How to Take Better Pictures for Sublease Renting a Space

July 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

How to Take Better Pictures for Sublease or Renting a Space

Trying to rent or sub-lease your space can seem daunting (and even seem impossible), especially if you’ve already been looking for renters.  One of the most important aspects of advertising that your place is up for rent (or Sublease), is having the right pictures to make your place look inviting.

Not a professional photographer? Can’t hire one? No worries! Anyone can take the right pictures to make a space look good if you follow some simple DIY photography tips (by the way all these pics were shot with iPhone):

1. AESTHETICS -- Make your space look visually appealing. Organize, clean, and tidy things up. If your space is messy, when prospective tenants are visualizing moving in, they will inevitably see themselves in the mess -- no one wants to live in a mess!

2. LIGHTING -- Open your blinds and curtains. Bring in as much natural light into the space as you can. Natural light makes a space look more alive and inviting. This will make your pictures look cheery and pleasant.

3. TIMING -- The best time of day to capture your space is around Sunset. This will make your space look warm and cozy. Not sure when sunset will be? Do a quick Google search! Quick disclaimer these photos were not shot in Sunset just because I had the inspiration in day light...

4. MAXIMIZATION -- Don’t be discouraged by the size of your space. You can make any place look great and larger than it really is if you capture it from the right angles. Bring the camera as close to the wall as possible to get the widest view of the room, this will make it appear larger.

5. ORIENTATION -- As a general rule, take all of your pictures horizontally. This will capture more of the room at one time and is most appealing to the eye.

6.  DETAILS -- People love unusual fun accents! Capture some shots of the the interesting architecture, the cool bathroom upgrade, the great counters in the kitchen, or even some of your fun decor.  This just shows the great possibilities that your space has!

7. FINALLY -- Don’t stress about it! Put your favorite music on, pour yourself a drink, and have fun. Follow these guidelines, and trust that just the right person will come along!

Following these seven steps should not only get you just the pictures you are looking for, but the perfect tenant you are looking for! Good luck!


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Albany Bulb Maternity Photographer | Ally and Jon

June 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

A Sunset Maternity Experience

What a blessing babies are! The journey through pregnancy, and the welcoming of new life. It's a gentle reminder of how precious life is, a time to embrace change, and and a reminder to soak in every little moment because it all goes so fast.

Ally and Jon came to me for a maternity shoot recently, and a beautiful beach in San Francisco was the perfect setting to showcase the gorgeous parents-to-be. Walking hand in hand down the gravel path, they were united and ready to embark on this new journey together. They shared some loving embraces, tender kisses, and sweet affection for the baby within the womb who will join their family very soon. The setting sun lent the perfect light as I captured portraits of the beautiful couple together in this fleeting time.

Before they know it, Ally and Jon will be a family of three, and they'll have a whole new love to celebrate! The waves crashing in the background emanated peace and stillness, while offering a stark reminder of the journey that lies ahead. As the sand washed away, and the sun dipped below the water, another day comes to an end. Another day where time escaped too fast, another day closer to meeting their new bundle of joy, another day tucked away in the sands of time... And when that new life graces these sweet parents, they will see with a whole new clarity just how fast it goes.
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Interested in learning more about Eli Zaturanksi Photography? I'd love to chat!

San Francisco Engagement Photographer | Laila and Kevin

June 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Kevin and Laila: A Love Story

Wedding planning is such a fun time for couples! There are endless venues, color palettes, and themes to choose from. Floral arrangements, table linens, and event favors galore. But above and beyond the event itself, the most important thing is the vows you take and the promise to be there for each other through the ups and downs of life from here on out.

Kevin and Laila are in the throes of planning their upcoming wedding. But before that big day comes, it was time to take some engagement photos! Kevin is a film producer, and Laila a teacher- and their life is one perfectly scripted together! Wanting to celebrate their love with engagement photos in nature, we opted for the lush foliage of Tilden Park in Berkeley. Nestled near the brook and the Lake Anza lake, there is no shortage of beautiful green trees and brush in this park. It offered the perfect backdrop to this sweet couple's beaming faces and contagious laughter.

