Kohler Family Photo Session

It’s time for a family portrait update

I was fortunate to be asked by Jayne, a mother of two children and a loving wife, to photograph their family. She was looking to have an updated photo of the family that she (I mean her husband) could end up hanging on their wall. Her oldest daughter was just about to graduate high school. The upcoming high school graduation milestone basically was the impetus behind Jayne’s desire to have an updated family photo taken. Simply put - it had been a while since they have had one taken and she wanted to catch that moment in time before their oldest ‘left the nest’, in a manner of speaking.

This image with the Kohler family casually sitting on some steps with the sun flare highlighting hem while I illuminated them with an off-camera speedlight is one of my favorites from the session. I decided to put a warm tone to the black and white version of the photo to give it a timeless feel.

This image with the Kohler family casually sitting on some steps with the sun flare highlighting hem while I illuminated them with an off-camera speedlight is one of my favorites from the session. I decided to put a warm tone to the black and white version of the photo to give it a timeless feel.

What would you like?

So I asked if she was interested in me capturing familial group images, i.e. siblings together, dad with the children together and individually, and then mom with the children together and individually. She was receptive to that. I think the kids will end up looking back for photos they have with a certain parent and the parent with the kids so it’s a nice idea to present someone for their consideration. The family ended up selecting the images below.

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Listening to what she wanted in a family photo

I then got to ask Jayne if there was a specific setting she had in mind for the portraits. She was very open to suggestions. I know they had a large yard and lovely home and could easily have taken photos there. Taking her family to a park with barn and wooden structures was a safe suggestion as well.

So I asked her what type of family portrait was she looking for me to capture. The response was casual and relaxed. They were not intending to get dressed up in suits and dresses but wanted to capture themselves in their everyday skin. Based on that, I suggested taking them to downtown Mishawaka where we can capture a mix of images with nature-esque park, urban-like and contemporary settings in a small area that can be comfortably walked for an hour family session..

Some of the resulting family photos are below

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I come prepared to tackle some heavily back-lit scenes with some off-camera speedlights.

I come prepared to tackle some heavily back-lit scenes with some off-camera speedlights.

Out-takes

These last two images didn’t make it into the final images selected by the family but I still wanted to share them. There was a very protective mother bird in a nearby nest that made herself known to the family by swooping down and attacking more than once. There’s only so much a photographer can control - lol.

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The family keeping an eye on the bird as she squawked and flew over after one of her attacks.

The family keeping an eye on the bird as she squawked and flew over after one of her attacks.

Sky Replacement Extra

I practiced some sky replacement techniques and think am getting better at making the new sky match the tone of the image. I think I also got better at blending the edges, especially around the tree-leaves, to make it look more genuine. I’m not quite there yet as I need to build up my sky background library but this passed the client test when I showed them a print of it. Since I was playing around and honing my Photoshop technique, I gave them this sky-replacement version as well as the original above.

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