I am so thrilled to share the amazing photography of Catherine Abegg with you today! I first became aware of Catherine’s work when I saw the beautiful pictures she took of my sister-in-law's family. The second I was done oohing and aahing over the photos from their shoot, I quickly asked my sis-in-law, WHO DID YOUR PHOTOS?? Turns out that she’s known Catherine for ages.
What I find most lovely about Catherine’s work is the feeling she evokes....that one has stepped into a perfect moment in time within a family.
I got in touch with Catherine and asked her to share more of her portfolio, as well as some professional tips for capturing children on camera:
“I'm not sure that I have any tips for photographing children, but I can tell you how I go about it. My photographic strength lies in portraits, but over the years I think I've gotten better & better at a kind of photojournalistic approach to family photos. I almost always ‘pose’ a family or a child when I am doing their photos--so that I know the composition of the photo will be strong--and then I kind of let things ‘just happen’, and capture it as it does. I love photographing families & kids in their homes, because I feel that's where they're most comfortable…and I feel like photographing them in their own environment lends itself well to the kind of organic feeling that I try to capture.
Actually now that I think about it, I guess I do have a few tips for photographing your own children:
1) Natural light works best! If you're hoping to photograph your child playing or doing something cute, turn off all the lights in the room, turn the flash off on your camera, and just plop them near a window. Magic!
2) Different angles works well if you're feeling that your house is a mess or there's too much going on in the background....you can get on the floor & shoot up towards your child if you don't want a bunch of stuff behind them, or you can stand above them & shoot down if you just want to get them in action & aren't worried about seeing their faces. But also remember, this mess won't be here forever! One day you'll look at the photos and not even think twice about your messy house, but instead be awash with memories of your child being small enough to sit in a room surrounded by toys & junk, with not a care in the world except to be with you.
3) Don't be afraid to photograph your kids just being kids. I've really tried to get my clients away from thinking that their children have to be smiling in every single photo. I can say (from experience!) that the children who are always told to "say cheese" or "give a pretty smile" when the cameras in front of them….they never look natural! They tend to look super uncomfortable, and have a hard time relaxing or naturally smiling & being themselves. Even telling your child, "No, don't give me your cheesy grin! Give me your natural smile!" is so very confusing to them. It's confusing to me! And to you too I'm sure, if you think about it!
4) Last but definitely not least, make sure you have prints made of your favorite photos. Or even make a book! I know for me, there is nothing better than going home & looking at old family photos with my loved ones… and I'm often afraid that with the age of digital, we won't be able to give that gift to the next generation. I would love for more people to start printing their photos, because we wouldn't want to lose that part of our history, both of our family history & otherwise. But! I do encourage always backing up all of your photos at home & on the internet, at sites like www.shutterfly.com or even www.costco.com.
I live in Seattle but I travel a lot, and am definitely able to book family sessions when I travel. This is what my travel schedule looks like….if any of these locations are near you, email me regarding specific dates & I would love to make time to do your family photos!”
August 2012: Vancouver, BC
September 2012: Ibiza, Spain
October 2012: Charleston, SC
November 2012: San Miguel, Mexico
March 2013: Nashville, TN
April 2013: Austin, TX
May 2013 Washington, DC
June 2013: San Francisco, CA
August 2013: Lake Tahoe, NV
October 2013: St. Louis, MO
November 2013: New Orleans, LA & Phoenix, AZ
December 2013: Miami, FL
Thank you SO much Catherine! I think her suggestion to make prints and photo albums is particularly helpful – I have some albums of Julia as a baby but everything from the past few years is on the computer. I’m going to try and have some holiday shots of our family taken at Christmastime! Aren't her photos lovely, lovely, lovely? More of Catherine's work can be seen on her website and blog -- the images will blow you away!