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Remembering a Place Called “Home”: Do’s and Dont’s of a Family Photo Shoot

21 Oct

A little tale from which you might glean sound advice but is really more a recount of my family’s head-butting preparatory measures of welcoming someone into our house to capture our final moments in this  place we call “home.”

As our move date to Minnesota gets closer, I have become more steadfast in my attempts to capture moments spent in our home.  Therefore, I thought that it would be a great–scratch that– PHENOMENAL idea to hire a photographer to come to the house for some candid family shots.  After all, the hubster and I (along with many family members) have worked tirelessly on our 1907 house since Day 1.   We have spent too much money, gotten too little sleep, and have had too many backaches not to properly capture the essence of what this house has become and to have tangible evidence of our efforts and memories .   This entire event was beautifully choreographed in my head, yet I knew that bringing it to fruition would be another matter entirely.  Here is what I learned in the process of just trying to get.one.good.shot!

DO use bribes. Convince your otherwise-resistant-to-ever-being-photographed hubby that this is a good idea.  You want to capture happy faces on film?  Then have Dairy Queen on standy-by and shave your legs, girls, you’ve got some work to do.  I texted a friend of mine about the inevitable grumpiness that I would be enduring with this photo shoot.   She replied that I should “… Bribe them.  Ice Cream?”  Bribe, huh?  Yes, ice cream would work for the little one, but it would take a lot more than scrumptious dairy products to convince my husband that he should allow someone to point a camera at him. A second text came through from my friend, “Ice cream for the kiddo.  You-Know-What  for the other.”

And a happy family we were.

DO hire a professional photographer.  And not just any photographer.  Hire someone who shares your vision.  In my case, I desired a candid aesthetic.  I was lucky here.  I happen to know someone whose work I admire and who was quite open to some of the quirky suggestions that I had—Truchon Photography, headed by Ashli Truchon.  For some reason, I really wanted to hold a bright red bird cage while sitting on the floor in my attic.  Ashli didn’t flinch.  Before I knew it she was placing the red cage in my hands and climbing on top of a rickety old side table so that she could get the perfect shot.  When we decided that we weren’t getting the desired affect, she quickly set up another great shot which included the bird cage, a mirror on an old buck horn dresser, and me sitting atop that same rickety old side table that Ashli had just perched herself upon.  Voila!  She made it happen.

DON’T, even for a second, assume that your choice of attire for your spouse will be anything close to what he agrees to wear. 

I buy him this,

thinking that he will look like this (but with a complete face)

And for some inexplicable reason,  he thinks he will look like this.

  A few swear words and over-articulated hand gestures later, and we both agree on this.

DON’T allow your child to handle, go near, look at, or think about sharp objects for at least one week before the big shoot.  Otherwise, it is inevitable that she will get scratched.  While that scratch will be completely harmless, it will be on a part of the body that you cannot easily hide….her face!  P.S.  This advice applies to little finger nails as well as I am pretty sure that this is where her scratch came from.

DO think outside the box.  You don’t always have to look into the camera and “pose.”  Act natural, use props, play, and get creative.   The resulting photos will look more like moments have been captured rather than composed.

    

Here are more of my favorite shots that Ashli masterfully captured.

      

Happy Family Memories, everyone!

Click here for more information about Truchon Photography.

Those of you with little ones should know that Ashli works great with kids.  Our spawn was quite hyper that day, yet Ashli remained calm and just snapped away.  Thanks to her tenacity and patience, these shots portray a true representation of our little girl’s personality.

Folks on the East Coast had better book her quickly, though.  She is soon off to Pheonix, Arizona for a new job!