The Jarvie Clan is pretty good looking people!
Here are my brother and his kids. The two oldest are college age.
The rest of the pictures are located here
Here’s just a sampling of the family pictures I did for the Makarov family – To see all of them check the smugmug gallery here
I did try to focus on a few more of the dad because he’s also a photographer and I figure he’s the one with the least amount of family pictures.
Eating birthday cake
It was short and sweet and yet I got so much done. I was able to take pictures of about 15 groups of people.
From families to couples to individuals.
Groups ranging from 1-7ppl
1. Engaged Couple
2. An Individual
3. A Family
4. A Random Family I don’t know
5. A couple and their cousin
6. Married Couple
8. Random Highschool kids
9. Random College Students
10. Boyfriend Girlfriend
11. Another random family
13. Past Wedding Clients
14. Myself (setup by me and then taken by Jon Barker)
15. A couple
A good photographer is a person who is observant of things and people.
I’m not talking about how they can tell if a hair is out of place or when something is different.
I’m talking about they take in what they’re about to photograph and process it in the mind and heart. They know how to interact and they know how to bring it out on the screen-print.
The kind of observant that understands a person’s personality and knows how to bring it out. Even the positions to put them in. Not just observant of the concepts you as a photographer have in mind… with plans for whatever mannequin that comes your way. The right picture for the right personality.
I always tell students-interns that when they look at a picture on the screen unedited and awaiting it’s destiny…. that we look at the picture not at how it is… but what it can become. (Then we pick our battles because some are more worth our limited time than others… I believe God does the same only he has infinite capacity for us all)
So why not when we’re taking the picture … the subject as who they can become.
Not that we’re gonna change them up and put a bunch of makeup there. But we interact and let them be who they’ll be when not burdened down by our own objectives. I mean we’ve got plenty on the plate already… we want them to be right here because this is our background, and to not move too much because I’m focused just right. And dont’ turn around because we’re fond of your face… So i guess it does sound like a lot of things. But go ahead and do whatever you want. haha
I’m thinking here… equal time, equal awesome place with each child. Me laying on the ground (as I’m prone to do) directing the children to sit just exactly where I want them.
Maybe a bit crass for the audience but all I gave was a simple suggestion to show off the dress and hold it to the side… but I guess I’m not to adept at giving directions so this is what we get.
A little coaxing from the peanut gallery… a little assurance from my part that he really can do the stuff he wants to do, or the random things we call out. It’s his call and I won’t be upset in the slightest and I’ll make sure his parents don’t talk back for a change.
Being observant is also about listening to their ideas… I find out the dad throws the kids in the air… that’s what we do next. Believe it! (If they’re not throwers and it makes them uncomfortable I wouldn’t even want to do pictures like that)
They do their thing, they interact, they pose their way… certainly i’m in control of so very much. But it’s all the unspoken stuff that I keep to myself, they don’t need to know about it. They just know that their ideas are welcome and that this particular one i will make awesome and you’re free to be a part of the creative process.
And ready set …. GO!
Last 3 posts have been about getting children and showing their personality… well in this case this little one is a bit small to be running or even sitting. With no random props to stuff her in we just went with showing off the personality of the WHOLE family. How this child is a part and their feelings for the child. The personality of the family, if you will.
A family picture doesn’t have to be of them looking into the camera.
This little one isn’t very good with directions yet… so let’s just roll with it.
Then we did the baby on the blanket picture
OK so we’re doing lots of group pictures, the other child is running around and since he’s a boy he’s obviously playing with rocks and sticks. The baby doesn’t have that luxury yet… the muscles in his body won’t allow that yet.
This was nott the first picture that I took… we had a different thought in mind at the beginning, but like so many of my pictures it morphed into this… one of my favorites from the day.
In fact it started with this.
What shall we do? Ok let’s just lay him on the ground.
Just us getting the baby to do his cute little smiles and laughs.
I switched to get a straight on view
Still laughing and smiling and happy. The clothes, the eyes and the smile. No balls, no buckets, no boots, no bears… just the child on the dead ol’ grass of cool fall day in the mountains.
Well this kids not gonna move around to much, we’ll get a bunch of his different faces… but it’s about time to switch it up… let’s get the closest parent. The one that probably decided it’s about time for a photoshoot for the family… tadah… there’s mom.
It can still be about the child with mom as a kinda-sorta-in-there element. Baby still looking up and mom interacting.
OK mom go ahead and do whatever you want.
Not sure what the facial expression is all about… but we’ll roll with it… I think it’s cute and perhaps I could ask “Ummm, excuse me sir but could you be so kind as to close your trap”
Now that we have that… just lay down next to him and look up mom
OK mom now look at him. (She already knows she has the freedom to do so in whatever way, and she knows I will make sure it doesn’t look bad, and she knows that we’re rolling with the flow and she gets to be who she wants to be not who I want her to be)
Beautiful… the interaction… the look in both their eyes.
Personality and emotion aren’t always about over the top. But about those moments I’m sure all parents have all the time. Wonderment. Those peaceful beautiful moments.
