TeAirra Mitchell Photography | Blog

Now Offering: In-Studio Maternity Portraits | Oakland Maternity Portrait Photographer

June 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Ok, yal.

I am sooooo excited to say I can now offer in-studio maternity portraits! This is HUGE because I’ve had mamas request to stay indoors for their shoot, or there have been times when we were rained out of our location, and, since babies come when they please, it’s not always possible to reschedule a maternity shoot before baby makes their grand entrance.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been working on figuring out how to still give beautiful portraits in-studio without having to ask clients to rent a separate space. And I think I’ve figured it out.

Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell


This mama had a very specific, yet simple, vision in mind for her shoot, and it worked perfectly in our space. Honestly, I was worried we wouldn’t have many good shots, but I ended up having a hard time deciding which images to edit for her reveal.

Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell
Maternity Photography in Oakland, CA

She didn’t want to look at the camera (personal preference of hers), but we still got a ton of great angles with different types of light setups to give her even more diversity in her gallery.

Above, is the simple beauty light setup, and below is her backlight set up.

Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell

The best part about in-studio maternity shoots? Mamas not having to be nervous about people watching as they shoot. This mama even got excited about doing a fine-art nude setup (not pictured), along with some drama-ish shots (below).


Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell
Maternity Photography in Oakland, CA


Then there’s the big question: But what if I REALLY want outdoor portraits?

No worries. I got you covered.

There’s a park not too far from our space, and it’s perfect for adding on a quick outdoor segment to your session.

Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell
Maternity Photography in Oakland, CA
Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell
Maternity Photography in Oakland, CA
Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell
Maternity Photography in Oakland, CA
Oakland Maternity Portrait Photography by TeAirra Mitchell
Maternity Photography in Oakland, CA


For booking inquiries, please visit www.teairramitchell.com/inquiry. Don’t forget to ask about our Maternity and Newborn Bundles!


Why Custom Portraits?

June 21, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

morethanpics.pngI’ve tried offering portrait services a few different ways throughout my photography journey.


In the beginning, I just wanted to get people in front of my camera. At the time, all I really knew was how to make a proper exposure, and I just wanted to get as much practice as possible to build a portfolio, start “marketing”, yadda, yadda.

And I did.

And eventually, I felt good enough to charge (a whole other story for another day), and suddenly, I had a photography business. As most new photographers, my session fee included all the images from the session in some type of digital format (new business experiments and such) and I had products I tried to sell, but I had no clue what I was doing–  it was just a hot mess.



TMP’s business experiments continued, testing what various industry leaders had to say about ISP (in-Person Sales), online sales, selling products, ditching digitals, only selling this, and only selling that…

Obviously, there is more than one way to run a photography business. But, naturally, I started to refine exactly how I wanted to run my business.


Low-Volume, High-Touch


I didn’t want a high-volume studio; I wanted to have personal encounters with my clients. I wanted them to feel like they were coming to see an old friend when they booked their session.


Stylized Shoots

I wanted clients to feel like they were models in a magazine shoot; stylized hair, makeup, and wardrobe were a must. I wanted clients to be able to just show up, play dress-up, and have an amazing photoshoot.


Ready-to-Hang Products

I wanted to sell beautiful products because I LOVE those products, and I can’t wait to buy a house and fill my walls up with portraits of our family. I felt if I could show other moms how beautiful these products were, they’d understand why they needed them. What mom doesn’t love seeing big adorable photos of their babies all over the place?



I wanted to do all of this while being a mom to my baby (now, babies). Which further validated my low-volume preference =]

So, that’s how I made the decision to revamp into a full-service custom portrait studio. Of course, there’s a lot more depth to it all, but, you get the picture.

Pun intended =]


I didn’t want to give a mediocre experience, I wanted to give my clients something they would always remember. And maybe, they can relive all the love and joy that went into making those portraits each time they walk past it, or look through their album, or open up the folio box. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll find stories to share as they look at the portraits with loved ones, eventually passing the stories down for generations.

I want it to be special. As special as the love they have for the people they created their images for.

So, if you’re looking for more than just some pictures, maybe you and I should chat =]

My Photography Love Story

June 11, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Lately I’ve been getting the question, “What made you want to be a photographer?”

