November 3, 2011

Ollie & Family :: Chicago Family Portraits

I think that late October through December may be the most difficult time to schedule a portrait session in Chicago. The weather changes on a dime, half of the days are dark and gloomy, and it rains more often than it doesn’t. It’s worse than spring. However, this is also the time when most families want to shoot photos for their holiday cards. So, inevitably, it becomes a juggling act, and it’s not unusual for me to reschedule a session 2 or 3 times.

The truth is, I won’t shoot photos when I know the photos aren’t going to be great. It’s too expensive and too time-consuming for families to plan a session on a day that I know won’t produce the best possible images. Just call me picky. 🙂

So, when Ollie and his family finally met up with me, we’d rescheduled a couple of times. I guess you could say that good things come to those that wait; we had AMAZING weather!

I shot with this family last year and was happy to see them again. Photographing a 3-year-old is always a bit of a challenge, but the key is to have no expectations–zero, zilch, NADA. I know this can be difficult for most parents; they want the perfect family photo or the perfect wide-eyed grin. The truth is, even when those things happen, it is on accident. You just can’t plan a photo with small kids and, the more you try, the more frustrated and stressed everyone becomes. So, you just let them take charge, you offer a little direction when possible, and–most importantly–you go with the flow. That’s what we did with Ollie, and I think it worked out just fine. Here’s some proof.

What looks like a 3-year-old being all coy and casual is really Ollie thinking, “Whatcha doing with that camera, lady?”

LOVE these two.

Beautiful family.

Outtakes from a shoot with a wee one. 9 out of 10 photos look like this. Don’t think they don’t.