Archive for September 27th, 2011
So, the holidays are almost upon us.
What you say? the HOLIDAYS?! yes, just like that summer is over and BAM it’s the holidays. for us photographer people that means the crazy rush of portrait sessions and christmas cards, and albums for the grandparents. With all the craziness, it’s best to have your session done early- and by that i mean october. it leaves enough time for editing photos, choosing your favorites, designing and printing christmas cards, and sending them out. And although i am definitely no Martha Stewart, i try my best to get my holiday cards out by thanksgiving. ok…. that hasn’t ever actually happened, but its my goal (again!) this year!
So i thought i’d give you a little behind the scenes look at how to prepare for your session- as i’m planning for mine!
please note: i really despise being in front of the camera. oh man, it makes me feel so uncomfortable. but i do it each and every year because it matters to me to have pictures of my boys and i together. i want them to be able to look back on these photographs and see that their mama loved them. I want to look back on these photographs and remember how tiny their little bodies were when i held them, how their hands were only big enough to hold my finger when we walked. that is important to me, and so i overlook my petty imperfections that normally bother me, and see the connections that are captured. My babies will be babies forever in my mind and in my photographs.
it sounds slightly morbid… but i sometimes get anxious that something might happen to me and i want my boys to have photographs of us together and for them to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they were loved with every single piece of my soul.
it is important. it is so.so.so important.
and so… the photoshoot.
First things first: Timing
We’re scheduling our shoot for mid october because it’s before the crazy holiday season and will give me enough time to attend to my own clients in november. scheduling a holiday session the beginning of december (after you’ve realized that thanksgiving has come and gone) is a recipe for disaster. The time of day is also just as important. shooting as close as you can to either sunrise or sunset is crucial. mid-day photo sessions are just absolutely not an option under any circumstances. the lighting is harsh creating dark shadows under your eyes, it is blisteringly hot, and no one is happy. shooting as close to sunup or sundown will produce the most magical atmosphere- sometimes a little hazy, a little glow-y, and always beautiful. i’m more of an evening person (so are my kiddos) so we’re going to schedule our shoot about 2 hours before sunset knowing the best photos will happen in that last hour. sunset time for October 16th is exactly 7 oclock. Either schedule your session well in advance (august or september) to get a weekend session or be prepared to leave work early during the week as most photographers weekends fill up immediately come fall.
I know already that i want to do either an open field (fields have great beautiful light in the evening… and remember the LIGHT is the most important thing in a shoot, not the location!) or an orange grove. an orange grove might be nice because there are things to interact with there- like picking oranges, holding a bucket of oranges, running through the rows… all of these natural distractions help take the pressure off the shoot. you tend not to realize you’re being photographed when you’re interacting! I’ll be hunting for great spaces in the next two weeks to get this nailed down, and keep you up to date!
Attire: (somewhat TBD!)
I’m not a matchy-matchy person. sometimes i’ll dress the boys similarly, but i like for them to have their own little groove. the trick is to keep the overall style similar without wearing the same thing or the same colors necessarily.
in my house my kids are half naked 80 percent of the time, and i want that to show through in our photos. these are, afterall, photos of what our family is normally like! last year, we forgot to bring shoes for Tavish. oops. he also had a hole in his shirt. we were running late… (ps- its better to forget clothing items than to be late. you’re on the sun’s time, and no one else’s. there are only a few fleeting moments of amazing light- use it well)
i’ve got this little frock to wear
Every year i go back and forth between wearing a dress or jeans for a shoot. dresses are great because when you hold your babies and spin they flare out and it photographs so well. Movement is great for photography- hair blowing, dresses swishing, scarves blowing… i always try to introduce something that will create great movement.
This above image was found on pinterest, and i dont have an image credit for the photographer! if anyone knows who shot this image, please let me know so i can give credit where credit is due. however, i think this is a perfect shot to showcase how wardrobe can really be impactfull in terms of movement and getting a stunning shot. it wouldnt have been nearly as cool if she would have been wearing jeans and her girls’ hair was pulled back and they were in form fitting clothing. no movement = no impact.
For D i really dont know. i tend to leave it up to him with maybe just a little guidance. he has this shirt that i think would look great with the above dress
and might be a nice pop of color in a field, or an orange grove. he’s also got a sportcoat that would be great with it too to be a bit more formal.
and the boys… we’ll i think i’ll just leave them shirtless with jeans, i just love little bare bodies! but, for a cute accent i might have them wear some suspenders off the shoulder, just hanging from their jeans. I dont like to be too contrived though, we’re a real family and i want that to come through in our family photography.
I’ll be blogging our process to get ready for our photoshoot over the next couple of weeks! topics next time include:
what to look for in a photographer
how to correctly introduce props to your session (and how to find them)
and 5 details you haven’t thought of that can absolutely make or break your shoot.