Portraits: Family Reunion | Pierre B Photo | Montreal Photographer

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During the holidays, my friend a damn fine family photographer Jenny (Jenny Felligi Photographie) asked me if I could shoot a family session in her place as she wasn’t available.  A small get together (13 people! haha), grandfather, daughters and grandkids. It was a present for the grandfather.  Rules of the day: group shot, individual family shots and then more personal and fun shots.  Problem is… fitting 13 people in a single room can be somewhat tight.

I drive down to the family’s place.  It had snowed like crazy a few days ago.  And you know you are in for a fun shoot when they call you and say they are holding a parking spot for you right in front of the house.  For you non-Montrealers, living in the city means that any decent snowfall creates chaos on the streets trying to park.  You can check out some photos of the storm a few days before this shoot here.  Ok, enough self pimping…

The shoot started in an upstairs empty room with a white wall.  While standard portraits with lights can be a bit… standard, they are often the images that people like to print and keep.  And it being a present for the grandfather, I knew we had to make them fun and special.  The family were all energetic and fun to work with, smiling, posing, doing stupid faces when asked to.  It makes one’s job that much easier when everyone is into the shoot.  They had all taken the time to get dressed nice, kept to the “directions” of no really loud patterned shirts and bright bold colours (unless everyone is dressed like that).

After goofing with the kids for the test shots (and we ended up getting some nice keepers there), doing the group shots and family shots went smooth.  Had 2 lights setup as the family is pretty big.  One of the things to watch out for when shooting big groups is having one person casting a shadow on the person behind them.  Everyone needs to have their face seen.  You can get by with a shadow falling on someone’s body as long as it is not too obvious (ex: they are wearing a black shirt so the shadow isn’t seen), but no shadows on faces.  You also need to keep some balance in a big group shot, don’t want people to be all scattered.  I typically let people place themselves as I don’t know who is with which family member.  And then I’ll re-arrange a few here and there.  An issue I had in this room was simply the size compared to the size of the family.  We had to kind of huddle in one of the corners to get everyone in and not have the door or outside hallway in the shot.  Thank god the family is a loving family and didn’t mind being close. 🙂

And then it was time to get the snow pants on and head on outside for some playing in the backyard fort building!!  These are the types of things I love in photoshoots, getting the REAL of the family on front of my camera.  Snowjobs, slidding, dogs running, people smiling… ahh… candid emotion moments.

Here are a few images from the shoot!

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Want to book a family portrait session?  A personal photo session?  Drop me a message 

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