Gabrielle’s family photo sessions are always a treat. We’ve been working together for almost 2 years chronicling the growing family. For her ease, we have done all of them in her mother’s living room. They are neighbors enough that it is easier to get the whole tribe there on foot rather than packing all into carseats and such.
This latest session, I asked her if she was interested in me bringing a backdrop and my studio lights. She loved the idea. It took a little longer to get everything set up but it gave us a much different look. The studio lights I’m using now are a constant light source rather than flash and it seems to be a softer approach. I feel like it doesn’t wear on my subjects as much.
I had also asked her to keep the color palette of outfits mostly muted. With the dark background, I really just want to have the faces be the thing to catch you. Family photos really ought to be about the faces of your loved ones. Logo T-shirts and the glittery bits can distract from that.
We did several variations of kids and grownups, some silly and some traditional. Family sessions need to run at their own pace so I usually block out two hours when there are Littles involved because they need to have breaks occasionally. The middle Little in this crowd always takes a banana break. Sometimes twice. What I know for sure is that it doesn’t pay to set a time frame and force it too much. Every now and then, a meltdown is what you are going to get and you just have to roll with it.
When Gammy brought out the scarf, there was lots of draping, hiding and wrapping… the sisters had a fine time with it! The scarf came into the picture neatly folded and by the time it was rescued, there were new wrinkles and bits of fuzz on it. We’re lucky the snacks were in the other room.
Mother’s Day is coming up. Do you think she’d like something like this? ;0)
The question that gets asked is “When should we do our family and wedding party photos?” The answer that you will hear from me is, do them ahead of the ceremony if you can… with very few exceptions it is the best route for a wedding day full of emotional truths.
Look at it this way, if all of the planned group photos are done beforehand, then you both get to enjoy your crowd fully and immediately… that makes them happy, too. ;0) Imagine the difference between that and having to disconnect for an hour of family shots!
How about the portraits of just the two of you, you ask? Spend some time with your people and, depending on the light, take a little time for some romantic portraits. You will be breathing again by then and relaxed enough to be in the moment for some very special images.
Just about every wedding has a timeline that will allow a couple of short sessions in sweet light… your photographer should line out the times that might work best for your particular day. Trust me… you won’t regret having made the effort. Years from now you will have those lovely pictures of the two of you… forever young and so very much in love.
Home, your personal space, is a great place to have an engagement session. Sure, the trend is to go stand in a set of railroad tracks with a vintage suitcase but is that really you? Do you really want a headless portrait that shows off your socks? Instead, your home has that insanely cool lamp in the living room and that great rusty gate in the back yard… the one that the previous artist-owner built before you bought the house… before you made it your home.
No doubt, I repeat myself on this particular topic, but I think it’s important to keep a sense of your history alive in your photographs. Looking back through the family photos in my life I can see the homes we made, the cars we drove and the various dogs and cats we loved. None of that was faked or out of true… real life can be pretty cool.
Besides, walking on the railroad tracks is against the law and common sense. ;0)
Getting married? Ask me anything.
Love and luck go together if last Saturday was any measure… Cait and Matt had just finished with the family photos inside at the University Club. The first day of Fall was coming in windy and wet so they were feeling lucky to have planned an indoor wedding. A few moments later, the rain stopped so we grabbed a couple of umbrellas and ventured out for a little portrait time. The soft light bouncing off of the buildings gave new meaning to the term lucky… we have so many wonderful pictures to choose from! It didn’t hurt that they both looked smokin’ hot in tuxedos! Maybe a new trend for brides? ;0)
I love my job!!