It was an honor to witness Kevin and Laila's authentic joy and love for one another during their engagement session, and I know it will carry them through many wonderful years of marriage. The date will get set, the venue and arrangements chosen, and I'm sure their wedding day will go off without a hitch- but what truly matters is the love and commitment for one another.. And it's clear as the California skies that these two have got it!

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Interested in learning more about Eli Zaturanksi Photography? I'd love to chat!

The Culture Conference | Experiencing Corporate Photography

June 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Culture Conference | Experiencing Corporate Photography

Corporate photography is a completely different experience than other forms of photography. You don't control the setting, stage the photos, or direct certain poses. It's all about encompassing the experience without interfering with the purpose. As a photographer you are just documenting all the details as an onlooker, while being mindful of maintaining the branding and representing the culture of the event.

I was recently invited to photograph a progressive event for business leaders called The Culture Conference. This event is all about bringing business leaders together to learn from each other techniques that work. The conference stresses the importance of creating a culture within your company that attracts the best employees, and entices them to stay for the long haul. This was no ordinary conference where the attendees sat and listened to mundane lectures all day. They didn't just sit and observe, they actively participated and engaged in the whole experience.

As the conference photographer, I was a representative of the event organizers and was responsible for representing the conference culture and quality. I was able to capture the unique workshops, interactive art, play breaks, dance parties, delicious food, engaging speakers, and so much more. It was a relief to see successful business men and women let loose and not take the conference so seriously. Everyone had fun, and it was a truly special experience because of the hearts of the people involved. 

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Interested in learning more about Eli Zaturanksi Photography? I'd love to chat!

Our Process and What To Expect

May 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

If you landed on this post, it's because we are just one step closer to getting your session booked and finalized.  I could not be more excited to meet you and show you how truly beautiful you are.  With my creativity and technical skill set, I love to capitalize on who you are as a person that translates into a photograph, so others can see who you are as well.

Here's what you can expect in the time to follow.  My hopes are that this will help you to prepare for your session so you feel as prepared and confident in the days/weeks leading up to your session.


  1. Set a date. by setting a date this allows us to have a timeline with an actionable list of items to complete before we meet.  Don't worry, I'll send you a tailored list to fit your needs for your particular session.
  2. Create a Pinterest inspiration/mood board.  The Pinterest board purpose is to give you space a creative space for inspiration/mood boarding, and for me to have a little glimpse into your visual world.  You are invited to pin anything that is you, your likes, aesthetics, people you're inspired by, favorite movies/actors, vacation locations, etc.  It will help me to get to know a little more of your style.
  3. Fill out my questionnaire (attached).
  4. Choose a location.  By visiting my blog, you can skim through my sessions.  This helps to you an idea on what look will fit your needs.
  5. Choose your wardrobe.  Don't forget your hair and makeup.  This is such an important step, and if you'd like, I'd be happy to suggest clothing options.
  6. SESSION TIME!  Hooray!!
  7. Receive your gallery.  This is where you will choose your absolute favorites for me to edit and retouch.

Please let me know if you have any questions or requests.  Do not hesitate to reach out. Call or text: 415-312-0307

Cheers to creating magic together!


Schedule time with me

Client Questionnaire

May 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello everyone! I love getting to know my client's expectations and preferences from the start. It helps center our focus on our collective goals for the session. Personal relationships are vital when it comes to photography. The more I can learn about you, the more personal I can make this creative process we are about to embark upon together. Take a minute and mull some of these questions over! 

Personal Information

  1. Full Name:
  2. Best email to reach you:
  3. Phone number:
  4. Requested date:
  5. Type of session:

Business Details

  1. Website:
  2. Type of service/product you sell:
  3. Purpose for these images:
  4. Social Media Handles:
  5. 3-5 words that best explain your goals for this session:
  6. What do you want to portray through these images:

Photoshoot Details

  1. What would you like photographed (i.e., headshot, staff headshots, action/candids, location details, etc)?
  2. What type of location would you like to shoot at?
  3. Do you have any product images you'd like to have included?
  4. Date interested in booking:
  5. Any other pertinent information that may be useful?

Questions?  Call, text or email!



