As a local Evanston family photographer who serves the Chicago area and it’s Northshore, I have so many photos of my family that I treasure. Many were taken back in a day before cell phones, before computers, and back when film was a bit of a luxury. We took photos mostly on special occasions, and I can see my life unfolding in these photos.
Today, we have a camera in our pocket and almost always within reach, and we take photos of what we ate for lunch, our pets doing silly things, and our kids. However, very few of those photos ever leave our devices. Maybe this is my photographer’s soul speaking, but I worry for the next generation; will they have these photos to look back on? Will they be able to determine which device the most precious of photos was on, and will that device even be accessible?
I am very passionate about this, and I’ve built my business on the fact that photographs are more than digital files to be shared on social media. So, part of my process of working with clients is to get to know them as people first.
Everyone has different needs for the photos, and everyone has different feelings about what they want their photos to convey, but the one thing in common they all have is that they love their family and want photos of them to display.
Could I show up cold, not really knowing a family, and take great photos of them? Maybe, but I really feel that while the photos might be technically okay (good exposure, good lighting) because I am a pro, I feel they would lack heart…and that’s what makes a photo great.
They wouldn’t show off the true personalities, and they would look staged, and ultimately, my clients would not love their photos, even though they love the people in them.
Hybrid Film and Digital Photographer
I have loved film photography for as longs as I can remember, and so do my clients. There’s something about film that forces me to slow down, to be thoughtful about the process, and that creates that dreamy soft art-like feeling you see in my photos.
However, digital also has its place. Toddlers don’t slow down for the sake of art! Digital allows me to capture things on the fly and produces a clean, bold look that makes colors pop, which is especially lovely for outdoor sessions.
This “getting to know you” process is, I feel, the most critical part of my job. It starts with understanding all the different personalities that make up your family! I want to know; who’s the goofball, who’s the one that smile lights up a room? How do you feel about having your photo taken? All of this is important stuff, and I have many tools in my arsenal to make great photos of people if I know a little bit about them.
Then, we talk about location. I have many favorite locations around Lake Bluff and Lake Forest for photos, and I’m always scouting for more great locations for photos. You don’t have to have a specific place picked out because I can do that for you.
However, if you do have a place in mind, I’ll be sure to check it out before your session to understand the lighting and components in the area to make sure we have the best location possible at the best time of day.
One of the first things I always ask potential clients, is “what do you want to do with your photos?” I don’t exclusively offer digitals, it’s important for me, and I think it’s important for you, to have a plan in place for your images. Whether it’s something as simple as a 5×7 for a desk or something more elaborate such as a gallery wall. have a plan for your photos, and if you don’t, ask for help. I will often walk into client’s home and help them visualize where and how to display their photographs. These are a piece of art that should be displayed!
Styling matters too, and I have a complete style guide I send out to my clients to help with clothing choices. You want these photos to complement your home beautifully! It includes shopping links, and I’m happy to guide you through each outfit to ensure you get the look and aesthetic you are going for.
Check out this blog post for tips on taking the stress out of the family photo session.
In one case, I had a client whose child had children who had a mass of beautiful curls, and she wanted that captured in the photos, so I specifically looked for a day that was going to be humid to feature them! These little things make a big difference in the outcome of your photos.
While I admit I love to see my clients put those photos on their walls, I offer more ways to display your photos than just wall art. I have many different ways to proudly share your photos, including curating a custom design for a gallery wall. albums and glass folio boxes to display your favorite photos.
During planning your session, we’ll also be planning what you want to do with the photos because part of my job is to help you realize how important this investment is! We’ll work together to display those photos in beautiful, creative ways.
If you’re looking for a photographer who cares about your photos as much as you do, Id love to talk with you and get to know more about you and your family! Get in touch, and we can make a plan to make beautiful photos together!