Cheryl’s wanted to get family photos for over a year. But, like so much in this busy phase of life, it kept not making the cut when it came to her ‘to do’ list. Last winter she arranged to have traditional studio portraits done and then changed her mind. There just had to be a better way to record her family than sitting in front of backdrop in a cramped studio. She decided to wait and see what she could come up with outdoors.
When she contacted me recently, I assured her we would C A P T U R E her family and their love for one another in activity at their home. I never spend more than 5 minutes on the traditional whole family shot with everyone sitting and smiling. That shot's a necessary evil IMHO that generally stresses everyone out if it goes on for longer than 2 minutes at a time. The pursuit of that 'perfect' shot is why so many people run from the thought of a family photo session. Not here--we keep it casual! ;)
Cut to our session at Chris & Cheryl's home last week. We spent the gorgeous fall morning tromping around the woods and seeking out the favorite spots of everyone in the family. This is why I love sessions at people’s homes, a chance to record professionally taken images right smack dab in the place you make your memories regularly, riding on your Ranger together through your property! Home is where the heart is!
Emilia and Blake were a delight to work with. Emilia’s smile just erupted naturally throughout our session---a photographer’s dream! Blake brought a cool, natural composure to his photos. The two brought energy and excitement to our exploration and when they needed a break I got time with just mom and dad.
So, about when kids need breaks. A few people have mentioned to me, “I would love to do a session with you, but I’m afraid my kids will melt down and be a disaster. All the kids in your sessions look like they are having so much fun.” I assure them, “yes, the kids do have fun during our sessions and yes most kids do melt down at some point. That’s kids and anyone who is a parent knows this and isn’t surprised by it. We just work with it and give the kids a break. In the course of up to almost 2 hours together a lot of life happens in that time!
Chris and Cheryl’s home is surrounded by woods and Blake took me to this cool fort he had built the day before with his friend Luke. I fell in love with this moment and wished every little boy in the world could have time to himself in the woods for just such building….it gives boys such a feeling of accomplishment and pride to create with their hands.
While checking out the fort, I spied a great old rusted out car. I knew I wanted to incorporate this in our session! Chris and Cheryl had a comfortable, easy way about the two of them so I figured they'd be game for something a little more out of the box....
It was clear they enjoy being with each other and both wanted to record the joy they’ve created within their little family. I asked them if they were interested in a romantic shot in the rusted out car. To my delight, they were!
So here’s where Chris and Cheryl get the C A P T U R E D award for going out on a limb. This car was very difficult to get into and once in no one was moving anywhere quickly! Well, about 2 minutes into shooting Cheryl screamed, “Ahhh, there’s a mouse! It just ran by!”
I froze; I had just met Cheryl an hour and a half earlier. I had no idea how she was going to react to this. She regained her calm and told me the mouse was gone. I asked if she was good for one more minute. She was good to go. The mouse had run away and I know everyone says they are more afraid of us then we were of them, but that’s a tough sell in cramped quarters!
This shot is going to bring back so many memories for these two when they are big!!!
Here’s the crazy part, earlier during the session time I had mentioned some training I had over the summer with a photographer who shoots urban brides. Brides go out and about through the city in their wedding gowns in a private modern session.
In the training the photographer picked up a metal rectangular box at one point and said, “one thing to keep in mind with urban shoots, be sure to shake the rat traps. You don’t want a rat running out next to your bride.”
I had never even seen a rat trap so this freaked me out! Totally randomly, I mentioned this to Cheryl earlier in the day. I have no idea why now, but how ironic that we would meet our own little Mickey later that day!
Cheryl---you R O C K and you get the C A P T U R E D bravest in the field shooting award!!!!!
Here's how I'd paint your sweet peas in a collection....