As a portrait photographer, I am often asked what the “secret sauce” is and how I get such emotive photos showing natural connections. They also ask what kind of camera I use and if it’s hard to maneuver. Or if certain parts of the day are better to shoot during than the other hours. Or if open fields make the color in dresses pop? Does flowy hair make for a more cherished finished product? Are coordinating outfits a good idea? Should they match? These and so many others cross the minds of most of my clients. They are usually fueled from Pinterest boards, and Instagram posts from other families. And don’t get me wrong, I have a TON of advice on this front. But if I am being honest, none of that actually matters all that much. The magic is in the family itself.
Beautiful scenery and the right lighting are wonderful, but they aren’t the pulse of your session. Because coordinating outfits are only magical when your two chocolate hair’d daughters are deep belly laughing in them. Years from now when you look back on these pictures I want you to be able to feel the breeze on your cheeks. Or be able to recall how rosy the girls’ noses got after the temperature dropped a few degrees in the evening. The magic of these photographs is not in the objects you dress yourselves in, or how pretty the sky looks at dusk. Because the lighting only illuminates your memories because of how deeply you love your husband, and how watching him love on your girls’ is your very favorite thing to watch.
Lifestyle photography is for you to remember what it felt like when your whole family fit in each others arms, all at once. The breaths and giant kisses you land on your daughters’ cheeks and your genuine connection is what will make these photographs a living memory, and not just another portrait.
The D family have been clients of mine since their oldest was just a tiny little toddler. And every time I work with them, I walk away from the shoot inspired to be more present with my own lifelines. The intrinsic way that they show affection for one another, is the simplest reminder of what matters in these moments.
Those two beautiful girls, being loved so fully. Deep bellied laughs. The earthy smell of grass as you all take a moment to just enjoy each other. And these sweet little moments, where you can just breath in how wonderful life has been to you. And how there isn’t a prop, camera, or outfit change that can make this time of your life better.
Because magic cannot be created, it is intrinsically braided through all of your genuine laughs and bear hugs.
Jason, Ellen, Emma and Emilia: YOU are the magic. Thanks for sharing a bit of it with me, and our world.
It is so hard to think ahead to next year BUT I will be taking 2020 summer and fall sunset bookings beginning in FEBRUARY ! Contact me today to be put on my list for next year!