Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Your Family Portrait While On Vacation In The San Francisco Bay Area

When you are making travel arrangements to vacation in The San Francisco Bay Area, don't forget to book your portrait session.  The Bay Area offers many extremely unique locations for scenic portrait sessions. Beach portraits in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, Lake Merrit in Oakland, China Camp in Marin, The Oakland Rose Garden, The Pulgas Water Temple in Redwood City.......The Bay Area is abundant in beautiful locations.
A Foggy Day For A Family Portrait at China Beach
Nicole contacted me several months before her scheduled family trip to San Francisco. We then planned out location and clothing for her family portrait. We decided on China Beach for it's backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, we could not schedule the sun to come out for her that day.  When Nicole's family picture day at the beach arrived, the fog was sooooooo thick we needed windshield wipers!
I was worried that my East Coast clients would panic about the less than beachy weather....but they were real troopers. Nicole even took her shoes off!.  After awhile we were just having a great time documenting family time at the beach during the session. After all....what could be a more appropriate than a foggy day in San Francisco?
Contact us an we will design the perfect tribute to your Bay Area Vacation. (510)832-3686. Check our on-line Portrait Gallery for examples of family portraits. Let's figure out together which part of The San Francisco Bay Area you will take home to enjoy forever in a portrait!

Watch this Video to see more of Nicole's Family Portrait.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Casual Family Portrait: What To Wear

Fall Casual Family Portrait: What To Wear
Warm Colors Are Excellent In A Fall Family Picture

I was chatting with a long time client yesterday about possible clothing choices for her November Family Portrait Session with her two lovely daughters.  She was positive her girls would want to wear jeans so she told me they would wear white shirts. I immediately burst into laughter.  I told her I wanted to know who made white shirts and blue jeans the national family portrait uniform.  

We discussed the possibility of combining rich Autumn tones like cranberry, pumpkin and chocolate in their family portrait. Perfect for the season and perfect for showcasing her family's complexions. Warm comforting and inviting colors!

Would you like to create a lovely wall portrait of your family this holiday season with this color palette? Call for your consultation appointment I will help you plan the perfect family portrait session for your most loved folk.  Hmmmmmmm maybe red and green for your clan! (510)832-3686

Last year, one of our families built their session around their daughter's adorable red and white dress for their family portrait session at Lake Merrit.   And of course there are many examples on our website in the Positive Images On-Line Portrait Gallery

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2013 Senior Portrait Model Search

We are looking for energetic members of the Class of 2013 to join our Spokes Model Program. Positive Images Spokes Models receive a FREE photo session and the opportunity to earn Free Graduation Photographs simply by referring their friends and  classmates to Positive Images for their Senior Portraits Sessions.
Our Spokes Models's pictures are incorporated into our Senior Portrait marketing on Facebook, Twitter, direct mail and even on YouTube.  Here is a video of  2012 Positive Images Spokes Model, Shamari. We think she did a great job!

Chris's Senior Portrait Session Shows His Love of Baseball
Our Spokes Models are even featured on this Blog.  Here is a post all about 2011 Spokes Model, Chris and his start at Howard University.
2012 Senior Portrait Model Card
Each member of our senior portrait model team will receive their own set of model cards to pass out to their senior class friends, and share on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. The one above is from 2012 Spokes Model, Deloris. She did a great job illustrating how much variety is possible in a senior portrait session at Positive Images.

We depend on our Spokes Models to help us test new sets, props and senior portrait locations. We need their feedback on new products, marketing ideas and special Senior Year Events. The most important job our Senior Portrait Models do is let their friends know that they have a choice when selecting the photography studio to create their graduation portraits.  Even if your school requires you to be photographed by a large impersonal corporation for your yearbook have a choice in selecting the artist to create the senior portraits that you will give to your friends and family.

