My Family : Portraits

So you’ve heard the saying about the cobblers children having holes in their shoes well photographers families are usually missing family portraits.  I’m not sure why, you figure we have the equipment but sometimes we don’t have the time or the patience for our own family like we do for others ;).  Growing up we always had the traditional family photo taken for the church directory.  I can’t be the only one whose family did church directory photos!  Some photos included my grandfather and some were missing family members depending on their schedule.  With losing my Papaw this year it has been increasingly important for me to make sure we have those photos again.  Not the church directory ones but nice photos with everyone!  So on Christmas day I trooped my parents, Gram, siblings and pets out to a local park and setup our first family portrait in over 12 years.  How do I know it is over 12 years?  Well that is how old my little brother is and there are no photos of us all together!!  Crazy huh!!!  There are photos of us kids that I arranged several years ago but nothing of us with my parents.  Ideally I would have liked to taken an hour and done different groupings and had several different photos but it was cold and the sun was setting and everyone was ready to go eat so I stuck with one pose!  Next year I plan to set a date aside in September or October and do an actual family portrait session with my family and get all the combinations.  That way we can all get a head start on holiday cards too!

This photo session lasted 10 minutes, that was it start to finish.  Next time do I want more time and to coordinate clothing before hand, sure I do but in the end all that matters is to have a photo of my family!  I thought it would be funny to show you the outtakes so you can see that my family is just as unorganized as yours when it comes to photos!

Take 1-For this first set of photos you can see I got everyone settled in and then I noticed the building in the background and made them move.  Remember a 30 second change during the shoot could save you hours in Photoshop later, everyone wanted me to just photoshop the building out!   Take 2-Now we have a good background and of course my dogs turn camera-shy.  Take 3-Okay dogs are looking good and I set the time but wait I didn’t run fast enough and we get a lovely shot of my backside mid stride! Take 4- my husband thought it would be funny to stick his tongue out!  my family portrait 2011100

Take 5- Yay I made it, no one is blinking but the puppies aren’t looking.  There is actually a Take 6 where I threw a stick just before the timer went off and the dogs are looking right at the camera but my Dad decided to look at the stick hitting the ground!  So I went with Take 5!

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We had to do 3 takes on the family photo on the left because someone cough*Alex*cough kept blinking!!!  By the third photo even Gram was ready to kill him.

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Check out my handsome hubby there in his new sportcoat, looking pretty sexy I think 😉  This is his typical expression whenever the camera is pointed at him!

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So I asked my sister to take a few shots and then when I didn’t like those I made her do it again!  She needs a little bit of practice nailing her focus and depth of field it looks like ;).

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So there you have it a family photo session from my family!  Next time I will bring a lint roller and clean off my jacket beforehand too!

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    Miami newborn photographer

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    I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


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    Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


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