For years I’ve had great intentions. Um, but you know about intentions, no matter how good, never amounting to anything. That was me. Every year as Christmas neared, I’d think, “I need to take a family photo of us.” Then, it would dissolve into a last minute scramble to just get one of the boys, so I would at least have something for my Christmas cards.
Now, I could have done it. I have the gear. I could set up a tripod, and use a shutter release. But, motivating my family into a group without committing hari-kari seemed as possible as scaling Everest without my morning coffee. (Granted with-or-without the coffee I won’t be scaling Everest, but you get my point.)
Thankfully, my dear friend Bri, of Bri Wachsmann Photography, ran a great Facebook special and I was able to get a 30 minute session with 5 digital images for $80. Suh-weeeeet! Definitely worth following your photographer on FB, so you can snag amazeball deals like that. (hint, hint) But, I digress. Bri has a different style than I do, which I knew would make it even more fun to see our final images.
As a photographer, with “experience” in these matters, you might think that heading out to my family session would be different than you heading for yours, but yeah, it wasn’t.
I took the official Matriarchal responsibility of stressing about what we would wear, quite seriously. I then bribed and cajoled two little boys to wear the clothes I’d chosen. All while re-assuring my husband that we WERE going to take a family photo and he WAS going to be in it. Sound familiar, anyone?
We were finally dressed and rounded up into the car, and I “instructed” my husband for our photo session from my great photographer’s wisdom. “Don’t try to parent while we’re there. Let the photographer take over, it makes it much easier on them. They know what they are doing.”
(I won’t mention who had their words ever so gently repeated back to them during the session as her husband took her hand and walked her away from our children. A-hem.)
Anyway, it was a great session. My youngest son was asked to sit in a chair, to which he replied, “Nah.” My eldest was eager to explore the fun wooded area where we were, not to have his photo taken. All part and parcel to the whole photo-session gig. I kid you not that Bri juggled hedge apples to gain my eldest child’s admiration and attention. (Note to self: learn to juggle…it might help with your own clients in the future.)
It was hard to select just five photos from my gallery. But here’s what I selected, and why.
The standard family photo. We are all looking at the camera. (No small feat.) Classic Christmas card photo. Gosh, I love my family. Since my now four year old was 6 months old the last time we had a formal “family photo,” we were definitely due.
My youngest is just plain photogenic. Bri caught his mischievous little self looking so dapper, and I loved it in the black and white. Don’t his eyes just slay you?
Looking at this capture of my older son, I can remember the smiles of the moment as he and Bri juggled hedge apples. It captures his personality. While I considered getting it in black and white, I loved the color. I’m a fan of both and I don’t have any problem mixing and matching in my house. That’s just me.
This may be my favorite photo out of all of them. My boys created their own see-saw while we were there. This is what I personally love about doing custom photography and hiring a custom photographer. It captures life in a beautiful way. Not just smiling and staring at a camera. No chain-store photo session, here. There is a mixture of standard posing and lifestyle moments. It is so hard to get them to coordinate for a photo together, believe me, I know. This photo captured them as they are, enjoying the moment.
Lastly, even though I thought I personally looked a little ghastly with my big-braced mouth roaring in laughter, I still kind of loved this photo. Yes, I’m just as self-critical as you when I’m evaluating my photos. But, this is my family. We do life together. We might drive each other crazy, but we also enjoy each other. We laugh together. I have included similar photos for clients, and it was fun that Bri caught our laughter for us.
And…. here is how some are displayed in my home for the moment. I ordered prints and a canvas (Although, now I’m wishing I’d done 20×30 on the canvas. Bigger is better sometimes.) as soon as I could, so that I could enjoy them. I’m a fan of digital images. We live in a digital age, but seeing my photos displayed, smiling as I walk by them, that brings me pleasure.
Among the masses of people with nice cameras who put up a photography shingle, there are experienced and talented ones who are skilled at using their cameras for art. Check out a photographer’s work, look at their style, determine what you like. See if they offer quality and consistent work. Follow them, and invest in a session. You will then have something that a thousand phone snapshots won’t provide. You will have quality artwork that you are proud to display in your home.
Thank you so much Bri Wachsmann Photography for a great family session.