BALTIMORE, MD -

I just about never remember to take behind-the-scenes photos of my sessions, so it's nice when someone else does it for me.

My sister-in-law was due with baby no. 2, so she came to my basement studio recently for some belly shots with her family. My brother hates being in front of the camera, so I can't share any of those gems here, but, he was kind enough to take and share a few behind-the-scenes photos from his phone (though I wish he had chosen a slightly different angle. Time for some leg-lifts).

I adore the shit out of my subjects, so this session was more fun than work. Talk about personality, my sister-in-law and nephew outrank the best of them. I don't usually work with plain white backgrounds for my family portrait sessions, but I didn't want anything to distract from their expressions and character. 

It was a very low-key, no fuss, no muss kind of session, which are my favorite sessions. This won't surprise anyone who knows me, but fashion is not something I spend a lot of time considering, so it's not something Kinley and I ever really discussed.

When clients ask what they should wear to sessions I always suggest wearing something comfortable, something flattering (not baggie), and making sure the family coordinates with complimentary colors and non-contrasting patterns. I'm not a huge proponent of the whole family matching, though I'm happy to accommodate if a family wants to wear matching outfits.

Clothes, almost more than anything else, allows us to express ourselves, and that's what I want for my subjects -- their true selves spewing from every which direction. Who am I to tell someone they must wear this or that? Perhaps if it was a themed cosplay or dramatic arts photo shoot I would have more of an opinion on what they wear, but any other time, wear what speaks to you. You want to wear your favorite Beyonce T-shirt? I'll wear my favorite RUSH T-shirt.  If my nephew wants to wear his favorite sweatpants and dinosaur T-shirt then I say go for it. Does it detract from the portrait at all? Not in the least -- it merely enhances and celebrates his individuality.

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