The Wonders of Photography

May 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

"Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,

      Listen to the DON'TS

      Listen to the SHOULDN'TS


      Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me-

      Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be" -Shel Silverstein


I am not sure what happens inside of you when you land on my photography website.  But for many of us photographers (also artists, creators of tangible memories and everything in between), we go back to the session and reflect on our time together.  For me, this is where it feels like magic.  The way the light hits my subjects in the most flattering of ways, the artful composition that my eyes and hands have been trained to perform, and more importantly the memories that we create together.


I literally freeze time in my camera.  I literally take minutes from your life and create a tangible piece of evidence on some of the happiest of times in your life.  I put my artistic spin on your memories and we literally create magic together.  From the wilderness outdoors, to the most important day of your life (wedding), the options are endless and the sky is literally the limit on what we create together.


From the beginning of you reaching out, my wheels start spinning.  Where are we going to take these images, what are you going to be like, what magic will happen that day?  No matter what this adventure holds, the wonder behind each session is limitless.  What will you see, how will I interpret you and your beloveds?  It's such a journey each session that I feel so honored to embark upon.  I am so grateful for you finding me on the web and showing interest.  

Will you let me create magical art with you?  Follow this link to get our journey started!

5 Fun Ideas to Inspire Your Next Summer Shoot

August 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Summertime is here! And with the longer days and extra sunshine, this is the perfect time to take some friends out for a photo shoot. But whether you're new to photography or you're a seasoned pro, inspiration for shoots can be hard to come by. Luckily, summer provides its own unique set of photographic opportunities.

1.   Gather up a group of friends for a day at the beach. Bring sunhats, boogie boards, and all of your beachiest props. Get candid shots of your friends splashing and playing in the water. Use a high shutter speed to freeze the movement of hair flying and waves crashing. Take portraits of your friends posing in the sand with their hats, towels and boards. Once the sun goes down, have a bonfire on the beach and take advantage of the firelight for more candid shots of marshmallows roasting and friends laughing.


2.   Buy some sparklers and experiment with long exposures. Place your camera on a tripod and set the shutter speed to between five or 10 seconds. Have your friend spell out a word in the air while the shutter is open and the sparkler is lit. This technique requires some trial and error, but it can produce amazing, fun results with a festive, 4th of July feel.

Photo by Gracie Ryan

3.   Summer is the time for bright colors, short dresses and funky sunglasses. Grab your most colorful outfits and accessories, and bring a group of friends to your favorite scenic location or set up a fun backdrop in your home. Take pictures of your friends in every combination of colorful garb. Play around with the reflections in the sunglasses. Have fun with it by taking photos of your friends jumping, giving each other piggy back rides and goofing off. You’ll end up with a gallery of photos ready for a spread in the summer issue of your favorite fashion mag.


4.   Practice your food photography with a picnic in the park. Bring a colorful, patterned blanket, your favorite dishware, and, of course, some grub! Lay out your meal on the blanket and experiment with different combinations of food and drink for the photos. Continue to photograph the meal even after you start eating. Get a before picture with everything set up, and an after picture with just the crumbs.


5.   Bust out your sprinkler and bring some friends over to jump around in your backyard. Give your models umbrellas and to use as props. Experiment with different shutter speeds to create different effects with the water -- faster shutter speeds will freeze the droplets, while slower shutter speeds will create a milky effect. Have your model twirl an umbrella overhead and set your shutter speed to 1/30 of a second. This will give the water and umbrella a blurred effect, while still keeping the model sharp.



The Secret of the Family Photo

October 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Family photo seems as old as disposable cameras, alongside dial tones and the telephone time lady. Isn't it funny, that the more technology progresses the more we tend to reflect on what came before?  Sure, these days we’re arguably happier and better equipped to take on the challenges of each day, but there’s no shaking this rose-colored vision we still have of the past.  Our nostalgia shows itself superficially, in fashion and Instagram filters, but it especially shows in a little trend that’s been gracing the internet for a little time now: the infamous “Selfie," and it influences the way we now have our photos taken: controlled, front and center.

selfie-465563_640Credit: Luis Wilker PereloCredit: Luis Wilker Perelo

These days, most of us already know how we like to be photographed. The selfie is just one particularly poignant manifestation of the current spirit of our culture: internal, controlled, front and center. Many of us are so used to photographing ourselves that we forget how another’s lens can capture our uniqueness and beauty. Selfies are fun and all, but they pull us away from learning more about ourselves. A selfie will never capture the spirit off-guard or responding to something outside of itself.

