Family Portrait

Not only do I love getting to see my own family grow and change through my photos, it’s also a lot of fun to see the families of my friends going through their own changes and big moments.

The mama in this foursome was a subject in some maternity photos I did for my last photo challenge back when she was expecting Little Addison in May of 2015. We got back together this past November to capture some family photos with their newly grown family of 4! Welcome to the world Miss Avery! <3


As always when I do a ‘set’ of photos, I typically have something in mind to achieve – an end goal. This family has a great living room set up with lots of natural light that I knew would work really well for lighting so I was excited about really experimenting and *hopefully* nailing my composition game since I knew I wouldn’t have to fuss too much with settings and exposure. But of course, when working with living subjects, things never go as planned! After 2 years you’d think I would know this!

So despite being fully prepared with a plan, several arrangements in mind, and all of my gear (including external lights just in case), I got just a small handful of family photos that I can only describe as salvageable LOL. Now, don’t get me wrong – they’re not awful, but decent photos (with of course lovely subjects – if you’re reading this Lundys I’m referencing my own photography and not you!). But the composition was pretty much a bust, not to mention flat on perspective with no variety. But why you ask? Well because Little Addison is 15 months old. End of story.

She was just so busy getting a photo without her movement was almost impossible (hence the few salvageable shots we got). While I kept my shutter up as high as the lighting would allow to minimize blurring, I got about 100 photos of parts of Addison’s face, or the top of her head or a foot as she flew from frame.

And even at a week old, Avery wasn’t against saying ‘no’ to photos! :)


Another more technical let down was the Christmas light background and it’s end result. I’ve used this backdrop twice in the past with beautiful bokeh effect. But both times it was with a solitary subject. Having a family of four who were not sitting tight enough together (my mistake – hence the composition bust referenced above) meant having to keep the aperture at a higher number in order to make sure I got everyone in the shot. And even then, there are a few where dad is not perfectly in focus and the very top of moms head is cut off a bit.  Because I knew even at it’s widest setting, my 52mm wouldn’t give me the background effect I was going for, I chose to just use my 35mm. Again, thinking I could compensate with composition.  We now know this was a bad assumption on my part.  And because of the speed of things I wasn’t checking the details  other than general focus on faces. So in the end, due to the aperture setting, the background had less bokeh than I wanted which resulted in more time spent in post processing. And the other collateral damage, we just have to live with.

After we got as many family shots as we were going to get, we just let Addison play and I tried to grab a few candid shots paparazzi style – more on the lifestyle scale. I got a few I really like but as I said above, I didn’t switch out my lenses so didn’t have the field of view for a couple of the shots we tried for including this one of Avery in the Christmas train. Though perhaps that’s okay since it didn’t look like the comfiest of rides for her wee body!

But as always, we learn, we take notes, and we move on!

Here are the end results of our hour long family portrait session for you to peruse and assess for yourself! Critiques and suggestions welcome :)






*Special thanks to the Lundys for letting me ‘play’ with you!

© 2017 Amber White, KoiBlue Photography. None of the contents may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.


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