Do most families gather after the holiday dinner for an informal portrait, shot by whomever remembered to bring a camera? When I was growing up, the photographer was Grandma who rousted us from whatever position had been comfortably assumed (often napping after all that turkey) and insisted on not just one but several shots each with a different selection of personnel, i.e. just the kids, just the adults, just this or that side of the family. It could take quite awhile and we children looked on it as an ordeal to be dreaded. Resistance was futile.
Looking back on those pictures, though, I'm glad she took them even though the hair styles, clothes, and awkwardness of growing up is a little embarrassing now. Families are priceless and should be documented often.
This portrait was shot last Christmas; it represents my side of our family, my two sisters and brother, their children and significant others. Since then, Nick & Nichole, top row, second & third from left, have welcomed a baby daughter that I'll get to meet soon. We'll all be gathering in a month for the wedding of Shelli & Scott, center on the couch.
At the time, I wanted more organization to the picture, better composition, and tried to direct people toward that intention. But this is an independent bunch and they posed where and how they wanted. It was shot quickly and painlessly, and in the end, I really like how it came out. It reflects who they are and what our family holidays are like these days: casual, warm, relaxed, friendly, happy to be together.
I'm so thankful for this family, for their unconditional love and support. I wish all of God's blessings upon them, and upon you and your family as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and definitely take a picture!
Technical data: Canon 5D MK II, 2 Speedlites fired thru white umbrellas, ISO 200, f/8, 1/60, 24-70mm @ 27.
© 2011 Vicki DeGruy, all rights reserved.