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Stephanie Mohan

creative portraiture

About Me


Would it sound corny to say I come from a long line of photographers? My father was a huge photo enthusiast, and my grandfather was a photographer and re-toucher. I remember when I was a kid, my dad set up a temporary darkroom in our laundry room and I thought it was so great to watch the images slowly appear in the tray full of chemicals. Just like magic.


Ive always loved photographing portraits.   I constantly begged my friends to model for me and I learned I really enjoyed posing people. When my friends were tired of modeling, I set up the tripod and took portraits of myself. I loved trying scientific film and cross-processing to see what kind of effects I could come up with (however you can come up with the same effects now in Photoshop with a simple push of the button).


I was definitely a late bloomer and when I was in my twenties, I decided to complete college (San Francisco State University) with a degree in photojournalism. I liked the idea of going to assignments, never photographing the same person or story twice. However, the life of a photojournalist was not what I expected. I found it tough to sit quietly in a room with my subjects, a fly on the wall, and shoot them without getting in the way. It was not in my nature to just observe. I talk too much and this just did not work for a journalist.


It was a studio lighting class when it all clicked (notice the witty pun?). I was no journalist, but a portrait photographer. In the studio, working with my subjects, I could be myself, engage in babbling conversation, tell stories, and mostly, control the setting and lighting conditions, no matter what.


I now live in West Marin and have the easy commute to my studio in Fairfax.   I specialize in photographing any kind of portrait that one might need.  In the summers, I am lucky enough to have kids (the same age as my son) spend five days with me teaching my passion; photography.


My Philosophy


Photo fun-da-mentals began nearly twelve years ago when a group of my son's classmates asked me to have a summer photo camp.  I modeled the course after years of photo classes that I took in college and formatted the shoots after private seminars that I took on my own.  I had no idea that I would enjoy this so much.  I believe that teaching the basics of photography, included shutter speeds and f-stops, students can consciously decide what their images are going to look like. 

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