ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND -
My buddy Patrick was gift-giver of the year in 2016.
In addition to giving both of his brothers and their families a free portrait session and prints for Christmas last year, he also purchased one for his long-time gal-pal Alicia and her family, Andrew, and Theresa.
After meeting and discussing session priorities with the family, including a mood board and pre-session planning meeting, we decided to meet at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, where the family has an annual park membership.
It was overcast and cool when the family and I met at the park one early Saturday morning in May. Being one of the most popular state parks in the Maryland state capital, I knew we wanted to get their early and beat the crowds.
We had the park's popular gazebo area mostly to ourselves that morning and took full advantage of the scenic South River backdrop. Having grown up in Edgewater and as an alumnus of South River High School, Alicia had a strong connection with the South River, which, for me, is a big part of creating custom portrait photographs. Rather than incorporating a generic scene or backdrop that everybody uses, why not make it specific to the person you're photographing?
Of course I say that knowing how popular Quiet Waters Park and the South River are, especially to photographers, but regardless of its overall popularity I'm always looking for an opportunity to customize the experience of my collaborators.
As is always the case when children are involved, little Theresa became the star of the portrait photography show. No surprise, really. A easy-going personality, Theresa's smile is ever-present and quite infectious.
Whenever I shoot family portraits I'm always thinking about telling that family's story. Based on our pre-session planning discussions, Alicia, Andrew, and Theresa's story required a more candid approach. Though I "posed" them in some way by telling them where to sit and giving guidance on how to sit, their interactions with each other were organic.
That's not to say I didn't do some posing. What grandparent wouldn't want a picture like this hanging in their living room?
Taking the variety of pictures we did, I think their session is a great album-in-the-making, and I pre-designed one for our post session ordering appointment. I have also saved the pre-designed spreads for myself because I plan to make a studio example album out of this adorably sweet session. Here are a few examples of the full page spreads for a 10x8 album.