Some family photo sessions aren’t all smiles

We have all been there…at least I know I have.  You get ready for your family photos with your little kids and once you step foot out of the car and start shooting, things get unpredictable.  But when the unexpected happens, it is better to just roll with it because you get some great, unexpected pictures!  So at this shoot, we just kept improvising and ended up with some of the greatest, fun shots of all time!

Family Sessions with little kids are unpredictable!

So knowing that with little kids, the time window is short – I went in order of importance.  We got the all family photo done first.  The kids were all smiles

Great Family Photo

Great Family Photo © Paige Donahoe

Then we got the individual pictures done – everything was working great!  The twins went first to give the littles a break.

One twin by the lake

Big sister by the lake © Paige Donahoe

Next Big Brother

Here is big brother

Here is big brother

Next – the littles.  These guys are fun 🙂 Creativity is the key when photographing little kids

I started calling her "MIss Sassy Pants" this is why :)

I started calling her “MIss Sassy Pants” this is why 🙂

As I worked with Miss D I started getting some fun shots

Miss D.

Miss D.

Miss D. was quite the Diva…she was having a lot of fun, BIG smiles and lots of giggles, and a tiny amount of sass! I got a lot of fun pictures of her!

Here Miss D...had been mad and tired of having her pic taken...I talked her into just a few more!

Here Miss D…had been mad and tired of having her pic taken…I talked her into just a few more!

Then one last effort with the little man yielded this fun photo of the little Mr.

© Paige Donahoe

All smiles for Little B!

So we were mostly done – but we decided to try a couple more shots of the whole family …..and then ……well this happened!

Fun Family Photos

Family Photo Kid Melt Down © Paige Donahoe

THE KIDS WERE DONE!  – So we decided to go with it and this wonderful photo came out as a result.

Here is the last shot – we tried to get all 4, this was the result. Priceless 🙂

© Paige Donahoe

So then this happened

And that was a wrap ….it was a fun time actually, we got some unique photos.  As we headed back to the cars Miss D., who was a little overtired just sat down to pout…she should know better to act up when I am around with a camera 🙂

Miss Sassy Pants melt down

Miss Sassy Pants melt down

Then she noticed me and frankly I was a little scared.  Miss Sassy Pants – was no longer sassy – she was simply not happy!  But I got a hug anyways 🙂

Miss D so scary!

Miss D so scary! © Paige Donahoe

And that is it…It started out great and then as the kids grew tired or hungry and then we got different shots – but all together memorable and fun!!  You never know what you are going to get at a photo shoot with kids and at this one I think we did pretty good with some fun littles!

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Family photos by the lake

Family photos and family get together all in one!

This was taken of the family at sunset by the lake © Paige Donahoe

This was taken of the family at sunset by the lake
© Paige Donahoe

This family lives close and stays close!  They have a great story in that they all immigrated from Russia many, many years ago and with little more than perseverance and a lot of hard work, this family succeeded and actually lives the American Dream.  I LOVE how much fun they were.  They truly understand that with kids and a lot of people, you just have to go with it to get the right pictures.  Kid’s pictures can be tough, but I had no problems, Family Photos can stress some big families out, but not these guys, they wanted to have fun and enjoy the great outdoors here in Southern California whilst having family pictures taken.

Photos by the lake

A good group of people!

A good group of people! © Paige Donahoe

Being able to shoot on a sunny day by a lake is a good day! Enjoy the whole family and the individual families in this fun fall family photo shoot!

Isn't this how brothers often see their sisters? © Paige Donahoe

Isn’t this how brothers often see their sisters?
© Paige Donahoe

In this pick the girls are grossed out by Mom and Dad © Paige Donahoe

In this pick the girls are grossed out by Mom and Dad
© Paige Donahoe

Sisters at Sunset © Paige Donahoe

Sisters at Sunset
© Paige Donahoe

The Girls - a mom and her little ones © Paige Donahoe

The Girls – a mom and her little ones
© Paige Donahoe

This family is so much fun and great friends. © Paige Donahoe

This family is so much fun and great friends.
© Paige Donahoe

Please check my website at http://www.twistedbranchphotography.net or the facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TwistedBranchPhotography

 

Family Reunion Photos

Family Reunion’s are a perfect time for photos

As families get older and people get jobs and families of their own, it is harder and harder for them to get together and when they have a member of the family that lives half way across the world, those times that they can get together are precious and often few. Such as the case with the Knappe Family. One of their son’s lives in Germany so when he came home for a visit with his mom and dad,  it was a perfect opportunity to have family photos done. So without further adieu here is a sample of their family photos!

