Merry Christmas to one and all. As we gathered our entire family for a terrific Christmas day together (as pictured-can you tell where I slid in after hitting the shutter?), I was reminded of a funny in-home portrait I created several years ago.
It was between Christmas and New Years that I was scheduled to do a “large family portrait” in a home in a very elegant part of town. I arrived early, assessed the options of where we would setup (had to convince the mom that her idea wasn’t too great) and began setting up my lighting gear. I had many cheerful helpers as we moved furniture (nothing gets the hostess more crazy then moving furniture and exposing dust…). The family was almost complete, and everyone was dressed very formally (as instructed) for this portrait. The plan was to hang a large wall portrait (perhaps a 30″x40″) above the fireplace.
This was “pre-cell phone” days, so there was no way to contact the one missing family. The full range of emotion was observed. “Where are they”? “What is wrong with them?” “Can’t they ever listen”, “I hope they are ok”… Well, they arrived, they made an entrance that would have been fitting to the famous “Christmas Vacation” movie. The group was stunned by the wildly colorful, comical, over the top outfits (complete with santa hats, scarves, booties with bells of course and more).
The stunned silence was broken when the mother of the clan simply asked “what were you thinking? You know we were planning on doing this family portrait”. I quickly stepped in to mediate the situation. I pointed out that we had two options, we either re-dress them with whatever is available to better fit the rest of the group, or we lighten it up, change plans and go for fun and wacky with the whole group.
Well, when the Christmas tree fell over, that eliminated the original setup (the tree actually snapped in two). Somehow, I was able to get everyone laughing about it, and before you knew it, we all went out on to the deck, and created a very fun and wacky portrait that they absolutely loved!
So when planning your family portrait with Picture Place, count on me always being able to roll with the punches!
Have a great holiday season with your family!
p.s. Here’s a bonus picture I shot with my iPhone on Christmas day.