Jewish family photoEli Zaturanski Blog photofamily photo shoot by the San Francisco Bay.

Think of the process of taking a family photo and compare it to taking a selfie. The family photo is holistic, temporal, and chaotic while the selfie is disparate, atemporal, and curated. The family photo alleviates the perfectionism of the selfie, and authenticates the self. A good photographer will know how to free you from yourself, to find what's remarkable about you and your family, and to bring out your character in surprising and innovative ways. 

Israel Summer 2013Eli Zaturanski family photo shootFamily photo in Oakland of mom, dad, baby

So treat yourself this holiday season with professional family photos!   If family is the bread of life, capturing those shared moments is the butter. Remember family photos from your own family, and think about what making new memories will mean to you. How will the family portrait describe you? Will it be candid or traditional? Will it be a soft and intimate record of a few individuals, or a broad and inclusive portrait of many generations? What idea would you like to show? Maybe it's love or commitment, legacy or tradition, or something else altogether. Maybe it's about how silly your family can be - jumping in the air together, or dressed in identical elf costumes and beards - or just how good everyone looks all dressed up.

Kemi-105Family Photo Oakland. Photographer. African photosfamily photo in Oakland, CA by Eli

Even in our ever-paperless society, we still reserve the content we care for most in print.  We all have photos - of ourselves, of our parents, our grandparents, and sometimes even further back, but when they’re circulating on the interwebs it just ain’t the same feeling as taking a stepping stool to your bookshelf, brushing the dust off your massive family photo album, and sharing them with the guests of the house!

So you want to be a (photo) shooting star?

March 10, 2015  •  2 Comments

I want our session to be all about you: be the star! But since many of my clients may be new to professional photography shoots, I would like to offer some suggestions to consider before showing up for the session.

white woman sitting on city street Eli Zaturanski Photography. Meditating in San Francisco Photomeditating. San Francisco Photo shoot. Eli Zaturanski

1. Sleep. Get plenty of rest the night before. You don't need to worry about much more than that -  you just need to show up. It is called "beauty sleep" for a reason so plan to take the night off before our day together (or for afternoon shoots, take some time to unwind/slow down before we meet up). 

Eli Zaturanski, product photoBeer, san francisco, Eli Zaturanski photo shoot 2. Alcohol. Avoid it. It is dehydrating and dulls the skin and eyes. 

Eli Zaturanski photo shoot. Woman with makeupwoman in Berkeley with makeup on

3. Makeup. It is not required for everyone but if you do intend to apply it, you may do so at home or bring it with you to do at the shoot. If you are unsure, bring some and we can try it out - a little makeup can be a great enhancer in photos. 

Eli Zaturanski. photo of man laying on ground with beard look up at the skyBearded man laying on the ground.

4. Wardrobe. plan ahead and bring a few different outfits. Some days and lighting might make a certain color look more flattering on you or you may want a variety of styles to show various aspects of yourself.

eli zaturanski photographyLooking at the San Francisco sun set. Photo shoot by Eli Zaturnaski

5. Location: you have a number of options available, but please let me know if you prefer an outdoor or indoor shoot. Some outdoor locations have included Tilden Park, Cesar Chavez and Lake Merritt. Indoors can be at your home, office or a photography studio that I rent. If we are shooting outdoors, be prepared for weather changes and plan your outfits accordingly. 

Eli Zaturanski photographyEli Zaturanski near Tilden Park

6. Changes: I would suggest holding off on any dramatic haircuts, facials, or cosmetic procedures before the shoot. Give yourself at least a week after any of these changes to acclimate. Even if you are just planning to get your hair professionally styled, try it out in advance to make sure the stylist knows what you are going for and there is time to correct anything that turns out less than you would have liked. 

