Is there anything more fun than a summer evening with cousins playing on the farm? When Katie booked this family portrait session, she said that her brother and his family were moving to Montana, and would be staying with them for a few days on their way. She wanted to book the session during his stay so that we could capture these sweet cousins enjoying their time together.
One thing that was different for this session, is that for the very first time, I had my own intern. A friend had written me and said that her 16 year old daughter, Maya, was really interested in photography and wondered if I would mind her shadowing me for a session. With a big family session like this one, there is hardly any time to discuss what I'm doing and instruct, but hopefully she was able to get a sense of how my sessions flow and how I interact with clients. And we had a little time for questions afterwards.
With small children, I told her that I always start with the more posed family & group shots. That's because with little kids, you lose their attention pretty fast with too many standing still and smiling instructions. But after we get those out of the way, I am able to move on to the shots that I prefer - candids of the children playing and interacting with each other....and in this case the horses! These are the photos that I feel are able to really give a sense of their personalities and who they are at this beautiful time in their lives. Their expressions and demeanors can change in a second, and you never know what kind of beautiful moment might happen.
For me, it's about finding a balance between the art of observation, and also gently nudging the scene into the direction I want to go. For example, I was shooting something else when I happened to observe the adorable scene with William climbing on the fence to the horses while Thatcher was riding on the tractor. I stopped what I was doing for a second, and snapped a photo of what was unfolding naturally with the kids. Alternately, I do little things throughout the session such as asking Ashlyn to go give Grandpa a hug. This way, I'm able to fit more real authentic (nudged) moments into a session that would happen naturally if I wasn't guiding them a little.
I hope that these photos provide a beautiful memory for this family of summer evenings, cousins, love and being photobombed by the cat.
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