Here is the entire family! © Paige Donahoe

Here is the immediate Knappe Family. ©Paige Donahoe

Here is the immediate Knappe Family.
©Paige Donahoe

Families within families

There are always families within families!  Here is one of them!  ©Paige Donahoe

There are always families within families! Here is one of them!
©Paige Donahoe

These two started it all when they got married over 50 years ago!  This is their family! ©Paige Donahoe

These two started it all when they got married over 50 years ago! This is their family!
©Paige Donahoe

More families within familes ©Paige Donahoe

More families within families
©Paige Donahoe

Kellie and Rick  ©Paige Donahoe

Kellie and Rick
©Paige Donahoe

The crazier the better….for pictures that is!

Individuals make up a family and when those individuals like to have fun, then everyone has fun!  These guys LOVE to have fun…suits me fine, makes my job easier!

This group is always fun..here is why!

This group is always fun..here is why!

Bob's wife couldn't be there....so he improvised! ©Paige Donahoe

Bob’s wife couldn’t be there….so he improvised!
©Paige Donahoe

These siblings are a fun bunch! ©Paige Donahoe

These siblings are a fun bunch!
©Paige Donahoe

We put them to work! ©Paige Donahoe

We put them to work!
©Paige Donahoe

The boys hanging out with their aunt! ©Paige Donahoe

The boys hanging out with their aunt!
©Paige Donahoe

If you or anyone you know would like to have fun, hang out and take some pics – please drop me a line!

Fall Family Photos

More fun with color  © Paige Donahoe

Fun Family Photos with my friend Deanna and her family
© Paige Donahoe

Family Photo shoot with young and older kids!

I had the opportunity to photograph my friend Deanna and her sweet family 😉 It was such a privilege to spend time with her family and capture a few moments in time with their smiles and laughter.  Here is a preview of their session!

© Paige Donahoe

© Paige Donahoe

Edited Color with Mama, Papa and baby girl! © Paige Donahoe

Edited Color with Mama, Papa and baby girl!
© Paige Donahoe

I had some fun paying with the color in some of the photos. This was a fun session.

Family Fun! ©Paige Donahoe

Family Fun!
©Paige Donahoe

Score is even!  2 girls and 2 boys! © Paige Donahoe

Score is even! 2 girls and 2 boys! © Paige Donahoe

Kiddos with Deanna  © Paige Donahoe

Kiddos with Deanna
© Paige Donahoe

All together - LAUGH! © Paige Donahoe

All together – LAUGH!
© Paige Donahoe

Deanna and her baby girl © Paige Donahoe

Deanna and her baby girl
© Paige Donahoe

Deanna and her family have fun! © Paige Donahoe

Deanna and her family have fun!
© Paige Donahoe

While we were there we decided to get some headshots of Sam 🙂

Sam Individual Pics © Paige Donahoe

Sam Individual Pics
© Paige Donahoe

Sam Individual  © Paige Donahoe

Sam Individual
© Paige Donahoe

All in all it was a great time and I am so thankful that I had to chance to hang out with these guys.

© Paige Donahoe

Fun Family Reunion!

©Paige Donahoe

Crazy Family Photos are the best!

This group was all about fun!

Why be normal?

Why be normal?

Ok Now for the serious Family Shots!

A friend of mine from High School had a mini family reunion with her cousins!  These gals know how to have fun and what better than with your family?  So I went over to photograph this fun loving group and get to say hi to my old friend’s mom whom I hadn’t seen since graduated! It was a great time and I was glad I was able to capture this moment in time!

Mommies and their kiddos

Mommies and their kiddos

All girls in this group!

All girls in this group!

Hammond Family Photos fall 2013-3

Hammond Family Photos fall 2013-6

Fun Family Shoot for Fall

Gabby Fall Family Photos

 I have had the privilege of photographing this family since this little peanut was 4 months old!

As they make their way to  a new state and a new life, I was asked to take their last photos here in California!So here is a compilation of the pictures I took of my little friend Gabby before she and her family moved away!

I hope you enjoy their family photos!  I certainly enjoyed watching her grow and be the family photographerbeing able to capture her growing up!

Family Pictures Preview

gabby looking out window-1

One of my favorites

A great pic of Gabs and Her Dad!

A great pic of Gabs and Her Dad!

