I am behind on updating the blog! I did a big photo shoot yesterday and am still editing the pictures. I am posting them here but annoyed because I wish I could show them bigger – they definitely need to be looked at on a larger scale! Well, this is a free blog site, I shouldn’t complain.
So, Mary, the client who contacted me, wanted a portrait with her brother and mother and somehow have the environment of her house be included. Mary’s 5 year old daughter was also supposed to be in the pictures, but didn’t want anything to do with the camera, unfortunately! Mary had been raised in this house, and so we took photos in all areas, inside and outside. Mary was now in the process of buying the house from her mother, and was now going to be raising her own daughter in the house. So, in a way, the house was kind of like a family member that needed to be included, and it’s history had a story to tell. The pictures were also kind of archiving the house, as it is now, as it now getting passed on to the next generation, and most likely have a new chapter with a new history.
Mary had also told me that her father had recently passed away, so a picture of him was also included in most of the family portraits. Her father had been a renaissance man who did carpentry, welding, etc., etc., and had restructured the house and rebuilt the house over the years, where it seems like the house was definitely a final product of his labor, love, and handiwork. I could identify with the history of the father, since my husband is in construction and can build a house from the ground up, from plumbing to electricity and the whole nine yards, but he went to the Minneapolis School of Design as a sculptor, and is a true artist. If he builds something as simple as a bench, he is not a manual laborer, he is a craftsman, and anything he builds is, in a way, a piece of art. I went to some high falutin’ art schools and I know some “high brows” debate the definition of art, but I’m ready to argue with them on this one – and yes, a craftsman is a true artist.
Anyway, I digress… the point is, I felt the history of the father and the house because living with my husband, I understood the depth of his handiwork and what it meant to his family. I was excited to take the photographs, because this was a family that had a definite story, and I wanted to honor that. I really wanted to do them justice.
Unfortunately, my kit isn’t as big as I’d like, so I ended up renting a wide angle lens that I thought would be best for this particular shoot. I forgot how much I love using a wide angle lens! On my old, pre-digital camera, I pretty much only used my wide angle. This time around with my photography, I didn’t buy a wide angle lens first because I’m going for a more commercial portfolio and I thought a portrait lens was best. But a wide angle is so much fun!
After talking to Mary and her telling me about her dad, I was expecting a somber shoot, but was quite surprised by quite the opposite! Of course, there were some melancholy moments, but mostly, it was a lot of fun! Maybe because I could relate to this family personally on so many levels. Mary’s brother is a clown, and my uncle used to be a clown! Not too many people have clowns in their families! But they were great, and they brought a lot of humour to the photo shoot. It amazes me how no matter how much I plan a photo shoot and how much I predict how it’s going to go, it always turns out completely different. But that’s what’s great about taking photographs and meeting new people and getting surprised by what they bring to the table.
And happily, in the end, Mary’s daughter came out to join in the photos. I literally had already packed my camera bag and started putting away my lights, so, they were not the most artistically pleasing photos! (The backdrop is only half in the photos and I’m using the camera’s built-in flash). I didn’t want to do too much fussing and scare either the daughter or the dogs away after what had already been a long evening – I needed to just grab my camera and shoot! But I was happy that the family was happy that they managed to get a couple of photos at the end with everyone! Including the dogs!