If you are someone you know in the Class of 2013 is interested in modeling for Positive Images have them fill out this Application

 Check out our 2012 Senior Page on Facebook:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Picture This: A Pastel Family Portrait at the Beach

This is the time of year that makes me think of soft light airy pastel colors. These delicate tones work extremely well in a beach environment. Planning a family portrait at one of the many beautiful beaches available in the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the best ways we can appreciate this incredible part of the world that we are blessed to live in.
What To Wear: Family Portrait at the Beach
What To Wear: Family Portrait at The Beach

I enjoy designing unique art pieces for my clients to display on their walls. Often they are created in a very story telling way...just a glimpse of a moment when a family is sharing time together.  It is not necessary for every portrait to include each pair of eyes and all of the teeth that exist in your family.  Perhaps your favorite portrait is done in a manner that is completely unaware that a camera is present. The Grant Family Portrait, on a Golden Hayward California hillside in our recent Holiday Family Portrait Blog post is a lovely example.

Think peaceful, think serene....think Watercolor Painting at seaside.  Wouldn't it be bliss to have that image hanging in your home on stressful days?  A gentle reminder of just how wonderful quality time with family can be.  Life really can feel like a day at the beach!

Clothing selection is just one of many elements that we help you plan before scheduling your family portrait session.  Let's schedule a consultation appointment to design the perfect portrait of your family. (510)832-3686.

Our On-Line Gallery is open 24/7 for you to browse at
"Like" Us on Facebook for updates and Special Offers.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wondering What to Wear for a Spring Family Portrait in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Wondering What to Wear for a Spring Family Portrait in the San Francisco Bay Area?

What could be better than Sunshine Yellow for your family portrait this Spring.  This time we year we think of  everything new and fresh starts.  Yellow could bring that energy to your family portrait session. Gisele can create your portrait in our studio, your home or through consultation, help you select one of countless scenic locations available in The Bay Area.

Call to schedule a consultation design appointment to discuss details for the perfect family portrait for you! (510)832-3686
Review examples in our our Family Portrait Gallery  
"Like" Us on Facebook for early notification of special offers

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Executive Portrait Session for Oakland's History Books

Education is a very important factor in the lives of all individuals. It enables us to learn new information about the past, present and helps us delve into what can happen in the future. Education is also a chance to learn about important events that help impact today’s society, events that include some very important people. One of these important people is Odell Johnson.
Odell Johnson President Emeritus Laney College

 Odell Johnson is the President Emeritus of Laney College in Oakland, CA. He served as president of the college for 18 years and is now retired. Though he is retired he holds the title President Emeritus because the college recognizes him as a respected, distinguished individual who has contributed much, not only to Laney College, but to the community.

 Mr. Johnson has quite a bit of history with the educational system. He graduated with a bachelors degree from St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga where he later served as the dean of students. Further research about his time at St. Mary’s resulted in the findings of an interesting piece of information. Forty years ago Mr. Johnson was dismissed as the dean of students and his dismissal resulted in the walk out of five African American basketball players during a game. The dedication, compassion and respect that Odell had shown the young men were a big reason why they walked off of the court in support of him. Years later, 35 to be exact, the young men were honored by the colleges Black Alumni Chapter and Black Student Union where they reunited with their beloved dean.
Executive Portrait of Mr. Johnson in studio at Positive Images

 MetWest High School in Oakland and Odell share a fascinating connection. In 2002 MetWest opened its doors to a group of 34 students embarking on a new journey through education.  The school occupied two classrooms, one for learning and the other for office space. Prior to MetWest moving up the street from the college, students were still very much involved with Laney, taking college courses that counted as high school credits as well as credits they could use towards their college degrees.

 An astonishing connection was recently made through MetWest’s internship program. Gisele Bonds, local portraits artist and owner of Positive Images Photography in Oakland had the opportunity of taking Mr. Johnson’s executive portraits. Ms. Bonds is a MetWest mentor and has been since September 2005, her first intern being LaStarr Moore of MetWest’s inaugural class of 2006.

