What Makes A Good Portrait – The 5 Elements All Great Portraits Have

There are 5 core elements that make up a good portrait: Location, lighting, composition, emotion and technical settings. When all 5 of these elements are well executed, a great portrait is created. If any of these elements comes up short, the quality of the portrait suffers. A fanatic obsession with good implementation of these elements will lead to better photos, and more consistent portraits.

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How To Look Good In Pictures – Preparation Tips For Your Photo Shoot

This post covers everything you should consider doing leading up to your photo shoot so you can get the best portraits possible. Note that there is no single thing that you can do to prepare that will make everything turn out amazing. A successful session is about doing lots of little things that build up to an amazing result. 

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Little Crash Test Dummy in the Wild Flowers

I kept hearing from other parents about how there is this time while raising your kid where your whole job becomes keeping them from killing themselves. I thought this was hyperbole until my toddler decided it was his time to prefect the art of the face plant. Now, hardly a day goes by where he doesn’t crash test dummy himself in new and exciting ways I’d previously not conceived. To add to the excitement of his new hobby, he’s also made the creative decision to occasionally get so worked up that he'll hold his breath and pass out after parkouring onto his face. Apparently this is an inherited trait as my mom has told me all my life about how I’d get worked up about something when I was his age and hold my breath until I blacked out. I have no memory of any of this and used to just think she was being dramatic. Karma’s a son of a bitch like that. Now that I have a front row seat to my own freak show. I’m not joking. The other day he decided to practice a new move and fell right onto his eye. Thankfully the edge of the coffee table was there to catch his fall so he could acquire a new shiner to show off to the ladies. When he did this, he fell down and started to cry so hard that sound stopped coming out. I scooped him up and held him close knowing he’d soon go limp. This is when the fun part happens that mom didn’t tell me about. After he passes out he also stops breathing. It’s tough to say how long this whole event was (time seems to distort when you’re in battle) but I’d estimate that this particular episode was somewhere between 3 and 10 seconds long. I rubbed him, then began patting him on the back getting more and more aggressive as time went on. Finally, and all at once, he stiffened his body and took a big gasping breath as he slowly regained consciousness. Dazed and confused, he slowly woke up as if he’d just taken a long nap. The above explains the black eye in the following photos. The rest you’ll have to ask his mom about.

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Children’s Portraits San Francisco Bay Area
Toddler portraits by bay area photographer Jason Guy

Children’s Portraits San Francisco Bay Area

When I create portraits, one of the most important things to me is that I don’t look back on them years later and hate them. I’m never more aware of this then when I’m capturing portraits of my son. As a parent I am reminded fairly regularly how fast kids change and how little time I have to capture every stage. If I miss one of those stages, it’s gone forever. Should I decide I did a poor job somewhere down the line, I can’t go back and re-do it. It’s something I’m hyper aware of, and I hope future me approves of the job I do when I look back.

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Maternity Photo Shoot

Today I’m excited to share Hazel’s second photo shoot with me as her and her husband Zee get ready to welcome their new baby into the world! I’d love to link to her previous session in this post, but much to my disappointment, her boudoir photo shoot is GZ4 classified. You'll just have to trust me when I say that she has more than a few images I'd love to show off in my portfolio if I could! The good news is that she said she’d be okay sharing her maternity photos from her session here which I’m super stoked about! A few of them look pretty different compared to what I typically see posted and I really like that!

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Headshot Photographer Bay Area
Headshot of bay area mural artist Maxfield Bala

Headshot Photographer Bay Area

Today’s post features my headshot session with San Francisco mural artist Maxfield Bala. Max is an amazing mural artist who has created murals for some well known companies including: Dropbox, Mountain Dew, The Hard Rock Hotel, Coca Cola, Samsung, DHL, Lagunitas Brewing Company and much more.

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Children’s Portraits Sonoma, CA
Childrens portraits Sonoma, California by Jason Guy

Children’s Portraits Sonoma, CA

Earlier this month I learned that my sister Jenn and her family are moving away. I'm simultaneously sad that they won't be living close by and excited for them as they take on this new chapter of their lives. Although they aren't moving cross country or anything drastic like that, they will still be far enough away that we won't get to see each other nearly as often as we have been. So before she left, we made a point to get together and try and get some portraits of her kids.

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Maternity Photography Bay Area
Abbey's Maternity Photo shoot with Maternity Photographer Jason Guy

Maternity Photography Bay Area

Maternity photography in the bay area - Jason Guy directs every day women towards timeless portraits to document their pregnancies.

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Christina’s Portrait Session
Portrait before and after Christina

Christina’s Portrait Session

This was not my first photo shoot with Christina. Her first photo shoot actually consists of some of my favorite images ever, and yet few people have actually had the opportunity to see them. Christina's first session with me was actually boudoir photo shoot she gifted to herself after going though her divorce. Her boudoir photo shoot was intended to give her an epic self confidence boost which inevitably happens when going though such an emotionally trying period. 

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