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I’ve shot plenty of family portraits over the last few years, but they’ve always been of my family or just some quick snapshot style pictures at a family party. This time the “shoot” was actually planned and prepared for ahead of time including location scouting, and for the first time ever for me I used off camera flash.

Here are just a few of the shots I took, unfortunately the family’s schedule limited the time we had to around an hour total, and it was a little earlier in the day than I would have preferred, we stopped just as golden hour was about to begin instead of starting at that time – Oh well.

Our first location was in a park, I loved this fence and it's great fall foilage backdrop.However despite the great color present I really liked this sepia treatment for an antique look.

A short walk from the park was an abandoned (but sadly soon to be rejuvenated) train track covered in trees and bushes.

Sisters portrait, one YN560 strobe with dome diffuser camera left held by my trusty VAL (VAL = Voice Activated Light stand aka - my son)

This is my favorite shot of her, she was laughing at her Dad who was standing just out of frame.

Brothers portrait, he has such a great natural smile and amazing eyes.

This distance marker made a fun prop. YN560 with dome diffuser camera right held by VAL

Mom and Dad - YN560 with dome diffuser camera left held by VAL

Mom and Dad a little wider. I should have brought Dad out a little more to reduce his shadow, or add a reflector. YN560 with Dome diffuser camera left held by VAL.

The feeling of the overgrown tracks lends itself to a vintage look. Strobe with dome diffuser camera right held by VAL

A candid moment between "poses". Strobe with dome diffuser camera right held by VAL

A strong hand in post processing turned this into something I really liked.

I learned quite a bit from this portrait session that I look forward to implementing in the future. One of those was that I should have used an umbrella on my strobes to soften the light a little. For these I was using 2 YN560 manual strobes with Cactus V5 radio triggers, most of the time I was using only one strobe but it was nice to have  the second strobe available when I needed it.

Happy Shooting!


PS: here’s a shot of my trusty, hardworking and cheap VAL’s 😉

Caught my flash!