Portrait sessions, family sessions, the number one thing to create a happy experience is expectations. If we are going for a more posed shot, one where all family members are sitting with clothes styled and all eyes on me we can do that, the results can be amazing, if we go into the session looking for that kind of shot, we plan ahead of time, we know that with little children it takes time and patience and maybe some practice before hand!! If we are going for more creative, more whimsical or “artistic” kind of things, bubbles, face paint, themes, that takes the same thing, conversations ahead of time, planning, maybe some practice or even a stylist! The sessions that flow most naturally for me, and the sessions most people come for even if they aren’t sure of what they are called are “lifestyle” sessions… We shoot in your home, or some special place, you and your family do something and I’m there to capture it. This doesn’t mean we don’t get everyone together for that “family shot” (we can and we do) but it means it happens organically. It might mean someones hair is blowing, or there are leaves in your sweater or there is motion in some of the images but that imperfection is actually perfectly beautiful and real. It means that there is a bit of trust and intimacy, the planning isn’t in the “set” or the “style” or the “pose” but it’s in where and why. A great example of this kind of session recently is with Alice’s family! I’ve photographed her since she was a wee bairn and as she’s a bit older now her parents thought it would be a GREAT idea to photograph at their family property just a bit North of the city. A beautiful fall day, a family walk on land Alice’s dad has been coming to since he was her age. Perfect. And we just walked. And played and once in a while we stopped to admire the view or to sit together (them while I took photos) and Alice got tired once or twice and we had snacks, and we stopped to rest and then we walked a bit more…. These sessions are a bit more organic but they are my favorite because they speak to more intimate and “real” moments.. as much as can be with someone following you about with a camera….
Here are some frames from my last family session of the year with Alice and her mom and dad, before the snow, celebrating family, and tradition and Michigan. Alice has a sister on the way too, and I’m so excited to meet her and capture as she get’s older her family growing around her as she grows up!