The simple version of the answer is: I just have a burning desire to capture beauty.


While the simple answer is very true, there’s a bit more to the story.

I’ve always been in love with photography. When I was 7 years old, my mom gave me a toy camera for Christmas. It was a clear pink plastic wind-up camera. She probably gifted me the toy camera because she had gotten tired of getting me the disposable cameras since I had spent that year filling them up and taking them to the drug store to get developed. How I loved that little toy camera. I would stalk my family and friends, waiting for the perfect moment to capture the perfect expression. I was fascinated by capturing people then, and still am now.

Starting in middle school, I became known by my friends and classmates to always have a camera on me. I couldn’t quite describe the burning desire to “freeze time,” as I would say, but it was there, and it was strong, and it never ceased.

I knew I wanted to be a photographer, but I thought the only way was to work for someone else.

“The Belly that Started it All” – Self Portrait, TeAirra Mitchell 

In 2013 we were expecting our first child, and that burning desire became even stronger. Naturally, I wanted to record as much of our daughter’s milestones as I possibly could, but I also wanted to finally figure out how to become a photographer. So, I typed into the Google search engine “how to be a photographer.” Expecting to see articles explaining the process of being an intern at some magazine firm or newspaper, I was surprised to see pages and pages of blogs and articles explaining how to start a photography business.

Instantly, that burning desire turned into a full fire, and the rest is history.

There I was, sitting for hours in the dark at our kitchen table, realizing that I could not only make my dream of being a professional photographer come true, but I could start a business that would allow me the flexibility to be the mom I wanted to be. At the time, it sounded simple enough: write a business plan, set some prices, build a portfolio, and open the business. Boom, instant professional photographer.

Needless to say, it wasn’t that simple.

Once our daughter arrived, I could not wait to begin creating beautiful portraits of her and recording all her milestones with all of the amazingly adorable ideas I put into my portfolio plans. When she was 7 days old, I shot her newborn photos— well, I attempted to shoot her newborn photos.

During the “shoot,” I was so excited. I was swooning over the little headbands I bought from Burlington’s, so proud of how I matched them against the swirly fur fabric I found at Joann’s, and so in love with how precious my little one looked.

I imported the images to Lightroom, picked my favorites to edit, and completed my first set of newborn photos. Unfortunately, my excitement didn’t last much longer once I posted the images in a photography group I found on Facebook.

They ripped those pictures of my precious little girl apart (they were pretty bad though lol). I was crushed. I had failed my first newborn shoot. More importantly, I failed to get those beautiful portraits of my first-born that I had desperately wanted.

Although I’ve had moments where I wanted to quit, this wasn’t one of them. Instead, my failure pushed me to get it right. I knew I still had some things to learn before I was ready to be a professional photographer.

I took to Google, looking for any resources on photography basics. Google searches led to free blogs and articles, which led to YouTube gurus, and finally, I began investing in education. I spent every possible minute soaking up anything I could about the business and art of photography. Even in all the researching, studying, and practicing, I still didn’t quite understand why this was all so important to me.

What was it about photography that could drive me to go months without sleep in a quest to “get it right”?

Time went by, and I started working with my first paying clients. After we worked together, I would often hear things like, “Oh, I love these pictures, thank you!” and, that was nice and all, but I still felt like something was missing.

It wasn’t until I tried my hand at boudoir portraits that it finally clicked.

At my first boudoir event, I worked with four ladies. Each lady had all of these things they didn’t like about themselves, but I didn’t really understand what they didn’t like. They were all gorgeous to me, and whenever they would tell me their biggest insecurities about their bodies, I remember thinking, “What? Why don’t you like your [insert body part]?” Which was often followed by me thinking “I would KILL to have [insert body part] like yours!”

The responses I got from those ladies once they received their images literally brought tears to my eyes.

Boudoir Photography
Portrait from very first TMP boudoir event. (2015)


Every one of them told me that they couldn’t believe it was them in their portraits, that they never thought they could look that beautiful. One of the husbands of the ladies even sent an email to thank me because his wife was more confident than he had seen in a long time since she’d received her images.

