PHOTO BY HEIDI FAZIO
Do you have any advice for creating photographs of kids and families on location?
Relax, interact with children at their level, and have fun—always! Once all of the necessary shots are taken, we have fun. I slow down and do a little shooting for myself. I take the camera away from my face, and from the ground or from above, or from the hip level, I shoot away 24mm.
Can you tell us a little about these specific images?
The teepee shots were taken in December on a Christmas tree farm. I had taken all of the necessary sibling and individual shots so I started looking for something fun and engaging and I saw the sun setting behind a teepee. I closed down my aperture and slowed my shutter speed to 1/60th of a second to capture motion. An active boy running can lead to a perfect portrait.
I love the shots with the boy and his drumsticks. He was standing in the perfect light. He was under a bridge and there was open sky behind me and the light just fell off behind him. His Mom had been carrying his drumsticks (his idea) and so we took a few shots of him using them, his parents and brother were laughing at him, and he was relaxed and having fun with it—as was I.
Do you ever talk to your clients about styling? So many of them have great clothes on. How important is this to the success of a portrait?
How people are dressed for photos is more important than I like to believe. What they wear should also match the setting, for example, sundresses in a field, denim in an urban setting, etc. Most clients ask for guidance with this, so I send out a "what to wear guide" electronically a few weeks before the session. I encourage casual looks, discourage matching clothing and I make a pretty big deal about shoes. After all, a lot of my shots are full-body.
What is the price range for your portrait sessions?
My session fee is $200. Print prices start at $40 for a 5x7 and print sales vary. Clients spend between $800 and $3,000.
Your subjects appear so relaxed and comfortable. Do you have advice for getting your subjects to act natural?
I am very relaxed myself, I truly enjoy what I do, and I think it shows. Also, taking the camera away from my face and interacting with them helps a ton, too.
What percent of your portrait sessions are on location? Do you think that this is a growing trend?
I am 100% on location. This type of work is absolutely a growing trend. Clients like the custom look of the images, and the comfort of their own home rather then portraits in a studio.