Seriously. Bring your chickens.
Alright, alright, I’ll explain. I had supercharged day a weekend or two back that included three shoots. The first involved a horse; the second, chickens; & the third, dogs. Two of these shoots were family shoots- one of them a senior session. Honestly, it was an awesome day. Part of that had to do with awesome subjects (and a really nice day), of course. But part of it also had to do with people bringing something of their own into the shoot.
People are always nervous about bringing their family dog, or in this case, family chickens into a shoot. But when the Bellegardes… Brandon, Cara, & little Jaylen… said they were thinking about bringing their (domesticated) chickens along, I just got really excited. Here’s the thing. Even if it makes a shoot run slower & more complicated (yes, we did our fair share of running around like fools corralling our feathered friends), bringing something unique -like chickens- into your session can be more than worth it.
Now if you’re thinking of having me do your family pictures, you don’t have to bring chickens. I’m not making that a requirement. ‘please be prepared with a session fee & a minimum of one chicken’ is not going onto the ‘about your session’ page on my website.
Really they are just an example of what I’m trying to say… which is that if you can find a prop, a family pet, symbols of an activity that you & your loved ones do together, goofy hats, WHATEVER- that little something extra gives you, the subject, something to say about your personality and something to think about other than the camera. That will only make it that much more fun, personal, & less awkward for you. Because, let’s face it… unless you’re a supermodel, you’re going to feel at least a little awkward in front of a camera.
I don’t want to intimidate my clients and put all kinds of pressure on them to come up with amazing ideas for their shoot. (after all, they’re paying me to be the creative one, right?) But I do want to inspire subjects to think of their session as a collaboration. a chance to say who they are. A chance to make their session completely different from anyone elses, even if that is with a very simple object. I had a client recently bring a giant blue balloon for her baby’s outdoor photos. That balloon pushed the image to a new level. Think about it!
While you’re thinking, here’s some shots of the Bellegardes & their chickens. Such a fun shoot- and such a sweet little girl. Thanks very much to these folks for allowing me to capture them as a real family- tattoos, chickens, goofy poses & above all, love.