I've mentioned a few hundred times how I LOVE working with clients who trust me--the ones who truly, truly like my ideas, and even if they can't exactly picture what I am envisioning, they go for it because they know in the end it will be something creative and different. They don't look at me cross-eyed when I suggest covering them in clay or placing them in a tank filled with milk, or shooting downtown at night without a flash even though I've really presented no evidence that I can do a family photoshoot at night on the streets of Austin. In fact, I said something like, "I've never done a shoot like this, so bring your adventurous spirit and creativity!"
She did. And she brought her younger son, who IS an adventurous spirit.
I was surprised to see just the two of them (and not her husband and older son) for the photoshoot, but it worked out great. For me, it meant that we were less conspicuous shooting in stores, at tables of cafes, while trying on hats and perfecting a standing, feet-together jump across sidewalk ramps. It meant that our entire evening was spent exploring Congress and looking for great light. We played. We acted silly. We experimented. We were like child tourists.
Shooting with a mama and only one of her children was wonderful. One parent/one child. She loved it, too because it was a chance for them to just be together without the pressure of dressing a certain way that matched the rest of the family. They could focus on each other and interact in a genuine way. In our time together, I could really focus on capturing the dynamics of their relationship. Plus, BIG bonus: it's a much simpler task to find interesting, colorful street lights for two people rather than four.
For maximum control, I shot in manual. I bumped my ISO to between 800 and 1600 depending on the available light. In general, I placed them close to the light source and embraced all the fabulous colors. No color "correcting" on this shoot. Picking a location like lively South Congress ensured we'd have lots of options. We shot on a Saturday evening (a very temperate Austin evening) which meant LOTS of people were out and about. We decided to embrace that as a nuance of this particular shoot. It's kinda like they gave me permission to break all the "rules" of typical family photography. It was an awesome experience and now I'm spoiled.
They aren't in this one, but we did stop to look, and, I mean, how could I NOT include this?
(OK. They aren't in this one either.}