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Photographing Families: Tips for Capturing Timeless Images by Michele Celentano

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Appendix A: Four Generations of a Family

I will walk you through this family portrait session. It was unique in many ways. Harvey and Ann have a beautiful home set in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. I wanted to use their home as the background, knowing it would be most comfortable for everyone and the easiest for the families to get to. It’s helpful to have an area for those not being photographed to go and relax until it is their turn to be photographed.

I visited the home several weeks prior to the session to scout the location, looking for an area that would accommodate a group this large. Often the clients have a vision of where they would like the portrait taken, which is not always the best place. When I am looking at areas to use as backgrounds, I am looking for directional soft light, texture, and depth.

The views from the back patio of the home were beautiful; however, I did not think these views offered the most pleasing background for family portraits. The lighting in that area would be perfect at sunrise but not late in the day. Go ahead and try to get a family up before the crack of dawn for family portraits because the light is perfect at that time. Believe me, that won’t happen (in most cases)!

The front of the home had a stunning portico area with beautiful covered shade, columns, an old cart filled with colorful flowers, great texture, and the perfect ...

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