extended family

Large Group Family Photos Denver

My mom comes from a large family. She is one of seven kids and her father was one of eight. I remember her telling me that holidays were an absolute riot of fun with so many aunts and uncles and cousins together.   I loved to hear her stories of things they did together, all the different kids and cousins, all the fun of growing up with so many people to love. The funny thing is, though, I have never seen any photos of those gatherings. I can’t count all the cousins or see the chaos that must have reigned. It gets me thinking about the importance of getting good photos when family and friends gather for the holidays. The stories are so important, but so is being able to show, not just tell, your loved ones about days gone by. We all change, homes, relationships, the color on the dining room wall, your favorite china, the pets in our lives. Photographing those times is a terrific way to preserve your memories, remember who was there and who felt like being a grouch that day.

Large group family photos denver
Family walks up a hill away fro the camera.
Extended family group posing in front of a mountain.
Smaller group photo of just the adults and one dog.
Father and son talking
Family unit photo
Dad takes a cell phone photo in the distance.
All the kids, one grouch.

The way I like to photograph large groups (also knows as extended family photography) is to see if we can get a little energy into the images. Obviously we do try to get as much of an “ordinary” group photo as possible, but I do think that eventually the photos we will really treasure are the ones that show a bit more personality.

Typical large group family portrait in Denver
The goofy large group family portrait
Standard posed family portrat.
Posed family photo in the snow

Depending on the size of the group, I like to spend between 1-2 hours with the group. This allows me time to create the overall typical group portrait, get some more fun portraits of the group, and then break into smaller groups with grandparents alone, grandkids alone, grandparents and grandkids together, family units together, each generation together. In between, I try to capture moments that are unposed, so my clients have a bit of the overarching story to share as well.

Posed group family photo with dogs.
Group photo in the snow with dog photobomb.
Family gest ready or their photo, two dogs in ront.
family playing in tehs now with a dog
After the snowball fight.
Family unit portrait
Cousins getting goofy
Fun black and white moment photos
All the men in black and white
All the women in maatching red sweaters
Silly photo of man listening to his pregnant wife's belly
Family playing air shuffleboard
Two girls taking a selfie.

If the family has the time, we can do a longer session that includes more lifestyle photos of their day, perhaps their meal, or a family activity. That gives context and a lot more fascinating story to share with future generations.   Families can also schedule a Day in the Life Session with me for a true documentary experience. Learn more about Thanksgiving Documentary Family Photo Sessions here.

Interested in scheduling a large group family photo? Contact me.

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Documentary Family Photography in Denver

I was very grateful that Jessica, one of my longest-term lifestyle clients, agreed to try a session of documentary family photography in Denver this summer.  One of the biggest challenges I'm facing with transitioning my business into a more documentary style is that my existing clients aren't sure they want to go with me.  Day in the Life photography is relatively new, largely unknown to the general public, and while I get a lot of excitement about the concept, when it comes to committing to a session, it's difficult for them to walk away from more traditional photos. One thing Jessica and I agreed upon was that we would take time to shoot a very short session of traditional posed where kids get dressed up and they get something more typical for their Christmas cards.  I think that makes it an easier decision for her  and I plan to offer that to all my clients.

I still feel strongly about my posed lifestyle photography but I am moving toward documentary work because it feels so much more emotional to me.  I want my clients to be deeply moved when they see their photos, I want them to see sides of themselves, their partners, parents, or children that they don't see all the time.  Documentary family photos are a window into life today that a cute posed photo by a Christmas tree in September will never give you.

A funny side note to this session:  the cat doesn't belong to them.  Both kids, separately, told me the cat was theirs and so I took a number of photographs of him.  Later when I asked mom and dad when they got a cat they said "Cat?  What cat?"  Evidently the cat, Pickles, has been hanging around their house a lot since these photos were taken, so he's included as an honorary family member.

Grandma blowdries her hair while grandaughter watches in mirror
Grandma blowdries her hair while grandaughter watches in mirror
Toddler boy facing off with cat about four feet away.
Toddler boy facing off with cat about four feet away.
Silhouette of kids running out the front door.
Silhouette of kids running out the front door.
Family hanging out on the back porch.
Family hanging out on the back porch.
Over the shoulder photo man playing guitar while family gathers in teh background.
Over the shoulder photo man playing guitar while family gathers in teh background.
Grandpa throws football to little boy and girl.
Grandpa throws football to little boy and girl.
Profile of handsome man playing guitar.
Profile of handsome man playing guitar.
Closeup of little boy on plastic horse drinking a juice box.
Closeup of little boy on plastic horse drinking a juice box.
Little girl wiggles a loose tooth.
Little girl wiggles a loose tooth.
Little boy licking his mom's chin.
Little boy licking his mom's chin.
Kids playing in the yard with a plastic horse on springs and a teepee in the background.
Kids playing in the yard with a plastic horse on springs and a teepee in the background.
Woman hanging out on her porch.
Woman hanging out on her porch.
Little boy holds a football in a doorway.
Little boy holds a football in a doorway.
Grandparents at a picnic table.
Grandparents at a picnic table.
Beautiful woman looking away.
Beautiful woman looking away.
Boy and girl playing under a tent.
Boy and girl playing under a tent.
Four up photo of girl dancing in her living room.
Four up photo of girl dancing in her living room.

I was treated to a fabulous dance performance to the painfully cute French version of The Gummy Bear Song.

I'm anxious to know how John, Jessica, Janine and Jim feel about these photos.

I'm interested to know what you think, too.

Ready to schedule a Documentary Family Photography session?  Contact me!

Nagel Extended Family Photos in Frisco

It was a crummy, snowy day in Denver when I drove to do the Nagel extended family photos in Frisco the day after Christmas.  I was looking forward to an arduous drive but happily discovered just as I reached the foothills that the snow had quit.  Andrew Nagel asked me to photograph their family who were together for the first time in ten years.  They were all staying in a rented house in Frisco and enjoying the snow, skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.  With so many people we only had time for mainly posed group shots but I couldn't resist some fun in the snow with the cousins at the end.  Click here to see more family photos. Extended Family Photos