This has got to be one of my favorite writeups ever by a client! Heck it’s probably one of the best posts on my blog now.
It captures totally what I want to always accomplish with my photography.
I feel very validated right now and encouraged that what I’m doing is really being caught by those that are getting pictures.
Perhaps that I’m just taking pictures of the right people that love photography and love their families and the personalities and embrace the crazy and even the imperfections and want to remember even that from year to year.
In The Words of the Mother
Runny nosed kids, mom’s nausea kicking in due to her first trimester of pregnancy, Dad’s in school studying for the day, mom has to set up and clean up a large woman’s function, kids need naps and a bath, not to mention all the hair that has to be fixed…and mom scheduled a photo shoot?
What was she thinking?! I’ll tell you what she was thinking. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get phenomenal, out.of.this.world photos of her dysfunctional family that she loves so much, by her friend (she considers him that) Scott Jarvie. Somehow, she was going to make it happen!
I love this photo, because it sums up our family. Dad’s intense personality, big sister lost in another thought, brother giving it all he’s got, lil’ sis showing off, and mom is shocked that things are going so well! And all Scott said was “everyone open your mouth!” See what happens?
Lets talk about Scott:
To get a pretty good picture of what you’ll be dealing with, I’ll start with our arrival at the Aspen Grove.
I was sweating, Dad was driving like a mad man, we were slightly late, the kids hair was staticky, and I was trying to figure out how to smile again, when out of nowhere Scott’s great big grinning face jumped at me from my passenger window. I nearly hit my head on the sealing. Suddenly we were all laughing.
When I told him that he scared me to death, he smiled and said something like, “That was the point! Come on up and we’ll take a few pictures!”
That’s Scott for you. No shame whatsoever and totally happy to be himself…and himself can be a crack up. He’ll ask you to do things you think are completely ridiculous (He knows they are. But, they help you relax and feel okay with acting out of your comfort zone…especially after you watch him mimic your actions. You couldn’t possibly look as bad. So, why not give it a go? HaHa)
Then there are the tender moments. He can bring out your sweetness too, believe it or not. Scott has a romantic/sensitive side to him, and he’s even better than most at showing it. So, you’re in good hands when it comes to getting those moments you’ve always wanted captured on camera. In fact, he’ll get more of the “real” you than you expect, because he’s snapping away even when you don’t think he is.
Family photos don’t have to be a stress:
Scott Jarvie taught me that. We had 30-40 minutes with Scott, I didn’t have a plan…somehow between all that had to be done that day, I forgot to re-think the poses I wanted taken.
We saw a log, suggested it, Scott jumped at the idea, and we gave it a go! He had us laughing and goofing off in no time.
I completely threw out the whole “lets look really nice idea” when moments before our photo shoot began, one of our girls tore her tights in the stickers, our boy fell in the dirt, and our other little girl ate some dirt.
We were having fun as a family, Scott was getting it all on camera, and we were going to look superb regardless, thanks to Scott’s genius. It’s amazing how many memorable moments occur in a family, in a matter of minutes.
Our girls. They couldn’t be more different. Scott suggested we get out of the way and set the girls apart on the log, then gave them the go to “smile!”. They did whatever came naturally, and I wasn’t stressing over getting them to smile just so, or placing them in the right pose. What a relief! And look at how perfectly “them” it turned out.
What we did not want & what we got:
We didn’t want the studio family perfect photos. Sure, we needed at least one to send to all the Grandmas, but that isn’t hard to do when everyone’s laughing. In fact, I found that I was the one looking the wrong direction, making a goofy face, or not paying attention, when all three kids and dad were grinning at Scott.
We definitely didn’t get the studio photo. We got a real, personality filled photo of our family, and we love that!
I’m glad Scott took the time to listen to what dad likes to do with the kids, and then suggest we try it! And the second picture has got to be the BEST picture taken of him in a loooong time. He usually looks angry, preoccupied, or like he’s cringing over something. Scott actually captured his genuine, happy smile!
These girls are 18 months apart and pretty much inseparable. How could someone actually give you a glimpse into their world as sisters without seeing it daily for yourself? In just a few moments, Scott captured it all just by encouraging a hug. Enough said.
I don’t know what Scott said to her, but she seems quite taken with him…wouldn’t you say? She lives in a world of make-believe, usually caught daydreaming. This picture looks like it was taken from The Secret Garden or something. In her world, it probably was!
Scott will tell you that I’m one of those moms that’s always saying, “Girls, put your dress down. Sit like a lady!” And look what he does…suggests she shows off her dress and takes a picture!
Now it’s one of my favorites. I love, love, LOVE how her baby legs and sweet, chipper personality are portrayed. This ones going up on the wall.
This is my screen saver. I like it because I was actually caught smiling at the right time! And because I love seeing the individual. I understand why Scott spends so much time on the ground. The color, the detail, and the character just sucks me right in. If that takes getting down and dirty, I’m glad he’s willing!
I actually like the 20-40 minute shoots. It’s just enough time to get what you’re looking for and get out. For a mom with kids, that’s all I want. Why do you think Wal-Mart and Target do so well?
Yes, of course there are those times when the baby just won’t cooperate, someone gets hurt, or you have a stubborn child with attitude (I’ve had all three), and it’s nice to have another go at it maybe later on in the day. But, if that’s just not an option, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that Scott will somehow find a way to coax out a smile, or just make everyone look good anyway.
These pictures have become some of my most treasured.
This picture was taken last year at the (2009) Charity shoot, on a day when our baby girl was more interested in playing with the grass then smiling for the camera. Scott captured the grin we couldn’t get enough of. Now that she’s going on two years, I can’t bring myself to take it off our wall. This picture brings a smile to my face even on the worst days.
In my book, that’s what family photography is all about.
Try Something New:
Our oldest is five, and I’m just now getting the photos of our family that I’ve always wanted.
Photos that portray who we really are.
I think pictures like these on our walls and in our memory albums give our homes and family character.
Scott introduced us to a new kind of photography experience. Plan some poses in advance if you like, but most importantly, just be yourself, try something new, let your kids pick up rocks and play in the dirt, don’t be afraid to act crazy, or portray raw emotion (easier said then done). It’s okay.
He will somehow make you look awesome.
Scott’s easy to like, and although I’ve only met him twice, I feel like he’s a close friend. Once I learned about his Charity shoots, I haven’t been able to pass up the opportunity, and couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of them. Just when I think I’ve got Scott figured out, he does something else, either through his art, words, or actions, to AMAZE me.
When it comes to photography, He has a style all his own, but that style will always include yours too. So, between the two of you, you’ll be blown away with the outcome.