I don’t typically photograph “families”, but the truth is that I’m reconsidering it for 2012. If you’re willing to break a few rules, come join me!
There are a few things I haven’t enjoyed about family photography in the past – whether I’m the photographer or not – and I’m going to just be honest about them here. If you’re ready to book a session with me even after I say it, I’m giving $100 off my session fee from now until April 1st.
Number one is that we Cape Codders are very caught up in the khaki pants and white shirt thing. You know which women look good in khaki pants? Those who are size 4 and under. I’m a size 6, so let me know if you’ve found khaki pants that can prove me wrong. And white is actually at the bottom of any list your photographer would tell you to wear if you asked. I do love the idea of a matching theme, but you might just pick a color and incorporate it into everyone’s outfits – red, navy, I’ve even had a great friend choose an orange theme! Orange stripes on dad, orange bow in daughter’s hair, orange scarf around mom’s neck, orange plaid shorts on son, etc. Or totally mismatch. Some more examples are here on my Pinterest board.
Second, many families want to sit everyone together and take only the requisite shots. Extended family, immediate family, grandparents with the children… last year’s frames or holiday cards just waiting to be updated. And then we’re done. Done? You’re paying me a few hundred dollars for three photos? I want to capture your family, and that means your personalities, your interactions, the bond you have at this very moment in your lives. In order to do that, I recommend an activity that keeps everyone involved. and therefore less intimidated by a camera. In fact, I don’t care if you never look at the camera. I’m ready to hang for a couple of hours because that’s what it takes. Let’s go for a walk, skip rocks, have a picnic, build a snowman, visit the ice cream store, go bowling. What does your Sunday morning look like, when you’re cozy and rested, spending time as a family… because I’ll wear my pajamas too if it helps. I’m not saying I won’t capture a few traditional photos, but I’m hoping that you and I both want more out of it than that.
Lastly, as parents, I need you to be involved. I actually have a few really awkward examples I won’t share, but I think the best solution is that I will ask you to be in the photos as well. No free ride, come dressed and ready to help. I will definitely capture photos of your individual kids, and the kids together, but as anyone who’s ever heard me complain about holiday cards knows, YOU are just as much a part of the family. I want photos of the two of you alone, celebrating all that you’ve created. And I want to capture the way you and your children look at one another. If you’re behind the camera and stressed about the faces they’re making, your kids are stressed out too.
When you look back at these times with your family, shouldn’t it evoke some feeling?
Love the similarities between mother and daughter here…
So, these are just a few of my thoughts, and a few personal reasons for why I’ve shied away from working with families. But I loooove telling stories, and I think your story is worth telling. Maybe it’s selfish of me to put every family into a box and declare that I won’t do it. I know I have something to offer, and that there are some of you out there who feel the same way about your family photography as I do. If that’s you, please do contact me. I’d love to do this together for the next few months and see what we come up with. As I mentioned, any family sessions receive $100 off from now until April 1st, including photos on disk. I don’t know if I’ll offer family sessions after that, but I’d be really excited if you’d join me on the adventure!
A huge thank you to Ozzy and Linda, and their daughter Faith, for frolicking on the beach in Miami this December!
Credit to Film is Not Dead. All images captured on a Canon 1V camera with Kodak Portra 400 film, and a Contax G2 camera with Ilford Delta 100 film.