Welcome to the Green Apple Photography Blog. By viewing my stories and images, you will get a glimpse into my shooting style and personal experiences. My mission is to get you excited about your family portraits, about the moments I capture of your gorgeous children and the beauty of your pregnant body. I want you to share them with your friends and family and to see quality and artistry in every image.

For the many people who share their comments, stories, and lives with me, thank you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Envisioning Family: How a few words on a few pages changed my photography

I kinda have this girl crush.  This woman is amazing to me.  She has 3 kids, runs several successful businesses, is an author, teacher, and is pretty much awesomeness wrapped in a beautiful woman.  To me, Tamara Lackey is brilliant.  I love her style in all its forms (personal style, family style,  photography style - all of it).   Plus, she has a real grasp on how to successfully do it all - by not doing it all.  I recently purchased her latest book: Envisioning Family A photographer's guide to making meaningful portraits of the modern family and her words really knocked. me. in. the. head.

Tamara Lackey was able to capture everything family; starting with the definition of family, her journey to create her own family, right down to the photography gear she recommends and how to interact with your subjects and clients.  But it was the final section of the book on the aesthetics of making a great family portrait that really made me pause.  Don't get me wrong, I really appreciated the previous chapters in the book including the "bare it all" details of the adoption of 2 of her 3 children, but it was the section on lighting in particular that made me realize I wasn't doing everything I could to make an amazing portrait.  I was getting lazy.  I was fully capable of making that exceptional portrait - but I just wasn't.  Why, because it wasn't convenient.  I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the shoot by changing a lens or grabbing the reflector.  Believe me, when you get an 18 month old rolling, you don't want to break that.  The trick is to keep that flow, while still doing those things - and it is worth it in the end.  As much as adjusting your focus is worth it, or changing your position to get a better angle is worth it.  Or changing your location to improve the composition is worth it.  It makes a huge difference and before reading the last chapters, I didn't quite see that worth. That all those other things I was trying to do to get the best expression or location or angle, didn't really matter if I wasn't doing it all.

So my light bulb moment while reading these pages was that I can do it.  And in fact I should do it.  Otherwise I'm not doing myself, my clients, or my photography justice.  That although I come back from a shoot completely exhausted and spent, I'm not giving all that I can give.  So thank you Tamara Lackey, for the kick in the butt and the growth.  I actually feel empowered, so I hope that was your goal!

Below are two images from a recent session where I needed to break free to grab the reflector to ensure a better portrait.  The expressions and angle are different, yes.  And I prefer the expression on the left, but the improvement is in the lighting.  It's something my clients may not ever notice.  But I notice and it's the next step in making some epic family portraits.

To see more from this session, please visit

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