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Yes, another family shoot, and yes, it was at Eagle Park in Saratoga Springs, Utah.  I know, I know.  You’re thinking, “My goodness, can’t they shoot anywhere else?”  And there’s a good answer to that.  “No!  If the family wants to shoot there.”  You can argue with the family if you want.  You can inform them that you have shot there 4 out of the last 5 times and are tired of it.  But that really wouldn’t be wise.  After all, they’ve probably never had family pictures taken there.  And if it photographs beautifully, and that’s where they want to go, then it’s the photographer‘s job to bite the bullet and shoot there again.  Just remember, you’re really shooting relationships, not the scenery.  If you remember that, you won’t be so bored with the location.

First Candid

Every shoot has to begin somewhere! This is how it all began for the Bennetts.

Actually, most shoots begin like this.  It takes the family a little time to get used to being photographed — and it takes the photographers a little time to get used to the family.  Just make sure to shoot long enough to get past the natural nervousness — but not so long that the family gets bored.  Don’t worry too much about the posing, either.  Especially on a location shoot.  You probably went there for a natural environment.  So keep the posing natural, too.  A little tweak here and a little twit there.  That’s all you really need bother with.

First set-up

The first portrait, all put together, nothing unexpected.

While one photographer is shooting these “formal types of shots” the candid photographer can catch the life that is swirling around, the personality if you will.  Usually, the family is so intent upon looking perfect, they forget all about the candid photographer.  Good.

not so happy

An introspsective moment for Landon as he contemplates his mother's words.

a little pensive

Tanner, still a little reserved with the camera.

youngest son

Preston, looking straight into the camera.

smiles all around

No problem at all for Gavin. He smiled and looked in the lens.

Set up 4

The Bennet Family, holding it together.

I could add a blue sky — which I would if they choose to print this image and hang it on the wall.  But there should be a difference between the proofs you show your clients and the final, edited files.  They want to know they got their quart of blood out of you!

set-up 5

Another spot, another choice.

Then the Dad (who incidentally is an artist) comes up with a suggestion.  Let’s try something a little different.

my favorite

Now's the time to break out of the box, do something a little more interesting.

That’s when the control is shot to pieces.  All you know what breaks loose, and we start to see the personality of the Bennetts.


loosening up

Standing behind Gayleen, Tanner is safe to question her with a "look!"

Losing it

Laughter from the oldest boys.

cracking up

The two youngest, catching the vision.

loosey goosey

Now they are all cracking up!

all laughing

By far the best shot of the day.

Just compare the two shots, the first and the last.  That to me is what photography is all about.  It is a journey through expectations, fear, and timidity into joy.  And remember if you and your family didn’t have fun, then you didn’t take the experience as far as it could have gone.