I just got back from shooting my very best friend’s father. I’d say it was a story telling session of sorts. Oh my. He was more than prepared. I loved it. I arrived at the door to a gentleman wearing a fancy suit complete with an ascot sporting a rather adorable straw hat trimmed in a ribbon. He looked like he had just stepped off the set of Downton Abbey. I wonder who helped him dress for dinner? It was apparent from the very beginning that this was someone who had thought about the session, carefully planned his attire and props and knew exactly what he wanted. It was just precious. His excitement was quite obvious and I think it truly shows in the images captured. Living on a beautiful farm just outside of Shepherdsville, Kentucky, the setting lent itself beautifully with our end goal in mind. You see, Mr. G has one amazing hat collection. He asked me to capture this collection in a very unique way. He dressed in clothing that would compliment each and every hat he has collected over the years of his life. We ventured around the farm and shot in fields of high grass, on old farm machinery, in clearings with the sun just perfectly hitting Mr. G’s face, as well as in the library, against the most beautiful dining room wall paper I have ever seen, and many other spots that suited him.
Each and every shot is a portrait in and of itself. Yes, it was very time consuming. Yes, it was painstakingly detailed. More importantly, it is a bit of a legacy that his family will be able to cherish for the many years to come. My suggestion to Mr. G is to create a book. I want to entitle the book, Hats off to Mr. G.. Actually, it will read his full name, but for his privacy, I am using Mr. G.. Can’t wait to shoot the cover. Imagine, an open field or grass, trees lining the backdrop, and of course sky, a beautiful blue sky… and Mr. G. tossing his many many hats up into the air. We will need a little help with that, but it will happen. We got through half of his collection in the four and a half hours I shot, I plan to return for one more day of shooting. Here are just a few shots from our session. I encourage everyone to think about planning a session close to your heart. It can be very special. As it should be. xxoo
*For outside shooting, we want a place with shade. I can not say that enough and most people think the best days to shoot are the sunny days. In fact, clients often call worried that it is not sunny enough for our session. Blue sky , big white clouds in the sky, sunny days with lots of shade available to us, is perfect. But a sunny day with no shade… is not good. So, for shooting outside, unless shade is available, early evening is best. Just before the sun goes down.
*We will have to shoot around the youngest member of the family as they have little control over their behavior:) Be thinking about when your child is well rested, and happiest. We don’t want to pick a time when he is typically napping…and he should be well fed prior to the session. We take lots of breaks with little ones, so don’t worry if he is crabby at some point during the session, they ALL are. I love capturing at least one crabby picture!
*Clothing should be simple with NO logos or writing. That means I prefer nothing branded. Try to stay away from trendy watermarked clothing screaming diva or princess or jock or goofball 🙂 Solids are best. For adults, sleeves for both women and men,and collars for men are most desirable. Multiple changes of clothes are perfectly fine, but one set of clothing is just fine, too. Be sure clothing is in good repair. Do not depend on me to perform magical photoshop repairs that should have been done prior to the session in your sewing or laundry room.
*I love to get barefoot shots of the entire family. Just count on it. I do it EVERY time without fail. This just might be a good time for a mani and pedi. Fingernails, if painted should be chip free. I prefer a neutral color of polish if you insist on polish. Nothing wild and loud.
*Prop suggestions…a favorite quilt, stuffed animal, wagon, rocking horse, etc,..anything that is special. If you can’t think of anything, no worries, I have a slew of them at the studio. I always provide a few here and there as needed.
*A session generally lasts about 2 hours and before your husband groans…it goes by rather quickly and it can be lots of fun. Please do not bribe your children into being good. We want authentic smiles and if they feel like they are about to embark on an experience that they are bribed into good behavior, we will get THAT expression in almost every shot. It is my goal for them to just have fun with it, interact as they do on a regular basis and hope to capture amazing treasures for you to enjoy in the years to come.