My last family session. Don't feel like it was my best work...


TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Jun 4, 2010
Reaction score
Wisconsin, United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Ok, so I'm really not feeling this session. It was challenging from the get-go. Lighting was hard. Colors were not jiving. Baby was unhappy and would literally cry the instant her sister touched her. Location was full of challenges. I dunno, I'm just really not too enthused the way the entire set turned out... I even feel like my basic composition, DOF, and timing skills seemed to fall away during this shoot for some reason.. I felt like I flubbed some of the most basic tenants of photography like making sure everything was in focus and shutter speeds were high enough! Gah! Not like me... This was definitely the most I've struggled with editing in a while, too.. When I got home after the shoot and downloaded the images, I kept going, "c'mon dude, get your sh*t together!"

Some positives; while trying to figure out some of the color issues I was turned on to camera calibration by using a checker card by advise from other forum members. Holy crap, why haven't I been doing that all along!

Anyway, I put some of my favorites up for review. I have other favorites, but didn't want to put too many up. And, despite my hesitation because I don't feel great about several of them, here is the full set: Kramer Family 2015

Any thoughts would be appreciated (besides the obvious not enough DOF in about half of them...) as I haven't delivered them yet.

1. Posted in another thread for feedback, but this was the final edit.





Last edited:
Four really nice shots from one session? Nothing wrong with that IMO. That first one is outstanding!
One of the problems with the digital age is that people have grown accustomed to expecting a LOT; dozens, if not hundreds of images. 20-30 years ago, a family portrait session would be one roll of 120, maybe two if you were really blowing the bundle. You might get 8-10 proofs to look at. Now, everyone expects to see a cornucopia of images... I've RARELY had a client order more than 2-3 poses.
From all the problems you listed, I was expecting a clunker of a set when I opened the Flickr link, but I think maybe your own behind the scenes challenges colored your writing a little too much. There are a good number of pretty good photos, especially as far as showing cute expressions and emotions. It's obvious the baby was NOT feeelin' it during the entire session, yet there are several really good shots of her! The ones with the pumpkin turned out well. Children of her age can be cranky at times. Big sis is adorable,. the dad has a nice, easy smile, and the mom is pretty and seemed to handle the camera well. The whole set has a really nice, hard to define "crisp" feeling to it--the lenswork looks "crisp", but most definitely not over-the-top with excessive vibrance or excessive saturation. It looks very modern, very clean, very real, in a good way. I think this session turned out pretty well, especially for one where the baby of the family was in a less than stellar mood.
The last one is my favorite...I think you perfectly captured the family as a whole. The only one I didn't like was the one where she is hanging off his neck....felt a little awkward. The one of the girl in full sun would have been better in the woods leaning on a tree but when you are trying for a variety of locations you are bound to get some bright ones.

Still a solid shoot and I'm sure the family will be thrilled. You are definitely being too hard on yourself :)

You want to see total crap my second last shoot was a **** show.
Really, how many portraits is someone going to actually use? And I'm with Derrell, I expected a bunch of clunkers (you disappointed us, we were looking for some real crap here! lol)

I think the second one is lovely. I agree the one w/the baby in B&W seems like one where the baby just wasn't having it, and the one of them standing in the trees seems like dad looks natural and the mom and daughter were in mis-step or unsure whether to stop or go. I like the last one too, I feel like I might want to be in a smidge closer, just slightly. Just watch the hair #4, it caught under her chin so is straggling and looks messy, probably needed to be rearranged so when she moved it would flow better.
Now that I'm looking further, lose the garage, lol, but the next one with the long shadows isn't bad (that baby just wasn't sure about this whole thing was she?). The third one is wonderful! all smiling, they look great! And the next one with dad snuggling with her is darling! I'd give them those two.

The next one that's done in color and B&W both is nice, and the one with dad holding the baby making faces is fun, they might like that since it captures her personality. And the one of her putting her hand on his face and he's laughing - there's a winner! that's one that makes you go aww and laugh. (You got more good pictures of her than you thought!)

The one of mom in B&W is nice, her hair going every which way kind of kills some of the other shots of her unfortunately. The one after the dip is a nice shot of the two of them. The one of dad himself #36 is real nice. The one with all four and baby holding the pumpkin is cute (the first one I think, not the one with the older girl's hand at her face). And the one of baby with the pumpkin coming toward the camera looking like she's ready to hike a football! lol The horizontal of the older girl w/the pumpkin #64 is nice too.

Since you were in a wooded area I'd maybe double check color and wb since the lighting that day maybe wasn't ideal. Some looked a tad cool, the baby's fair skin maybe.

You have plenty of good choices. I would pick the best and not use the ones that are so-so. There will always be some where somebody blinked or moved or looked a little awkward etc. if they ask. They may not if they're enjoying the ones that make you smile. Nice set overall.
#1 and #6 are great, IMO. Off to check the entire set on Flickr.
Thanks everyone for the confidence boost about this set! Perhaps I'm setting my own expectations too high at times. THE PRESSURE!!! I spent so many hours on these, even at one point wiping the slate clean and starting my edits over. I shot this family before and it was a summer time shoot a couple years ago, and those turned out awesome, so maybe I'm comparing the two shoots too much. This one was different, after all.

I'll take another look through and perhaps weed out a few that were mentioned and send them a smaller batch.

Most reactions

New Topics