I met this adorable family of 4 at Holmdel Park for a family session on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago. We had initially discussed doing pictures of just the girls for a Father's Day surprise but schedules didn't work out to get them taken in time but Mom was still interested in taking family pictures for the first time ever and I'm so glad because they are a truly lovely little family. The dad was apprehensive about the process of getting pictures taken but everyone - including the 4 month old baby - did so well! There was a lot of sun on this particular morning so we made sure to stick to the shady areas in the arboretum and near the farm.
I got to photograph this crazy-adorable daddy-daughter duo at the end of May - my second time working with this amazing family. We were at Tatum Park in Middletown, New Jersey on a gorgeous spring day. My favorite father-daughter moments to capture are them holding hands, sharing kisses, and walking hand-in-hand. They don't happen for every session but this sweet girl was ready for her session with daddy!!
You might have read on my home page, or heard from other photographers, the term "natural light photographer" and although I feel like the term is obvious to everyone, most clients might not understand what "natural light" means from a photographer's stand point.
Light is a key element in taking a photograph. The intensity and the direction of the light source tells me what settings I need to use in my camera to get the best image and helps me pick the best location for each session.
As a natural light photographer, my light source is the sun. Really bright and direct light can be harsh and produces unflattering shadows on subjects. Whereas diffused light, from a cloudy sky or in the shade, gives nice, even skin tones without any shadows.
The direction of the light source, the sun, plays an important role in my thought process during a session to know where I'll place myself in relation to my subjects. If the sun is high in the sky during a daytime session, I try to pick a location that is fully covered in shade either from a tree or building. If I can't find shade, or if the client prefers a specific location, I'll place the sun directly behind my clients. I position myself facing the sun with my clients looking at me to help avoid squinty eyes or harsh shadows.
A natural light photographer dreams of scheduling every session during 'the golden hour' - the one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. "Golden hour" refers to the warm, gorgeous, glowy light we see in the three pictures below. Weekends in the spring and summer are usually jammed with all the family activities so as the sun starts setting later, it's easier to schedule a session for an evening during the week!
Of course not all sessions can be scheduled during the golden hour. Kids are like clockwork so if dinnertime or bedtime falls in the middle of that short window of time, it's just not ideal to have a session scheduled that late. Sometimes it's Mother Nature that decides not to cooperate and there's a sky full of clouds. Sometimes the only available time is smack-dab in the middle of the day. And guess what? It's ok! I can still get gorgeous photos if the golden hour doesn't work or there's clouds filling the sky! Below are a few examples of how we made it work when the session wasn't during the golden hour and the weather wasn't perfect.
I will always suggest scheduling your session during golden hour so we can get that warm, natural glow but it's important to know that sessions really can be scheduled for any time of the day that works best for you (and your littles!). And I spend my days leading up to your session stalking the weather and willing away rain and bad weather!
I planned a mommy & me mini session date at the beginning of April and picked one of my favorite outdoor locations - Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, NJ. I didn't know if the flowers would bloom before the scheduled date but I knew it would be a gorgeous location nonetheless. I showed up a little early the morning of and I was so so SO happy to see the bright colorful tulips and a beautifully pink magnolia tree! Spring decided to show up just in time for mommy & me portraits! And how lovely are these mommy's with their littles?!
We had absolutely beautiful weather in central New Jersey over the weekend and I spent almost all of it outside with my family. We had a picnic in the park, we planted strawberries and flowers, went to the playground and enjoyed several neighborhood walks. It was one of those weekends you could bottle up and keep forever!
Photographer, capturing life's loveliest moments.