After our trip into Panama City Beach, while Kristen and her parents, Bill + Debbie were prepping dinner, I went for a stroll along the beach, just to see what there was to be seen (and shot!)… I didn’t have to go very far before I spotted a large family standing, with their backs to the ocean, about 20 feet away from a tripod on the sand. As I kept meandering up the beach with the end of the waves rolling over my ankles, I stopped to shoot a forgotten shoe covered with sand. (It was fun at the time, but not super cool, so I’m not posting it.) After a minute, I looked up and saw the family still there, but with one of the people behind the tripod and camera. I watched as he ran over to the group to get in place, obviously having just set the timer. And so I walked towards them.
As I walked closer, I could see that there were 10 people in the bunch. When I came about 7 feet of their camera, I asked if they wanted me to just press the button for them so they didn’t have to use the timer. And the man (now, closer, I could see it was the dad in the group) was thankful. So I snapped a few shots and then they asked, “Do you have any suggestions?” Meaning, did I have any suggestions for a different group setup. Well, I’m pretty sure they had no idea at the time that I do do what I do.
Doo-deee-dooody-doo… (had the throw that in there.)
And, I have to admit, I fumbled. Just for a moment. Here I was, full-on in vacation (i.e. no work) mode, and I had a family asking me what they should do for their picture. I’m pretty sure I said something like “Well, you can just do a funny one.” And so they did… kinda, but half-hearted. And, as I stood there, pressing the little button on their camera (which was a mini-Nikon SLR, by the way! Props!) I thought to myself, “Umm, hello? Kris? this is what you do, sir. Get to it.”
And so, I quickly came out and explained: This is what I do, and if they would like, I’d be happy to shoot some great shots of their family with my camera (I had no idea how their was set, you see) and send it to them later. And, then, no longer being just some average passer-by, they were very into the idea.
Brain and fingers and eyes kicking in to high gear now: 1) I don’t want to make this some big, long drawn out thing: I’m on vacation; they’re on vacation, so 10 minutes max 2)I didn’t want to just do another big-group shot, because they had just got that and the kids looked a little bored with it… 3) I wanted to focus on just a few quick shots of small groups. And so, 4) I gave the kids and parents a break and started with grandma and grandpap: who, I instantly learned were Evelyn and Mark. And, oh-my-word. Aren’t they just so adorable?
So, then, next(!), came the parents. Again, via quick questions while shooting: Denise and Todd are from Indianapolis, Indiana. Ev and Mark are Todd’s parents. Why do you have six kids? We wanted a big family. DUH, Kris! But, don’t you just love Denise’s freckles? They’re also adorable (the couple and the freckles!)
And then, cue the kids! I love this shot with Mom & Dad getting all lovey with the kids in the back. <3And my setup lead right into the kids’ groups. Again, keeping with the smaller groups, but also showing the whole bunch.
Right after this Kristen came strolling up the beach. Apparently she had been wondering where her husband had gone… Oh, you know honey… just off making pretty pictures again!
Alright, tomorrow I’m headed to NYC for a shoot, but when I get back, for Part 3 of our vacation, I’ll tell you about our visit to the cutest little town on the Gulf! Appropriately named: Seaside, Florida!