Family Pictures mid-day In Provo

(Woops no one in the family picture was looking… I failed… or did I? haha)

Art for my models vs models for my art

I think it was a couple posts ago that I was discussing how a photoshoot is a collaborative effort… or at least should be.

There are many things that impact the way people view your pictures… when you go to a beautiful spot, or have beautiful subjects people will be more attracted to your pictures … or if you put it to a theme everyone will go crazy for.

But that’s not my whole job in fact a lot of my job is… GASP… taking good pictures.

Dealing with whatever lighting I have been given that day, whatever subjects, whatever spots… and always bringing out the best possible for those situations.

So what about mid day lighting… where the group was so large I couldn’t just put a big diffuser over their heads and add in my own beautiful lighting by flash or reflector.

I went au natural and found spots that worked well.

And the day and the people and their personalities and the lighting and my lenses and my brain all worked together to come up with something that worked for them.


Bright shiny day… but we found a somewhat shady area and got a spot with the least amount of shine through and had people facing directions so it wouldn’t hit them quite as much.


I relish that I took what might have been a cheesy idea… and turned it into perfectly normal and good.


I threw in whatever they were doing… or pushed them to do stuff I could see them doing that would make the shoot a bit more funny and memorable.

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I took several opportunities to run through the whole family doing individual portraits during the time… extra attention to Mom as well.

And for one of the run-throughs at the end I broke out the lights, to kind of play around.

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I don’t suggest pictures like these (above) but If someone hints at it or starts to do it… then it’s gonna be done.

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Break it down into smaller groups… or in this case… only somewhat smaller groups.


You’re done doing your normal pose… Direction: Do whatever you feel like, go crazy, dopile… etc



And I shot the whole day with my brand new 85 1.4 lens – Yes even this was shot at f/1.6

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And then I do a bunch of BW conversions on a bunch of pictures

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We do the fun stuff and the “cool” stuff


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  1. Chad Harrison says

    Super cool! I love that you were able to get such a wide range of shots in the middle of the day. Very impressive.

  2. Karan says

    Wht settings u always use? If u dont mind?

  3. Kristy Cefalo says

    These look wonderful. I am super jealous of your 1.4.

  4. Eric Quinney says

    I love the challenge of adapting to the circumstances given, you have to learn to use what is around you and make the current situation the best. Ideal circumstances can be found if you make the best of it.

  5. ScottJarvie says

    Well obviously I wanted the biggest challenge out of it so I shot most everything lower than f/2 and half of those at 1.4 – But from time to time I took it up to f/4
    Sometimes it was so bright I couldn’t shoot at 1.4 and stay below 1/8000 so I set it to 1/8000 in shutter mode and got whatever was the lowest f/stop available.

    If you go onto my smugmug galleries the settings are available to see.

  6. Chris Manning says

    I’m really impressed by the group shots you were able to get at f/1.6! That’s not an easy task!

  7. Robbie Petersen says

    great variety of wide shots and close ups, like the one with the kids laying down and the standing parents in the background, creative ideas, and of course the natural framing with the trees is nice as well.

  8. Madelyn Wayment says

    Shooting in the middle of the day can definitely be one of the most difficult challenges out there. I think they turned out great. I love the wrestling on the ground pictures. They fun thing about these pictures is that you can tell what type of family they are and how they interact with one another.

  9. […] Have a work schedule that means that mid-day is the only time?  No […]

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