I Love Family Portraits

It is very satisfying for me to capture and save moments of a loving family interacting with one another.  The technical aspects of using a camera to take a photo become secondary to just letting a family do what they do in an interesting environment with good lighting. 

So this wonderful family is the other winner of my Thanksgiving photo session giveaway.  I have known them for many years.  It was my pleasure to hang out with them for a little while.

We used flash with an umbrella (above).

We worked in the breezeway of the horse stable with ambient light only.

And backlit with the sun, exposing for the shadows and letting the background blow out. 

I finally remember to bring some Christmas props to use for this shoot and I think they worked great.  It gave the Children something to focus on and it establishes that we are actually taking Christmas portraits.  This is adorable if I may.

I enjoy a series like this showing the different expressions.

The old horse stable makes for an interesting environment in my opinion.

So, sorry about being late to the shoot.  I'm glad you guys weren't paying me for this one. :)

Merry Christmas.  You guys be blessed.


Another Great Family.

Got to spend some time with another great family.  They are one of the two families that won our Thanksgiving giveaway.  For location, they chose downtown Melbourne.  A great choice and thankfully it didn't rain on us.  A blessing.  Christmas decorations are a bonus as well.

We just spent some time walking around the area and letting the kiddos play.  Letting them interact with each other and with Mommy and Daddy.  Group shots are a struggle at this age.  Something I am oh too familiar with for my own family.  So we just go with the flow.  In my opinion, a perfectly posed shot of a family with small children doesn't capture the reality of a family with small children.  I think it nice to have those chaotic moments captured.  We (parents) will look back on them fondly apparently.  At least that is what I'm told. :)

So here we have beautiful family in a great location.  What could go wrong?  Nothing.  These kiddos are adorable.

I mean really are you kidding me with how cute they are?

This young man had some great expressions.

And they are obviously neglected. :)

This doorway was new to me but I really love the colors and the graffiti.

This pose is becoming a favorite of mine.  Kiddos window shopping.

I like the details in this door in the background.

Honestly it was difficult not to just include the entire gallery in this post but in the interest of keeping it to a somewhat reasonable length I'll just throw in a few more of my favorites.  If you want to see the whole thing just click on one of the photos.  It will take you to it.

Thank you for making the 45 minute trip to share some time with me.  I hope you enjoy these photographs.  I enjoyed it


The Moment Is Here


And the big announcement is here in this amazingly great video.  I mean really.  It is a great video. :)  Just kidding.  Congratulations!!!  I'll be in touch so as to set up a time and location for our session.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Thanks for entering.  Maybe we will do this more often.  Maybe this will be an annual thing.

Eat plenty and enjoy your families.

Be Blessed.


Happy Thanksgiving And A Free Photo Session

Here is a first.  For the first time PBPhoto is doing a giveaway.   The reward is a free setting fee for a 1 hour session.  I will post the best photos in an online gallery on my SMUGMUG site.  They will be available there for download, prints, mugs, t-shirts, holiday cards, etc.  So the only cost will be for prints/merchandise.  Check my SMUGMUG site for prices.

It must be a local session unless you want to pay for my airfare.

Oh yeah, how do you win?  Post a comment on this blog or on facebook.  Tell me what you are thankful for this year.  We will put the names of those who comment into a hat and draw a random winner!  Man what could be more exciting!

The other request is that you make a donation to a charity of your choice using some or all of the money that you would have used for my sitting fee.  Currently $150.

I'm looking forward to taking your family photos!  Be sure to enter.  The winner will be drawn in one week on 23 November 2011.

Enter NOW!


Pumpkins & Punkins

We have a few of both.  These are a few of my favorites from our trip to the pumpkin patch recently.  The colors are amazing.  I love the blue painted picnic table where they were displaying the smaller pumpkins.  Those colors definitely caught my eye.




And The Winner Is . . .

I was hired by 3 families to photograph their children who were on the Homecoming court at Merritt Island High School this weekend.

So after getting lost a couple of times (thanks google maps), we made it to the stadium.  By we I mean that the whole family was with me.  It was raining and we were late but we made it.  So I broke my first rule of photography which is: be early to the location.  It gives me time to survey the situation, look for inspiration, and come up with a plan to light things if necessary.  That was out the window.  I walked as fast as I could with my gear to the opposite end zone where there was a tent with the young ladies and their escorts and mothers.  And they were ready to start taking shots.  No time to set up so I just started shooting ambient light only.  Which ended up turning out well but from the back of the camera, I wasn't all that confident. 

So I put a strobe on the camera and took some using the strobe for key light.  I really really really don't like doing that.  But the results here are good I think.  After removing some red eye.  I love this candid.

That didn't last long and the parents and myself headed up into the stands to wait for the halftime events.  I kept looking down to the tent and thinking I wish I would have stayed down there to get some more shots.  Gretchen confirmed that idea by asking me about it.  So I went back down there.  Not sure about security at these things.  There was a couple of deputies at the gate to the field.  I suppose a guy with a camera body with a battery grip and a strobe looks professional and they never questioned me.  You just have to look like you belong.

This was a much better situation.  No one was rushed.  The kids were having fun talking and joking.  And I was thankful that they were under a white tent.  The worlds largest softbox.  So I used it as you can see in the lead picture above.  Nice soft light.  I dragged the shutter (slowed down the shutter speed) to allow the field in the background to burn in.

Then came halftime. 

As they walked across the field I tried to incorporate the marching band and ROTC kiddos.  Looked great by the way.  I took some without flash but the umbrellas were shadowing their faces too much so I went back to using the strobe as more of a fill in this case and also allowing the stadium lights to backlight them and make their umbrellas glow.

And the winner was . . . one of the girls that I was covering.  How cool.

Then they all made a lap around the track in some sweet golf carts.