Category Archives: Photography

Niki + Dave’s Santa Cruz wedding

The bride and groom, Aptos, CA

I don’t normally shoot weddings, but I couldn’t resist saying yes when Niki + Dave emailed to ask if I would shoot their small wedding in Aptos- the tiny little beach town where I grew up. It is gorgeous there. Just south of Santa Cruz and full of big beaches where you can walk for miles and miles. I still remember seeing those surfer boys in homeroom with wet mops of hair, salt dried in little beads on their arms from their early morning ocean adventures.

This wedding was unconventional and thoughtful, every detail meaningful and beautifully thought through… All of it infused with love and play. Their spirits were contagious… At one point I found myself thigh deep in the ocean (in my jeans) whooping it up and photographing them.

It was pure pleasure to celebrate with them and I’m excited to share some of their joy with you!

Dave + Niki diving in, Aptos, CA

At the farmer’s market earlier that day getting the bride’s bouquet

The gorgeous bride and groom, Aptos, CA

bride and groom at the ocean, Aptos, CA

Lovely ceremony, officiated by a dear friend, Aptos, CA

Into the sunset they go…



Do you see the resemblance?

seeing a resemblance, shot with iphone 4S

I already posted this on Facebook, but I couldn’t resist posting it again here. It makes me unreasonably happy.

As I was chatting with one of the dads in the neighborhood recently, he apologized for not recognizing me immediately. He explained that he has Prosopagnosia, or “face blindness.” (The artist Chuck Close has it too) This is a condition where the person’s ability to recognize faces is impaired. He explained that when he used to come home from college for visits, he was afraid he wouldn’t recognize his parents.

I was of course fascinated by this and wanted to ask him dozens more probing questions. But it got me thinking: Whatever part of the brain is causing this difference in him, is overactive in me. I recognize EVERYBODY.

When I was living in Venice, Italy, I recognized a random schoolmate from college on the steps of the train station. I had never actually spoken to him before, just saw him at a keg party once. Another time, while riding the bus in San Francisco, I sat next to a man that looked incredibly familiar to me. I told him I knew him from somewhere, so we went through the usually battery of questions. Where do you work? Where did you grow up? I finally realized that I had never met him before and I had seen his picture only once — in my sister’s high school yearbook. (She went to a private school far from our home)

It gets embarrassing sometimes.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while (or follow me on Instagram) you also know that I see faces in my food as well. I guess this is my thing. One of my superpowers.

Do you find faces too? In the clouds? in the cracks of the concrete? in your breakfast? Add them to my collection over at Flickr!

P.S. Today is the last day to enter the raffle for the Canon DSLR + all the other awesome prizes!!


Psst! Sneak preview of the Treasure Hunt.

Maternity session, shot with Canon Xsi

Day #3:
A tattoo

I saw a woman walking toward me on the street recently. She looked decidedly tough — tattoos up and down her arms, hair in a buzz cut, walking a big dog. But one of her tattoos made me pause and tears immediately came to my eyes. It was big (sprawling across her entire chest) and said three words:

I am enough.

I stopped and looked over my shoulder as she passed, debating about whether I should stop and take her photo. Would that be weird? Is it okay to ask the story behind the tattoo? Surely there is a good story.

I chickened out, intimidated by her look. But I have decided since, that if you tattoo the words “I am enough” across your chest, you better be prepared for curious humans to ask you about it. And the next time I see her, I will.

Find a tattoo today. And be extra brave if it’s a stranger.

Above is a sneak peek into the Treasure Hunt course! 30 Days of creative photo prompts to fill your inbox with inspiration, photo tips and bursts of joy. Just $49.

Class begins the day you register. Today!


Calling for courage stories*

Nico + Ben, the album cover, shot with iphone 4S

the family band begins, shot with iphone 4S

Cultivating Courage

Hey guys! I am cooking up a new offering that you are (fingers crossed) going to love! I will do a proper unveiling soon, but I will give you a hint and say that it is all about cultivating the superpower of courage.

More and more, I am realizing that practicing courage (in small ways every day) takes me farther than any other practice I know. Strengthening this one muscle is so powerful.

I need your help

  • Do you have a story about a time when you had to call on your courage?
  • What happened? How did you transform?
  • Was there any magic on the other side?

These stories can be short and sweet. (And no heroics necessary. We’re talkin ordinary, everyday courage)

400 or 500 words max.
Email your story to me here: [email protected]

A collection of these stories will be published in the upcoming courage class.

*Everyone who sends me a story will get a coupon for the upcoming course. Can’t wait to read your stories!



Treasure Hunt: A brand new offering!

Treasure Hunt anyone?

Remember how much you loved treasure hunts as a kid? We’re bringing the joy of that time back. Further your creative practice with photography, get a spark of inspiration directly in your inbox each day and share the spoils of your hunts in an encouraging Flickr community for other treasure seekers.

The fun begins on September 1st. You can register here!

You will get:

  • A creative photo prompt each day in your inbox
  • Creative musings & photo tips by Andrea to inspire your work
  • A warm, encouraging community space on Flickr to share your work and support your fellow treasure seekers! (I will be popping in there each day to view your work and support your practice)

Benefits of treasure seeking:

  • Jumpstart your creativity or add a new spark to your existing practice
  • Come away with a collection of creative images illustrating your life right now
  • A gratitude practice using your camera as a tool + beauty as your lens
  • A whole month of drinking in everyday beauty
  • Inspiring photos taken with your camera phone.
  • Has your blog been collecting dust? Infuse it with new colorful content!




