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Top 10 Things I Love About Being A San Francisco Photographer

For any aspiring or professional photographer, the San Francisco Bay Area is an exciting and beautiful playground. You learn about diverse cultures, explore beautiful locations and meet lots of interesting characters. Each event is entirely a unique experience.

Here are the top 10 things I love about working as a photographer in The Bay.

1. I get to do what I love! This is quite obvious. What better way to make a living than doing something you enjoy. I can't wait to check my email when I wake up to see what's new in store for me. Is it a bar mitzvah in Los Gatos? An eloping couple getting married at the San Francisco City Hall? A surprise birthday party on a party bus to San Jose? A muslim wedding in Oakland? An engagement pictorial in the middle of the Muir Woods? A maternity photo shoot by theGolden Gate Bridge? The list goes on. The fun begins from the time I start my day.

2. Happy clients. It never gets old. Whenever I receive an email from a client about how happy he/she is with the photos, I feel a sense of fulfillment for a job well done. I don't consider myself a cry baby but I still get teary eyed whenever I get heart warming testimonials. It does, most of the time, hit the spot. It is not all about having the latest gear or learning that new trick onPhotoshop. At the end of the day, it's about performing your job well and exceeding your clients' expectations. I am thankful that I do what I do. And I do it good to make them happy. I get to give them snapshot opportunities to relive all the beautiful moments on their special day. To me, that is precious.

3. Finding and capturing the 'in-between' moments. Less than half the time when I'm covering events do I pose my subjects. I mostly do candids, finding those moments that capture the spontaneity of the day. Thephotographs are simple and immediate, an instant of life captured oncamera.

4. Meeting a diverse group of people. If you've been in the bay, lived or visited, you get it. It is a melting pot of people from a wide variety of ethnic, racial, national and religious backgrounds. European and Middle Eastern Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Native Americans/American Indians, you name it. And as such, I get to cover a wide variety of events, meet diverse groups of people and learn different cultures. Truly a great learning experience.

5. I get to attend a lot of parties! Need I say more? I didn't think so.

6. The amazing friends I make. I treat the people I work with not just as business connections but as friends. I am one of those who don't believe in coincidences. I believe we meet the people we meet for a particular reason. I brainstorm with a bride with the same gusto on how to make her day extra special as if I was helping my own best friend prepare for hers. I do this because of # 1 above. And as such, I guess they see how I'm into what I do and we end up with a special relationship. This also results to returning and referring clients.

7. I get to own good camera gear. Go to any party and you'll see DSLR's becoming more and more popular. If you've had the chance to play around with one, you already know the pretty cool things you can do with it. It is an amazing investment whether you use it for personal or professional use. Doing what I do is a good excuse to keep my stuff updated. Sweet.

8. I get to be part of special days. I usually have not met my clients before. I feel honored every time somebody expresses an interest in allowing me to be part of their special day. To document a special event in their lives they will relive in the years ahead. Each celebration is different from the next. But all have that special moment where everyone feels that love and bond behind this gatheringof different people from different places celebrating something special.

9. Constant, consistent self improvement. One thing about doing what you love is that you enjoy everything about it. Researching for the latest tools, gadget,software, styles, etc. isn't a chore but a fun experience of continuous learning. It is just automatic. If you're into make-up, are you bored scouring the aisles ofSephora? If you're an avid reader of Seth Godin, are you not updated with his most recent book? If you're into cooking, are you bored reading cookbooks or looking for recipes online? Nope. Of course not.

10. There's always something new to look forward to. This kind of alludes to # 1 and # 4. One thing this job (if you would even prefer to call it that) is not is boring. It can be awedding in Napa on Saturday, a maternity photo shoot at the Hayward Japanese Garden on Monday, an engagement photo session by the beach in Half Moon Bay on Wednesday, a bat mitzvah next week in San Jose or a graduation ceremony in Berkeleynext year.

Nothing is quite the same.

Here are the top 10 things I love about working as a photographer in The Bay.

1. I get to do what I love! This is quite obvious. What better way to make a living than doing something you enjoy. I can't wait to check my email when I wake up to see what's new in store for me. Is it a bar mitzvah in Los Gatos? An eloping couple getting married at the San Francisco City Hall? A surprise birthday party on a party bus to San Jose? A muslim wedding in Oakland? An engagement pictorial in the middle of the Muir Woods? A maternity photo shoot by theGolden Gate Bridge? The list goes on. The fun begins from the time I start my day.

2. Happy clients. It never gets old. Whenever I receive an email from a client about how happy he/she is with the photos, I feel a sense of fulfillment for a job well done. I don't consider myself a cry baby but I still get teary eyed whenever I get heart warming testimonials. It does, most of the time, hit the spot. It is not all about having the latest gear or learning that new trick onPhotoshop. At the end of the day, it's about performing your job well and exceeding your clients' expectations. I am thankful that I do what I do. And I do it good to make them happy. I get to give them snapshot opportunities to relive all the beautiful moments on their special day. To me, that is precious. 

3. Finding and capturing the 'in-between' moments. Less than half the time when I'm covering events do I pose my subjects. I mostly do candids, finding those moments that capture the spontaneity of the day. Thephotographs are simple and immediate, an instant of life captured oncamera.

4. Meeting a diverse group of people. If you've been in the bay, lived or visited, you get it. It is a melting pot of people from a wide variety of ethnic, racial, national and religious backgrounds. European and Middle Eastern Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Native Americans/American Indians, you name it. And as such, I get to cover a wide variety of events, meet diverse groups of people and learn different cultures. Truly a great learning experience.

5. I get to attend a lot of parties! Need I say more? I didn't think so.

6. The amazing friends I make. I treat the people I work with not just as business connections but as friends. I am one of those who don't believe in coincidences. I believe we meet the people we meet for a particular reason. I brainstorm with a bride with the same gusto on how to make her day extra special as if I was helping my own best friend prepare for hers. I do this because of # 1 above. And as such, I guess they see how I'm into what I do and we end up with a special relationship. This also results to returning and referring clients.

7. I get to own good camera gear. Go to any party and you'll see DSLR's becoming more and more popular. If you've had the chance to play around with one, you already know the pretty cool things you can do with it. It is an amazing investment whether you use it for personal or professional use. Doing what I do is a good excuse to keep my stuff updated. Sweet.

8. I get to be part of special days. I usually have not met my clients before. I feel honored every time somebody expresses an interest in allowing me to be part of their special day. To document a special event in their lives they will relive in the years ahead. Each celebration is different from the next. But all have that special moment where everyone feels that love and bond behind this gatheringof different people from different places celebrating something special.

9. Constant, consistent self improvement. One thing about doing what you love is that you enjoy everything about it. Researching for the latest toolsgadget,software, styles, etc. isn't a chore but a fun experience of continuous learning. It is just automatic. If you're into make-up, are you bored scouring the aisles ofSephora? If you're an avid reader of Seth Godin, are you not updated with his most recent book? If you're into cooking, are you bored reading cookbooks or looking for recipes online? Nope. Of course not.

10. There's always something new to look forward to. This kind of alludes to # 1 and # 4. One thing this job (if you would even prefer to call it that) is not is boring. It can be awedding in Napa on Saturday, a maternity photo shoot at the Hayward Japanese Garden on Monday, an engagement photo session by the beach in Half Moon Bay on Wednesday, a bat mitzvah next week in San Jose or a graduation ceremony in Berkeleynext year. 

Nothing is quite the same. 

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