One person I always look forward to seeing at the biannual event is Marathon employee Susan Hawkins.
Our paths have been crossing since our children attended the same day care as infants. They are all now fourth-graders!
When Susan contacted me last winter to take advantage of the studio's Christmas card sessions, I was thrilled - not just because it was great to see her and little Jack (who isn't little anymore) again, but because I knew it would be fun. That's just the way their family is.
They didn't disappoint.
We headed out to the barn for some casual outdoor image.
Their interactions were great. Their smiles were easy.
Then, Susan pulled out a large pile of colorful holiday hats. It struck me like a lightning bolt.
Any family can pull off traditional, but this family is so full of personality I'd set my expectations high. It just took a few fun hats for the personalities to spill out. When they did, any nerves dissipated and the full picture unveiled itself.
These were the people I knew! Comical, silly and full of personality.
The last half of the session everyone laughed, especially me. They were more comfortable, more at ease.
If any single photo celebrated the holiday season to me this year, it was the one they chose for their Christmas card (at the top of this post). It just oozes holiday spirit and it is totally them.
I know this post may seem off for May but there are actually a number of items to be learned from it as this year's busy season begins.
1. When you prepare to be photographed, try to stay relaxed.
Formal photos are wonderful and they definitely have their place. That being said, so do fun photos. Why not consider both options?
2. Dress "you" and be "you".
I was super guilty of not doing this before getting into the photography business. We did the whole gamut of getting our kids dressed to the nines for photos only to have them totally miserable because they didn't like what they were wearing (concessions had to be made to make everyone coordinate). My favorite photo of our girls (a 24x30-inch canvas no less) is actually a casual photo of them. It is totally them - from their facial expressions to their attire. The Gap is fashionable, right?
3. Adjust your perspective.
Go into a photo session with the right attitude. It's going to be fun. You're going to have a great time. It isn't going to hurt, I promise. And as an added bonus, you're going to have photos to remember how much fun you had.