This past weekend I had the pleasure of photographing one of my most favorite families. In fact, I photograph them every year for their annual Christmas cards. I believe I have been photographing them for about 11 years now. Out of those 11 years, there is only one time I did not photograph them but we won’t talk about that one. Anyway, I’ve known them longer than their youngest daughter has been alive. It is rather mind-blowing when I think about it.
As usual, it was a task getting everyone ready for the session. The running joke is that Belinda (the mom) and Olivia (the youngest) are the only ones excited about the family portraits. Everyone else just participates because they love me, which I totally appreciate. By the way, those were their words, not mine. Whenever we get together for our sessions, there’s always fun, laughter and goofy faces. The goofy faces usually come from Mike (dad).
This year, Belinda decided to do something a little different. She hired a stylist to style them for their portraits. I thought that was pretty cool. A friend of hers is a stylist and she figured that they could use her help for the session. It was a really good idea. Next, she had scouted out a park with a lake in her subdivision. We decided we would photograph at the park at 4:00. Since it was an hour and a half before sunset, I figured we would have enough time to complete the session and that the light would be very soft and pretty. Well, I was right on one of the counts.
In a nutshell, nobody was ready at 4:00. NOBODY. People were still running around with no shoes on. Somebody else wouldn’t come out of their room. Others were walking around trying to find something to snack on because they were hungry. It was a family of five trying to get themselves together. At this point, it was maybe 4:30 or so. We were going to pile everyone in the car and take a two minute drive down to the lake. I thought for a moment. Did I want to spend precious time driving down to the lake, walking to find a good spot to photograph and lose more time or just photograph them in their backyard? The only difference would have been that they don’t have a lake in their backyard. So, for the sake of time and daylight, we decided to photograph in the backyard.
It worked out well because they were facing west and the sun was at the perfect point to provide beautiful light. I still had to hurry a little bit because it was getting colder by the minute. Below are a few images from the session.
After the session was offer we all went into the house to warm up. From there, they decided to continue the session. To be honest, I wasn’t quite prepared for indoor portraits, meaning, I didn’t have my light or my stand. Being that they were so excited to be photographed in front of the fireplace, I did what I could. Even though I didn’t have my strobe with me, I did have my portable flash head. Instead of pointing it directly at them, just bounced it off the wall to get the look that I wanted. It wasn’t perfect, but it did the trick.
Also, have you ever had an idea that looked really cool in your head but when you tried to bring it to fruition it just didn’t work? Yeah, that would be this image below.
It was so much cooler in my head! I promise it was. I think I know what the problem in the execution was, so I’ll have to try it again but before I do I’ll have to practice it.
“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” ~ Dr. Seuss