It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning cracked across the sky as Heather and I made our turn onto Graveyard Hill Road... Ok, just kidding. Seemed appropriate for this time of year being so close to Halloween and all! While spooky sounding Graveyard Hill Road was a landmark for us, it was a beautiful brisk sunny Autumn morning as Heather and I made our way to a family portrait session in the rolling hills of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
John gave us a quick and motorized tour of the property available for us to work, and it was just one beautiful location after another! There was no way to get to cover all of them in one session, and with 10 people to move from spot to spot, and some needing to leave early, we had to get moving. Not far from the house we had a the shade of a beautiful weeping willow to set our family.
There were tall corn fields right across the road from where we were shooting, so we headed in with the kids and got some great looks from the four cousins. It's really amazing shooting amongst tall corn stalks. Three rows in and it's like you're in a different world. Everything turns soft golden hues... and everything is surprising very loud! Ever stand in a corn field in the wind? Serene perhaps. Peaceful? Heck no! But it sure is a great place to get some portraits!
I was constantly having to ask: "ok, which one of you is Lyndsey, and which is Sydney?" When I first met them and their mom told me their names, I asked right then, who is who? Their mom's answer: "I don't know..." I didn't feel so bad after that! But the twins were great. Very cooperative and they had grace and poise in spades-- in spite of me saying "Ok, Lyndsey, no Sydney, I mean Lyndsey... er, Lyndsey is in gray, right? No? Sorry Lyndsey, I mean Sydney." For the record, Lyndsey was in gray. I mean purple. Sydney was in gray. Sorry girls.
John was just a mean, lean, grinning machine. This big guy would't stop smiling! Due to his very busy schedule, John had to take off early. He left the corn for a bit, and charging back over to me to inform me that he had to go pack his bag, so he probably wouldn't be back. I thanked him for his professionalism, which made his grin get even bigger, gave him a high five and off he ran again.
Before John disappeared, we managed get a few shots with him and his sister Sarah together. Again, great kids to work with. Great with direction. I was shooting this at a very shallow depth of field and put it on Sarah (shouting to her over the sound of the rustling corn) that we needed to keep her face on the same plane as her brother's... She took charge and kept them lined up for me. "Depth of field?" "Plane?" I think Sarah may have spent some time in front of the camera before. I asked her if she had done this before, and she was a little non-commital on the subject. I thought I heard something about "talk to her agent" but it could have been the rustling corn stalks.
We moved back out to the edge of the corn, and again, completely different look and feel in our beautiful setting, this time grabbing some sky and pulling those perfect October clouds into the frame.
Lyndsey, purple. Sydney, gray. See, I got it. The twins' mom, Maureen had to help Heather and I on this shot. The wind that brought in the clouds was really whipping up at this point and we were shooting between gusts. Heather was wrangling a 48" diffuser (read as: big kite) to soften the harsh sun on the girls, but Sydney was in shadow. Maureen held a 36" soft deflector (read as: slightly smaller kite) to camera right to fill in the shadows. I shot with the camera nestled into my shoulder as I helped to keep Heather from flying away with my left hand. It was worth the effort and extra hands (thanks, Maureen). I think we walked away with a great shot of the girls.
Maureen, Colleen, Marion, Bud, Sydney, Lyndsey, Sarah, John, John, and John (three out of four guys in the photos were named John... Bud was in green), thank you very much for having us out and for the hospitality! I hope you enjoy your first looks from your Autumn Family Portrait Session! Talk to you soon!
Thanks for stopping by!