First of all, I hope you all are ready for this CUTENESS OVERLOAD.
Amy and Sanders reached out to me a few months ago to set up a fun family photo session. Her son, Christian was going to turn one year old and they wanted to capture this special time as their little one was growing up way too fast (most parents know the feeling!). She also wanted to do a few cute cake smash photos near the end! But, we couldn’t get too messy because right after the shoot, we would head to Christian’s 1st birthday party to celebrate with friends and family. What a fun day!!
Due to the timing of the event, we had to schedule the photo session at 12:00pm – right in the middle of the day. Amy expressed that she wanted some greenery in the photos, rather than the October fall “feel”. After scouting a few locations, we agreed that Balboa Park would be the best spot for our photo session. Now…for all my photographers out there, you know that shooting in the middle of the day, with the super harsh sun, minimal shade, along with tons of people at Balboa Park on a Saturday can feel like quite a challenge. But I want to share a few tips for those who are shooting in these circumstances and how to make sure you leave with beautiful images for your clients!
1. Take the time to scout your locations in advance (ideally at the exact time of day the shoot will be held). Don’t leave it up to the day of the event/photo session to show up and scramble to find a good spot. Doing the work ahead of time will ensure you give your clients the highest quality photos because you’ve already chosen the best location for the light and settings.
2. Look for an area with open EVEN shade. This can be tricky in the middle of the day. There are a lot of locations at Balboa Park that had shade from trees but that were very uneven and showed “hot spots” from the sun shining through the trees. I always look for areas with even shade AND large amounts of shade. If you’re photographing a subject in shade but the background is a bright, unshaded area, it will look very blown out and you won’t be able to see any detail behind your subject.
3. This is an obvious one, but I’m not a fan of photo bombers! ;) If you have people walking in the background of your image, it will look distracting and less professional. But how in the world are you going to find an empty spot at Balboa Park on a Saturday!? You have to be a little strategic about this. A lot of the obvious attractions (like outside of museums, water fountains and rose gardens) will be where everyone is gathered around. So when I was scouting for a location, I found a little area in the very back of the rose garden that had a large patch of grass and was completely empty because there really wasn’t much to see over there. However, it was the PERFECT spot for our photos!! The shade was even, I got little pops of color from the roses in the background and nobody was walking behind the family. Success!
Now, let’s get back to the cuteness of this photo session. Christian is such a handsome little guy and he was so great in front of the camera! Amy & Sanders were also a huge help, making silly noises and dancing in the background while I snapped some priceless images of his big, beautiful smile. They even brought the perfect little cake for Christian’s cake smash photos, balloons and bubbles. And I won’t even go into how adorable he looked in his little suite and bowtie. We headed to their church right after the portrait session for the birthday party. It was an intimate group of family and friends that showered Christian with love, hugs and kisses. Some of my favorite photos are the photos of the “Doljabi”, which is a Korean tradition where you put out a few “career” items and you let the baby crawl and pick one up. It’s supposed to mean what they’re going to be when they grow up! Christian chose the microphone & the football. Maybe a singer/ entertainer/ professional athlete in the future? Awesome!
They had a slideshow playing in the background of the party, including adorable baby pictures and videos of Christian. One of the slides had a verse on it which said: “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4. What a perfect verse to pray over your child. I wish many blessings to Christian and his family!