TheGrays-2 TheGrays-8 TheGrays-13 TheGrays-20 TheGrays-26 TheGrays-27 TheGrays-35 TheGrays-34 TheGrays-41 TheGrays-32 TheGrays-42 TheGrays-46

We had our photos taken by, the amazing, Amy Carlston a few weeks back. It was pretty stressful, honestly. But, it probably didn't need to be. I think I put a little too much pressure on myself, and I learned a few lessons out of it. 

This was our first "photo shoot" of any kind, since our engagement wedding photos almost five years ago. And, all of those shoots were taken by good friends. This would have been our first photos ever taken by a stranger. Yikes! So, I was pretty nervous and worried about making everything just right. Originally, I had planned on taking them at Baker Beach- you know, the beach with the Golden Gate in the background. I spent all week trying to find an outfit that was beachy and flowy or something, and was stressed to the max. It took me a while to realize that it just wasn't feeling right, and it just wasn't us. In fact, a scheduled photo shoot in general doesn't really feel like us. Believe it or not, I am a little camera shy. So, I decided that I would rather have Amy capture a typical Gray afternoon. We went to the Mission District in the City, stopped by Bi-Rite Market and Ice Cream, and played at Dolores Park.

Not going to lie, Eliza was NOT into it. I tried everything. I made sure she was dressed comfortably (minus her shoes, which kept falling off). I fed her, and made sure she took a good, long nap. And, I came equipped with chocolate. But, we literally got three photos of her smiling in the entire set. I had to just let it go and laugh because, really, that's Eliza. (Especially that last photo.)

So, lessons learned:
1. Don't stress. Just don't do it.
2. Don't take family photos. 

Kidding. Just don't take them with a purpose. Take them to have fun! I think I had imagined exactly what they would look like, and tried to fashion the day around that image. These were going to be for our Christmas card. and I wanted it to be perfect. But, we are not perfect. So, that's just silly. I wish I would have just enjoyed it more, and not worried about everything being perfect.

Looking back, I would have picked a location even more comfortable for us- like our favorite park here in Berkeley, or even our home. Something close by, and that doesn't take too much preparation. I would have also requested a 30 minute shoot, max. Eliza lasted 20 minutes before she was totally done. We spent the second half of the time playing on the playground while she stripped off her clothes.

Also, I would have brought a friend that Eliza loves and feels comfortable with. Amy was an amazing photographer, and she really knew her stuff. But, with her behind the lens and us in front of the lens, there was no one there to entertain and make Eliza happy. It might have been a good idea to have a friend standing near Amy, that would make Eliza smile and laugh. I don't know, it's just an idea.

Also, last lesson learned:
3. Be happy with the results. 

As long as you have a talented photographer (like Amy!) you will get nice photos. They might not be perfect, and smily. But, they will be a beautiful representation of that particular afternoon. I don't know when we will do this again. but I am grateful that we did! Thank you for your beautiful work, Amy!

I feel like we learned a few lessons- but does anyone else have advice?? My photographer friends?

1 comment:

  1. You described it perfectly. When it comes to nice family photographs, spend a little time on the set up and then have fun. You will see the real Grays (not Gray's...hee hee.) If you want to see what happens when you attempt to direct everything, look at any of our old family portraits from Sears. We look like we were embalmed.