The Dineens

‘Tis the season for Christmas cards!  Instead of just taking a family photo for a card or mailing, try considering making one into a gift.  When asked what they would like for Christmas, you’d be surprised how many parents, simply request a family photo.  It’s sometimes hard to get families together and even harder to capture them in a photo everyone likes!

The Dineens sought me out this year to help them with a family shoot which they could gift to their mother for Christmas.  It had been awhile since she got all her children together for a formal picture, but being that none of them of are really “kids” anymore, the typical staged photo from some outfit at the mall didn’t seem quite fitting.

Portrait photography (or portraiture) is fundamentally capturing the personality and sometimes even the mood of a person(s).  Therefore, to me, you don’t need the standard white background often found at mall setups.  The focus should be more on the person vs. the background anyway.  In fact, sometimes that simple (not plain) background actually adds to the character of the photo and injects some additional personality.

The Dineens were pretty open and flexible as to where they wanted their photos taken, so I suggested an outdoor setting (which just happens to be my favorite and quite universal).  The trick was to find a site in New England where the trees were not completely bare and the scenery wasn’t totally “ugly” as sometimes happens around here in the winter months 😉  We also wanted to avoid anything too holiday-ish, so as to not limit the backdrop to the time of year.  This was meant to be a gift that would last years, not just a season.  We decided on a wooded area with plenty of pine trees.

To prepare for the shoot, I brainstormed as to what a mother might like to see when looking at a picture of her children.  Obviously happy faces and smiles come to mind, but maybe something a little less staged and a little more natural – something that showed them in the light she sees them in everyday.  Although quite a few shots were taken and I played around with a bunch of ideas, I found three to be the most fitting.  One was of them holding a “D”, which I picked up from a local craft store.  It seemed fitting as their last name began with that letter, but also displayed some family pride.  The second was more of a casual setting – sitting with smiles – more traditional.  And finally, I asked them to sit and talk with each other – simply pretend I wasn’t there.  At first, they might have found this awkward, but after a few short minutes, conversation ensued and it was as if I wasn’t there and they were laughing and joking as they normally would.  This was when I was able to capture them as they truly are and it brought a smile to my face.

I think they might have been a little self-conscious (as some are when being photographed) and maybe even questioned my sertups for some of the shots, but in the end, they actually ended up choosing the same three that I felt were my favorite from the shoot as well.  So all in all, I guess my instincts were right and I’m so pleased that they were happy with the results.  Check them out below…

Please feel free to contact me regarding any sort of family shoot like this – I truly love every minute of them!


~ by Angela DeSimone Photography on December 19, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Dineens”

  1. Great photos Angela…the last one is my favorite. Everyone looks so at ease and truly enjoying themselves! Well done!

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