We spend a fair amount of our time here in the studio photographing families – usually the kids for the most part, with the parents resisting the idea of being in front of the camera! Yes, certainly, we do shoot a lot of families as a group, but in the mind of Mum & Dad, the primary concern is their children, and sometimes the family group can seem almost like an afterthought.
Working in the studio can be great too. We’re in control of the lighting, the weather isn’t an issue, and there’s usually a bag of sweets somewhere that can help if needed. Sometimes though the studio environment perhaps over emphasises the process, the situation can become as much a part of the subject as the photograph itself.
The value in having that portrait made, of the family all together is undoubtedly clearer over time, it marks and preserves an idea of a family for future generations, and repays the effort involved many times over. Yet, sometimes, it’s maybe just a little too, well, “photograph-y”. OK, so that’s not even a word, but you get the idea. So weather and all, (and here in Donegal, the weather is a significant factor!) sometimes we like to get out . . .
Photographing families and kids outdoors on location brings its own challenges in terms of light & lighting, wind, maybe rain (Not unknown in this part of the world!) Ultimately though, we feel it can be worth it. Kids in the studio can be great, co-operative and fun. Outdoors though, in The Wild if you like, the emphasis moves away from the photographic process, and while the situation is necessarily controlled, shifts back towards the subjects in front of the camera.