Thanksgiving portrait


This session in the series of mother-daughter portraits happened on a beautiful fall day in Golden Gate Park.
Karen is the busy mother of three, who does not have much time to hang out with her eldest daughter, Emilia, other than the time she spends with her when they go all across the US to a rhythmic gymnastics competition. Emilia attracted quite a number of curious visitors when she gave us a small taste of her art.
Later on we settled down to some more quiet portraits first at the Music Concourse and then in the Botanical Garden right across the street.

Gabriele Lange Photography
Mother-daugher portrait in Golden Gate Park by Gabriele Lange

A portrait session can be the perfect time to catch up with each other and find out more about what is happening in the busy life of your teenager. These precious images will stay with you when your teen is long gone off to college!
Gabriele Lange Photography

Mother’s Day Portraits

“You said to lean on your arm
And I am leaning
You said to trust in your love
And I am trusting
You said to call on your name
And I am calling
I’m stepping out on your word.”

Maya Angelou “Letter to my daughter”

Portrait by Gabriele LangeIt’s almost Mother’s Day and you are thinking feverishly about something special to give to your mom/ wife/ sister or best friend that is healthy and fun and useful and may be even beautiful. How about the gift of a nice portrait?

Mother’s Day Portrait Session

    Up to 8 family members starting at $450. The session usually lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. We will meet at an agreed upon location in the Bay Area. You will be given at least two professional files and/or prints, additional prints upon request.

Gabriele Lange Photography 2015

Push-Me-Pull-You-Portrait Session

Additionally I would like to continue promoting the special Mother daughter project (also called Push-Me-Pull-You-Portrait) for all of you who are lucky enough to live with teenage daughters under one roof. Please refer to prior blogposts on this platform for more information.


    starting at $350. You will be given at least two professional files and/or prints, additional prints upon request.


Visitors from the Past

Thanks to our not so secret lives in the internet age I was able to reconnect with an old friend from high school. Annette and I hadn’t seen each other for about 25 years when she came for a visit to California with her 16 year old daughter Paula in tow. The mother daughter team went on their first solo trip together and were taking in the breathtaking beauty the Bay Area has to offer. Very quickly they agreed to participate in the mother-daughter portrait session, also called the Push-Me-Pull-You Portraits.

Mother daughter portraits by Gabriele Lange
Annette and Paula at the Legion of Honor, a great spot for portraits.

We combined the “Best of San Francisco site seeing” with their portrait session. The Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park was one of our first stops.

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Annette is working as an elementary school as a physical education and theatre teacher. She loves the idea of role playing with your kids and has some whimsical ideas of how to portray our ever changing relationship with our teenagers. annette2015_11

Gabriele Lange Photography
We reconnected really well and will hopefully stay in touch in the years to come. The last trip we did together was to Sardinia when I was dating her older brother and she met her future husband – 30 years ago.
It’s about time we come up with a new voyage through Europe!

Gabriele Lange Photography
Annette and Gabriele, the photographer, at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Childhood Portraits

On days such as today, when we find out about sudden tragic accidents like the German plane crash in the south of France we become shockingly aware of the fragility of life. Ultimately nobody will ask what fortunes you made at some far away place (your office, the stock market, fill in the blank), but how present you were in your kids childhood.
Being a mother probably made me a much better photographer. It has taught me compassion, patience and appreciation for those little moments, when all of a sudden you understand what in the world is going on around you.
So I’d like to encourage you to take the time and sign up for a unique and worthwhile photo session to record what is special to you. The moments are fleeting, the photographs are there to last.

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith

A rainbow in someone’s cloud

One reason why I love doing the mother- daughter portraits is the notion  that I can give something lasting to my clients. In our fast moving world of constant selfies and short, one or two word messages I am daring to take the time with you, the person in my portrait and create an image that will outlast facebook, twitter, instagram and all the other apps. Don’t get me wrong, I am using them all, but still I believe in true black and white negative film and anticipate a big comeback. That is the gift I can give to others.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud…Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity. (Maya Angelou, Letter to my daughter)

Portraits with Hamantashen and Spectacular Views

I met Missy and her daughter Sara on a stormy day in San Francisco. We started our photo shoot in the kitchen which provided a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere with excellent natural light. As a mother-daughter team they are spending some quality time together in the kitchen experimenting with Jewish recipes. Because this photo shoot was scheduled just before Purim, they were all set up to bake Hamantashen when I arrived to take their portraits.

The second half of the photo shoot took place outside on a steep hill top around the corner of their house which was chosen by Sara. We were greeted by billowing thunderstorm clouds, but luckily no rain! Perched on a high hill overlooking San Francisco we got some great shots on the granite rocks as a natural backdrop. Sara loves to come out here with and without friends to take in the epic views of the Pacific ocean.

While every photo session is unique, this one had it’s own twist, as I met Luna the pig, who lives a happy live in a kosher household. Receiving a beautiful basket full of Hamantashen as a take home gift was an additional big plus.

Black and white portraits are very classy

Create real family heirloom pictures by taking time out of your busy lives and sign up for your mother-daughter portrait. Lately I have picked up my classy Hasselblad 500 C,  the medium-format camera of choice for generations of professional photographers. It is almost as old as me, but works like a charm and creates high quality images that you can’t achieve on your little Iphones (sorry kids, no selfies here). These images beg to be matted, framed and put on someones wall or desk.

