I first met Justin and Stephanie when we photographed their newborn baby, Finn. We met at their wonderful home and had a fantastic session. They’re both very down to earth, easy to talk to, and honestly just really photogenic.
Fast forward a couple of months, we did a family session for their holiday cards in Boulder. Finn was still a wee one but just a little older. Not yet able to do a full gummy smile, but a smirk that was just as cute. It was a little chilly so it was perfectly fitting that he had an adorable beanie on with a yarn ball on the top of his head.
For this year’s family session, Stephanie wanted something a little different. It’s no secret that I still get nervous for all of my sessions, but especially nervous to photograph in a place I’ve never been. I become really worked up (often for no reason at all) when I’m unfamiliar with lighting and backgrounds. Will the light be harsh? What direction is it coming from? Are there trees to filter the light? Will there be porta-potties in the background? Is there anything there actually worth photographing? I should’ve known that Stephanie would never pick anywhere ugly!
We headed to downtown Lafayette, CO for there session and it did not disappoint. The light…was…incredible. It worked out that every little nook that we wanted to shoot in and around had this creamy yellow light popping through the trees. There were patches of grass to play on, and amazing walk ways that were lined with trees. Cute little shops to stop and peek at and an adorable gelato shop to finish up with.
I loved this session for a couple of reasons. Because it wasn’t our traditional location for family portraits, meant that I didn’t follow traditional posing and my routine flow. I was forced to think outside of my creative box and just shoot what was happening in the moment. I felt like I was given unspoken permission to just click away. If a shot worked, it worked. If not, we moved on to the next spot. I especially enjoyed the flexibility of this evening. We worked under no rules. People walked by and we shot around them. Chocolate was smeared onto faces and we shot as if there wasn’t. Light was super harsh in places but we shot as if it was perfect (and it ended up being that way).
I think it’s important to remember to always photograph your family photos how you envision. Wherever that is, just do it. If all of the photos suck, at least you had a good time, right?