Lenscurve’s history with Joanne and Steven goes back to 2012 when they hired us to cover their wedding reception in a night club in Glasgow. They had already had their wedding ceremony in New York with a small number of close family and friends and wanted a celebration for their family wider circle of friends back in Scotland.
I had recently been looking to make a start at doing lifestyle family photography and had been contacted by some of our previous wedding clients who were looking for family portraits. I decided to offer an approach to family portraiture that was more natural and relaxed than traditional posed photographs at home, studio or in front of a plain backdrop. Essentially the same approach we take towering photography at Lenscurve. This would involve going along on a day out in order to capture all three of them interacting and enjoying their day in a relaxed manner and in a beautiful/interesting location.
Between Joanne, Steven and myself we chose Whitelee Wind Farm just outside Eaglesham, to the south of Glasgow as a location. This is the largest on shore wind farm in western Europe and had become a popular tourist attraction. The wind farm is in a fantastic moorland location, looks great in the low autumn sun and provides one of the best views over Glasgow. Almost as important were the picnic site with shelters in case of a change in weather and the coffee shop/visitor centre with well equipped baby-change facilities, just in case. I had visited, and photographed, Whitelee several times myself in the past with my own daughter in her pushchair so knew the area fairly well and had the opportunity to check out the facilities.
The next thing was to set aside a couple of dates to get the shoot done as a contingency against the very changeable Scottish weather. Thankfully the second date we chose was a slightly cold but very clear sunny autumn day.
We tried out several ideas, including using my ‘MacPac’ rucksack with baby seat on top on Steven’s back, walking/pushchair shots but most were taken in and around the wooden shelters at the picnic site. This provided some shade and a variety of backgrounds with the blue sky and wind turbines as well as the natural wood of the arched shelters.
I specifically selected a very small camera and lens combination so that it wasn’t immediately apparent to everyone around us that a professional photo shoot was going on. I also used the flip out screen on my camera so that I could maintain eye contact with their baby, as I’d found that my own daughter tended to frown when I hold a camera over my face. Eye contact is very important and using the screen also allowed me to pop up form behind the camera and say ‘BOO!’ to get smiles too! I also tried shooting into the sun to deliberately cause lens to flare to emphasise the low, golden morning sunshine.
I was very pleased that Joanne and Steven loved the shots that I took for them as it’s always a bit nerve wracking trying out a new type of photography. I look forward to being able to launch this new service offered by Lenscurve via our website and can’t wait to get more family shoots like this done.