© Gabriele Lange 2015
More images from the mother-daughter portrait session with Georgia and Lola. © Gabriele Lange 2015 

© Gabriele Lange 2015 4634_48GL


Meet the first mother daughter duo

On another warm, sunny and glorious winter weekend I met up with Georgia and Lola for the first “push-me-pull-you” portrait. We met in their sun-filled house in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco and took some time to contemplate the appropriate location for each of the portraits.

Brainstorming for the first mother-daughter portrait. What to wear? Where should we go?
Brainstorming for the first mother-daughter portrait. What to wear? Where should we go?

Georgia picked her artist studio, The Mud Room, as her favorite place to hang out with her daughter. Georgia Hodges is a San Francisco based artist. She owns and manages The Mud Room at Ocean Beach, a small ceramics cooperative.

Georgia working on a clay sculpture while Lola is hanging out.
Georgia working on a clay sculpture while Lola is hanging out.

Lola loves to come and hang out with her mother, drinking out of her gigantic tea cup, which is of course handmade by Georgia. Here they can spend some quality time together.

Lola on the hand choose to go to the beach for her mother-daughter portrait. The eighth grader is an avid rower and surfs several weeks every summer in a junior life guard program in Santa Cruz. We reached the dunes just in time for a spectacular sunset. The two huddled up together in the fading light and shared a brief moment of peace and quiet.

Mother daughter portrait by the beach. © Gabriele Lange 2015
Mother daughter portrait by the beach. © Gabriele Lange 2015

Push-Me, Pull-You – a special mother daughter portrait project

Is your daughter at the stage in her life where she is either not talking to you AT ALL or texting you every other minute to help her troubleshoot some small detail? Alright, full disclosure, I am the mother of a teen myself and know firsthand what kind of weird animal I am talking about here. Or as friend of mine once said, you never know what person is going to come downstairs today, the same as yesterday or a totally different one.

Looking for a new personal and professional project to immerse myself in for 2015 I developed the idea of the “my daughter myself” portrait. It is aimed at moms and their teenage daughters. Through photography I would like to illustrate what the tender relationship is about.

Remember the magical creature from Dr. Doolittle?  My new photography project is borrowing it's title  from this idea.
Remember the magical creature from Dr. Doolittle? My new photography project is borrowing its title from this idea.

My goal is to give both sides of the relationship a voice.  One part of the portrait will be set up according to the daughters ideas and the second part according to the moms preference.

Both of the subjects should really want to participate.

Who should apply:

All Moms who believe that this is the time to take some classic portraits of themselves and their teenage daughters (we can discuss taking pictures with multiple children during the same session). The kids should be from tweens to young adults.


You and your daughter have to commit to a photography session of approximately 2 hours. We will take two portraits to illustrate your relationship. One set up or location is chosen by the daughter, the other by the mother. Ideally they won’t be too far away from each other. I will also offer some shots in a studio setting on a day TBA.


    $225 for the first three people to sign up
    $350 and up on a sliding scale for everyone else. You will be given at least two professional files and/or prints, additional prints upon request.


SNAFU alert and how to avoid it

Setting up a Google Ad Grants account

After spending several days of my life trying to set up a seemingly simple Google ad words account, I thought I’d take the time to write about the pesky details to keep in mind. The full step by step set up process can be found here.

Google for non-profits
Google for non-profits

First off you need to qualify to be eligible for the “Google Ad Grants”: They offer a whooping $10,000 per month or $329 per day for a qualifying non-profit. Of course there are certain limitations that will basically prohibit your organization from ever spending that much on any given campaign, such as these:

-Maximum cost per click (CPC) of $2.00 (you might never rise to the top of the search)
-Run only keyword-targeted campaigns (no images)
-Will only appear on Google search results
-You can only run text ads (no videos or images)
-Linking to one website of the non-profit

You need to follow their set up instructions precisely, otherwise your application will be denied. The issue I ran into was related to email addresses: the organization for which I set up the account already had a paid account. Now the same email address was associated with the paid and the supposedly unpaid account (you can not enter payment information for the Adgrants account, or you will be charged inadvertently or your grant application will be denied, as in my case.)

At some point in the set up process you have to be prepared to write a nice 300-500-word essay about the vision and mission of your non-profit and how you are changing the world and helping the community with your free account. I would highly advise you to write this in either text edit or word and not in the window provided, as my essay “disappeared” twice before it was finally recorded.
Than you have to sit back and wait two to three days to see if your account is going to be approved or denied. If it is denied initially you should insist and get on the phone with one of the nice Googlers, often it is just a technical issue that can be resolved, although it can be rather time consuming. One of my phone calls with them lasted more than two hours!

Things to remember:
1) It’s good to bring at least one other user in your organization on board by inviting him or her to be another administrator. Very important in case you need to regain access after another snafu with you email address! (SNAFU is a military slang acronym meaning “Situation Normal: All Fucked Up” and this is quite likely to happen if you don’t keep your email addresses all separate for different purposes)
2) You will have to sign into your free account at least once a month to keep it current and open, otherwise Google will shut you down. They will also send you very nice reminder emails even if you don’t log into your account for two weeks.

Overview of the process can be found on this PDF.