Friday, December 30, 2011

Oakland Wedding Venue: Preservation Park is a Unique Journey through East Bay History

I have been blessed with extraordinary clients throughout my 22 year career. Creating portrait art that tells their unique stories is never a "job"'s my passion and I have a lot of fun doing it!
Judi & Grason's Engagement Portrait Session at Lake Merrit

Judi and Grason are a bubbly couple that are enthusiastic and clearly in love. Creating engagement portraits for them at their Love Story Session gave me a clue of how much fun I was going to have on their wedding at Preservation Park in Oakland.
Preservation Park offers Bay Area Brides a timeless backdrop
Preservation Park is one of those unexpected jewels of is like strolling into a small portal in time that gives a glimpse of what living in Oakland was like during the Victorian era. The buildings have been restored to their full charm and are a blend of  Queen Ann, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and Italianate Villa  architecture. The result is a magical venue for a wedding day in Oakland.
Brides dressing at Preservation Park feel like queens
Judi selected playful shades of lavendar and purple to punch up her wedding palate.  Even her lovely wedding gown had whimsical touches of purple to add a splash of whimsey. .architectur

A playful moment after the ceremony
It's always great when brides and grooms remember to have fun and enjoy their wedding day. Just like at their Love Story session (when we created engagement photographs) Judi and Grason displayed their playful sides.
A stolen kiss for the bride and groom before the reception

Check out more highlights from Judi and Grason's magical day in this video

You can probably tell I have truly enjoyed creating portraits for Judi and Grason. And would you believe I even got a bonus? On Christmas Eve, I found Grason on the the studio doorstep holding this box of homemade fudge and pistachio nut brittle that Judi made!  Did I mention that I have the most amazing clients in the world?
What a sweet way to kick off the holidays1

I would love to meet you to discuss the details of your wedding for a consultation appointment (510)832-3686...and no, you don't have to bring me fudge! lol
Feel free to browse our online Portrait Gallery at
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By: Gisele Bonds
Portrait Artist

Monday, December 19, 2011

Family Portrait Update: The Holidays Provide An Excellent Opportunity

Grant Family Portrait at Garin Park in Hayward

Holiday season is an excellent  opportunity to update family portraits. While you are gathered together from different cities, make a permanent keepsake that you will cherish for years to come.  Yes it takes some work…which is why it is so easy to keep putting a family portrait update off.  It can be painful to get a group consensus on location and clothing.  One wants casual attire another prefers formal wear.  Are we shooting at the beach or in the studio? There are many decisions to be made and work  and commitment  in order to pull it all off. 
Watson Family Portrait at Home

But one thing is for sure….you will never regret the decision to make your professional portrait session happen.  Once that finished wall portrait is hanging on your wall, you realize that it is one of the most valuable things a family can own.  That is why disaster victims risk harm to save family pictures…they are the tangible manifestations of our memories. And while no one wants to think about it....we never really know if we will all ever be gathered in the same place again.  Sometimes the miles between us become too large a burden to allow family gatherings and at other times family members pass on before the next portrait.
Jones Family Portrait at Lake Merrit in Oakland

At Positive Images, portrait artist, Gisele Bonds, uses the family portrait consultation as a tool to plan out the details of your session. We realize how valuable your time is and want to optimize the time you set aside for creating your new family portrait by carefully planning it and having a clear understanding of your family and the relationships in the group.  This way on portrait day, there is a clear game plan and the session can be fun and move with purpose.
Brown Family Portrait at Lake Merrit

A professional family portrait is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give each other this holiday. After all, when all is said and done, the only thing that real matters is family. There is still time to get on our 2011 schedule call today to schedule your consultation appointment (510)832-3686.

There are Family Portrait examples available to review in our online gallery at   You can Like us on Facebook for updates and special offers.