I have never been accused of being a “portrait photographer”. I am not good at people pictures. I shoot landscapes, seascapes, lighthouses, sunsets, waterfalls, nature, flowers, maybe some wildlife. NOT PEOPLE!!! I can’t really explain why, but it is definitely not my forte. It is the weak spot in my repertoire.
I have had a lot of people ask me if I would take family portraits of them after they see my landscape work, but I always steer them to other Photographers that have the skill to do them justice. I have met some AMAZING portrait photographers over the years and I will highly recommend them whenever I am asked.
I have the patience to sit around and wait for the right shot when it comes to sunrises and sunsets as well as for the right shot with wildlife, but I just don’t have the patience when it comes to portraits. I also don’t have the foggiest idea how to pose anyone or how to get the lighting right. I deal with natural light and generally inanimate (or at least very slow moving objects) that don’t even know or care that I am there!
But, there are times when I have to suck it up and take a Family Portrait. When all my brothers (and their families) were in town around the fourth of July, 2013, my Mom wanted to get some family shots. So, we went to the beach and I took shots of each individual family, the whole family, all the grandkids with Grandma, and my Mom with her four boys. They came out all right I guess. At least my Mom liked them.
Each summer we go to Cape Cod, we try to get a Family Portrait as well. We try to take a Family Portrait every Fall or Winter that we often use in our Christmas Card. I love to see how my boys have changed over the years, how they have grown and matured. The regular Family Portrait is a great way to document these years, retaining it forever.
And then there is my beautiful wife. She is the one who stages all the Family Portraits. She pics out the clothes, she chooses where everyone stands and pics the location. I just have to show up with the Camera and the Tripod, set the timer and hit the button….lots of times….she always makes me take at least 20-30 shots to make sure we get a perfect one. Now, she is the first to admit that she often takes a terrible picture. She has a knack for closing her eyes right as the shutter clicks. I can’t tell you how many family shots I have deleted because her eyes are closed!! That is why I often take quick candids of her when she doesn’t even know I am taking it, like the one above. She liked this one so much, she used it for her business card!!
I think they all came out pretty good, but they are miles away from the quality I have seen from some of my favorite portrait photographers. Let me know what you think!!