Have you ever seen a family portrait that made you wonder WTF were they thinking? I'm sure we all have. Matching jeans and white T-shirts, Mullets on Everyone! A family portrait has its own category of photography. At least in my "book" it does! You have your traditional shots, which in my opinion is boring and then you have the creative! The portraits that show off the families personality. That is what I present to you tonight. Of course, this is not complete as I plan on getting Cory and Katie's Shot when I'm in California and tomorrow I'll get Rylan's picture. I was thinking about printing each person individually at about 3 feet tall and framing and mounting them separate as a multi image series.
This idea came to me shortly after Shawn and I got home from the interior design shoot.
Ok, so the house I shot in today was peculiar to me as it liked to repeat itself several times over. Shawn and I first noticed an over abundance of my favorite room - The Bathroom. It had one in every room and TWO in the master bedroom. Yes, 2 full bathrooms with walk in closets. One for him and one for her! I gave up counting at 11.
It also had 2 refrigerators in the kitchen and all the doors in the house are heavy that if they slammed on your finger they'd surely sever them clean off! The entire neighborhood looked as if it wiped its ass with money. The population of this area looked to be about 60% house maid and "help" in general. Oh, and all the bushes were either cut into perfect circles or hard edged squares and i'm not talking 8 foot bushes… They were at least 20 feet high or more! We have a 6 foot privacy fence while these people have 30 foot high decorative yet highly lethal, kung fu shrubs. You couldn't get through them in you tried! Ok, back to the shot!
In a random moment of inspiration I grabbed a note pad and a pen and sketched a rough picture of what you see in front of you. I had originally only thought to use my father. However, the family portrait idea soon followed and we were all into it!
I opted to setup the mini studio in the living room instead of outside. I didn't want to sweat my ass off before I got to take my shot. One by one I grabbed the family and told them to just be themselves. Give me what ever comes to mind. The only one who chose the normal route was of course my mother. However, don't let the smile fool you, my brothers and I get 80% of our outright strange behavior from her! I've always made stupid faces every time I pass a mirror, I sing christmas songs all year round and love to hum, I talk to myself and sometimes answer. I even make unexplainable and often off timed loud noises. I thought I was strange until one day I started to pay close attention to my mother only to find out she too has nearly all the same "oddities" that I do. Thanks mom for assuring that I will always cause dogs, small children and the occasional senior citizen to cock their head to the side in utter confusion.
Okay, so… each person was shot in two shots. One for the upper and one for the lower. Other than myself, everyone else only took about 6 shots total to get the pose perfect. Myself on the other hand had to set the timer and run into the shot. The upper body was simple for me but once it came time for the legs, I opted to shed some clothes. I stripped to my underwear in the living room as I was under the impression that the dedication to the shot would show through. I wanted business up top and party down below but didn't really have enough of my legs in the shot to illustrate the lack of clothing. So in the end, It appears as if I had taken my pants off for the sole purpose of, well… taking my pants off! I have a saying… "everyone will see me naked eventually!" ya, I still believe that is true. However, none of you will see me naked on the internet. That is a promise! Well, can't guarantee that so I'll just say, chances are slim you'll see me naked on the internet!
Post production was little more than tedious, finger cramping, ass numbing, bitch at the slow ass stupid POS computer… masking. Each of the 8 elements had to be completely masked. Shot vertically this gave me a file that could essentially be printed up to 6 or 7 feet wide! Will I do that? Not unless I get a really good deal on billboard space! Imagine how stupendously spectacular it would be to be driving to work and seeing the good 'ole Herbs up on the billboard? What are we selling… Nothing, were just there to put a smile on your face and possibly make you shake your head. Its probably a really good thing I don't have large quantities of idle money or you'd most likely see random pictures of me on the sides of highways! shit, I'd probably start my own milk company just so I could make the most bad ass labels! like, for my chocolate milk I'd have a picture of a bad ass cow in a 80's rocker wig and bandana popping out of the background with milk spraying everywhere all while giving you the devil horns! hell yes! I'd really shake things up for conservative America!
Ok, so I masked till I nearly passed out. I went cross eyed on at least 6 occasions and only lost 35 minutes of work when Photoshop crashed! All in all I'd say that this turned out pretty great! I know that out of my whole extended family, we now have the most badass family portrait! I dare any one of my family to try to top this! go ahead…
Ok, so its 6:11 am and I have a big shoot at 3pm with at least 2 hours of prep before leaving the house. Time for sleep!
AB800 Med Gridded Softbox at both 10:00 and 2:00 24 inches from
subject. 3/4 power
AB800 Beauty Dish boomed overhead at 6:00. 1/4 power