The whole Family

The whole Family

Mommy and Gabby

Mommy and Gabby

Mom, Dad and Gabby

Mom, Dad and Gabby

Looking into the future

Looking into the future

7 Tips to a great family photo shoot

©Paige Donahoe
Brother and Sister fun

Brother and Sister fun

You have done it.  You have scheduled your family photo session – Finally!  You can already envision the pristine beautiful pictures hanging in your house of your beautiful smiling kids and spouse and maybe even the family dog…all sitting, smiling, happy.  You can’t WAIT until you get to your photo session.

The day finally arrives…eeeek!  You get everyone up early. Shower, do hair, make-up, dress everyone’s new matching outfits.  Brush the dog, and off you go. Oops you forgot to feed them, and you forgot the dog! Oh well, AFTER you are done, everyone gets to go to lunch, dinner, ice cream, whatever and the dog…well he will survive. This is going to be great!!!!

You arrive at the designated location. It is perfect. Then the kids, who you think look great, say “Where are we? Why are we here? I don’t like what I am wearing, I’m hungry, etc”  You remind them that it is family picture day and it is going to be fun!

Family Shoot!

Family Shoot!

The photographer is ready, so you guys head out and start your session.  Then it all starts to fall apart.  The kids, whom you forgot to feed, are now hungry, whining and not cooperative.  The spouse, who is trying to calm the kids down, is now getting irritated.  The photographer is trying to get everyone to smile, but there are distractions on top of hungry tummies and you start to loose it. You curtly tell everyone to “Smile!  BIG! BE HAPPY for crying out loud!”  You bring out the bribes, stare down your spouse and try to pretend your blood isn’t boiling…and thus begins the family photo session melt down. There it goes,  your visions of that perfect family photo hanging above the mantle have dissolved into praying the photographer can get just one good shot of everyone smiling and not looking mad.

Grace was done and over the shoot. I got this great pic of her off in her own little world.

How do I know this scenario so well?  Well I am a photographer, so I have seen it play out; BUT, I also have had my family pictures taken, so been there done that!  Having lived on both sides of the camera, let me tell you this – THIS happens all the time.  I have planned the perfect photoshoot of my own children – all gussied up, on location, with props no less; the prefect plan for the perfect pictures.  We arrived all happy and smiling, the kids were running around skipping and as soon as we met with my friend with a camera in hand… POOF – the cooperation, smiles, anything symbolizing a worth-while picture adventure vanished. I have lived the parental nightmare of a family photo shoot gone wrong. I have shot the family photo shoot gone wrong – so I compiled a list of helpful hints to arm yourself with prior to the shoot.

Crazy personalities offer the best pictures!

How to prepare for a family photo shoot:

  1. Go with the flow.  Kids are kids. Simple as that. They do not have the capacity to reason.  If they did – parents wouldn’t be so tired all the time.
  2. FEED THEM!  Please make sure everyone has eaten. There is no getting around a hungry child. They are grumpy. Period.  Also bring snacks, treats, candy anything they like – BRIBE them!  IT WORKS.
  3. Use their personalities to get the shots. When I take pics I try to incorporate as much fun for them as possible. I have to do this with mine. I simply tell them “Look, I need to get some good normal smiling pics, once I do that – then just be yourselves.  Be silly – I don’t care, do whatever.” I get GREAT photos by doing this. I do it for clients too.
  4. Let them take breaks. Kids, dads, dogs, they need a break here and there. It makes for a longer shoot but smiling gets old.
  5. Be open to ideas.  This isn’t a fashion shoot, with models, hair and makeup and tons of lights,  it is your family.  Let everyone be involved with the shoot and participate.  This gets everyone actively involved and you might be surprised at the results!
  6. Get the shots you really want early.  Get the family, kids shots you really want first.  Often times the kids are cooperative for the first round of photos and that is the best time to make sure you get the pics you want. After you get the shots you “need” then let the photographer and you and your family get creative and see what you come up – it is fun and often rewarding in the end!
  7. Participate in the shoot. Don’t think that the photographer has all the answers – provide suggestions.

Other than that have fun, relax and have a great shoot.

Candids make great photos!

Candids make great photos!

I took the picture above when getting ready to head out for the day.  I thought it was cute the way my kids were sitting waiting for me – however once I pulled the camera out they became uncooperative and grumpy.  I went with it anyway and ended up getting a great picture of a brother and sister!

I’d love to photograph your family and see if they are as wacky and wonderful as mine!  Please contact me at 951-254-2805 or at paige@twistedbranchphotography.net. You can also send me a message to my facebook account https://www.facebook.com/TwistedBranchPhotography or leave a comment here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Paige Donahoe

Twisted Branch Photography

© Paige Donahoe