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Spring is in the air…

Flowers are blooming and the fresh crispness of Spring is in the air. Not surprisingly, it is one of my favorite times of the year for portraits! I had the privilege of photographing this beautiful family recently. My favorite moment: when Mom gets a spontaneous kiss and hug from her son. I know — the Awww moment — why I do what I do 🙂 And then it all comes together in the perfect family photograph. What a gorgeous canvas that is going to be in their home…

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Oh, and this one is my favorite too! I have trouble picking just one :) And to think that it almost did not happen! I was actually done with the Portrait Session, had packed up my camera in the bag, and was on my way out to the parking lot. As I was leaving, I saw the two boys wrestling around and being boys. I turned around and got my camera out again. With a little help from mom, I placed myself so I could get the shot without disturbing them too much and losing the moment. I am so glad I did. I absolutely love the curve of the bench, the background, and of course their adorable smiles.  Oh, and this one is my favorite too! I have trouble picking just one 🙂 And to think that it almost did not happen! I was actually done with the Portrait Session, had packed up my camera in the bag, and was on my way out to the parking lot. As I was leaving, I saw the two boys wrestling around and being boys. I turned around and got my camera out again. With a little help from mom, I placed myself so I could get the shot without disturbing them too much and losing the moment. I am so glad I did. I absolutely love the curve of the bench, the background, and of course their adorable smiles.

“When you wake up every morning, look into the mirror and give yourself a good smile. A smile is the sacred gift of life.” — Sri Sri

Clothing

One of the most important questions my clients have during the Pre-Portrait Consultation is regarding clothing. And indeed it is a very important one since it can really make a difference in the quality of the photographs. Here are some tips that I have gathered over the years with my experience:

1. Be Yourself. I encourage my clients to dress in a way that is their “style.” I advice them to wear things they are comfortable with, and feel confident about themselves. If you like wearing a dress, go for it

2. Coordinate but you don’t have to necessarily match. Jeans and white shirts for all work great especially for large groups, but there are lots of other ways to coordinate the clothing for kids and spouses. It’s always nice to lean a little on the “dressy” side when it comes to pictures. After all, how often do we go out and get family portraits done? Maybe once a year – at the most. Putting in that extra effort pays off when you will be looking at the photographs on your wall or album for a long time.

3. Accessorize! Those extra little things like hats, scarves, jewelry and headbands go a long way in adding to the photographs. I sometimes even suggest the moms to get their hair done (or do it themselves) because it matters, especially when you blow up the pictures and put it on your wall. And pay attention to shoes. Shoes are just as important. No crocs or neon laces please!

4.  Patterns or solids? Solids are definitely safer and easier, but checks or patterns can work well too.  As long as not everyone in the family is wearing a different pattern! This is where your coordination skills comes in. We don’t want our eyes to only go to the patterns, but they can add to the pictures.

5. Some clients like to shop while others like to work with what’s in their closet, and maybe get one or two things. Both are fine. Sometimes clients will email me pictures of what they are thinking of purchasing and ask for advice, and I love it! Coordinating clothing is a huge task but the results really pay off. I am always super impressed when my clients do a terrific job of their wardrobe, and here are some great examples of what I am talking about

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“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence…”

From the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Our Family Portraits

This year for our family portraits, I decided to do a Fall theme. We barely managed to get it under the wire with Fall colors receding with every passing day! I wanted to do the boys’ portraits with scarves and hats, and they had so much fun with it. They were excited about wearing them and posing since it is not part of their regular attire.

Our shopping too was pretty much last minute till the day of the session! Believe it or not, my boys sometimes don’t even have a wearable pair of jeans in their closet because they don’t use them, or they have outgrown them in 3 months. Anything outside of Nike or Under Armour shorts or track pants is too much to dress up in. 🙂 I was out with my oldest son that morning shopping for a pair of jeans for him. He tried one and it came a bit short so we picked out a size bigger. Although I asked him to try it out again, he refused saying a size bigger will be just fine. That afternoon, we are getting ready for the Portrait Session and of course the jeans don’t fit him! So he goes to my husband’s closet and puts on his pair of jeans (a first for him). He pulls it up a bit higher, tightens it around the waist with the belt, and is all set. He walks down to the garage where my husband and other two kids are getting ready putting their shoes on. My husband, looks and him and says, “That’s a nice pair if jeans,” thinking it’s the one we bought that day. I smiled and said, “Guess whose it is!!”

I had these grand ideas of going to two and possibly even three locations. We get into the Portrait Session at the first location and within 10 minutes my youngest son is sulking and refusing to smile, and my oldest son wants to photo bomb the shots. You get the idea 🙂 My husband looks at me and says, “This is hard.” Well, it could only get better from there and it did, even though we did not make it to any other location. (I shot some of the photographs the day before on our street). Later on, kids were super excited about seeing their photographs. It feels so awesome that we did it, and so totally worth it!

As any mom I feel my kids are growing up too fast, and I want to hold on to these precious days. I especially wanted to photograph my youngest son with his collection of rubber band bracelets. (If you have a child that age you know what I am talking about :)). They have been made for everyone in our family, and even the stuffed animals at our home wear one. It’s fun, and I love capturing something the kids are so into. It’s a phase in their life and so very fleeting…

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“I know why families were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.” — Anais Nin (American author).