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.

All The Feels

Jeff and Louisa’s shoot this weekend with their 6-year old talkative charmer and 3-year old living doll (heehee) had all the feels.

There was loud laughter, running and playing, a few tears, some fearful hesitation of bugs and grass, and lots and lots of joy.  Or was it snacks?  Lots and lots of snacks.  ;)

My favorite things that happened were:
1.  Jacob told me he “loves mommy and you”.  That’s ME!  Me!  How adorable is that?!!
2.  Little Kate gave me a long gentle hug to say goodbye. ❤️
3.  Jacob helped his little sister when she was scared.  See the last photo!  *melt*
4.  My deep discussion with Jeff and Louisa after the shoot about philosophy of careers and life.

This shoot reminds me that photography is personal!


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Commercial Photography: A Clear Way

The idea of keeping only what “sparks joy” seems like a trend, but it is much more than that.

From what I learned from creative pro and organization queen, Amy Johnson, figuring out how to organize your home spans over to a clarity of mind that effects all areas of your life!

It was so much fun to hang out with Amy for a couple hours to capture images for her new KonMari home organization business, A Clear Way.  I won’t post too many photos, so her website — when it is completed — will be the big reveal.  I can’t wait to see it!

Fun fact:  I met Amy over a decade ago at a Mother’s Club that we were both in, and we hit it off while brunching.  She has such a positive attitude, professionalism and humbleness about her that you can’t help but trust her and feel at ease around her.  And she’s just downright cool.  (Can you tell I adore her?!!)

While you are reading this blog post, I’m going to organize a few drawers.


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Commercial Photography: Diversity and Authenticity

You probably know this, but I’ll say it anyway:  I love photographing schools.

Photographing schools means capturing constant movement, facial expressions, and complicated light in an uninterrupted way.  Photographing a masters program, like a business school, means there is an extra challenge of photographing adults.  (Adults are usually more serious about learning and don’t find my silly noises and faces endearing like little kids – haha.)

I was reminded of something during this trip to Houston.  When it’s a top-tier school, the caliber of students is high — which means photographing people who have led accomplished careers before even stepping foot onto campus!  From meeting a doctor to a music label executive to an army sergeant, there were times I had to remind myself to keep shooting.

This kind of diversity was thrilling to be around, and I was so thankful that my 3-day Commercial Shoot in Houston had a lot of pockets of time for me to roam freely and capture the authentic moments that I saw.







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[If you’re curious, here is my very first Commercial Shoot at Rice in 2016 and my 1-day shoot in 2017, Be Distinct.]