Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Here at TheStorytellers in Meridian, Idaho, we try to do more than just a smile at the camera portrait that so many parents are trained to want.  Often a person’s personality is more apparent in their eyes than in their mouth. In addition, when many people smile broadly their eyes close-up and we lose that all important glimpse into what has been called “the window to the soul”…the eyes.

The hard part in our profession is getting our subjects to relax enough in front of our camera to really show us who they are. This is always more difficult in the studio and especially so with children!  I think this session went so well because these are returning happy clients. We have been doing their portraits since their daughter was an infant.  If the parents are nervous or anxious their children will pick-up on that energy. These parents trust us and are very comfortable bringing their children to us.

After we do some smiles the storytelling begins…
f11.0 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 140mm
I call this one the Future Executive Portrait!  Not many photographers would put a child into what we call a “power pose”, but this little guy fell into it like a pro. I like his intensity! That’s why I converted this to black and white.

Moving on to some literal storytelling…
 f11.0 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 102mm
We started doing family reading time when the daughter was a toddler, so it was a natural to do reading time showing their children enjoying this family tradition. You can tell they really enjoy doing this together. Some of the best storytelling is when NOBODY is looking at the camera!  

Moving on to the daughter….
f11.0 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 100mm
Their daughter is now a little more reserved in front of us, so we didn’t push her too much—and she did have a nice easy smile.  I converted this to black and white to show how it simplifies the image when you eliminate the bright colors.

And back to little brother…
f11.0 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 200mm
That impish smile tells it all! We took our time, didn’t rush anyone, and everybody had fun. We let our dog, Gadget, run around—she’s our studio mascot—and everybody loves our super friendly little dog!  

Have questions?  Don’t hesitate to ask…’Til next week…

Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman

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