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Drew Altizer makes a rare appearance in front of the camera.

He’s at every glitzy gala and swanky soiree in town, but you’ll never see him in the party pages. He works the room with the ease and deftness of a seasoned politician. And, though he tries to be discreet, beautiful women vie for his attention wherever he goes. No, he’s not a movie star. He’s photographer Drew Altizer, who has been photographing high society in the Bay Area for the past 15 years. Born in Martinsville, Virginia, Altizer came to San Francisco in 2001 looking for an adventure, and what he found was a passion for photography and a reputation as the go-to person to chronicle your most important event. I sat down with Altizer recently at my home. Looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, we talked about getting a foothold in San Francisco, the benefits of not having a mentor and the dress he just can’t forget. Meet Drew Altizer …

You’re from the East Coast originally. Where did you grow up? I think of myself as being from Virginia because that’s where I was when I was really little and it’s where I went to boarding school. But then, in college, I ended up in North Carolina.

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Altizer loves this image he captured of Vanessa Getty and designer Stefano Pilati deep in conversation at an Yves Saint Laurent in the mid-2000s.

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Altizer adores the outdoors and photographing landscapes — this gorgeous love letter to the California coast is one of his favorites.

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