The many faces of a five year old.

The best of the bunch.

Originally, I was just going to post this shot above. It has the best light, Ben looks happy and his eyes have that bright spark… If you have taken a Superhero Photo class you will recognize those as catchlights!

Anyway, as I loaded this image up, I realized that I never show you the whole progression of the mini-photoshoots I do with Ben. As you can tell, Ben is a ham… and as he gets older it’s harder and harder to photograph him looking natural. But I find if I keep it playful and click the shutter about a hundred times, I always come away with some great images.

Also, for those trying to improve their photography, you will notice that the light was instantly better when I swiveled around and photographed Ben on the ground to my left. When he was on the bed his face was in shadow and things got a bit grainy/noisy. Of course, sometimes it’s all about the expression and a less than perfect exposure can do the job as well.

Hope your weekend was good! and full of photo-worthy moments. I’ve been cooking up a new set of classes for you that I will be announcing soon, so stay tuned!

Smiling for the camera, shot with Canon Xsi

Trying to be serious.

A more typical shot I get.

If I had a nickel for every shot like this…

Ben and the half smile.

Ben fart face, shot with Canon Xsi



things I saw this week.

big folded down daisy, shot with Canon Xsi

more whithering daisies

tree shadows, Berkeley, CA

Nude cyclist in SF

Ben and his cousin Elijah

big folded down daisy

Nico at the tot lot, Berkeley, CA

View at Land's End, SF


The sweetest kind of joy

Nico and dada

Sometimes the very best photos are the snapshots. The ones from your camera phone or point and shoot that you just snap, unplanned, with no concern for F stops and apertures. This photo above is one of those, a moment of pure joy with my boys that I am so grateful to have captured.

Note: I hope to write more this week, but I have a repetitive stress injury in my arm that is limiting my ability to type. If I owe you an email, my apologies for my slow response time right now!


Tintypes at Photobooth SF + dear friends

Tintype of Andrea Scher, from Photobooth SF

Tintype of Marcia Gagliardi, from Photobooth SF

Way back in November when we both turned the big 4-0, my dear friend Marcia gifted me a date at Photobooth SF to get our tintypes done. It took us until last week to pull off, but it was such a sweet celebration of our long and dear 20 year friendship.

I met Marcia when I arrived in Venice Italy in 1991, ready to spend the year studying Italian (the language, the food, the boys!) That first day off the boat, we each scanned the crowd and decided- yep, she’s the one. We spent so much time together that we could finish each others sentences (in italian and english) and called ourselves the gemelli sisters.

We had many adventures that year. We walked through the endless maze cobblestone streets. We ate pressed fresh mozzarella sandwiches every day. We entertained movie stars. We smoked a lot of cigarettes. Marcia taught me to have fun and cut loose. She taught me to be loud and free and do everything with reverence. I am forever grateful.

One of my favorite memories of Marcia though is from years later- the day I made my debut as part of the gospel choir at Glide Memorial church. I remember being terrified, singing my heart out, and looking out at the congregration. There was Marcia in the third row, tears streaming down her face, mouthing the words “I’m so proud of you” over and over again.

This memory is permanently etched in my mind – a moment of pure love.

These days Marcia is rockstar food writer. If you live in SF, you have likely read her reviews or subscribe to her newsletter Tablehopper. Maybe you even got her book!. She also just recently became the contributing food editor for 7×7 Magazine. As you can see, I could go on and on.

As I write this, I hope Marcia can see the tears welling up in my eyes and me mouthing the words “I am so proud of you” over and over again.


What if you could capture the magic?

Dappled light that caught my eye, shot with iphone 4S

This is the moment

You are walking along the sidewalk and you see something in your path. A flash of cherry red gleams in your periphery and piques your curiosity. Your heart leaps a little. Do you remember what it was like to find a treasure on the ground when you were little? A shine of copper, a glint of silver, a beautiful rock or a piece of seaglass.

You lean forward and bend down, sure that you have found gold or something better? This is the moment. The treasure is a hunch. A whisper of something beautiful. A nugget, or maybe a diamond in the rough, something with a secret.

In this case, it is a candy wrapper sitting in the fresh grass. You consider it. Why did it make you smile? What made your heart leap? Was it the juxtaposition of cherry red and apple green? Was it the nostalgia of that particular gum you used to love?

You could walk away. “It’s just a candy wrapper…. “ you think. Dismiss it. The moment has passed.

But what if you could capture something of that magic you witnessed?  (Like, with your camera!)

What if your hunch was right? What if it is even more beautiful than you thought? What if, composed just the right way, you could capture the spirit, the essence of that ephemeral thing you witnessed? This is what we will be practicing in Superhero Photo and Elevate the Ordinary. That moment that gives you pause and your heart flutters a bit. We will be cultivating more and more moments like these.

We will be like bird watchers, waiting patiently with our binoculars for that one, miraculous moment.

Want to take better photos this summer?

I have two class offerings for people like you! Who love to take photos but don’t know about all those fancy dials. Have no fear! We will transform the way we take photographs by focusing on a little bit of the tech stuff and lot on lighting your creative spark so that you begin to see opportunities for photos everywhere and begin to understand how to make your everyday world come alive.

Elevate the Ordinary begins Monday, June 4th (latecomers are welcome)

Superhero Photo: The Basics begins Monday, July 9th