My Mission

As your portrait photographer, I am passionate about catching those precious unguarded moments among you and your loved ones, bathed in gorgeous light and in a setting that is special to you. Before, during and after your photo session, I work closely with you to develop the right style and mood for your images.

I want to know what makes your family sparkle, and I want to give it back to you in the form of photography.

How I would describe my photography style

Emotive, organic, animated and authentic, with some levity thrown in!

My philosophy.. what I believe to be true

I believe that creating timeless portraiture comes from getting to know my clients, and offering you a very personalized experience.

I believe in doing my homework, by creating a comprehensive shoot plan and also having an overflow of ideas and activities to keep things fresh during our shoot.

I believe in a no-stress experience, which means taking breaks when we need to and fostering a relaxed, playful atmosphere.

I believe in being silly, and having grace under pressure.

I believe in (trying) to keep things simple.

I believe that the soul of a portrait is not just in the eyes, but also in the connection between the subjects, and I aspire to reflect this in my work.

I believe that there are a billion great images that happen out there in front of each of us, every day, and to successfully capture even just a few of them is a blessing.

More about me.. What drives Gena?

I'm a former IT servant and high school math teacher.  I'm a bit of a numbers geek, actually.  

I'm a details person, straight up. I like combining many little things to make a bigger thing, like Tuscan bean stew. Or a balcony vegetable garden. Or a Python program. Or (most importantly) a portrait with the perfect background, lighting and emotional connection.

I’m married to a really smart and adventurous guy, and we have a 13-year-old daughter. We’ve been in Shanghai for nearly two decades, and have been lucky enough to watch this world city be born again. 

I love irony, contrast and humor and try to capture these elements in my work.

I am an organizational work in progress. My husband might disagree.

I’m a big believer in “everything in moderation”. Including moderation itself.

I speak respectable Mandarin, albeit with my own take on the vocabulary and grammar, and probably with a thick Shanghai accent.

I love humid weather. Actually, I love all kinds of weather. Except wind, when I am shooting!

I don’t love the air pollution in Shanghai, but I do love what it does to the light.

Scouting new locations and settings is one of my favorite things about being a portrait photographer.  

It's such a thrill to me, to see a killer image and then succeed in capturing it. I think it always will be.  

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