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Hello there!

My name is Annie Tao. I am a photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in lifestyle photography where you get to play, hang out, and be yourself. I capture the moments, real emotions and stories that occur during our time together. Check here often or subscribe to my blog (RSS feed) to see what I am up to or get creative inspiration. Thanks for visiting!

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The Buzz

My Philosophy

I scoured through thousands of my client photos and pondered my philosophy on photographing people.  What I realized was that my philosophy was incredibly simple.

Looking at all these gorgeous faces and families, my heart melts a little.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.   ~annie

Want to see more?  Yippeee… here’s a video on why you should choose Lifestyle Photography.

Ode to Black and White

I was about 19 or 20 years old when I became serious about photography.  I scraped up money to buy my first SLR camera, which was thrilling to achieve as a poor College student.  My preferred film was a roll of BxW Ilford 400s.  The following Summer, I took a film photography class at UC Berkeley, so I could learn how to develop/print my own film and have unlimited access to the darkroom, which absorbed a good part of that year.

BxW can look really moody, which I love, but that’s not what draws me to Black and White (BxW) Photography.  I think it’s because BxW is more challenging to shoot.  It forces me to look at the World differently.  I have to pay closer attention to lines, textures, backgrounds, expressions.  In color, you don’t notice that level of detail as much; instead, you appreciate the feeling of the light and the hues and shades of all the colors.

In BxW, you strip everything away and are left with only the bones of the image.  It is raw.

The first few years of my professional photography business, I shot a mix of color and BxW, but at some point in my career, I found myself shooting almost entirely in color.  It was a slow, but distinct evolution.  In self-reflection, I realize the change was based on a number of things — mainly that many clients preferred color over BxW and I grew to have a ‘signature style’ with how I edit my color images.  They are creamier whites and sunnier shades.  Hey, I like happy photos!  🙂


I still love Black and White Photography.  With a passion.  So here is a post dedicated to only BxW photos, as an ode to my first love. ❤️







San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-picking-dandelions-BxW  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-blowing-dandelions-BxW





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Commercial Photography: Commure

Photographing a start-up company for launch is unlike a regular Commercial Shoot.

There is an air of excitement at the office when all the long hours and late nights of hard work are finally making a debut to the World.  I photographed anything and everything, from the company culture to headshots of the leadership team to the physical office space.

Being there for 2 half-days as a “fly on the wall” was soOoOoOoOo fun — mostly because the people I met were hip, friendly, and brilliant-minded (what a great combination), but it was also because they occupy this spectacular mid-century modern office space in Downtown San Francisco.  Oh, and they have a furry four-legged employee named Oscar!

Commure is a technology company that accelerates healthcare innovation.  It was in stealth mode when I had my first shoot there, so I couldn’t post anything, but now I can, so woohoo!



San-Francisco-commercial-photography-office-space-during-workday-view-from-across-stairwell  San-Francisco-commercial-photography-working-on-laptop-focus-on-stickers



San-Francisco-commercial-photography-office-railing  San-Francisco-commercial-photography-physician-using-commure-system-on-ipad






San-Francisco-commercial-photography-man-actively-listening-in-meeting  San-Francisco-commercial-photography-pullup-bar-in-office


The leadership team


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Together Again

Janet loves the San Francisco Bay Area so much that during a visit many years ago, she decided to move here.  Her love for the Bay Area is still immeasurable, so she chose a special location for her shoot (a precious gift from her sister Julie) that faces her beloved city.

Even with high wind weather advisories, Janet and her family didn’t let that stop them from having a memorable afternoon.  Their son had recently returned home after being in the Peace Corps, so they had all they needed:  their family.

They were all together again. ❤️


San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-outdoor-patio-mersea-restaurant  San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-wooden-sign-and-succulent-plants-at-restaurant-garden