Family Photos

When we were in Langley visiting Shawn’s family at the beginning of July, we got a “professional” photographer to do some family photos for us. Don’t worry, grammar nerds, I didn’t use those quotation marks for emphasis. I used them because I didn’t feel that the whole experience was all that professional. Granted, the photographer is just starting out, but if I was just entering my chosen field, I would want to put extra love and time into everything I did so my business would flourish. Shawn and I didn’t really feel that our experience was very pro.

The lady who did the session, owner of Louroo Photography, did the newborn photos for our niece, so Shawn’s mom thought she would be a good choice, and as she’s just starting out, the session fee wasn’t sky high. She was able to be flexible with two littles along for the ride, so that was nice, but for me, that’s where the good impressions ended.

The whole thing felt extremely rushed; I don’t think we were out for much more than an hour, if that, to photograph six adults and two babies. The time distribution between the three couples was also a little skewed, with us getting the short end of the stick. This was especially noticeable when we got the pictures back; not a single shot of just the two of us made it through. Apparently, they just weren’t good enough.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m getting pictures done and the photographer says something like, “Got it!” I assume they got a usable shot. If they say they got it and I find out later that they’re not happy with anything they took, that’s not likely to make me happy. When my mother in law asked what happened, she did say there was one that she felt okay about sending on, but so far we’ve seen nothing. That’s also not encouraging.

I could just be extremely spoiled when it comes to photographers and their work. Our wedding photographer, Kelly Redinger, was absolutely amazing. For example:

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This is not even one of the best shots. It’s not even one of the retouched shots. It’s just one of the many fabulous things that happened with a little bit of direction and his finger on the trigger. That’s one of the things I loved about him. He took pictures until he was sure he got exactly what he was looking for, no matter how long it took, and he gave us all of them, even the ones where we were blinking or making a funny face. That way, we had so much choice it was insane.

Then, there was the newborn photographer that we used, Kristen J Photography. She had the same kind of philosophy: it takes as long as it takes, and I’ll take as many shots as I need to get the best ones. (I mean, why not? It’s digital. Taking more photos doesn’t cost you any more. Sure, editing them does, but only edit the best ones.) For example:

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She was so patient with all of us, and was amazing at making us feel comfortable. For our session being the first meeting, this was a great skill to have. Also, trusting someone with your brand new baby isn’t easy, but I had no problems putting Finn in her capable hands.

The actual pictures we got from our family photo session were lacklustre. She has the general idea, but she needs to take way more shots to make sure she gets something that’s really great. That’s the joy of digital. More pictures does not equal more money required on the part of the photographer, unless they choose to edit them all, like I stated above. She also need to work a little on composition, but that could be my lack of love for overly staged shots coming through.

So, without further ado, these are the photos I didn’t hate:

I edited this one myself to correct a gap at the bust of my dress that was showing off my white bra. Not flattering.

I edited this one myself to correct a gap at the bust of my dress that was showing off my white bra. Not flattering.

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Edited

There were also some where the babies were on their tummies, but I guess Natalya ended up in focus and Finn was blurry. I don’t know how that happened or how she didn’t notice. Oh well. Adorable photo op wasted.

There are a few things I should probably make clear: I didn’t dislike these most of these photos because I didn’t get my hair and makeup done, or because they weren’t retouched. I had one photo with pro hair/makeup above, and one where I did everything myself, and neither of them were retouched. I just think this particular photographer has some work to do. Some of the shots were okay, like the ones posted above, but this is not someone I would consider going back to in the future without evidence of some serious improvement.

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Local Jazz: Kristen J. Photography

When I started looking for a newborn photographer, I had no idea what I was looking for. Shawn didn’t think we needed the photos at all, but this may be the only baby we ever have, so I wanted to make sure things were properly documented.

The web was scoured. Many a website was looked at, many a portfolio perused. Honestly, nothing really jumped out at me, regardless of the price being charged, and I was starting to feel very discouraged. Perhaps these photos just weren’t meant to be.

It was at this point that I decided to take a different approach: I started thinking about all the newborn photos I had seen in the last year, and which ones really stood out for me. The clear winner came from a friend and co-worker of my mum at work. Her daughter had twins in the last year, and I really loved her photos. We decided to ask who had done them and go from there.

Kristen J. Photography┬áturned out to be just what we needed. not only was she within our budget, but I liked everything she had on her website. That doesn’t happen for me very often (hence why it took us such a long time to find a wedding photographer). I decided to shoot off an email, and the rest is history.

Our photos were taken two days after we got home from hospital, when Finn was five days old. Everything about the shoot went smoothly, in spite of the fact that I got pooped and peed on. Finn was brilliant and we ended up getting some really great shots. Take a look:

Five days old! Photo by Kristen J. Photography

Five days old!
Photo by Kristen J. Photography

With daddy.

With daddy.

Wearing the custom Finn the Human (Adventure Time) hat from his Auntie Caelin.

Wearing the custom Finn the Human (Adventure Time) hat from his Auntie Caelin.

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Finn was definitely the star of the show. Both of us were exhausted. Shawn forgot to shave. I was super sore from my surgery, and I had grey hairs sticking out all over the place. Still, I’m so happy with how things turned out. Kristen was amazing to work with: great with the baby, super personable, easy to talk to and easy to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her to anyone else.

Looking back on these pictures now, I realize how dark Finn’s hair was when he was born. It was nearly black, with white blonde eyebrows and lashes. Now, his hair is more the colour of Shawn’s, and his eyebrows are darkening to match. Either way, I’m not ashamed to say that I think he’s one beautiful baby.