Studio Family Session | Monreal Family | Cityhouse Collective
I adore this family! I met Eli and Jon a few years ago when I photographed Eli's first maternity session for little Jade. Then last fall I photographed Eli's maternity session when she was expecting baby JJ. Now that they're a family of four, I got to capture their relationship during a lifestyle in-studio family session at Cityhouse Collective.
We chose Cityhouse Collective in Pflugerville for their family session because it has the most beautiful natural light and a large bright open space that can be personalized with different pieces of furniture and moveable walls. I love the minimalist look of the space so we focus all of our attention on the interaction between their family. A studio session is a wonderful option during months where the weather might be questionable. No matter if it's freezing or blazing outside, sunny or raining, a studio always has consistent temperature and light.
I love photographing families of four because there is such a variation of poses available! They can be a unit of four all together or separate. Each parent can hold a child or the kids can be together and parents separate in the background. They can be standing, sitting, laying, playing, smooching, or teaching.
While we had specific poses in mind for them, we also wanted to be able to capture real life without any interference from posing. It's so easy to do a lifestyle session with kids because they don't carry the expectation to sit and smile. They can have a true experience of learning and playing with their parents.
Little miss Jade fully supported the lifestyle idea and showed off her personality at every turn. She's rarely sit still to smile. All cooperation involved either the baby shark song, looking at herself in the mirror, or trying to steal my camera from me.
On the other hand, little baby JJ was so calm, quiet, and accepting of all that was happening. He has the cutest little smile and his parents adore the pieces out of him. I love this point of view above their heads to see their interaction from a different perspective. Little Jade also was captivated by his baby charm and loved the opportunity she got to hold him herself.
That brick wall behind John and Jade is one side of the reversible portable wall that Cityhouse Collective offers. The other side (at the time of the session) was light pink. They change the paint color of the wall often depending on the season/holiday!
When in doubt, airplane it out!!! I love how the world could be seemingly crashing around a two-year-olds brain, but the second they're lifted into the air, all is right in the world again.
The garage doors at Cityhouse Collective let in gorgeous natural light. The bottom half of the garage has frosted windows which provides privacy while also allowing diffused soft light to stream through. It makes for a unique modern backdrop.
With every family session I do I try to get every variation of poses with each member. While it's fun to capture the energy as a unit, it is just as important to get mom and dad alone with each of their kids. It can be difficult sometimes when they go through a phase and have a "favorite" parent, but that can make it even more special when they end up cooperating!
Can you feel the love seeping out of them into baby JJ? Ah! He is so very loved!!!
While it is sweet to share the photos that seep love and tenderness, it is just as important for me to share the real life imperfect photos. If a child throws a tantrum, and they're known for being a little pain in the butt at this stage of their life, I'm for sure going to capture and deliver that photo! I want to capture a family AS THEY ARE - not curate what kind of relationship I think they should have.
Tears one minute and all smiles the next. Her daddy was right behind me making silly sounds to prompt this smile. To get real smiles from kiddos, sometimes I play peekaboo with my camera, tell them that if look really hard into the lens they can see an animal and tell me what they see (imagination can prompt smiles!), or I even have "lens buddies" like a elastic stuffed giraffe that I can wrap around the lens to get their attention. Also, many parents bring snacks as a gentle bribe! Jade was enjoying a crumbly granola bar to keep her happy.
I'd love this photo no matter what - but it is even more special to me (and hopefully them!) because Jade wasn't supposed to be in this photo. I had posed just Eli and John with baby JJ and Jade came up and hugged their legs on her own. Heart burst! And I love that little JJ is looking at the camera.
I can't wait to photograph the next stage of this sweet family's life! It's so special to watch, witness, and capture people's lives as their story grows and evolves.