You Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em

One of the most important things I do as a professional photographer is assess the situation and respond in a way that will bring the maximum benefit to my clients.

You Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em | Family Photos at Home

A really good example of this - and of things not going according to plan - was my session with the Ovard family this June. We had talked about wanting sky and mountains to match Gina’s newly redecorated home, and our consultation left me excited about finding a location that would showcase her neutrals and blues. We had planned on the lavender fields, but because of timing issues, we couldn’t make the 1 ½ hour drive. So, I decided to create her portraits with our stunning Mount Timpanogos as the backdrop.


She was very keen on this because of her love of the mountain, and so we headed up with the family on a June evening. We were able to get one family grouping with that awe-inspiring vista.


Then, the surprises that awaited us were ticks, cranky kids, and hot wind. I could tell after creating a few portraits that even though they were willing, they were not relaxed, and I knew the portraits would reflect their unease. I made the executive decision to move the session to the family home, and it turns out that was exactly the right call. At home, the kids were comfortable, had snacks and drinks, and were 1000% more eager to let me goof off with them. The home itself has beautiful neutrals and blues in its exterior, and is meticulously landscaped.

We wrapped up the session in less than 30 minutes, with perfect lighting. I love the resulting images.


Notes for me for the future: be flexible in the experience. We can plan as much as we want, but there will always be unexpected surprises that will try to sabotage our best efforts. Also, don’t underestimate a family’s home as a great location for portraits.