For this blog post I'd like to touch on extended family sessions. For many photographers, extended family sessions can be a bit of a scary or even dreaded suggested. This is because of the amount of people in the frame. Some photographers may be afraid that they won't be able to get everyone smiling at the camera at the same time or don't know how to make the session flow like a normal family session might. Fear not, my friends! Whether you are a photographer looking for inspiration for this type of session or you are considering booking an extended family session for your family, I am here to give you some good news about your session.
First I'll let you in on a not-so-little secret: extended family sessions are my favorite sessions to photograph. One reason is because I find myself thriving on chaos when I am trying to get into my creative zone. I love the amount of people participating in an extended family session. As a person who takes pride in telling a story in my photography work there is an endless well of stories, connections, and details that make up an extended family. Grandparents + children, parents + children, grandparents + grandchildren, cousins, siblings, generational connections and groupings. There is ENDLESS inspiration and endless possibilities of groupings and pairings and relationships and LOVE going on within this these dynamics.
More importantly is that extended family sessions are just so gosh dang special. What a beautiful lasting memory for the grandchildren of the grandparents who head these families? As adults, how often do/did we have such a special connection with grandparents yet not have many photos for evidence to show our children? What a special legacy to leave for the rest of the generations to come after us. Photos serve as time-capsules of love and connections and what better way to capsulize your family than to be photographed in a timeless way on 35mm film?
For this session I started with the entire family for portraits and then photographed each child on black and white film before switching to color for the remainder of the session. The location was in + around the grandparents home and we ended the evening splashing in a creek that the sisters (now grown, with families of their own) reminisced on playing in as children. The photos here are shot on Ilford HP5 Plus 400 and Portra 400.
If you are thinking of gifting your family with an heirloom extended family session on 35mm film, please reach out ASAP! I would love to help tell your story and preserve your memories together.
Paducah, KY and Murray, KY + Greater Nashville Family Photographer