November and December were busy months for Keen Image with people wanting family portraits to give as Christmas gifts. Once again many thanks to old and new clients who trusted me to shoot your special sessions.
In this blog I'm going to feature a shoot of 3 brothers wanting a portrait as a christmas gift for their mother.
Over the summer months my portraits tend to be mainly natural light, sometimes with a reflector to enhance the light and mood of the images, but rarely with flash. The winter however brings big challenges for the natural light photography so natural light alone was not going to be sufficient for either of these sessions, particularly given the further time constraints of getting some of these groups together.
Natural light isn't bad in winter, in fact you can get some quite stunning effects, as you can see from the images I've posted in this blog, it's just in short supply and prone to rapid changes, moving from harsh day-light to soft glowing sunset in less than an hour, so as always preparation was key.
The 'Brother's session' has an interesting story to it; my brief was to recreate a portrait taken of the 3 brothers 20 years earlier but with a modern twist. The original portrait was shot outdoors where the photographer had made a feature of a tree and the musical instruments and was finished in sepia tone. The story behind the instruments is that all 3 brothers are active musicians, in fact 2 of them play in an impressive jazz band 'the Swingshift Big Band' who regularly perform at major national and international jazz festivals. I had the pleasure of photographing Swingshift earlier last year when they played at the Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool. If you'd like to find out more about Swingshift and indeed see some of the images I took, then click on this link to their website - http://www.swingshiftbigband.org.uk .
For the portrait shoot I utilised my mobile studio gear, combining natural light and strobes with umbrellas and reflectors to make the most of the available light. The best effects were captured with the winter sun quickly setting behind the clients, with rich glowing colours lighting of the winter's sky and shimmering off the wet stone flags.
The brother's final selection is shown above (top middle) and on my advice they opted for a professional box frame with an high-gloss metallic and acrylic finish. I have to say the final product was stunning, certainly my favourite to date, the finish really showed off the detail in the image, and highly complimented the rich colours and metallic texture of the instruments. This finish will not suit all portraits however for this one it was just perfect and I'll certainly be recommending this finish again on the right images, and judging by the feedback the Brother's left on my guestbook, I think it's safe to say they were very pleased with the result!
Gent's thanks again for your business, the shoot was interesting, fun and all round an absolute pleasure!
In my next blog I'll be featuring a different family christmas portrait session, whilst taken the next day the look and feel for this assignment was very different...