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Extreme Family Portrait – Family Games

Ottawa Extreme Family Photography - JVLphoto

Anatomy of a Shoot

I may not always be able to meet my clients before I go shoot for them, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t gathered a bit of information on who’s going to be there, what their general interests are, and the potential to develop a common theme.

Walking into the above shoot I knew we were going to shoot in the Kitchen nook – I couldn’t resist those vibrant blue walls coupled with the orange texture of the wood. Bonus for being set against an idylic snowy backdrop.

About that – I want to be sure to capture the outside scene, so I set my exposure in-camera based on the outside.


From there I build up my flashes to properly expose the room until I’m ready to shoot the “talent.”


Then we add a few more subjects, taking care to light any areas that should show up separately.


The board game was planned – it’s a family activity – and so is drinking, which I really can’t argue against given my own tastes. A huge benefit to me working this way, especially for my clients, is that they get to choose the photo of them that (individually) looks best. So they can get the best photo of the daughter, and the best of the husband, and the best of the rebellious son… It takes all of the “It’s perfect except she blinked!” out of a shoot. Of course these images take more planning, more time shooting, and much more work after in Photoshop, but I’m certain it’s worth it for my clients.

You can check this image out bigger over on Flickr, and I’ve uploaded a choice gallery of other family portraits I’ve taken over on G+. Special thanks to Lee for the assist, it’s his sexy butt you can see at right in the last photo.

2 thoughts on “Extreme Family Portrait – Family Games

  1. Mitch C. says:

    Wow. Had not realised it was a composite… As usual, I appreciate the breakdown of the process.

  2. sabrina says:

    Your composites are always so interesting, like a window into families and family life. I can't wait to see this in a "best of" book. Hint, hint!