In between relentless humidity and unpredictable rainstorms, I recently had a family contact me about family portraits while they were in the Charleston area. After tossing a few location ideas around – some more tourist-filled than others – we decided to shoot at Hampton Park near the Citadel. If you are interested in a session but can’t decide where to go, Hampton Park is a really smart choice. With blooming flowers (even after azalea season is over), live oaks, pretty architecture, and myrtle-lined paths, it offers a lot of different scenery in one area . In fact, I often wonder why more people don’t choose to go there. Maybe they don’t realize what a little gem it is?
When I met my client’s family – who happen to live close enough that I’d consider us neighbors of a sort – I quickly felt comfortable around them. I have no shame in admitting that I do get nervous before sessions, particularly if I’m meeting new people. And I consider myself somewhat extroverted in nature! This family was so relaxed, and funny, and happy to be together, though, that feeling at ease really didn’t take long at all. (And I knew it would be that way when I read her answers to my client questionnaire.)
Have you ever thought about spending a big holiday – like Thanksgiving – with another family? Could you fit right in? If someone accidentally dumps a bowl of stuffing, or the kids get into the pumpkin pie early, or the turkey is overdone – will everyone just laugh it off because – “Hey, we are together, and just enjoying each other and our time together is what matters?” Plus, you know, the occasional exchange of inside jokes, or bad jokes, and maybe even a few dirty jokes. …Please tell me that isn’t only my family?!
I have a few friends whose families are like that, and I imagine a big dinner would be similar to that with this family, too. Their photos are just fun – from the bright, casual clothes they wore (A++) to the way they connect with each other. I wouldn’t dare ask for more. They are terrific.