There's been many-a family portrait session with children where my clients, my assistant and to be honest, myself, walk away from the shoot thinking “there's going to be, like zero good shots from this.” Kids are fickle, unpredictable and have a mind of their own. As a professional photographer with over 1.5 decades in the industry, I have learned to run with their spontaneity and suprisingly walk away from those “impossible” shoots with some really special images for my clients to cherish.
Yesterday afternoon, our God sent, one day a week nanny and friend, Anita Lalli Bage borrowed my gear and spent over an hour with my family in front of the lens. The cards were stacked against all of us. It was hot. And by hot I mean, as hot as one would imagine Satan's nether-regions being. We had a dog and a toddler. The two hardest things to capture in the photography world as informed to me by my photography instructors years ago. Beautiful Buster Brown (my dog) wanted nothing other than to lay belly side up in the shade. Tristan wanted to do the opposite of what we sought from him. He pouted, he cried, he ran away, and away and away. Yet again, I walked away from another portrait session (this time being my own) with zero expectations. And following suite, I yet again was blown away by the spectacular images that became of the treacherous “travesty.”
As I was saving and backing the images up on my computer this morning, I did a quick run through. Holy shit! Where did these photos come from? Not only did Anita capture Tristan's smile and Buster's silly character but she truly and honestly captured us being us; us for who we are. We had planned on capturing our family portraits in a beautiful secret little garden here in town. My 18th month old son had another agenda. He led us to the epitome of destinations. The foundation of my relationship with Al has been based on spontaneous adventures together. Embracing the offbeat, creepy and elderly locations. Haunted mansions, old as old can be cemetery’s, and even stumbling across my buddy Big Foot (err, renditions of him any way) along the way. The location that our portrait session completed at was a larger than life, seemly run down building, hilltop with cracked pavement and wild flowers sprinkled amongst the grass. Sometimes life turns the tables on you and feeds you a dose of the unexpected. Sometimes that medicine tastes good, sometimes bad. Yesterday it was both but all I can focus on now is the good.
Thank you, Anita. Thank you, thank you, thank you.