 In meeting Mr. Johnson there was much learned about him. He enjoyed being the president of Laney College and loves it. He took his position as president very seriously, taking on many tasks, resolving problems and ensuring that all 6000 students were getting they were entitled to, the end result being a college degree. One of his favorite things about Laney is the main building with the school’s name on it because it is in his handwriting. Laney was in the process of creating a sign for the main building and Odell was asked to write Laney College a few times in cursive, having no idea that they would use his handwriting for the sign.

 In further appreciation for Odell, Laney has honored him by naming the Laney College Theater after him. He was honored at an unveiling ceremony on March 16, 2012, where everyone had an opportunity to witness the event. Mr. Johnson expressed how he really loved the ceremony and as he explained what had gone on, his eyes had a twinkle in them. He felt humbled by being recognized for his 22 years of service with the Peralta Community College District.

 Odell Johnson spends his free time contributing to different organizations. He is an active member of the Board of Regents for St. Mary’s College. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and is a member of the St. Mary’s College Athletic Hall of Fame.

 I can honestly say that it was an honor to meet Mr. Johnson. We thank him for the time he took out to have our current MetWest intern interview him, our past MetWest intern converse with him and for choosing Gisele Bonds to take his business portraits.

You can access more information about Laney College, MetWest High School, St. Mary's College and Positive Images by clicking on the names of each organization. Please feel free to browse our the Positive Images photo gallery located on the site as well as Like our Facebook page

Written By: LaStarr Moore
Social Media Consultant
Student of Social Media

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Benicia 2012 Senior, Taylor plans an exciting future in graphic designs

Taylor goes to Benicia High School. After high school she plans on going to college and majoring in studio arts or graphic designs.
  The highlight of her senior year is getting her license in December so she does not have to walk anymore.Someday Taylor wants to go to Paris, France. One electronic that she cannot live without is her computer.

  Taylor’s spends her free time playing with her dog Genesis and hanging out with friends.  Taylor’s biggest pet peeve is when her dog licks her after she drinks water or sees food she likes and gets slobber all over her.
 Taylor’s favorite artist is J.Cole and her favorite song is Doing it Wrong by Drake. The best advice she has been given is “it doesn’t matter what jeans your wearing right now, it matters where you’ll be 30 years from now”.
  The best thing about being a 2012 senior for her is daydreaming and planning senior prom. Taylor’s number one goal is to make a lot of memories to look back on for her last year of high school.

 Check out this video, to see more Portraits from Taylor's Photo Session!!


Check out examples of our Senior Portraits from all over the East Bay on our website: Senior Portrait Gallery
Like our 2012 Senior Page on Facebook for tips on making Senior Year run smoothly

Positive Images Photography
548 Grand Ave
Oakland CA 94610

By: Jeffrey Koeng

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bishop O'Dowd Grad Alexandra, has a 2012 Senior Status Portrait Session

Alexandra Dixon is a 2012 senior at Bishop O’Dowd High School.
Check Out Alexandra's 2012 Senior Portrait Video

 Alexandra is planning to attend college, and major in either nursing or sports journalism. She’s happy about being a 2012 senior, so that she can start preparing for the next chapter of her life. In her free time, she plays volleyball or does some kind of physical activity, she likes to color and spend time with her friends and family.

Classic cap and gown senior portrait 

 Alexandra would love to go visit Brazil and/or Australia some day in her life. The technology she can’t live without is her phone, it can do everything and she depends on it to do so.

Lexi is pretty in pink and glam

 Alexandra’s biggest pet peeve is hearing people chew, especially when she’s on the phone talking to them.

Alex with her Bishop O'Dowd volleyball gear
 Even just thinking about it makes her want to plug her ears, “Eww!” she said!  For Alexandra, senior year have been amazing so far. Alexandra’s favorite musical artist is Beyonce, she enjoys listening to all of her songs.

Alexandra posing  in natural light for Senior Pictures 
The best advice she have ever been given is Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that’s why it’s called the present. Alexandra’s goal this year is to try and make every person she interacts with a bit more positive and happy!      

