When I was contacted by Sabrina to do a family session, I was excited. I had never shot a session with a family as large as theirs. I will admit, as the session date neared, I got a bit nervous. With eight people to organize and pose, six of whom are kids, there is a lot that could go wrong. However, except for a last minute location change, the session went fairly smoothly. In the end, I think we were all pleased with the images that we got.
We were originally supposed to meet at a local park in Murrieta. I got to the park early to scout out the location. That's when I realized that we needed to do a last minute location change. The park has been severely affected by the drought and was looking quite bad. I called Sabrina and let her know that I thought the park wouldn't work for their session. She and Mike were happy to do a last minute location change and instead drove up to my farm above the Santa Rosa Plateau.
Sabrina and I had chatted before the session about what pictures their family wanted, and we came up with a shot list together. We started the session with the "Mom and Dad only pictures" to give the kids a chance to run around the farm and get comfortable with the idea that they were about to have their pictures taken.
After taking a few of just Mom and Dad, we brought in the six kids ranging in age from 5 year old Tristan to twenty-two year old Angela, and we took a few full family photos.
After we spent some time photographing the entire family, we gave the boys a break and told them that they could go play on the rope swing under the old, twisted Oak tree. That gave us some time alone with just the four girls and Mom and Dad. I remember being a teenage girl with 4 sisters. Having family portraits done was not a priority ESPECIALLY if it meant I had to touch my sisters. These girls were no different than teenage me. They had to be talked into touching each other with the promise of a quality image that they'll cherish later. In the end, they warmed up to the idea, and I think we got some great images of them.
Next, it was the boys' turn to be photographed. I have two young boys. So, photographing two boys together comes semi natural to me. Look at these two handsome boys.
The Shalvay family has six gorgeous kids. I'm so honored that they chose me to capture these images of their small family. Thank you Shalvay family. We had fun!