I'm always on the hunt for gorgeous scenery. As a writer, I learned that the setting is often its own character in your story. I carry that belief with me on photo sessions.
Take a look at this beautiful mother and her young son. I've admired this bridge for close to a decade. The green bases on the lamps, painted cast iron poles, welcome you across.
This bridge is more than 100 years old. Constructed in 1910, it acts as a threshold from east to west. From past to present. And though this picture was not planned, as soon as I saw them crossing the bridge, I swooped in for the shot.
These are the types of pictures that often mean the most. The beautifully real moments between family members. And being sentimental, I imagine the power of these threshold crossings. The bridge representing their journey together through life.
So yes, the location matters.
But it's what you bring to the location that makes it shine. Your hopes and dreams for gorgeous photos to hang on your walls. New outfits for the kids. And the pure relief of enjoying these sweet moments, while you trust your photographer to capture them for you. We are all documentarians, with our smart phones and Instagram filters. But it's a great relief to step out of that role, once in a while, and be part of the story yourself.
One thing I always try to bring to my photo sessions is humor. Anyone can smile at the demand of "say cheese!", but a silly joke to bring out a laugh makes everybody feel more comfortable. I used to be a Cubmaster. I'm totally okay with being the one who drops a pun. I can handle the groans. And I'll wait for the smile behind them, before I snap the photo.
What I'm looking for, is what I imagine you're looking for. Happiness. As I say on my contact page, you've worked hard to get to your photo session. I see you! I get it. You've earned these beautiful smiles, this proof of the amazing work you've done in raising your family.
We're going to have fun. I'd like to get to know you. I'm going to work hard to get portraits of each of your children, and in doing so, I'm going to listen to them when they speak. One of the daughters in this family and I got to chatting, and I learned that her ring and bracelet were important to her. I felt it was her special touch, that she had brought to the photo session. Click! Another memory caught on film. A memory of what mattered to her, on this day.
I also look for relationships. I definitely want the posed group shot, for your family. I like those of my own family, and so I figure you do, too.
But I'm keeping my finger poised above the shutter button for those quick moments. The moments that really show your relationship to each other. At this family's session, we took a break, and sat on some stairs. I could see, instantly, this daughter light up to be right in between her parents. You can actually feel the love coming off of this photo.
That smile! That's why I do what I do. I want you to have the beauty of moments like these. To see the treasure that is your family. To see what really matters in this life.
This family of five respected each other. Trusted each other. This next shot was posed -- kids of course would maybe never walk like this on their own! -- but it was an easy shot, as I could see all three children were friends. Playing follow the leader doesn't always work. It really depends on the personality of your children. If I can see your kids are extra wiggly, we'll try something else. But for this family, it worked great.
That's what makes family photo sessions as fun for me as I hope they will be for you. Each one is different.
My goal is to meet you where you're at, and just make it fun.
And of course, every now and then, we'll end up with a showstopper.
I caught this little guy mid-bolt! But he made it into the picture. A lot of credit goes out to his parents! They were so loving and patient. That's really all you need to be at a photo session with me. I'll wait for the great moments, and all I want from you is to look after yourself, and be sure you're feeling good.
Most kids have the "bolt mentality" when they know you want to take their picture. That's okay! We'll try again at another spot. Or, we'll get really lucky, as we did here, and get a wondrous image, top to bottom.
I warned you about the puns, didn't I?
Overall, a family photo session with me is something I hope you can really enjoy. That's my goal. In the end, our backdrop could be the side of a hill. With your children not bolting, but in the middle of posing. Or it could be full of balloons, and a toddler eager to show off his sitting skills when you asked him to stand. Or maybe your daughter would rather show you something just around the corner from wherever we happen to be, and you graciously let her. Well, guess what? That describes each of the three pictures below. They were the moments where the kids made the choices. And kids are pretty intuitive. Somehow they knew these moments would make great photos.
Or maybe they were just... being kids. Which is exactly what they should be doing. It's what I meant, when I said on my home page, "Let's capture all the beauty and wonder of your world, as it is, right this moment."
From my view(finder), it looks great. Yes, one last pun.