I haven’t made family portraiture a big part of my personal goals for photography. In fact, the fewer people involved, the better, although portraiture, which I like, can never be an endeavor a photographer takes in isolation.
Thankfully, I had a great time working with Jon, Elaine, and their son. Scheduling our outing for a nearby park was hard as the weather and our schedules did not want to cooperate at first. We all wanted to capture the colors and feeling of autumn before it would disappear for another year, so the pressure was on.
The day started out windy, but as the earth continued its rotation and the sun approached the horizon, the wind died down and the surroundings were calm. Duke Island Park in Bridegwater is a fantastic setting four outdoor family portraits.
One thing that always concerned me about outdoor family portraits is the tendency for everything to look staged and phony. I tried to avoid that as much as possible, even for the “staged” poses (you stand here, you sit here, etc.). I really aim for everyone to look relatively natural, especially when there’s a chance to enjoy nature.
Although I wanted to avoid the typical sense of staging inherent in family portraiture, I didn’t shy away from autumnal photography tropes, like shooting into the sun, playing with leaves, and accentuating the deep fall colors. Photographers use these to their advantage because they work.
I used the Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L exclusively, often with diffused fill-in flash.