Portola Valley family session under the trees

Portola Valley family session under the trees

I have had the pleasure of photographing this mom and her two daughters every year since I started my photography business four years ago. It has been wonderful to watch the kids grow a little more every year and, in-turn, changing the nature of each session. Now they have blossomed from little girls into young ladies. Their mom wanted some wall art of her girls to gift to grandma.

We went in search of some big, beautiful trees for a majestic backdrop and Portola Valley did not disappoint. This portrait with lots of environment was the perfect choice hang over her mantle.


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Although they’re beautiful young ladies now, they’re still kids at heart. Like all my family sessions, I love to offer kids the opportunity to run, play and be silly, letting out the wiggles, the energy and showing off their personality.

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Anna Dobrenski Photography is a boutique studio specializing in lifestyle portraits for modern families in the Portola Valley area.  If you are looking to capture gorgeous, natural images of your family to grace the walls of your home please contact me at 415. 518. 8880. I am currently booking through the end of 2015 with limited availability.

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101 Barbies, a girl and her piano – Menlo Park Lifestyle Session

101 Barbies, a girl and her piano – Menlo Park Lifestyle Session

Every family I photograph is special and unique. But sometimes when you arrive at someone’s home, you find out something about one of the family members that stands out and that deserves its own mini-session-within-a-session. That’s what happened here in this Menlo Park Lifestyle Family Session. It’s always special to receive an invitation to photograph families within their home. And, even more awesome when children allow me to see their inner sanctum.

Arriving to meet the 11 year old daughter of the house, she proudly announced that she has 101 Barbie dolls! I had to see it for myself and took off with my camera to her room. She was not exaggerating. Barbie was everywhere! I loved hanging out with her and sharing her passion for her dolls but also seeing a more focused side of her when she sat down at the piano.

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That, my friends, is an entire town of Barbie dolls. I think I see some Kens in there too. Not sure if that was a part of the 101 or in addition to. When I was a child my Barbie played with my brother’s G.I. Joe and Evil Knievel action figures.

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Evidence of experiments and play with hair and make up.
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Capturing the little details of your life so you will always have a visual record of them, is one of the many reasons I love what I do. Sometimes your everyday rituals or quirks don’t feel that special but, invite in someone new, and they instantly see the beauty that lies hidden. Using that unique perspective to artfully capture who my clients are, is my specialty.

Anna Dobrenski Photography is a boutique studio specializing in lifestyle portraits for modern families in Menlo Park and surrounding areas.  If you are looking to capture something special about your family, please contact me at 415. 518. 8880. I am currently booking through the end of 2015.

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Rambunctious Portola Valley Family Session

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 sessionI 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.

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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 anna@annadobrenski.com.


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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 anna@annadobrenski.com. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the experience with you!

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Palo Alto Family Portrait Session

This recent Palo Alto Family Portrait Session took place at a very lush park. We started first thing on a Saturday morning. It’s great to get all the family members while they are fresh. For me, coffee was key. While my kids wake me up early most mornings I am definitely not a morning person and need a little boost.

This family was so lovely I did not need help enjoying myself during their photo session. The three year old was so charming, curious and independent. I found myself following him around the park. Up and down the play structure, around the swings, riding on his dad’s back and hugging his grandmother. So. much. fun! I adore three year olds! They are so fascinating to me. My favorite image is the one of him sitting with his knees touching and legs splayed out to the sides. I wish I was still that flexible!

boy and mom hugging in a green grass park with big trees during a palo alto family portrait session

three year old boy with family during a palo alto family portrait session

dad tossing son in the air during a palo alto family portrait session

family of three sitting on a blanket in a palo alto park during their family portrait session

palo alto family portrait session

three year old boy playing on a play structure during a palo alto family portrait session

young boy sitting with knees together in palo alto during a family portrait session

family walking with parents swinging son by hands during a palo alto family portrait session
If you are interested in an on location family portrait session in Palo Alto or anywhere between San Francisco and San Jose I’d love to speak with you. We can collaborate to find the best location to suit your family to capture memories and tell your story. I can be reached at 415. 518. 8880 or anna@annadobrenski.com 

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Joyful Family Photo Sessions

Joyful family photo sessions do not take a lot of effort or planning. When I meet with my clients for their pre-session consultation we talk about some ways to keep the session flowing. To ensure everyone is happy we keep it light and fun. I find most families play in the privacy of their homes but not necessarily in public. I encourage parents to be silly and play with their kids like no one is watching.

This family is special to me as they are my friends. I’m lucky to have known these children since they were small. They had such delight chasing each other and playing with the balloons. They even did the chicken dance in the field! Love these guys!

family having fun in field during photo session

family sitting under tree during their family portrait photo session

couple connecting during their beloved photo session

kids hanging in trees during their photo session in a field

children eavesdropping on parents during their family photo session

mom with kids and balloons during their family photography session

young girl running with balloons

family stacked together during their photo session

This year I continue to accept a limited number of commissions each month. If you would like to schedule a joyful family photo session please contact me early to get the perfect date. I can be contacted at 415. 518. 8880 to schedule or get more information. I would love to help you tell the story of your family!


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Adorable Saratoga Newborn

This sweet boy was just six days old when I photographed him! This adorable Saratoga newborn session was exciting for me since I photographed the family last year for the holidays when they were just three.