Bernal Heights photo shoot with baby

7. Hydrate: drink as much water as you can the day before. Coffee drinkers, make sure to rehydrate before the shoot as well (and maybe bring a toothbrush to take care of coffee residue from the morning espresso).

You're ready to shine!

Don't Fear The Flash!

February 06, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

You've seen it. You've done it. The pictures of blurry heads quickly turned away. The flash-bleached palm shot of a hand roughly shoved towards the camera.

As a photographer, I've worked in the presence of "photophobia" many times. To make great pictures, you have to understand what is hindering your subjects from being equal participants in the process. Here is a list of a few reasons I've observed that result in photo avoidance:  

We are afraid of seeing ourselves in less than perfect form.

We may love a good picture here and there (profile pic!) but even the most photogenic people get caught in a bad frame sometimes: an unflattering angle, bad lighting or a sleepless night of cleaning up cat barf can make us second guess the image we have of ourselves in our mind's eye - or confirm our deep fears that - gasp! - we may not be that good looking. 

We are afraid that someone else will own a part of us.

There is a vulnerability that comes with being captured on film or in pixels that feels incorrigible.  It is a fixed second of our lives and it will not change. The permanence can be terrifying. We may not trust the person or the intentions of the photographer who will now have our image forever.

We are embarrassed to be seen with/doing something that we think will reflect badly on us.

 What if my boss sees this? My family? My friends? My local political chapter? While doing something illegal is certainly reason enough to avoid the photographer's gaze, many times this kind of paranoia overshadows otherwise beautiful photographic opportunities, and creates the bad habit of thinking too hard and potentially missing a golden moment. 

We just feel shy, want privacy, or feel like someone else would be a more interesting/worthy subject of the photo.

Women especially are drilled to be beautiful yet modest and having our image presented in a photograph can feel self-aggrandizing, which could lead to further scrutiny. Easier to just avoid the whole thing. 

But when we withhold our light, we give up on our right to assert that yes, we are here, living this moment that is unique and never to repeat.  

Tips for feeling comfortable in front of the camera

Get out of your head.

Part of the mindset necessary for being a great photo subject is actually turning off our thoughts and getting into our bodies. Don't think about what is happening. You don't have to change or be anything other than the person you are in that moment. Let the photographer guide you but otherwise, the harder you try to make that perfect smile, the more you are going to be stressed about it. It's no wonder that candid photos are often better than posed ones because there is no time for the subjects to psych themselves out.

Think of photography like a game.

The camera is a friend and you're just hanging out. The more you neutralize the power of the little device in front of you, the more you can enjoy the moment and just be creative. 

You can always decide later which photographs to show.

Most cameras are digital these days so no need to worry: photos can be deleted instantly. But if you don't take a few bad shots, you aren't even going to give yourself the chance to have some good ones. You won't have anything to choose from at all. 

You might be pleasantly surprised to see a side of yourself that others get to see but that you weren't familiar with. Have you ever caught yourself standing in front of the mirror and quickly correcting the face you were making to something you think looks a little better? Every person can make so many different expressions. Be curious and let your face tell all of its stories. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Remember that this is for you, not for anyone else.

You might be pleasantly surprised to see a side of yourself that others get to see but that you weren't familiar with. Have you ever caught yourself standing in front of the mirror and quickly correcting the face you were making to something you think looks a little better? Every person can make so many different expressions. Be curious and let your face tell all of its stories. You might enjoy seeing another side of yourself.

The Teacher and the Traveller - Guatemala Photography Blog

January 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Travel PhotographyTravel PhotographyPhotographed by Eli Zaturanski on his Travels. Travel photos. Guatemala

Two years ago, I traveled to Guatemala. It's combined allure as a colorful, indigenous, and relatively underdeveloped country makes for excellent gringo bait, and I definitely wanted a bite. Speaking of gringos, I am used to being called out as foreigner the moment I speak: my Hebrew accent, Russian heritage and friendly smile have raised many eyebrows in the foreign lands that I have traveled. Answering the question, "Where are you from" is a regular part of my day, even back at home.

