Beach Adventure

Let's Be Real in Family Photos - West Seattle Family Portraits at Alki Beach

What if my kid doesn't smile at the camera? What if they have a short attention span? What if they're obsessed with rocks and won't do anything else during our family photo shoot? First of all, who cares? Let's think about this experience as a moment to capture how things they really are. Smiley photos are nice, but the ones we LOVE are the grumpy faces that you'll laugh back at, the intense focus on the shiny object (the truck, the hose, the rock), the snuggles from mom after a major meltdown. These beautiful moments of life can be captured with beautiful photography.

If we go into the shoot fixated on getting smiley photos then we're going to be stressed or frustrated if the kids don't cooperate and we'll be disappointed with the end product. If we go in open minded, give the kids freedom to explore or be shy, and celebrate the raw honest moments that are the most private and special (least photographed), then we're in for a treat.

As your photographer, I prioritize the art of making sure the photographs look beautiful and they are as flattering as possible to you. I am sensitive to double-chins, un-tucked shirts, blinking eyes etc... I keep an eye out for these things while you play freely. I want to take photos for you that are actual happy memories that got captured. I'm not as interested in taking photos that are posed just for the sake of a photo...I mean, what's the point of that?

When you look at a posed photo, sure you look pretty but does it make your heart sing with joy? I want to take photos that make you feel, cry, laugh and remember how wonderful your life is with these people you love. That's what we're shooting for, literally. So...what if your kid doesn't smile? What if they just want to hide behind your leg? We're working with kids, which means we're working with magical little creatures. Let's be patience, accepting and curious and see what happens and I'll capture it beautifully for you. Lots of love, Chamonix.

LOCATION: Alki Beach

How to Take Tropical Looking Family Portraits in Seattle Weather

Would you believe me if I told you we took these tropical family photos in Seattle? I bet I could convince a non-Seattlite that I sent my photographers to Hawaii to photograph the Chen family this summer. haha!

Seattle is such a gem for family photo shoot variety - we can take family portraits in the city, the forest, the mountains, the beach, the fields of tulips, lavender farms, vineyards, industrial yards...the list goes on!

If you're looking for a little beachy vibe for your Seattle family photography session, I recommend either Sunset Beach in Edmonds or Golden Gardens Beach in Ballard. Olga photographed the Chen family at Golden Gardens last month and she brought home a collection of images blew me away. I don't remember the last time I saw this Hawaiian vibe in our images and it made me so happy :)

the Happy Film Company - Chen Family - 7.jpg

There were three main reasons we were able to achieve this tropical style in our Seattle portrait sessions. 

1) The time of day (right before sun set when the summer sun was still pretty bright) gave a golden glow to the air.

2) Shooting towards the sun. By pointing her camera in the direction of the sunlight, Olga was able to get either a 'sun flare or sun haze' in her lens OR the sun was shining through the leaves of the trees and she could see the green glow from underneath. This golden glow in the leaves is really the 'golden ticket' to summery tropical looking photos. 

3) Shooting by the water and catching the sun glimmering on the water, the sand, or shining on the family's skin and hair. It's tricky because if you don't get the correct angle, the sun can go straight into your camera lens and everything will look way too bright. It takes practice to learn that perfect angle but when you find it it's heavenly.