Check out examples of our Senior Portraits from all over the East Bay on our website: Senior Portrait Gallery
Like our 2012 Senior Page on Facebook for tips on making Senior Year run smoothly

Positive Images Photography
548 Grand Ave
Oakland CA 94610

Submitted by: Jeffrey Koeng                                                                                                                                                    

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Aaliyah's Traditional 2012 Senior Portrait Session: A Bay Area Classic!

Aaliyah has a special connection to Positive Images because she interned here while going to Metwest High School and she is a 2012 spokes model  Aaliyah attends Merrill F. West High School in Tracy, CA.
Aaliyah shines in her glamour boa senior portrait pose!
 After High School she is going straight to a four-year college to major in nursing. The best thing she would say about being a 2012 senior is all the special events that go on at school such as grad night, safe and sober night, prom, and graduation. Aaliyah considers herself half typical teenager and half atypical teenager.

During her free time she enjoys catching up on sleep and going to the mall with her friends. However really loves to read, dance, draw, and crochet. Someday she really hopes to visit Japan and Australia. She wants to visit Japan because she is really shy and interested in their arts and food, and Australia because of the beauty she will see there. Electronics the she can not live without would be her computer to keep in touch with friends and family, to read, to shop and for school work “Could you imagine writing all of your essays by hand? I don’t even want to think about that!” -Aaliyah.
Classic Cap & Gown Graduation Photo

Getting accepted into collage had been her favorite thing so far. She says receiving an acceptance from her dream college Penn State made her heart soar and she almost cried, she felt accomplished. Her favorite music is the Korean pop group 2NE1 and their song ugly.
Casual Senior Photo Pose in Studio
Some good advice she had received is you can only move as fast as who’s in front of you. Never let someone stop from pursuing the dream you want. Her pet peeve is rude people. Her number one goal is to graduate high school because she knows it will be a wonderful feeling.
Check out this video of highlights from her Graduation Portrait Session

Need Senior portraits? Phone (510)832-3686 to schedule your Consultation Design Appointment.
Our Online Portrait Gallery is open 24/7 if you would like to see more examples of our 2012 Senior Portrait work.
"Like" Us On Facebook for 1st notice of Portrait Specials

Submitted By: Aneesah Abdel
Intern MetWest High School

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Holy Names 2012 Senior, Ariel has artistic plans for her future

After high school Ariel, a 2012 senior at Holy Names High School, wants to be a successful entrepreneur and own her own dance company.  For Ariel the best thing about being a 2012 senior is her grade matches the year she graduates.  She spends her free time hanging out with friends and having fun she also likes to dance draw and listen to music.

Ariel included her flute and violin in her graduation photographs

 One day Ariel wants to visit Paris or England because they seem totally different that California. She can’t live without her phone, Ipod, Wii, and her laptop.  Her favorite artist is Justin Bieber and her favorite song is “Someone Like You” by Adele.
One Lump or Two?
This was not  Ariel's first portrait session at Positive Images.  Her first photo shoot was when we were located in Bayfair Mall in San Leandro. Take a peek at this adorable portrait from the studio archives...a perfect tea party for a little princess! 
This family portrait was taken when Ariel graduated from middle school. At Positive Images, we love having clients for life! 

  The best advice she has been given was to say what you mean. Her biggest pet peeve is the sound of people rubbing their hands together because it sounds like ashy feet. 

 Her number one goal this year is to keep up good grades along with enjoying Senior Year.

Want to see more pictures from Ariel's photo session?
Then click that play button and watch that slideshow! 

Need Senior portraits? Phone (510)832-3686 to schedule your Consultation Design Appointment.
Our Online Portrait Gallery is open 24/7 if you would like to see more examples of our 2012 Senior Portrait work.
"Like" Us On Facebook for 1st notice of Portrait Specials

Submitted By: Aneesah Abdel
Intern MetWest High School

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What is a Senior Portrait in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Ask the question: "What is a Senior Portrait" in different parts of country and you will get very different answers. As a matter of fact even within different parts of the state or the Bay Area the traditions vary greatly. I still remember the first time I took a Graduation Photography class from a professional photographer from the Mid West.  On the last day of class, (after watching him demonstrate the most exciting portraits I had ever seen of high school seniors) I raised my hand and asked: "When do you take the cap & gown portraits?"  His response: "Oh, we only do those on the day of the ceremony"  I told him that my moms would have a cow if I did not offer cap & gown photos.
Cap & Gown Senior portraits do not have to be traditional.

