Yes, I said it. I was quite nervous.
I already had a family on the schedule when I approached a sweet friend to see if she would be willing to let me photograph her family. It really felt like a big favor I was asking. I hoped that it would be something she needed and that maybe she would think of it as me doing a favor for her but the reality is that I didn’t have much experience and really couldn’t promise anything. Well, I promised to do my best and that I would give her any files that were worth giving.
As you might assume, she said yes and my fears of burdening her were settled when she let me know she actually needed a new family photo for her wall. Yay!
In the little time I had to prepare, I looked up family session photos on Pinterest and how to group people together on YouTube, gathered my few supplies, said a prayer, and headed to the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, near the King William Historic District.
I had a couple of ideas but hadn’t visited the area in quite a while and didn’t know exactly where the best places to shoot would be. So, when I gathered the family for that first pose, I was obviously nervous. Shaking voice and everything. Ha!
What I learned.
We had talked about a family group shot but if it was possible, it would be great if I could get some pictures of the couple and also the children individually and as a group. What I should have done is have a list. If I would have had the forethought to make a list, I wouldn’t have forgotten to take pictures of one of their teenagers. The good news though is that he will be a senior this year so I am hoping I will get to make it up with a little Senior session.
Another thing I learned is that I need a stool. I am only 5’3″ and the dad was at least 6′. It would have been so nice to have a stool to get some better angels.
The last thing that I learned and will apply for a while until I get more experience is that I need to have a pose plan. Specifically for each group or individual that will be posed. I did OK for the family but they all looked pretty similar. A cluster of people either sitting or standing. I did luck out with a little variety but it was painfully obvious when it came time to edit. When it came to the couple though I had no plan at all and was completely lost when I did the individual children.
One more thing. When I started editing the pictures, I started noticing a lot of general issues. Things like focus, resolution, color. Ack, it was so humbling. There was also the problem that I didn’t know how to fix any of them.
The awesome part though, was that this family knew just what do when taking pictures. I would tell them where to stand and everyone would look at the camera and smile. Every. Single. Time. This family also has a spirit of respect about them. There was no teasing, no fighting, no issues with standing close to a sibling or anything, just patience and respect all around. It was such a joy to be in their presence and soak up the love between them.