This past summer I had the pleasure of photographing the Gentry family in their Tribeca home. There was a lot of planning that went into the session, from backdrops and lighting to everyone’s clothing. The result was heirloom photographs that they will proudly display on their walls and pass down to future generations.
The planning began a few weeks prior to the session, with Amber and I discussing wardrobe options and overall feel of the session. We decided that the shoot wardrobe would be divided into two types – one casual grouping and one formal. The first grouping of photographs utilized what the family had in their closets already. The boys are soccer players and huge fans of the sport, so they wore soccer clothes for some shots, Amber wore a flattering chambray jumpsuit, Mya a light blue dress and Logan jeans and a button down shirt. The beginning of the session was fun and light-hearted – they all had a chance to warm up and get comfortable in front of the camera. I chose a white backdrop and decided to convert the photographs to black and white. The result of the first part of this Tribeca family photo session was fun, casual, and well-connected photographs.
We planned the second wardrobe around some items that the family already owned too, such as Logan’s light grey suit. The boys were in need of new suits anyway so Amber purchased two charcoal grey suits for them from J.Crew, yet making sure to change up the ties and shoes, so they weren’t exactly matching (very important). Both Amber and I thought black, navy, emerald or purple would be a nice complement to the grey that the boys and Logan were wearing. We ultimately used Rent the Runway and made our decision based on what we thought would fit Amber best. The formal dress we chose was a navy UnitedWood Iris Lace Dress. Textures photograph beautifully and the lace on this dress was gorgeous. We ultimately decided to have Mya wear two different navy dresses because they were both so adorable and we couldn’t make a decision. These dresses were dresses that Claudine Williams already had on hand for photo sessions.
The Gentry’s have a nice light-filled apartment with a couple of large skylights. We enhanced the light with the use of two strobes, essentially bringing the studio to their home. Lighting was well thought out in advance with drawn lighting diagrams, and thank goodness it was, since a powerful storm rolled through decreasing the available natural light that day. Funny enough, one of the skylights was left open and almost rained on Amber while she was getting her make-up done! Luckily the crisis was averted!
This in-home family session was such a fun shoot! We went from casual to formal with both wardrobe and hair/make-up all within the same session (this can only be done in-home or in-studio). The Gentry family couldn’t have been sweeter and nicer (Amber even made us her specialty juice which she calls the “elixir of life”!).
How would you and your family like to be photographed? Are there any special items that you’d include in your session? I’d love to hear about it! Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.