It’s been about two years since I last photographed this beautiful family, and I was so glad to see them again for a photo session at Henry Horton State Park. The boys have gotten so big since I last saw them. One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to see children grow over the years.
I have been loving Henry Horton State Park for family photo sessions lately because of the beautiful light. This session was no exception. I also love the tall grasses that can be found in the park. I do wish there were more colorful trees to be found though. The day was a bit chilly, but I will take that over a super hot fall session like I had a couple weeks ago. The boys weathered the cold like champs and we had lots of fun playing and exploring.
This is my favorite kind of family photo session….one with lots of giggles, hugs and love.
“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…. Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape. Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I had so much fun at this family portrait session in Spring Hill last night. There is something about summer photos that I find magical, despite the heat. I think the quote from Longfellow above sums up why….I love the magical light and the wonder of childhood that you don’t get in the other seasons.
If you book a family portrait session with me most times of year, one of the questions on your booking paperwork will ask you where you’d like to shoot the photo session. I have a page on my website that will tell you about locations I frequently use, and I’m here to help you if you want it.
But you may notice that if you book a session for a weekend in October or November, that I’ve already chose a portrait session location.
The reason for this is that in the busy season, I generally book 3 back to back sessions on the weekend, with only about 15 minutes between them. This is just enough time for me to switch memory cards, so I don’t have time to drive to another location between sessions.
I used to let the first client who booked a particular date choose the location, and then those who booked the date after that would have to agree to that spot. But this complicated the booking process.
Also, I have more requirements for long shooting days than I have for just magic hour sessions. For the rest of the year, most of my sessions are scheduled for the hour before sunset…known in photographer lingo as “magic hour”. Magic hour lighting is pretty great anywhere. But when I am booking sessions earlier in the day, then I have to be sure that a location has some shade available, because the sometimes harsh sunlight of earlier in the day is not ideal for photos. But the proper location can allow a shaded spot from which the sun comes through the trees beautifully.
But for this session and the two before it, the bright sun wasn’t a big concern because it was a nice overcast day.
These two sweet brothers did an amazing job for their session. Those eyes! How can you not smile from looking at them?
One of the things I absolutely love about my job is having the ability to experience my little clients growth each year through my photos. This is one of the families that I’ve had the honor of photographing a couple times each year, for quite a few years. In fact, I was there for the birth of two of these beautiful children. Their most recent session was this past Fall, and I always enjoy seeing their beautiful smiling faces.
One thing that can be beneficial in keeping the same photographer from year to year, is that it can be helpful for the photographer to get to know your kids in order to get the most out of each photo session. This can be especially true with a special needs child. My buddy Zafer is autistic, and I’ve been photographing him for many years. Having known him since birth, I’m able to understand how to make him most comfortable at each session. I’m really pleased with the photos I captured of him this week that show his beautiful personality. We do fist bumps a lot because I’ve found that helps to get him to look at me and he enjoys it. I also have no issue with letting him to play on his IPAD during a session. It brings him joy and I just love the photos below of him smiling from ear to ear while he watches it. And if he needs a break, that is no problem and I can spend some time photographing his sweet sisters while he rests.
It’s important to let your photographer know if you have any special concerns or needs during a photo session so that those needs can be met, no matter what those needs may be.
I believe strongly that EVERY family can have beautiful family portraits. The biggest concern I hear is that parents are concerned that their child, for whatever reason, won’t stand still and pose at a photo session. I promise you…it will be fine. There are ways to make it work. I expect very little in the way of standing still and posing at a photo session anyway. The only real goal is to capture photographs of your family as they are now, and nothing is more beautiful than that.
I adore this photo of my friend Jenn and her husband Jonathan. I snapped it in what I refer to as “ the in-between”, which sounds like an alternate universe in an episode of Stranger Things, but it’s really just the moments between posing at one of my family sessions.
Posing is probably too strong of a word. I don’t really pose. I guide. I may have you sit in the pretty light with your family, then when your feet look awkward, I’ll ask you to move them. Then I’ll ask you to interact with your family. Or for kids, I’ll ask them to run, jump or play. I don’t really consider it posing as I’m not looking for a super choreographed look with every arm and chin position carefully planned. I’m more looking for interaction and emotion. But still, it’s kind of posing because you are doing what I’m asking you to and you know I’m taking your picture.
Which is why some of my favorite photos are taken in the in-between…when you don’t think I’m gonna snap a picture. You think you are just being, and not being photographed. I’m tricky that way, because at a session, I’m almost always looking for the in-betweens. Maybe I’m photographing Mom and the older sibling while Dad is off entertaining the younger sibling while they wait on me. Sometimes I see that as the perfect opportunity to “sneak” a picture of dad and the youngest…because they are just having fun and not acting for the camera. Or maybe your entire family thinks we are done with the session and we are just chatting and walking slowly back to the car….that’s the time when I sneak some of my favorite shots.
That’s what happened here with this photo of Jenn & Jon. You see the series of photos near the end where their adorable boys are laying on the quilt on their bellies and giggling? (Side note: I almost named this blog post “Can they be any cuter?”) Well I was laying in the grass in front of them taking their photos and they were being so ridiculously cute and adorable. So when I took a second to look for the in-betweens, I caught mom and dad smiling admiringly at their precious babies, and captured this picture. It only took a second, and they probably have no idea I took it. But it’s one of my favorites from this session. I love how she’s standing kind of behind him, leaning into him naturally with her chin on his shoulder. If I had told her to do it, it would probably looked forced and ridiculous, but when they fell into it naturally, it’s beautiful.
What about you? Do you prefer more posed photos, or do you like the in-between?
Have you booked your family portrait session yet? There are only a few spots left for spring, so don’t wait to book your session.