Its not every year that we have such beautiful foliage in Amarillo, Texas for family portraits. Some years it freezes one day and the next day the wind blows and drops all of the leaves. But the Indian Summer that we experienced this year was just long enough to change the trees to a golden yellow just before my Portraits in the Leaves event at Three Falls Cove Country Inn & Vineyards.
Here’s just one of the family portraits we created that day!
Many moms want a beautiful portrait of their family together, where the children are smiling, where they themselves look beautiful and in a setting that showcases the faces and personalities of their loved ones. Sometimes, finding a location is the last thing on their mind. But the location of your portrait is one of the many elements that can make or break a photograph.
There are many options for a great portrait location, like Palo Duro Canyon with gorgeous landscapes, a park that features deep backgrounds and manicured trees, or even your own home (which is my favorite!).
Each location that we choose must meet a few qualifying requirements. Among the requirements for a beautiful location is lighting. You don’t want the light so bright that everyone is squinting and you don’t want it too dark where there are dark shadows on your eyes and faces. The eye is the center point of a fine portrait, so lighting is very important.
Posing tools are also very important. Its key that each person look natural in the way they are sitting or standing, otherwise the photograph might seem awkward and distract from the faces of your loved ones. Posing tools can be found almost anywhere, like rocks in Palo Duro Canyon, or the right kind of tree in a park, or furniture in or around your home. The best posing tools are the ones that you almost don’t notice and help keep the focus on your family.
With every portrait that we create here at Davy Knapp Photography, we like to sit down with you ahead of time and plan the location along with other details like clothing. But since this article is on location we’ll leave clothing for another time. (The clothing you choose to wear in your portrait is super important too. It can make up to a 44 pound difference in how you appear on camera! Call us if you’d like more tips on clothing at 371-9210.) In our planning session we’ll chat about the best location for YOUR family portrait. We’ll discuss your ideas and suggest some that you may not have thought about based on the ages of your children and number of people in your family. By doing a little planning ahead of time we can insure that when its time for your session we can get right to creating beautiful images and not hum-hoeing around trying to decide where to go while the children get fussy.
This year Cassy and I have been working super hard on developing our own Portrait Garden here at the studio. In the Portrait Garden we’ve installed beautiful garden features that work both ascetically in photographs and also double as posing tools. We’ve selected plants with the help of Pete’s Greenhouse here in Amarillo that will look beautiful for each season of the year. Even though it does get cold, its not uncommon here in West Texas to have days that reach 60 degrees outside almost every month out of the year. We’ve arranged settings that work for morning light, afternoon light and cloudy days. We’ve constructed a fence that will block the wind most days as wind can be a factor in Amarillo. The Portrait Garden can accommodate family groups from 2 or 3 to 15 or 20. (We may be able to accommodate more, but 20 is the largest we’ve photographed so far out there!)
Just a few weeks ago, to celebrate the completion of the Portrait Garden, we gathered our entire family together to create a much needed updated family portrait. I can say fun was had by all and a big thank you goes out to our friend Buffy Ruthardt for capturing this moment for us.
With regard to your family portrait, we’d love to chat with you about creating an updated family portrait at a location that features your family’s personality whether that be at your home, the park, or our own Portrait Garden here at the studio.
We had a wonderful time working with children last week for our Autumn Light children’s day event. The weather cooperated beautifully! Here are a few of the photographs from one session. Aren’t they cute?
1703 South Tyler | Amarillo, TX 79102 | (806) 371-9210