You don’t just say ok now have a wonderful, peaceful, beautiful moment…. we find them and create them together.
Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
This is the 4th year that i’ve taken a week out of my schedule to do pictures without charging. In the last 2 years I’ve had people donate to a charity.
This year I wanted it to be about simply giving back and not having to deal with money and stuff.
So I have opened it to past bride and grooms, then when they grabbed some spots to other past clients and if people find an opening my philosophy is “Why Not” so they can book themself a spot as well.
For random friends (As In: Not-Past-Clients) I’d prefer to keep it to Individuals or groups of roommates because those are the more appealing and interesting photoshoots.
But here’s the link to see the calender -
So I don’t mind taking the pictures at all it’s great fun… the shoots are all short like 20 minutes and it’s in fall color. It’s pretty low stress, specially when it’s fast and free.
However discs and stuff like that has not been an awesome experience in years past so this year it’s all going on SmugMug and they can deal with it from there. They can add galleries on FaceBook and use things on blogs but if they want to print they’ll order them online and if they want the file they can order them online as well.
I’m happy to be doing it this way as it makes doing these free shoots more sustainable. And well maybe I’ll make a dollar or two which when spending a week and doing 50 shoots I suppose I’m not opposed.
But I’m not going to push prints… in fact I don’t care if they buy any at all. Because to me this is my week to give back and just make people happy.
Specially this year where it’s about saying thanks to past clients for helping me to get here where I am now. Which is busy and happy in the best profession ever.
OK so I did pictures for 5 families (small and large) and then 5 other individuals. They were all photographers. It was a workshop.
And since I spent so much time and effort there talking about where I place people and why and how to find and use locations and bits about lighting and assisting.
I think I’m going to take a break and just have you look at pictures and not talk to much about it.
If someone has a question about a particular picture or two I’ll gladly turn it into a post about how, why and where and things like that.
For now… enjoy an eclectic mix of 10 shoots taken on tuesday.
Some people are suprised to find out that I’m willing to do family pictures, they think I only do weddings.
Well maybe my schedule is a little more limited for family pictures and perhaps my prices aren’t as low as many options but I don’t mind.
It’s the same thing… I’m looking for families that really like good photography, who are fun individuals that are good to work with. I like subjects with character and connection because that’s what I’m wanting to portray in my work the personality of the individual or of the group.
I want it to be an enjoyable experience where people feel at ease to act themselves and to not get stressed… therefore I avoid the time limits for their’s and my benefit.
I want people who join in the creative process and not just say… you’re the photographer just do what you think best. Well news flash these are going on your wall not mine.
I can make places and pictures and ideas look good this is a team effort.
And well the Roden family were fun and laid back and appreciative and good looking so this was a great time, I hope to do lots more shoots with families like them.
I did Paul and Andrea’s wedding last year.
So yeah I do family pictures… most of the time i’m not available on weekends and sometimes I prefer late notice so it doesn’t conflict with possible wedding schedules. But october there’s a special discount on them down from 500 to 200 but that will go back up in november.
What I really love is Family Lifestyle Photography
I had so many examples that I doubt I’ll fit them all into one post
But you can see a gallery of 200+ here
And if you ask for a password you can see all the 650+ that made the cut.
You’ll notice there isn’t one focal picture in the bunch. There’s not one that is the pinnacle of perfection… but to this family there are many many that represent each person and will be fun to them.
Here are some examples:
As opposed to…
In the previous post I said why “Traditional” family portraits suck to do. (for me)
Now I’ll say why I think non-traditional family pictures could be the most fun a photographer could have.
What kind of pictures am I talking about?
I’m talking about unique experiences and events with tons of fun stuff going on… and a photographer is there to capture the moments.
A family Reunion
A day at the park
Anything but just standing there in a line
One Possibility for the best pictures ever
I would much much rather show up at a house early in the morning as the family has a wonderfully prepared breakfast, eats together (all traditional like) then they head off to the park or beach or woods together and have a pic-nic and laugh and tell jokes and enjoy eachothers company. Perhaps throw the frisbee around or go swimming. Here and there they can line up so they’re all in the shot, either more formally or in their element. But those shots won’t be the focal point. Then they return home and all individually do the things they like doing. Dads fixing the old project car and getting greasy, mom is cooking, sewing, planting or vice versa. The little kid is playing with his cars. The young girl has her ballet outfit on. The teenager is playing his/her favorite sport, talking on the cellphone or using the computer haha… of they invite some of their friends along to do stuff. They have a BBQ and a party or what not….
The possibilities are limitless
I’m just coming up with this stuff on the spot… who knows what it could be… the possibilities are limitless.
What do you do with the pictures?
Again… Be creative.
Make a book.
Use on Blog, emails, websites
To REALLY document your family… not some stiff portrait
have lots of pictures for the walls… pick the best of each person
I reconfirmed this theory by doing a 3 day family reunion with my family 3500 pictures later!!!
Check out the next couple of posts.