Recently, I took family photos for the family of my social media consultant, Bryn of Wittmayer Social Media. We’re trying a new thing here on the blog with photo session posts, and for this one Bryn and I are each going to share our thoughts on the session.
Having already worked with Bryn for our social media needs I knew we were going to have fun. I was excited and nervous because it’s always really important to me to make a good connection with the whole family. The two young girls were vibrant, and curious. I loved the clothing choices because you could tell the girls were really proud of what they were wearing.
Amanda is one of my first clients and I knew that she and I would work well together. But adding my family to the mix? I was a bit nervous about that. She made us all feel comfortable right away and my kids immediately loved her. Also, getting my family ready for photos is always stressful. As the mom I worry about what everyone will wear and how they will look together in the finished photos. My girls badly wanted to wear some fairly bright and colorful dresses that didn’t leave me with a lot of options for my own clothes. Looking at the finished photos, I like how they look, but I wish I was wearing something better. Why do we do that as women? When we’re looking at a gorgeous image of our family, why do we focus on the imperfections in our own appearance? We’re too hard on ourselves. Every time I look at one of these amazing photos, I try to remind myself how happy we all look together.
When working with someone I have an existing relationship with, it is extra important for me to make them feel comfortable enough in front of the camera that they don’t feel “staged”. Bryn’s family was so wonderful together that I was able to guide and nudge the little ones into scenarios that created beautiful and natural images. Asking the girls to do something or say something silly to engage mom and dad often allows mom and dad to focus on them instead of the fact that they are having their pictures taken.
The photo session went fairly smoothly, especially when I forgot to worry so much about if my youngest was smiling and just let her be her natural self. Without Amanda’s encouragement I probably could not have done that. I was extremely conscious of looking good in front of Amanda, who is a valued client, but as we got into it I found all of that fell away. As I focused on looking like a loving family, I increasingly felt like a loving family in ways I sometimes forget in the bustle of everyday life.
While it was important for me to create a great lasting family portrait for this family, I also found myself drawn to the close relationship between the two girls. Capturing these precious candid moments allowed me to see how these two interact on a daily basis and really helped me feel connected to their family. I always feel blessed when I photograph a new client, it takes a level of trust to allow someone access to your family; to be able to glimpse the intimate connections between them is a true honor.
The best moments of the photo shoot were the natural ones. My favorite photo so far is this one where my oldest daughter picked up my youngest. That is something she does all the time, and to capture that love between them, with Paul looking on in the background, is a treasure.
I didn’t want the morning to end. We had so much fun with Amanda and so much fun together that I wanted to keep going. It’s almost a cliche, but taking photos together really reminded me to take time to just have fun together. Life is so busy, ballet, soccer, homework, chores, that sometimes we just don’t have fun. This was a morning of fun together and it made it clear how much we need that as a family.
Thanks Amanda for the wonderful photos!