• Welcome to the website of wedding photographer Saavedra Photography My mission is to empower people through photography to love themselves and confidently see the beauty that I see in them.

Dressed Up Deniz | A Throwback to Winter

I just realized it’s spring… about a couple days ago. I’ve been living under a rock. Happily, I’ve put away my puffy coat, my worn out boots (you can hear the metal tips clanging), my thick knitted scarf.

A little over a month ago I returned to consulting for my full-time job. This time, however, I am higher up, and with that comes more responsibility. My time is so consumed these days, I can’t take on more photography clients. I enjoy what I do Monday to Friday, I love the intellectual rigor of my work, and with time also comes perspective. So, while sadly I won’t be doing much for Saavedra Photography this year, I’m very satisfied with my decision.

My husband and I adopted two kittens. I’m not turning into a crazy cat lady, but you can see their crazy antics over at Instagram.

To wave goodbye to winter, here are some photographs of fashion blogger Dressed Up Deniz

For details on the red outfit, click here

For details on the lavender outfit, click here

What should your professional headshot look like?

These days, almost everyone is on LinkedIn. Having an updated, relevant, and powerful LinkedIn profile can help you have an edge in moving your career forwards. LinkedIn asks for your profile picture. Scary to think that your appearance is part of this game, isn’t it? The profile picture should be like any other part of your LinkedIn profile – a chance for you to showcase and position for what you want. So what should your professional headshot like?

[Nota bene: The following applies more generally to office job seekers rather than actors and models]

Your photograph should be professionally taken. The difference between a phone picture versus one taken by a professional camera is night and day.

Your face should be the brighter part of the photograph. Photographs where your face is mostly dark, in shadow, or when the background is brighter, takes attention away from you. Your face should also be in focus. You should also be the only person in the photograph.

Your skin colors should be accurate – you shouldn’t look like you ran a faded Instagram filter over your photographs. Also, avoid photographs taken indoor under poor lighting – which can turn one’s skin various shades of jaundiced yellow to taro purple.

Your background shouldn’t be distracting. While I do photograph many of my headshot clients outside, I almost always blur and diminish the background such that all it adds is color and personality, but doesn’t take on a personality of its own. Buildings, objects, cars, roads, should not be in focus. So, what background should you choose?

White background – White backgrounds are quite safe. With the current trends, they work best for people who work in startups, technology companies, creative fields, but in general, anyone can benefit from a white background


Dark gray / dark blue backgrounds – I tend to use darker backgrounds for people who work in traditional firms such as law firms, consulting firms, banks, and other large institutions. A darker background usually makes someone look more mature and more serious, which is suited to more conservative culture


Outdoor / creative backgrounds – Light yellows, greens, and a variety of color can be done in an outdoor setting, but it is not for everyone. I recommend outdoor or creative backgrounds for those working in startups, creative fields, media, marketing, or people whose industries are more fluid and want something more lively and less “boring”. In addition, these headshots aren’t always presented in a cropped format, so we can make use of vertical or horizontal lines. Outdoor backgrounds also work well for those in academia and those who will be published authors. There is nothing wrong with having green even if you’re in a more conservative culture, as long as you are well lit and you dress professionally.

Office backgrounds – This really depends on your office. If your office is brightly lit by natural light, has relatively neutral walls (no crazy designer wallpaper here), it can actually work really well as a site for a headshot. In particular, if your office is decorated in the style of your industry, it will function well as a way to communicate your industrial focus.

And finally, your image should be cropped correctly such that most of the image is your face as well as some of your neck. Too far away and we can’t see your face. Too close… well, I always think it’s awkward when someone is missing a chin.

Joanne & Alex, Engaged! | Bay Area

When he’s the founder of Branch Metrics, Alex is known as the boss, the thinker and smart tinkerer. When he is with Joanne, Alex becomes “more human” – the other half of a fun, collaborative, and energetic partnership. Their days are busy, as they are  extremely passionate about their work and great at what they do. If I told you what they have to get done your head would probably spin. Luckily, they always get to spend a few minutes together at night hanging out together, and that is the best part about this relationship – that every day ends on a positive note. I am excited for their intimate wedding this fall. It is a reflection of what they cherish in life – being with their closest  friends and enjoying good food and wine.

We traveled to Half Moon Bay and Palo Alto Foothills Park to capture their love for the outdoors in this engagement shoot. Please enjoy the photographs

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life | champion of helping everyone see the beauty I see in them

Presenting the Love Story Contest Winners

Yuying, a self-professed secret admirer of my photography, wrote in for my Love Story contest about her boyfriend Austin, hoping to win the photos as a birthday surprise for him. Everything she described about their relationship exemplifies what I’ve observed in the most successful love stories I know, they were the clear winners through and through (and I checked with my honorary judge, my husband, just to be sure). On the morning of our photoshoot they showed up beaming, and from there it was magic. I was so glad I got to have breakfast with them afterwards and I was awestruck by how down to earth they are. It is clear these two will go very, very far and successful in life. Here are some excerpts from Yuying’s entry, Austin’s later addition after we confirmed the shoot, alongside with the images from their shoot. They are serious troopers (it was freezing cold with wind), and yet so laid-back. The honor and pleasure has been mine to meet you two, and I hope it won’t be the last time!

It’s about the every day moments: ”[Austin] has made my journey through medical school immeasurably better—from delivering food and coffee on my weekends calls to being my bedrock of support when I was studying for my medical boards” – Yuying

They bring out the best in each other

“Yuying has an enormous heart and is always thinking about other people. She challenges and inspires me, and I am so happy and grateful I have her on my team” – Austin
“I have learned from him to worry less about things that won’t matter, and focus more on the people and experiences that make one’s life worth living.” – Yuying

They put the “we” before “me”

“We always put each other first and really strive to make each other happy.” – Austin
“He has never failed to make me realize that we are a unit, a team and through it all, each other’s best friends.” – Yuying

We explored Washington Square Park and parts of West Village – they had their first date at Las Ramblas

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life | champion of helping everyone see the beauty I see in them

Najah, in(SP)ired

Najah loves life, fun, and is a mother to an amazing little man – her son is polite, intelligent, and respectful. She will soon become a life coach. I found her presence incredibly soothing and assuring, she is someone who will listen to you and allow you to explore within the best path towards success. Meeting Najah was like having the friendliest soul in the world hugging my heart. She is classy and chic, and I can’t wait to see where life will take her.

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life | champion of helping everyone see the beauty I see in them