Every year my husband and I do a photoshoot to celebrate our wonderful life together and each year I art direct the photo concept. This year we went on a picnic with our 7 month old son as the sun started setting. It was the perfect weather and combination of love and art. I couldn’t be more happy with these beautiful images captured by the delightful Stacy Kron! I really love being able to look back at our photos over the years and see how we’ve changed and how our taste has changed. Even our hairstyles! It’s a legacy we are leaving behind for our son and future grandchildren, a glimpse into who we are and if you have children, it is a beautiful way to bond with them.
When considering your next family photoshoot, here are five things I always think about when art directing a photoshoot:
1. Concept: This doesn’t have to be over the top, but a concept is necessary to tie a photoshoot together. It can be as simple as the idea of “story time” to “baking a first birthday cake” to a “back yard fire pit/smore making adventure” or even location driven. My husband and I tend to be a bit vintage/farm in our style. Think antiques and old quilts. So this year I wanted to create a picnic for our theme. Just us in a beautiful field of grass, enjoying each others company and smootching our new baby boy. I love how our photos turned out they are exactly how I dreamed them, only better! As your children get older, remember to let them be apart of the process. They want a voice too!
2. Photographer: Here is the big one. Selected the right photographer for your vision. Don’t select a super urban photographer if you want a shabby-chic/farm shoot and don’t select a photographer that you aren’t smitten with their gallery of images. Select a photographer that you adore their work and trust their skills. Each year we select a different photographer to match our style, so they can be a part of our idea and help us see the vision through. Every year we have our photo taken, that is a decent investment in “art”. So is a professional photographer worth the money…ABSOLUTELY. You are paying for their vision, their education, their art, their equipment and the confidence that they will deliver you an amazing end product. This year the only photographer I wanted to use for this vision was Stacy Kron. I adore her style, it syncs up with the beauty and lighting I wanted for our shoot and she’s darn near the sweetest girl in the world! And I couldn’t be more happy with working with her. She is without a doubt, amazing!
3. Wardrobe. You have to start somewhere. So I always start with the pickiest person, myself. Once I have a dress that I love, I build the color palette from there. This year I selected a beautiful golden-yellow dress from BHLDN. Love them, by the way. Then I toss out some color options to my husband, he selected his grey vest to coordinate with the vintage style of my dress and then the delightful process of shopping for a baby boy. I wanted him to have a tie to the golden yellow, but not too much, so it wouldn’t be matchy-matchy and I wanted him to be wearing his first pair of denim jeans to match his daddy. Thank you to Children’s Place, I found exactly what I was looking for and on a budget too! But I will say, remember to be comfortable, if you can’t move in what you’re wearing, it will show in your photos. Be you. Be confident. And remember to smile.
4. Location: This I touched on in the concept. You need to work with your photographer to select the right location for your vision. If you aren’t a professional model, you might want somewhere a bit quieter so you can get comfortable having you photo taken and let your nerves melt away. This year I sent a moodboard of images that had similar locations to what I was thinking, to my fabulous photographer Stacy, and she selected the location in Alexandria, MN, a beautiful open field of tall grass near the middle school, on a rolling hill with the sun setting…ahhh smitten. This also goes back to having full faith and trust in the photographer you select. I knew with all my heart she was amazing and that she understood my vision and I didn’t have to worry once.
5. Props: In nearly all my photoshoots there are some kind of props. This year was actually the first time the props were such a large part of the photoshoot. In order to create the look of a picnic, it had to be a picnic. So I brought several of our antiques from our home. From a round antique wooden cheese box, to a pair of vintage Samsonite suitcases, to a lovely quilt I received from my parents when I was a little girl. I didn’t want to buy things for the shoot, I wanted us to be surrounded by things we love that are a part of our lives. Though I did buy some glass bottle Coke and two delicious Red Velvet cupcakes from Wuolett for the shoot! It never hurts to have something yummy to eat. If you do choose to use props, keep in mind, they might not work and might become over the top. So be prepared to follow your photographers lead. If they say it isn’t working, be smart and leave the props behind and just be you and your lovely family and that love and light will come through the photos.