Different types of photo shoots have different priorities and goals. For newborn photos, we want a sleepy baby… for child photography sessions, we want to see the kids’ personalities, and capture the stage of development they’re in. When it comes to family photos, it depends on the amount of people in the group. For smaller families, I try to bring the grown-ups down to the level of the kids. After all, it is still mostly about the kids, right? For these shots, I often put the families on the ground, and choose a picturesque scene to place them in. As the number of people in the group grows, however, the priority changes. Of course we want the scene to be complimentary for the image, but the priority of a large family or group photo is capturing all of the people together. These are less about the kids, and more about the generations or the group itself. This past weekend I photographed a family together for Gramma’s 90th birthday celebration. Definitely an occasion worthy of capturing. How special for her to celebrate this milestone surrounded by all of the generations. When selecting a location for the photos, I was definitely given some barriers… it was dark out, cold out, and there was a Bar Mitzvah happening in the other areas of the venue. When I found a room that would accommodate this large group, my goal was to set up the shots in a place that would have limited distractions and clutter. These shots are about the people in them, so I wanted them to be the only focus. Is the location the most exciting? No… but is that going to matter for this family’s matriarch when she looks with pride at the family she created? Definitely not. Happy Birthday, Gramma– you have a beautiful family, and I was happy to get to capture them all together for you.
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