When I look at a person, I see more than their face, more than their insecurities, I see a story. When I talk to that same person, I can see the story come to life before my eyes. I see beyond their physical features, I feel their energy; then their energy just radiates in front of me and I HAVE to capture it, I HAVE to tell their story so that they can see what I see. So they can see the beauty in their story, even when it may not be the picture perfect fairy tale they hoped for.

It may sound cliché, but everyone has a beauty about them.

Everyone: the mom preparing to bring a life into this world, the new baby gracing the earth with their innocence, the woman who just found out she’s ill, the child that would rather throw a tantrum than give a hug, the family that bickers about everything, the sisters who barely see each other, the young lady who’s about to become a wife, the grandmother who found out she’ll have a great granddaughter soon; the women who think they have 20 pounds to lose, the women who have 20 pounds they want to gain, and the women who just want to be loved for who they are.

We all have a story to be told, and we all have beauty to capture. I believe this with every fiber of my being, and THAT is why I wanted to open TeAirra Mitchell Photography.


Milestone Mini Sessions – July 7th 2018

June 11, 2018  •  Leave a Comment



Get adorable portraits of your favorite baby this July with a photoshoot specially crafted to capture the tiny features of babies 30 days to 12 months old. TeAirra Mitchell Photography is hosting a one-day Milestone Minis special to give moms a memorable portrait experience with their little ones Saturday, July 7th, in Oakland, CA.

This 30-minute portrait reservation includes the props and outfits needed for the session, along with a full-set of poses to give moms a gallery of beautiful “no-fuss” portraits to remember these precious moments of her sweet baby.

Perfect for mom’s who want to update their baby’s memory book, or get some cute shots for this year’s holiday cards, the Milestone Minis special includes wardrobe and props provided for baby, a 30-minute photo shoot, a viewing gallery of 12 fully-retouched images, one 5×5″ photobook of 10 images, and 3 digital downloads available in an online gallery. All for a limited-time offer of $300


To book your Milestone Mini-Session, you can visit our online store by clicking here.

For more specials from TeAirra Mitchell Photography, visit our newest page on the site: www.teairramitchell.com/Oakland-Photo-Specials


For moms who want to be in the photos with their babies, ask about our Motherly Package upgrade; an additional setup to include mom all dressed-up with her baby, with hair and makeup provided. 

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

January 31, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

FINAL vdaygiveaway-singleSQUARE

It’s February 1st, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Now, before you start thinking about everything you need to get in order for the kids, the gift you had in mind for your partner, or the fancy dinner you’re going to host for all of your friends, what are you doing for YOU this Valentine’s Day?

If you’re anything like me like most moms and/or wives, you had no plans lovin’ on yourself this Valentine’s Day.

Well, ladies (and gents, too), do I have news for you!

I’ve had the pleasure of teaming up with an amazing Bay Area based makeup artist, who travels across the country helping brides slay on their wedding day, and her name is Allie Yamaguchi. Allie and I both have a personal mission with our work to help women embrace their true beauty, Allie with her makeup artistry, and I with my portraits.

FINAL vdaygiveaway-couple

This Valentine’s Day, we are hosting the Heart Day Giveaway where one lucky winner will win a makeover with Allie Yamaguchi and photo shoot with yours truly. You can use the prize all for yourself, or invite your partner, or even gift it to someone who may need a pick-me-up this Valentine’s Day.

The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2018, and they will be able to book their makeover and photo shoot session. The photo shoot will also include a credit of $100 that may be used towards additional photo services or portrait products.

FINAL vdaygiveaway-boudoir

To enter:

  1. Head over to your Instagram and follow both @teairramitchell and @allieyamagichi
  2. Post one of the #HeartDayGiveAway18 flyers (scattered though this blog post and on our timelines) on your timeline with hashtag “#heartdaygiveaway18”
  3. Tag three of your friends who you think would like to win a makeover and photo shoot in the caption of your post.

All entries must be submitted by 2/13/18 at 11:59pm. **This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administrated by, or associated with Instagram. **


So, there you have it, a nice way to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day. I hope to see your entry.

Good luck!

FINAL vdaygiveaway-beauty

For info on wedding and portrait services by TeAirra Mitchell Photography, please visit www.teairramitchell.com.

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