I’m so excited to share this cute laid back beach family session! I was concerned the day of because I’d been expecting clouds (good), even some snow (I can do it!) but direct sunlight in the middle of the afternoon on the ONLY sunny day that week? I was a bit worried, truth be told! However, luckily these guys are so chill and it all worked out. It’s also fun trying to wrangle two dogs to sit still for some photos! Either way, it’s always a ton of fun hanging out with families and giving them a good experience and photos! I am definitely not a dig whisperer. It’s definitely hard to remember to get family photos consistently, especially if you feel nervous in front of the camera or you’re very busy. But time flies!! Before you know it everyone will be grown up. (I mean, you can definitely still take photos with everyone grown up!). But there’s nothing to fear! In the end you’ll finally have some of those fam photos you’ve been wanting to have and share! I can’t wait to send them their 10 free prints too, because I firmly believe in giving the gift of a physical product. It is SO important to actually use, hang, and share your photos! <3 Anyway, enjoy these cuties!
It’s Valentine’s Day! I totally didn’t plan to time this post to this day, but what do you know, it worked. I was going for a whole ~love~ theme this month, but I do want to stress that I love LOTS OF KIND OF LOVE. Not just couple love but friend love, family love, pet love, LOVE in its many thousands form is kind of a great thing. Sure, we can complain about it and all the pain it brings and our duties and the struggles that sometimes loving a person/people entails, but think of all the GREAT things! Smiling, laughing, feeling close to someone, sharing your life woes, writing stories together, taking photos together, going on adventures and making memories with loved ones. Love is actually pretty great once you open yourself up to it.
This post I share my top FIVE tips I use when photographing love. Sure, I’m still a newbie in the wedding game field and yes, getting my degree changed up my plans a bit, but I still believe in and have a ton of fun photographing love in its many forms. So I’m gonna stop blabbing and here we go!
TIP 1 – make them laugh
I’m pretty sure the only people who find me funny are me and my sister. However, ever since I was a kid I loved making people laugh and I try to use these traits to the benefit of photos! It is easily the best part of being a photographer. Make jokes, be weird, move in strange angles that make people laugh, lie in the dirt or snow or whatever you have to do to get people to smile and laugh. It’s been said to me that I can make people feel pretty comfortable early on and I think it’s because I try to get people laughing and joking right away. I mean I think I’m hilarrrrrious but I won’t be offended if you don’t. One thing I don’t use are those online prompts, cause they are kind of weird and awkward and make people feel weird and awkward. I do love making people run and dance though because sooner or later someone feels ridiculous and laughs and it’s my fave.
TIP 2 – let people be themselves! aka don’t pose a lot
Our job as photographers, at least for me, is not to make the day look the way we want it to. Our job is to capture life as it happens, those smiles and laughs and gentle touches. Those are great moments, and the more comfortable you are as the photographer and people are around you, the more likely you will start to see these real moments. I don’t want people to feel like they’re getting their photo taken; I want them to feel like I’m not even there. Then you get those great genuine moments and feelings and I cry when I see those!
TIP 3 – let a couple make out
This is literally my fave way to start out a couple’s shoot. If you’re shy around photographers or embarrassed or worried (most everyone I’ve ever photographed is!!) don’t worry. My first trick is to ask you to make out pretty early on. The couple will probably laugh and be like omg why and then try it and laugh throughout it and then a) you get great photos of joy and b) IT IS PRETTY IMPOSSIBLE TO FEEL AWKWARD ANYMORE AFTER YOU’VE MADE OUT IN FRONT OF SOMEONE A LOT (this is a proven scientific fact). See below photo series where a makeout resulted in crazy laughter and I love it.
TIP 4 – let them have some quiet moments
People get tired. Photoshoots can be exhausting! So sometimes the best way to capture love–familial, wedding, friends, anything–is to take a step back, find a quiet corner away from the noise and the busy-ness and the insanity, and just let your subjects breathe and have a moment. Kids, adults, anybody, usually a break is needed at some point. Just take a breath and wait for the right moments to snap some shots.
TIP 5 – go on an adventure
THIS IS MY FAVE THING TO DO. I love going on adventures. Let’s go skating! Let’s go hiking! Let me take photos of you dancing in a river or eating pizza or playing board games or walking in a neighborhood we’ve never been before! Adventures mean doing something different. It’s a new memory for the subjects and a great way to get some casual and real photographs. I don’t wanna just stand in front of one tree for an engagement shoot. Let’s explore an old barn hayloft instead! Guys, trust me, adventures are the best. And I love going on them on or off a shoot, so it’s just a sweet sweet bonus when people I photograph are up for it too! 😀
Well those are my top 5 tips that I tend to use in almost every photoshoot! I hope they help someone out there. To end my first post on luuuurve in its many forms, here are two of my best friends back in Vancouver in 2017. Cause I super love them. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Family Photography in the Humber River Valley, Toronto
Last month I ventured into the Humber River Valley with the Ypelaar siblings. I actually really love this type of fall/winter vegetation, where everything is sort of dying and wasteland-looking. It makes such great scenery! I really love it. This park is a place where these siblings always come on adventures and walks and they seemed right at home as we ventured through the park. We got chased by ducks, had some yummy coffee and Greek food, and laughed a ton. It was so much fun!!! I’ve never taken photos for adult siblings and I was a little nervous–how do I catch them naturally? What will we do? Can I make them laugh? They didn’t even need me. They just made each other laugh. We were there until the sun went down; a great afternoon! So here are some shots from our adventure.
Family Adventure in Grande Prairie
Oh man! This day was hilarious and fun and a little crazy. I arrived at the house to start a walk with the family at the exact moment Erin and Pete had discovered a squirrel in their bathroom. The girls were amazed. Erin was desperately trying to find an exterminator in GP. It turned out we only had an hour and had to stick close to the house for when the exterminator came to take the squirrel back to the wild. So we had a 50 minute session that mostly took place in the back alley and the forest trails just behind the house. You might think it was a bit too short to get all the photos you need, but I think we did a great job under squirrel pressure! It was a blast. In this family, everyone is hilarious, even little Molly and Cara. I could’ve hung out with them all night! Thankfully, the squirrel is safe and happy back in the wild somewhere (or as wild as squirrels get).
How long has it been since you’ve taken family photos? Do you get them done every year, or do you keep it a special thing for every few years? I’d love to hear your thoughts on family pictures!
Family in Edmonton
Earlier this month my cousins graciously offered to let me stay with them in Edmonton for the week while I worked nearby on thesis research. It was so much fun, and I got to hang out with their precious 7-month-old baby, Micah! I love him so much. We also took an evening for some family photographs. It was so nice to walk around and enjoy the sunset, as well as just get to do something nice for my family. The mosquitoes were insane, Micah got a little chilly, but there was dancing in the gazebo, baby cuddles, air tosses, swings, and a visit to the bakery to get cake afterwards (naturally). I can safely say after spending a week with them they are some of the coolest parents I’ve met and I can’t wait to see them all keep growing with each other!