Sometimes the Clients You Don’t Book Share with You the Highest Regards… San Francisco Bay Area Family Photography Surprises and Delights

How to flatter your would-be photographer… It’s been a while since I blogged a personal story, and this was one of those “have to write about this” opportunities.

A family from Texas found me through a Google search one month ago and reached out for a family photosession. They are a “family of 13 coming to visit the Bay Area…” many of whom are successful entrepreneurs, movers, shakers, hard to get in one room at the same time! I received the inquiry while vacationing on the magical island of Maui, but never leaving an interested client hanging, I gave them a quick ring and we had a lovely conversation about the goals for their session. I learned about what a wonderful group of individuals they all are, splitting time between the United States and many incredible overseas places, only all seeing each other maybe once a year. “This is going to be a special photoshoot” I think, the stakes are high to rock this one. We were both easily put at ease early on as our personalities just gelled, this was going to be one fun shoot!

There was only one problem that brought our booking to a screeching halt – the dates they needed were the dates that I would be in NY for a friend’s wedding… Literally the exact same opposite travel plans, almost to the hour 🙁 As disappointed as we both were, I was determined to make this happen for them, so we had two options: 1) It just so happens that I’m going to be in Texas for a long weekend this month, only 1 hour from where many of the family live; 2) There are a few other amazing family photographers in San Francisco to say the least, so let’s see who else they are interested in, and give them a good referral/recommendation and introduction to someone amazing to work with them in my place.

I reviewed the other photographers they were considering and gave them my honest feedback and opinion. I thought one they liked would really fit with their goals, and offered one other they hadn’t considered who I am a fan of their work.

Long story short, turns out the whole family won’t all be in Texas during the dates I’ll be there, bummer… one down, one to go, let’s get them a great shoot in SF. A week goes by and I send a follow up email just to make sure they’re taken care of and found someone they love to capture their trip, and this is from the response I receive, it made my day:

“We should be making another trip to Bay Area end of this year, we will try and attempt another family photo session this fall 🙂 I will keep you in mind and my contacts. Thank you again for all your help, we decided not to go with any of the other photographers, family only liked your work. We will try again this fall!!”

I’m honored to hear that of all the fine choices for photographers in San Francisco, they only wanted to work with me, truly flattered 😉 That one part of their reply “… we decided not to go with any of the other photographers, family only liked your work” really made my day. This is me smiling and having one of those “why I do this” moments.

Little happy gifts from the people you interact with come and surprise you each and every day. Stay open to the greatness.

The Bay Lights behind Cupid's Span at Rincon Park by the Bay Bridge in San Francisco | © 2013 Niall David Photography

The Bay Lights behind Cupid’s Span at Rincon Park by the Bay Bridge in San Francisco | © 2013 Niall David Photography

Happy 75th Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge! Fireworks Over the San Francisco Bay!

Sunday May 27, 2012 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. In celebration of this American icon, there was a whole day of celebration at key sites along the waterfront along the San Francisco Bay and plenty of revelry around the city. The most exciting of which, were the 75th anniversary fireworks show! It was super special as they organizers added a special dose of a fantastic light show to go along with the fireworks. We had a key vantage point from the top of Nob Hill, and of course my camera, tripod and I happily joined in the celebration. Here’s my ode to this amazing icon of San Francisco, America and human ingenuity! Happy Anniversary GGB!

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery here.

Instagram :: March 2012

The Instagram project continues, a daily experiment. The monthly update to recap March 2012.

Beer, beaches, broken tapes, vintage things, puffy clouds, pianos, St. Patty’s Day, music and creativeLIVE all caught my attention this past month…

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery from March here.

 

March has 11 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also my favorite: Statigram, as well as WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

 

Instagram :: February 2012

One of my little personal projects continues: my obsession with Instagram. And here is the monthly update to recap February 2012.

Emmy Awards, meowers, parking tickets, vintage things, herbal teas, flowers, music and stormy weather all caught my attention this past month…

 (Niall David)

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January has 18 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

See the full gallery from February here.

Instagram :: December 2011

Holidays, a new year, road trips, glorious hikes in the redwoods of California and a trip to NY. All of that kept me pretty busy in December. Still loving iPhoneography through Instagram, and absolutely loving the Snapseed app from Nik Software, where I process at least half of my mobile images these days.

 (Niall David)

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December has 12 images. Weak amount I know :/ Working on focusing on quality and not quantity lately.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

 

See the full gallery from December here.

Instagram :: November 2011

 

Mural painters, a trip to New York City, some good coffee, a broken car window, Disneyland and a double rainbow. All that and more in the month of November…

 (Niall David)

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November has 34 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

See the full gallery from November here.

Instagram :: September 2011

 

I feel like it was kind of a weak month for Instagramming for me… :/ Somehow I only snapped and posted 6 images in September. Eeeks! I’ll have to pick it up!

On a happy little side note, I purchased a few old school vintage film cameras and I’m excited to get closer to my roots again. Hoping to have some scans to post sometime later this year. Happy Instagramming!

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

September has 6 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

See the full gallery from September here.

San Francisco Skyline – Nighttime Views from Treasure Island

I don’t often go to Treasure Island, but today I just wanted to get out for a drive, and it seemed like the place to visit. A short jaunt from San Francisco, and dramatically placed right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay is the site of one of the most awe inspiring views of the city in the entire area. Second to only the Berkeley hills, this can’t be beat. Plus, if you’re already in SF, you can get there and back sans toll. I highly recommend this trip, worth it’s weight in unforgettable scenery of the City by the Bay.

I didn’t get out of the house until close to 4pm, but it was just enough time to get out there to catch the last few rays of sunset. I decided I wanted to get there for sunset, but once I arrived, I decided I’d stick around until after dark to catch some nighttime shots of the skyline. It was worth the wait, and the battering winds and extreme windchill… to capture some views on one of the first weekends with the holiday lights on.

I totally froze my butt off, but it was a nice way to spend some time semi-alone just working the long exposures. My tripod is crap and hopefully someday soon I can upgrade. I’d likely need to sandbag  50 pound scaffolding to withstand these winds without blur at 30 seconds +, but for now it’s cheapo Focal tripod to the rescue. Was cool to get out there at night again. This is also one of the few galleries where I include multiple versions of the same capture. I had a little fun with the post-processing on a few of these so included a few versions of a couple of them. Hope you enjoy 🙂

See the full gallery here.

Photographer’s notes: Nikon D700; ISO 100; Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens; F/8; Exposures between 2 seconds and 20 seconds.

Update – 1/5/2011 : A lesson in SEO. Set your filenames, headers/titles, keywords/tags, and categories (in that order of priority) and search engines will find you. Search Google for “best place to see sf skyline by night.” Yesterday I was the top hit. http://www.google.com/search?q=best+place+to+see+san+francisco+skyline+at+night&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=&oe=. Very cool.