It was so awesome to go back to my old stomping grounds in San Francisco. Oh how I miss that city!
Today’s photoshoot was of Lisa, Danny and Sophie (21 months) who share my love for SF. This location was so cool — it had hills, a small park, alleyways, gorgeous architecture and great views.
San Francisco in the Winter
Of course all the amazing homes were perfectly adorned with holiday decorations! It was like they knew we were coming today.
And look at Sophie’s sweet smile! The W. family wanted mostly family shots, but I couldn’t stop taking Sophie’s portraits. Her little face was so cute!
It’s Not the City Without Parked Street Cars
The only thing I didn’t like from today were all the parked cars that lined the otherwise beautiful streets… and the 40 degree, see-your-breath weather! Brrrrr!
Thing is, everything else was so pretty that I grew to love even the parked cars! It’s not the city if it doesn’t have all the cars parked on the street, right?!!
I caught a glimpse of Lisa and Sophie playing ball together on the side of a truck. Gotta make use of the parked cars!
Cement & Grass
The city offers small parks surrounded by sidewalks and paved streets and long steps. It’s so much fun to do a lifestyle shoot at a location that has both suburban and urban qualities.
Is It A Backyard?
No? Are you sure?
It was actually the best park I had been to in San Francisco because it is so small that it was like having a private park with a view!
For fun, the W. family hung out in front of various homes, all with architecture that made our mouths gape! These homes were all perched on top of one of the tallest hills in San Francisco, and I imagine their views must be breathtaking. But Lisa and I even oogled the doors and doorways!
The photo on the right (below) was on steps that had bars. I played with Sophie through the bars to get this shot. Her smile melts my heart.
I love the expressions on Lisa, Danny and Sophie’s faces in this shot with the vines decorating the wall behind them.
Lesson for Photographers: Get It Where You Can Get It!
My lesson of the day for my blog followers who are photographers is that with some subjects, such as toddlers, you can’t force the shots.
Even if you find the best, most perfect location for photos — ie, the lighting is just right, the background is picturesque, and maybe it’s even a meaningful spot — if that moment isn’t right or your subject isn’t interested, then let it go. If you force it, the expressions you’ll get won’t be genuine or they won’t be the ones you want, such as an unhappy child, a baby arching his back or an adult with a artificial “cheese” smile.
Keep your subjects happy and go with the flow.
As with today’s cutie pie, Sophie (21 months old) didn’t care that we liked a spot with a view or another spot that was near a beautiful tree. When Sophie was ready to take a break from running at full speed, that was where we stopped for family shots!
Here are a couple examples. They were taken at the end of the shoot when Sophie was tired.
Below, she let both her parents hold her hands down a flight of stairs, which she didn’t let them do previously.
And here, she agreed to sit down with her parents, which gave me the opportunity for some tight family shots.
The location: some steps along the sidewalk! Nothing majestic and grand, but the moment was right.