Photographing a family

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It’s not easy to jump into new territory when it comes to photography. This is something we must all do, though. Every good photo has some risk, and one usually just has to “go for it”. Photographing Skavolutionary Orchestra at the World Beat Center opened a new door for me. Lead singer James happened to like my work, so he asked that I take some shots of a little family reunion he put together.

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The center of attention was a little shining star; the newest member of the family – Trudy. The baby was just born and the pressure was there. The kid’s first photographs were literally in my hands. I would like to thank James for trusting me with this one, because I have to say it was one of the best experiences any photographer could ask for.

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I would also like to note that I had photographed this baby before… in utero. You can see that images in Skavolutionary Orchestra’s gallery. I believe this is where photography really shines. I had the honor of being able to record multiple stages in a family’s life. It’s a journal of sorts.

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I wanted to create good memories for the family, but at the same time we had to have well set-up photos. I believe we found a good mixture, in which the photos look both natural but idealized. I believed it was also important to create an easygoing mood by taking some shots of what was going on around their picnic. Which, by the way, it was a real picnic. They actually gave me some of the best cake I have ever tasted!

You may also see a very idealized form of lighting. For this effect I used a 42-inch silver reflector. I would tell my assistant to point the light at one side of their faces to create that contrast that makes the images so unique.

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I am very glad I had the chance to do this photo shoot. It was an amazing learning experience. It also helps that James and Em’s family is crazy awesome!

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