down by the seashore // family portraits / laguna beach

They spun around in circles, lifting the girls sky-high & making them shriek with glee. Dizzy and breathless, the parents laughed together and released the girls to play in the sand. The kids ran in my direction, using me as "safe" in their game. Their parents, still smiling, walked towards me and asked... "So, when should we start taking pictures?" With a joyful grin of my own, I replied, "We've already begun."

PLAY is a magical thing. It's something that's in us from childhood. And yet, we learn to set it aside and "behave properly" in front of others as we grow up. But sometimes it's important to simply remember the magic of it all. To release the FUN of play, and laughter, and the connection it can bring.

The girls were asked to close their eyes and spin around three times. Keeping their eyes closed and arms outstretched, they searched for one another. Only when they found each other could they open their eyes.

Although part of the family unit, parents have a connection all their own which should be celebrated as often as possible. Coloring books and crayons kept the girls occupied a few feet away so this couple could have a few minutes of "alone time." Alone, they are witty and in-sync, wordless touches and glances all part of the conversation. And although they're not used to lovey-dovey PDA, they crave images that will capture their quiet connections. But I get it... the camera comes up and awkwardness ensues.

Invite PLAY instead of posing, and the awkwardness disappears.

Picture this: a game of "Siamese Twins." You must stay connected in some way... whether it be your hands, shoulder, head, or even just  a toe. But you can never be separated, and need to stay touching at all times, even as you move around one another. Now... GO.

It's magical, right?

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Approximately two weeks after the session, the fun continues when the family gets to see their edited images for the first time and select their photo keepsakes. Utilizing special software, we can create a custom wall collection from the family's images, even testing it out on their own walls. (See the client's mock-up below)

And below are the actual canvases the family selected. They decided on (2) 16" x 24" canvases and (1) 24" x 36" canvas for their dining room area, and (1) 11" x 14" canvas for elsewhere.

Want to learn more about how I incorporate PLAY into portrait sessions? Just drop me a line... I'd LOVE to hear from you!