A few of my recent family shoots have given me the opportunity to shoot inside, either at the clients home, or their condo/hotel room prior to moving on to the beach, and I have to say I am SUPER digging on this. It gives such a real feeling to everything. Most people that come to Maui and hire me are wanting photos that showcase the beauty of Maui. This process of starting in home (or hotel, or condo) first presents some unique opportunities.
Firstly, it sets the tone that the shoot is no big deal for kids. If it starts mellow, it stays mellow. And mellow, unstressed kids equal happy kids (most of the time). And I think starting on their turf, helps kids to let me in to their world a bit quicker. (this also seems to apply to husbands)
Secondly, it creates a real feeling in photos. My favorite photos of me and my kids are much less of me sitting at the beach with them all dressed up, and more of me carrying my kid through our hallway to their room, or tossing them playfully on to laundry couch (a fixture in our home since 2010 because I don't like, and can't ever seem to keep up with, folding the laundry). They are more of us just being us. So with a start at home, we get those moments that mirror every day life, and then we head over to the beach and get the ones you want for your holiday cards. It's kind of a best of both worlds deal.
This Maui Maternity session was exactly that. We hung and out played for a bit at the house, and then played at the beach. It was super mellow. It was simply playtime... for the kids (and for me).
These photos feel like my childhood summers in Cape Cod. We would spend, literally, all day at the beach... come home salty and sun burnt... and when we peeled off our suits, it revealed a pattern of plastered-on seaweed that had clung to our skin in the shape of our bathing suits. We would have jellyfish wars... throwing the gelatinous blobs at each other (makes me feel bad now... and also super grossed out). We didn't know at those times that we were making permanent memories. It was just the simple every day for us. But those are where most solid memories are formed. In the simple every day of playing with our siblings, and hanging at the beach getting sand in our butt crack. Having the opportunity to document the simple every day, feels like such an honor. And the thought that I was possibly able to give a tangible voice to those lasting memories for this family makes me feel like I've done something really worth while.