Samara in the Morning – Georgetown Waterfront, Washington, D.C. Family Photographer

Sam just turned five. Five years old, off to kindergarden, and becoming a girl with ideas, loves, likes, dislikes and lots and lots of words. Jolina, her mom, said to me, “It so fun these days! But sometimes, we’re talking, and the endless questions just lead us down a rabbit hole. And before long, I’m thinking ‘how did we get here?'” 
I love this vision of endless chatter and discovery, because when I first met Samara, she was one. And very shy. Every year, I get to meet her a little more, see her real personality come out. On this gorgeous morning at the Georgetown waterfront, we did our annual photos. And had a ball. Check out this link for a trip down memory lane with Jolina and Sam:

Posed or Photojournalistic?

Yesterday a client and I were talking about style. Photographic styles have changed so much in the last few decades, that everyone seems to have a different expectation of what a successful picture will look like. Often, within the same family, one person will want a formal shot, others envision something candid.

It’s such a personal thing. Some of my favorite photos from my childhood are the least scripted ones. I guess that’s why I shoot the way I do. When I look at a photo, I want to feel what it was like in the moment, rather than just see it .Yet, often in the more candid moments, we don’t look our best (or maybe we do, but someone doesn’t!).

And now there is this trend of styling shoots, which has updated the classic studio shot to something more unique and artistic. Yet your baby never actually spent time in a pumpkin, now did they (not knockin’ the brilliant Anne Geddes, but, you know)? All I know is that I am so happy to be a part of this vibrant, evolving world of creating personal art for the everyday. It’s a great gig. I kind of can’t believe that I get to spend my days thinking about these things. Great gig, indeed.

So, what’s your favorite type of image? Is it in a studio, with everyone looking at the camera and perfectly posed? Is it laughing in a park, or on your couch, capturing an everyday moment with your family?

How i Got the Following Photos
Placed subjects in the right spot and light and let them do their thing. In fact, I think Rachel was holding her infant Helene in this spot first, while Rowan was off collecting flowers. The baby started crying, so Russ took her out of the shot, and Rowan brought his mom a little yellow bloom. 

Placed subjects in the right spot to take advantage of that gorgeous rim light, and put Danielle up on a few steps, since Peter is 6’4″. Let them do their thing. 

Same steps, seated, facing the other direction for more fill on their faces, posed. 
Posed. I don’t know, doesn’t every baby look adorable in a basket? 

Posed little Catherine.

Certainly not posed. Little Ella Rose giving the stare-down to Jen 🙂 She was a little sleepy this day.
 Not posed. John actually holds his daughters this way…in the most perfect “Dad” grip….and Catherine actually had her hands like that. 
Put Sam in the spot that I wanted, and she struck her lovely look all on her own. 
 A little happier Ella Rose. 

 Posed on a white backdrop. 

Posed. For three frames. Then the twins were off and running for the rest of the shoot! 

Window Light

This is a really bad scan of my one of my favorite wedding photos from my wedding (see, this was way back when before digital). Eleven years ago, Juan and I married on Canandaguia Lake, NY in a small afternoon celebration.
I am looking out of the window at Juan and his brother, standing along the lake edge, waiting for the guests to be seated. 
I remember looking out of the window, and feeling that gorgeous window light streaming in. I knew would love this shot, so just sort of waited there for way longer than what would be considered a normal glance out the window :), until my photographer saw it too and took this picture.
As I’ve been teaching these photo classes over the last few weeks, I’ve begun to remember how powerful just basic light sources are. Just a simple window can tell the entire story when it’s used right.

more soon – svg