Monday, February 15, 2010

Just For Fun

For quite some time my nephew Kevin has been leaning on me to do some family shots of him and his kids, Karter and Kady. We finally managed to get a day shortly after Christmas when all of us would be available at the same time, which proved to be one of the biggest challenges of the whole process when dealing with the crazy schedules that Karter and Kady keep.

After some discussion we decided it would be best to see what kinds of shots we could accomplish right at home. It was cold and snowy outside and having the family in familiar surroundings would help keep the mood relaxed. Kevin had made it clear that the last thing he wants are regular old family portraits. Of course, he wants some traditional looking images here and there, but for the most part he wants something fun, somewhat kooky and a little bit out there. So we played.

I set up a studio light with a 60" umbrella in the kitchen, positioned a portable flash on top of the refrigerator to bounce off the ceiling and added another portable flash shooting through a small umbrella from camera left to fill in some of the shadows from that side. This particular image gives a good idea of what the family dynamic is like: Kevin and Kady jousting constantly and big brother Karter rolling his eyes.

After trying a number of ideas in the kitchen, we moved into the living room. Kevin was getting ready to shampoo the carpet and had all of the furniture cleared out, except the sofa. Once again I set up the big umbrella overhead and slightly to camera right and added a portable umbrella from the left bounced into a small umbrella. And then we got creative. We tried the sofa, we tried the floor, we tried the wall. And we had fun.

That's something I'd like to inject more of into some of my images. I have plenty of ideas and concepts in mind that are glamorous, sexy, serious, edgy and brooding. Lately though I've been mulling over ideas that are more fun, lighthearted and in some cases, downright goofy. One thing about it: working with a young, energetic family makes it easy to add some goofy fun.

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