope, this is not some April foolery going on, this is real but you have to act fast! For every gift certificate purchased from ANNA DOBRENSKI PHOTOGRAPHY before April 2nd at 5pm you’ll receive a complimentary 50 cents for every dollar purchased. Spend $100 get $150, spend $300 get $450, you get the picture. Gift certificates are available in any denomination you choose and are valid for up to one year from purchase date. Call me at 415. 518. 8880 to get yours today or click the Pay Now button below to purchase a $100 certificate. What are you waiting for?!

Terms and conditions: Applicable towards print and product orders. Not applicable toward session fees or taxes. Entire amount must be applied to single order. Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used with any other offers, discounts or sales.

Buy Now


Read more


This is the second year I’ve had the privilege of being the photographer for Circle of Friends Pumpkin Patch events.  Circle of Friends supports the Lucile Packard Children’s Fund which helps Packard meet its most pressing needs each year in areas that are not covered by medical insurance but are critical to providing the best care to kids.

The annual Family Day at the Pumpkin Patch brings out families who donate pumpkins that are taken to the Forever Young Zone to create an in house pumpkin patch for the patients.  The children and families at Packard were delighted and entertained decorating their own pumpkins from the patch!


Read more


That’s right folks, today is my birthday!  I thought I’d do a giveaway to celebrate my day!  Woodsnap, the wood printing company has generously offered to print a photograph on an 11″ x 14″ wood panel for one lucky winner, a $59.95 value!  To enter, please send an email to me at and include the following information:


Phone number

Email address

Shipping address

Photo you’d like printed on wood.  High resolution please.

Winner will be required to send a photo of them holding their Woodsnapped photo for Facebook sharing.

Giveaway winner will be selected Monday, October 8th at noon Pacific Time Zone.

Here is a sample of a photo from my Little Red session I had Woodsnapped recently.  It’s a 24″ x 36″ panel and looks amazing in person!


Read more