S E V E N T H W A V E P H O T O G R A P H I C S
FAMILY and GROUP (PORTRAIT) PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDELINES
Much of the family and group photography I do is done out of doors; on beaches, in public parks, etc. I try to make my sessions a lot of fun for all involved; for you, me, and everyone. Despite the casual nature of my sessions, the primary reason we're together is for me to take the very best pictures I can, given prevailing conditions and circumstances. So, before we even meet, please understand that I'll do absolutely everything I can to capture the sort of images that you are seeking, and capture them well!
However, and this is very important, in order for me to get great images of you, it is important that you'll also do your part to help ensure that you get the pictures you'll truly love, now and always. If you (i.e. "everybody") give it your best effort, you can be sure that I will, too.
With that said, here are some things that are important to the success of your session...
1. As a rule, I spend the better part of a full hour with my clients; on beaches, in parks, on the grounds of hotels and condos, etc. I'll try to "capture" images in as many different locations within a given area as possible. This, of course, means that we will be moving around from spot to spot, setting up various groupings for pictures, and then moving on to "fresh" turf. So, try not ot bring too much "stuff" with you to your session, it only slows you down. Bottled water is a very good thing to bring, and, of course, your smile is always welcomed.
2. Some younger (or even older) children do not handle this sort of thing well. They get bored rather easily, they're shy around a stranger taking lots of pictures with a big camera or they're in a bad mood before I even show up - parents, you know what I'm talking about here. So, what I would ask of you parents is this; talk to your children "out front," in a quiet, non threatening environment. Tell them that the family is going to have its picture taken (lots of pictures!). Tell them (if they're old enough to comprehend) that it is VERY important to you that they be on their best behavior because the session itself is of such great importance. Also try and convey to them that they should also pay full attention to what the photographer is saying and doing at all times, and that they should do their best to make things go as smoothly as possible from start to finish. (But, of course, very young children are pretty much exempt from this line of reasoning.)
3. Outdoor photography is a tricky thing, even the most minor change in light can have a significant effect on the way an image is captured. If the light is right, I'll get many of my shots without using a flash. However, on especially cloudy or "dark" days, the camera's flash will play a major role in the way a shot turns out. I will always try to pose my subjects directly in bright sunshine as much as possible. Doing so can, and will cause some people with extremely sensitive eyes to squint - some to the point where their eyes are virtually closed almost continually. If you think (or know) that this will be a BIG problem for some people in your family or group, please let me know well in advance of your session, and I'll consider a "Plan B" to compensate for this. (However, I cannot be held responsible for pictures with "excessive" squinting or closing of eyes. Those are actions that are beyond my control, and while I'll do my best to try and avoid the problem, there are no guarantees.)
4. Ultimately, It's up to you to determine what shots I should take. If you can put together a plan for this in advance, that helps a lot! (Let everyone know in advance what to expect, and get their input in regards what they might have on their minds, too.) Generally, I like to do shots of the whole family or group together at the very start, and then break the groupings down to various individual (or extended) families, immediate families together with matriarchs/patriarchs, grandparents with grand kids, parents with their kids, fathers with sons or daughters, mothers with daughters or sons, brothers and/or sisters together, all of the guys together, all of the 'girls' together, lots of candid kid shots, etc. But, most importantly, I always appreciate feedback from you in letting me know exactly what you want. If you can think of a picture or a "pose" or a locale (along the way) where you would like to have your pictures taken, please communicate this to me. I'm with you to take pictures. You hired me to do so. Do you have a particular picture or pose in mind? Tell me, and I'll take it if I can!
5. OK, here's the 'bottom line' - as I said above in so many words, I'll do my part to get the kinds of pictures I think you're looking for. However, I can't read your mind. If I didn't pose a certain shot that you feel was important to have, please don't blame me! While I actually have a pretty good "bag" of standard poses and groupings that I've put together over the years, and usually a pretty good feeling for what you are seeking, I'll always appreciate your input. And, finally, it is ultimately your responsibility to do your very best to assure a great series of shots. If you do your part, I'll do mine, and 'magic' will happen. But, upon reviewing your finished pictures, you find that either yourself, or anyone else in your party, was not doing his or her part to assure the best possible outcome, I absolutely cannot be held responsible. Mahalo for your understanding. Aloha!
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This page was created 01.05.07