My camera loves you

Posts from the ‘video’ category

TV and newspaper appearances


Model Jason being interviewed for CBS Insider

Model Jason being interviewed for CBS Insider

It’s not everyday I get to be on TV, actually I don’t think I had ever been on TV before, but recently my model and studio have been featured in newspaper appearances, and tonight, even on TV!

Whether your dream is to surpass Fabio like Jason, or to get a great family portrait for your mom, or just a super confident headshot for your business, photography may be how you get there, and I am ready to help make your dream come true.

I have been working with Jason Baca the romance novel cover model featured in the photo here for several years, and now he is breaking the record of Fabio’s book covers, so there were a few newspaper writeup’s over the last few months, and tonight, the CBS Insider featured a segment of the photo shoot in the studio with Jason. They came to film it yesterday! If you missed the show, here is the short clip! In the same episode were featured some real big names, like Oprah, Ben Affleck, Chris Hemsworth. All people I love, so, very amazing!

The article appeared on March 30, 2016 in New York Times

Los Angeles Times article on Nov 13, 2015

Santa Cruz Sentinel on 11/8/2015

are just the most recent newspaper appearances of Jason in my studio. I love working with models or people who have special ideas about what they want to create the more unusual images.

Santa Cruz pet photography

Santa Cruz pet photographer takes pet photos at the SPCA

Pet photography, especially at the Santa Cruz SPCA is not always easy, some of the animals have pretty bad history of being abused and are extremely shy or nervous, but sometimes we get surprised, a dog may pose perfectly! It’s a good thing that I am very patient and calm and get along with animals. Here are the latest photos from this week’s Santa Cruz pet photo shoot at the SPCA.

It’s always amazing to see how the SPCA in its tiny facility is able to help and save so many animals. Of course all the volunteers help make this possible. I have been volunteering as a photographer since 2008 and have photographed more than 1500 pets. The wall in the SPCA store in Capitola Mall has a small collection of them. It is a low budget photo wall, but it has some twists and surprises. Have you seen this video of how it was installed?


Each of the animals in the mosaic is a dog at the SPCA who have been adopted! This is a close-up of the wall at the SPCA store in Capitola Mall. Is your pet one of them?

mosaic dog head photo

The dog head is composed of a mosaic of photos!

Glamour makeover portrait experience

What is it like to have a glamour makeover portrait experience at the studio? A photo shoot which uncovers the beauty within.

Recently we had just such and experience to photograph a beautiful mom of 3 little girls. Jennalee had just given birth to her 3rd daughter at the beginning of the year and with all the tasks related to being a mom and also running her business (Santa Cruz Skin Solutions, she is a wonderful esthetician!) she was feeling very unattractive. It was just the right time for a beauty, glamour, makeover portrait session! See what happened at the studio when she came in that day!

Photographing horses

A day of equine photography

Photo of a horse

A white Arabian horse named Mouse

Today I went to visit and photograph horses owned by my friend Cyndi. This is her Arabian horse, with a unlikely name Mouse! He is 25 years old and is enjoying his late years in the hills of Corralitos. I took some photos of him and also his friends at the ranch. Here is a video I made of the photos, let me know if you enjoy them!


Fun family portraitPhotography by Positive Vista Photography & Art by Portia Shao

What family portrait is all about

Family portrait is about having fun and getting the precious moment on camera to treasure and enjoy for a lifetime!

family portrait photography Santa Cruz

Family portrait

I just saw this review of their studio experience on Yahoo, which made me so happy! This is exactly what family portraits is all about. Thanks Dana, for letting me and others know what your experience was like at the studio, and that you enjoy not only the experience but the portrait itself in the future!

“I had been wanting to do a family photo for quite a while but never took the time to get it together until I saw a Groupon for Positive Vista. I had never heard of Portia Shao, but then, I didn t know any photographers so I just went for it. It ended up being a great choice for me! My daughter lives out of town and it was a little difficult to find a time when all four of us could be together to even take a picture. Portia was wonderful in helping with offering to work when she normally wouldn’t to accommodate my needs, including honoring my Groupon after it had expired! The photo shoot was amazing, not only did she spend more time than I would have expected, it was a blast! We all were laughing and having a great time. Portia took probably hundreds of shots, in all different combinations of the four of us. I ended up with exactly what I originally wanted and more, I now have a beautiful collage of my two young adult children and the best picture of myself ever taken! Thank you Portia for capturing my family in time that we will all enjoy for many years into the future!”

Santa Cruz photographer Portia Shao loves to create family portrait which captures priceless memories you will love and enjoy forever.

More information about the studio experience can be found in the Studio FAQ page


Studio portrait experience - in the studio with portia

The studio portrait experience

What is it like to be photographed at Portia’s Santa Cruz portrait studio? We dropped in on an actual photo shoot and asked several clients about their experiences! We also turned the camera on Portia the photographer and asked her some questions about why she does what she does.

Well, it was not as scary as I thought to be on the other side of the camera! I hope you get some idea about what it’s like to be photographed in my studio by watching this video. Have you wondered why I named my studio Positive Vista Photography & Art? This short video gives you the answer. I also give you a challenge at the end of the video, find out what it is! Come on, my camera loves you!


Cutest kids eating apples

Having fun at the studio – photography of children and family

Some moments in the studio are just too precious! Mad and Luke who are cousins were in the studio with their family for their family portraits. They are just the cutest kids and having fun was what they did. If you think this photo was to die for, click here for more photos and a record of them eating some apples and these moments were so precious! Do you know any kids who are as adorable? Ask their mom to give me a call at 831-426-1400 so we can capture some great moments for them.



black dog headshot

How to take a better pet portrait – pet photography

Do you wonder how to take a better pet portrait? Here are 5 simple tips to a better pet portrait.

I take a lot of pet portraits, mostly dogs, some cats, a few chickens, some rabbits and even a rat. Sometimes dogs and cats together!

While volunteering at the Santa Cruz SPCA, I get to see some poor animals who at first glance don’t look like they would make a great photo, but I try my best, and luckily for everyone, I usually get a few good photos which would show them off in a better light, and attract people to come in and adopt them.

Here is a video showing an actual photo shoot at the SPCA, created by Adobe, the company which gave us Photoshop and many other wonderful products.


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