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Such a sweet little guy, he was quiet and peaceful for most of our session.

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He did pop open his eyes to discover the unfamiliar voice talking and cooing at him.

annadobrenskiphotography-menloparkfamilyphotographer_0486 annadobrenskiphotography-menloparkfamilyphotographer_0487Big sister decided to get in on the action too!  What a cutie pie!

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If you are looking to have photographic art of your family to decorate your home please contact me to discuss custom photography.  I love doing in home photography sessions with growing families.  I can be reached at 415. 518. 8880 or by email anna@annadobrenski.com.  I look forward to chatting with you!


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New Love!/ Portola Valley Family Photographer

The Mexican feather grasses gently swayed in the breeze. The Willow tree seemed to call out for someone to dance under the canopy and swing on it’s branches. The afternoon sun was glistening, creating a halo of sweetness around each family member. And, there were smiles all around.

The delight of adding a new love to their family was felt in a strong way. Mom and Dad took turns holding and cuddling their first baby boy. Pure, joyful light could be seen in their eyes.

The big sisters were ecstatic to show off how they, too, could hold little brother. Adoringly they gazed at his tiny features. They giggled when he squirmed and made silly faces.

The first days with a newborn are so precious. It’s such an overwhelming experience to bring a new member into the family. It is filled with awe and discovery. Brought into the world with an abundance of love before it was ever know who he was or who he would become. It will be fun to see who this little guy turns out to be.



portola valley portrait photographer


portola valley family photographer

If you are looking to schedule a family photography session to capture memories of you and your loved ones in your home, please contact me via the links below. I would love the opportunity to speak with you about your family and your photography goals. I am based in Portola Valley and am willing to travel throughout the Peninsula including all areas between San Francisco and San Jose.


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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:

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Sisterly Love!/ Cherish This Day

These two lovely girls showed their sisterly love for each other on a recent afternoon in Portola Valley. Over the past few months you’ve hopefully seen me post about the Cherish This Day project where I’m lucky to be a contributing lifestyle photographer. What I love about this project is it really gets me thinking about not only the big picture and the small details, but everything in between. It’s those in between moments that are fleeting, the ones we most likely won’t remember twenty years down the road when our little ones aren’t so little anymore.

While I love photographing my own children, my work gives me the opportunity to photograph children of others. I find all children fascinating. They really all are so special. I enjoy watching them alone, with their parents, pets and especially with their siblings. When I saw these sisters having so much fun loving on each other I immediately thought it would be perfect to showcase in the Cherish This Day project. I hope their parents cherish this day and every day with their adorable little ones! Speaking of little ones, these sisters just brought home a new little brother. I’ll feature their session soon! Prepare yourself for cuteness…

sisterly love!

If you’re interested in a sisterly love! or brotherly love! session, please contact me to find out pricing and scheduling information. I can be reached by clicking the contact me button below. I look forward to speaking with you!


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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.

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menlo park children photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park family photographer

menlo park children photographer

menlo park family photographer

menlo park children photographer

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menlo park children photographer

menlo park family photographer

menlo park family portrait photographer

menlo park children photographer


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Los Altos Family Photographer/ Brooke

As a Los Altos Family Photographer, I was thrilled to be the photographer of choice for this family. Six year old Brooke was competing in her first horse show in Portola Valley. What an honor to capture her in action on her horse! We had a few giggles together with her family after she received her very first blue ribbon! I loved this opportunity to photograph an important event in Brooke’s life. I hope she and her family cherish these memories for many years to come.


los altos family photographer

los altos family photographer

los altos family photographer

los altos family photographer

Please contact me at 415. 518. 8880 to get more information on booking a session. I still have space available for fall sessions. I look forward to hearing from you!


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On Location Photographer/ The P Family

So excited to share this session with the P Family! We had a blast together playing in the field, grass and redwood grove. Being an on location photographer is awesome for keeping me spontaneous. I am constantly searching for beautiful light and interesting backdrops for my clients. Since most of my clients choose to display my photographic art in their homes, I want their family to look their best for their portraits. This family looks amazing in all the location spots we chose!

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portola valley portrait photographer

on location photographer

I am now booking through the end of 2013. Please contact me at 415. 518. 8880 to get pricing and scheduling information. I look forward to helping you tell your family’s story!


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Menlo Park Photographer/The B Family

My, oh my, what an amazing time was had with this fabulous family of four! As a Menlo Park Photographer, I frequently travel to families’ homes to photograph them. It’s so neat to get an inner glimpse of the private lives of my clients. It is super helpful when designing a session to know how my clients see the world through the environment they create in their homes. I believe it’s important to provide images that serve as photographic doors back to moments and places in my clients’ lives, with their home being the epicenter of it all.

This family is chock full of creative genius. They each have individual strengths that are different but really compliment each other collectively.

I can’t express how delighted I was when the mom sent me her wardrobe choices in a beautiful format for each family member! You can see the wardrobe on my Pinterest page HERE.

We began the session at their home while they were hanging out listening to music and chillin’. After a quick visit to the kids’ bedrooms to see their favorite toys, then outfit changes, we hopped in the car to head over to the Woodside Store. On the way home we stopped to catch the end of day light.

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menlo park children photographer

woodside family photography

menlo park photographer

woodside family photographer

woodside family photographer

menlo park photographer


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