So first off, Facebook knows me so well and it’s a little creepy. In my feed was an ad that showed beautiful flowy boho dresses perfect for a sun-kissed portrait session for a little girl. I immediately could picture my princess in a field doing her best model impression for me. I clicked buy on multiple dresses then went off in search of the perfect hat to complete the look in my head (thank you amazon!).
Then, since I had the dress, I needed a field of high grasses. Lucky for me, my son’s baseball practice was right next to the perfect field. So, next nice evening practice we all headed over to the field and while he worked on catching pop fly balls and his swing with his team mates, L and I went off in search of the perfect spot.
See, it’s all a very well laid out plan. We didn’t have to walk very far. Just about a quarter mile up the path things opened up to the backside of the golf course where there was just the perfect amount of open field and dry grasses. Even better, it was all oriented so that the sun was to her back – my favorite way to shoot.
For most portrait sessions I go in with a vision of how I want the images to turn out. I plan the general flow of the session in my head and get the prompts queued up so that we can just flow through things once we get there. L knows the drill and most of my prompts already but for new portrait clients it’s a fun game to see what works and what doesn’t.
What may sound like strange requests to you (touch foreheads but don’t laugh) are designed to get you to do things that are natural and fun in your images. I love traditional portraits as much as the next girl – where everyone is looking at the camera (and we’ll definitely get some of those) but lately I’ve been drawn to natural connections and expressions. That’s not always easy for folks who have been programmed their entire lives to sit pretty and look at the camera. More and more I find myself saying, “Don’t look at me!” and loving the result.
So, when you find yourself in a session with me and I ask you to look at the person who is most likely to need bail money or to play ring around the rosey with the kids, it’s because those weird and off the wall requests generate a genuine reaction (and often smile once we get past the “what the…?!” quizzical face). Just go with the flow and I promise it will be worth it!
And well sometimes, you get faces like this one – which I’m blowing up and putting on her wall!
Ready for your own session? Summer is an awesome time to get out there and update your family portraits! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my request form. I can’t wait to hear from you!