Studying famous photographers has taught me that what differs them from others is their sensitivity and subtlety. By sensitivity I mean their ability to capture their subject’s feelings and nuances. By subtlety I mean their ability to convey these unique traits in their portrait.
So, with this in mind, I set about trying to create an artistic family portrait. Most photographers approach portraiture straightforwardly: group the family together, choose a reasonable backdrop and lighting, and shoot. But that wasn’t what the great photographers did that made them great.
So here is my experimental portrait: since my family enjoys traveling a great deal, I thought that an appropriate family portrait would be to capture us traveling. Ideally, the best portrait would be one that captures a special moment in our travels, one that we cherished and want to keep as an eternal reminder.
We visited China in spring of 2011 and had a wonderfully exotic experience. The ideal moment to capture us traveling came unexpectedly: a kind Chinese saleswoman was serving us tea, as we sat down to rest at the end of a long day. The Chinese are delightfully kind and hospitable, and we all felt pampered with the hot liquid and tasty nibbles that she set before us.
And there was the family portrait: mirrored in the lady’s shiny pot are me (Roseville photographer capturing family portraits in Beijing!), my husband and my parents. So the photo freezes one of our most special travels to China, and within it, one of our more memorable moments together.
It may or may not qualify as a great family portrait, but it certainly conveys subtlety and sensitivity. And what is most important, it has frozen in time a moment my family cherishes, which is, after all, what any family would want hanging on the walls of its corridor.