Photo by Eli Zaturanski. Streets of GuatemalaGuatemalan photography

But the photographer's sweetest nectar is found when we blend in and become part of our surroundings. I've found that the difference between being a tourist and a traveler often comes down to two things: speaking the local language and having a local friend. 

Eli Zaturanski Photophoto in Guatemala of woman

So I found a month-long Spanish language program in Antigua, a cobblestoned colonial town whose colorful buildings and lush plaza are nestled among three looming (and active!) volcanos. It was there that I met Ruth, my Spanish teacher: youthful, warm and angelic. I immediately realized that I had met someone special - and perhaps was the most ambitious I've ever been as a student, so captured was I by her inspiring glow. 

Eli Zaturanski photographyEli Zaturanski in the photo with Guatemalan woman

I saw how this mother of three laughed with her students, and brought her passion for Spanish and her country into every lesson. I saw how valuable she was, how special a gift she had and was giving to bring gringos like me into her culture. As the month drew to a close, I knew I couldn't just leave Ruth behind, and carry on with my journey as planned. I was compelled to do whatever I could for this woman who was living so modestly but, I believed, had so much to offer to the world beyond.

I asked myself, "What can I do to give back? To not simply pass through and leave this place but to make an impact for one person living here?" 

She admitted to having very little knowledge about technology so I offered to make her a website, promoting her teaching skills to a larger, global audience. Neither of us were sure it would make much of a difference, but at very least it would be a way for me to honor her and all of her hard work as my teacher. Shortly after making the website, Ruht began to receive inquiries about teaching small group or individual lessons. She began to use Skype and now even offers lessons overseas. Now she is self employed, earning more than she would have at the language school where we met and setting her own hours. 

A gringo I may always be, with plenty more Spanish to learn. Yet I am forever connected to Ruth and Guatemala because of this small project we did together. 

Travel PhotographyTravel PhotographyThis lady sells the best tomales in Guatemala. She had a beautiful colorful dress. Photographed by Eli Zaturanski on his Travels,

This experience two years ago led me to the a significant realization. People like to do what they like to do. Sadly, they often don't do what they like to do because they cannot earn a living in the process. As with Ruth, I want to support creative work for artists, teachers, visionaries, and passionate people to help them allow their passion to be their profession. Through business planning and consulting, I hope to help bring them clients so that they an focus on what they do best. For that, I created a team called First Leap that helps them carry this load to achieve proven results, with social media, SEO, marketing, outreach, and widespread exposure. 

Ruth's site was a free, very basic web page, yet, despite the simple format, having a web presence made a huge difference in her business. At First Leap, we are using the same concept but producing more stylized, advanced websites for our clients. If you are an artist looking to get started on setting up your business, I welcome you to take a look.  

Eli Zaturanski tooka photo in Guatemala of a small bridgeSmall foot bridge for bring people from one side of the river to the other


How to Include Everyone in Event Photos

December 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The holidays are just around the corner -- are you ready for the upcoming festivities and fun with your family and loved ones?  If you’re the one planning the family gatherings, you’re probably working hard to throw the perfect holiday bash that will be celebrated for years to come. Of course, no festive get-together is complete without a collection of beautiful pictures showing off the good cheer!  

To help you include all your family and friends in the memories, I’ll share with you today some essential tips and tricks to photograph your event as seamlessly as possible. Announce picture-taking times in advance.  

This gives your guests ample time to prepare and gather ‘round the camera when it’s time for those after-dessert pictures!

Tip #2:  Let them eat cake.  If your toddler is happy playing with her toy dinosaur, let that shine through during photos.  Try having the photographer call out her name to get her to look up!

Tip #3:  When taking candids, take pictures of objects first while guests can see you.  That way, they’ll be able to acclimate to the camera and get as involved in the pictures as they like!

Every family is different -- what have you found to be the best ways to photograph your family?  ‘Tis the season of giving, so comment below!

In the Air (San Francisco)

May 31, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Eli takes a photo of a model in a red dressModel leaping in the air having her photo taken

The Cloudy Sky

April 27, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Eli Zaturanski takes a photo of a beautiful hill in Napa County near San Francisco.Napa County Field with Clouds

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