Family Portrait: The Paxsons
When Meagan told me to expect sunny weather for our shoot, I had my doubts. I knew that the weather in the Inland Empire had been just as menopausal as it had been in Las Vegas. You know, one day really hot; and then another day, slightly cool and super windy. It was pretty difficult to know what to expect during spring of 2013.
Fortunately, I can say that the weather was perfect in Upland, California, on that Saturday in early May. Meagan and Todd Paxson wanted a fun outdoor family portrait. Their giggly and oh-so-adorable daughter, Olivia, has enjoyed posing for the camera pretty much ever since she was born this past December. So, of course, we assumed she’d be a ham during our shoot…
Since she is just a little baby, I thought I’d keep the setting simple. There’s a nice park right down the street from the family’s home. That was also one of the three locations where I’d shot their maternity portraits. So, it just kind of made sense to shoot the photos there. We scheduled the shoot for 6 PM, right before May’s gorgeous Golden Hour.
My lovely mother, who assisted me during the shoot, and I arrived at the park about 5:45. As luck would have it, the park was flooded by high school students! Tons and tons of high school students, all dressed up for prom… and of course their photographers, all gathered in the exact area where I’d planned to shoot the Paxsons.
As a photographer, you always have to just go with the flow, and work with what you have. When you do that, this amazing thing happens. Call it divine intervention, serendipity, Law of Attraction… you can even call it “luck” if you’d like! Call it what you will. But, whatever it is, it never disappoints. It makes the moment work for you, just the way it’s supposed to.
The lighting wasn’t quite Golden Hour rich yet, so I began by shooting the Paxsons by trees. Then, just as Magic Hour started, all of the high school students cleared out, and we had pretty much the entire area to ourselves.
I’m kind of a light-nazi, so I moved the family around a few times for prime lighting, which also allowed me to capture them in different scenes. One on the grass. Another on a park bench. Another standing up.
Baby Olivia, who is usually smiley and always staring up at the camera, seemed a little distracted that day. She continually stuck her arm in her mouth. It was pretty stinkin’ adorable! But, we wanted to capture some of her adorable face (and many different expressions). And, we did!
Because I’m a lifestyle photographer, I strive to document life in its authentic form. So, I had Meagan and Todd just be themselves – playing with their baby, laughing with her, making her smile, celebrating life… that’s what it’s all about, right?
I must say, after reviewing my photos, mission accomplished!
Gina Mizzoni Photography is a custom Las Vegas lifestyle photographer (and storyteller) specializing in a variety of custom services including maternity, engagement, portraits, boudoir and family (human and fur-baby) portraits. Gina is also a landscape photographer and documentarian with a true passion for the great outdoors and the state of Nevada. Her medium consists of two: pictures AND words.
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