When I decided to turn photography into a business, I didn’t have any recent examples of portraits I’d taken. I though “who better to turn to on short notice than family?” and so it was. The next couple of months were spent scheduling and convening for photo sessions (my family is quite large) and it was a blast! I had graduated from a smart phone and/or borrowed gear to my very own DSLR and that was fun to play with too.
Being with my own family, it was easier for everyone to relax and act natural around
the camera, but these shoots weren’t without their own challenges. For instance, when my parents took the first turn, it was really sunny outside. I had to be concientious where I placed them to insure that they weren’t too back-lit but weren’t squinting from the sunlight either. My youngest sister on the other hand went out with me on a perfectly overcast day but we were limited for time and weren’t able to go out of town to somewhere pretty so we had to be creative with the angles to keep all the houses out of the background.
Lighting wasn’t the only challenge though. The toughest part was photographing my eldest sister and her family. Going into it, I knew that children would make difficult subjects I just didn’t realize they would be that hard to work with! Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful kids, they just don’t have the patience or attention to stay still very long. Also, choosing to take the pictures at a playground probably wasn’t the best idea either. Too many fun things for them to do!
Lessons to learn from the experience: 1) When relying on natural light, try to schedule portrait sessions on cloudy days; 2) Be aware of your surroundings. Something can be made of just about any space; 3) when working with children keep extra distractions to a minimum; 4) always have fun!