I had chosen to base my project on the family album and how the images represent it.
I wanted to create a range of family images that can be entered into the family album to preserve happy family memories but to a professional standard, my aim is to create personal images of families using their ideas of a ‘good’ family photograph and creating it using my own vision. To do this I have spoken to all the families, that have taken part in my project allowing me to capture their happy moments for my portfolio and project, how they expect a family album image to look.
Through out my project I have found that many of the families have the same views, however there have been some unique ideas and inputs.
In my first shoot of the newborn baby I had asked the mum what a personal family album image is to her, with me shooting a newborn session she asked if I could include a personal touch to the image in the form of a tattoo. Her reasons for the image were simply because her sister had passed away, and to remember her, herself, her younger sister and mum all had the same matching tattoo to represent the sister she lost, this tattoo then became a family symbol, she wanted this to be shown in the photos.
So using her Idea I had set up a scene where I could make this possible, I took an image of her newborn’s feet in her hand with the tattoo clearly visible, this then represented both new life and past life in one image, I was able to capture an image that represented her version of a personal family album photograph.
After the first newborn shoot I took part in a training session which helped me to develop my skills before I took part in my second newborn shoot, during this shoot I again asked the mum what she expected from the shoot and what was important to her when it came to family albums, this time the mum explained to me the importance of a new arrival and how they enter the world, she liked to have nude images of her newborn to represent the innocence of a new baby, this was how she visioned newborns and how she waned hers to e represented.
So using the comments of the mum I then set out to carefully position her baby, in a comfortable professional position to create a skillful posed shot. I wanted to keep the image as plain as possible so that all attention was on the baby himself, taking away distractions and making sure I had even lighting I took the shot.
I made sure I positioned him carefully and modestly, then after patiently waiting for him to become comfortable and settled I moved his arms into a posed position, this then created the professional photography shot I wanted that fit in with the clients requests.
After my newborn shoots I then moved on to taking photos of older children and had been a photographer for a 1st birthday shoot, this entailed getting images of a lively toddler playing with all her toys and balloons, I had asked the mum what she would like from the session, what images she would want in her album. She had old me that she wanted plenty of images of her daughter to look back at her progress, she wanted lots of action shots of her and of course the smiley happy faces, as well as images that included her mum (the daughters grandma) as she was a big family person and was close to her parents, she wanted to make sure she had plenty of images of her mum and daughter together.
Getting images of her playing and interacting first, I then took the time to get some images of grandma and granddaughter together, I asked for them for play together and have cuddles, this then gave me an opportunity to get some images showing their bond they had.
I also wanted to get the balloons and banners in the background slightly to represent her first birthday, this way I was able to create not just a happy family photo but a memory of her first birthday as well.
As well as taking images of families with babies and toddlers I also asked to photograph a family with older children, Asking them all what made a family album image to them I got a range of ideas, the youngest, a boy of 8, told me he liked happy faces and cuddles, this to him showed how much they all loved each other, I got to take photographs of him and his dad hugging and cuddling together which he really enjoyed.
Speaking to the mum and dad they both said silly photos are what makes them think of a good family photograph, they said that their family are always being silly and pulling funny faces so wanted to get funny images rather than standard ones, this made their images feel more personal to them, and made them feel more relaxed rather than staged or forced in their images.
When creating these images I found that it was easier interacting with the family, they became more relaxed and the images we created were natural, they showed their true selves and for then this created their family album.
I did a daddy daughter shoot where I took images of them together, as a single dad he wanted some personal images with him and his daughter, I was able to ask him to play with his daughter and interact with her creating natural poses together.
I wanted to catch them in the moment rather than posed and found this image to be the intimate image he was going for, you can see the loving look on dads face in this image which shows a strong connection and bond between them creating the daddy daughter bond I was asked to capture.
All of my shoots have been tailored to the families needs, the reason behind this is to create personal meaningful images that are important to the people I create them for, using my own way of looking at things combined with their needs enables me to build up a range of images that match the needs of others, my images have all been unique in the way thay have been captured to fit the to the needs of the clients, this offers me the opportunity to use this as an advertising technique when it comes to advertising my business, I need to be able to create something unique for the customer and give them reason to want to choose me rather than another photographer.