Some barriers have been broken down in recent years by the likes of people such as Joe McNally, David Hobby, Chase Jarvis, Zack Arias, and Peter Hurley, to name just a few. These photographers have freely shared many of their techniques, tips and methods and have taken away the gnosticism of the past, held close by many photographers.
That information was what set the photographers of old apart and kept their business running. With the freely shared information and affordability of digital camera technology, their need to find a new way to stand out is not unlike musicians needing to find new ways to generate income with the prevalence of piracy of music. I'm not condoning it, just making the comparison based on my observation of the success of those who have tried fighting it and those who have tried finding new ways to work around it or work with it.
Each of the boys arrived with a prop, Josh with an excellent new Fedora and Jordy with his guitar. I wasn't entirely sure how to best portray them before the shoot because, honestly, I don't know them that well. But when they showed up with those items I knew it was going to be a breeze to make something that represented them well.
Delynne brought her usual genuine charming smile and piercing eyes.
Even Mark, like most men, who are there but not the most fond of being in front of the camera, posed for an individual portrait. He didn't seem that comfortable when I suggested it awhile prior to this shot but I'm really glad that I got him to sit down and do one of just him by himself. He really brought it and should feel confident in how comfortable he looked before, during and after I made the photo.
I had to do something with beautiful angle light coming in near the back of the building. This session was potentially an album cover for Jordy so Josh was my first choice to put in this light since I was aware of the disproportionate number of photos of him. The last thing the little brother needs is to see his big brother, once again, getting more attention than he is, right?
Delynne was impressed that I managed to get some real smiles at him. If he's anything like our one nephew a genuine smile and a photo is a true accomplishment. Too many years of being told to say "cheese" trains kids to produce a lot of unnatural smiles. Here's a pro-tip: try telling them to say "cheek" next time. It will look a lot more natural.
I know that my typical style is not always the extremely bright, overly flattering, very common photos that most people want. Of course, I don't want to bring out the most dramatic and darkest parts of the people I'm photographing but I also think that a tasteful edge is quite possible while still flattering your subjects' appearance.
Case in point, my favorite shot of the day. Jordy doesn't look menacing or threatening, just sophisticated and confident. That's the same location as his dad's photo from above and just 5 meters away from his brother's photo. I'm just grateful that the fun personality each of the members of this family has gave me an opportunity to produce both traditional and slightly edgy photos of them. It was one of those sessions where I had no idea how much time we had spent and I could've continued shooting but they had scheduled activities before too long so we had to get going.
It was a great day and I hope that Delynne, Mark, Jordy and Josh will choose me again to help preserve memories of their family on a regular basis in the future.