 In some families, the term Graduation Picture specifically refers to the student in a cap and gown. Through my 20+ year career, I have met many mothers who feel that the Senior Portrait package is not complete until there are some dead chicken feathers involved. They want to see their baby girls in the same color feather boa that they wore in high school.
A Feather Boa can add Glam to your Graduation Portrait Session

Other families have the classic black velvet drape or tuxedo on the list of must have clothing changes.  I also have students that come from prep schools that would NEVER consider posing in a cap and gown because the Senior Photos in their yearbooks are typically outdoors with natural light.
Senior pose in favorite jeans in Joaquin Miller Park

While traditional Senior Portrait customs work for some clients, many families prefer the portraits that showcase their graduates personal flair. At Positive Images, I have created many unique senior portraits that featured a student's favorite outfit, hobby, instrument, sport, pet or other passion.
Illustrate the activity you are passionate about

 I take great pride in the images that speak to a particular student's personality....the more specific the more fun!    To me, a Senior Portrait captures the spirit and story of a young person transitioning to adulthood. A cap and gown only tells a small part of that story. I truly enjoy creating unique images that reflect the individuality of my clients. 
A Senior Portrait can show school pride

So.....What is a Portrait? The great thing is if you select Positive Images as your graduation portrait studio, YOU get to define the answer to that question. Traditional, contemporary, studio, location, classic, trendy, or all of the above! The choice is all yours. Phone to schedule a free consultation appointment and we will help you determine what is right for you and your family. (510)832-3686.

Leave a comment below to tell me what defines a Senior Portrait for you.

You can also review more examples of creative graduation pictures on our On-line Gallery,

Get lots of  Senior year tips by "Liking" our 2012 Senior Facebook Page    

Follow us on Twitter!

Gisele Bonds
Professional Portrait Photographer
Positive Images
548 Grand Ave
Oakland CA 94610

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Put Your 2012 Senior Portraits on Interest Free Lay-A-Way

It's already January...where did the time go?  Your Senior year is whizzing by, one semester is already in the history books. So many decisions to make. College, trade school, military or job after high school? Who should you take to the prom? What is the perfect Senior Prank? Where is the best location for Spring Break? Sometimes the most challenging question is how to pay for all of these important Senior Year components.

Senior Cap & Gown combined with gymnastics

We recognize that many of our graduation photo families are looking for solutions to the challenge of meeting senior year expenses. Our no interest Lay-A-Way Program is an excellent tool that are clients are using. We can divide your  purchase into 4-6 installments scheduled at your preference. We like to be flexible so that our Senior Portrait client are able to budget for exactly the products that they love most.
Graduation Pictures can be dressy or casual...You Decide!

Please keep in mind that it is important to schedule your Senior Photo Session early so that you have time to stretch out your payments.  If you wait until late Spring, not only do you lose the luxury of time to spread your payments out, you also run the risk of incurring rush fees to meet your graduation deadline.

Call today to schedule your FREE consultation appointment. (510)832-3686. At that time our professional portrait photographer, Gisele Bonds will meet with you to brain storm about what elements would make the perfect Senior Portrait session for you. Gisele will also show you examples of all our new Graduation Portrait products so that you can plan for your favorites.
The "Name Thang" is a popular Senior Portrait Product

Check out examples of our Senior Portraits from all over the East Bay on our website: Senior Portrait Gallery
Like our 2012 Senior Page on Facebook for tips on making Senior Year run smoothly

Positive Images Photography
548 Grand Ave
Oakland CA 94610