This was a fun photo shoot. This was planned well in advanced. The Nibley family wanted a family photo shoot and it was part of a surprise birthday party for Grandpa Nibley! He was turning 70 that day, and family from as far away as Hawai’i was going to be there. The whole family hadn’t been in one place in several years.
So we met in a church parking lot and walked over. It was a large group with balloons and babies.
The kids really enjoyed the balloons and keeping them quite was a bit of a challenge.
Someone stepped on a branch, and there was a loud crack and that is when grandpa turned to see people approaching.
And this is his reaction realizing the whole family was there to surprise him. Yay!
There were a number of hugs and tears to be shared.
We then got down to the business of photographing the whole family. I setup my lights and for the large groups I shoot about 50-60 photographs per group. Why? Because there is going to be some swapping of heads. The kids don’t sit still, they look around and then the parents look at the kids, people shift, and so the goal is to get everyone looking at the camera at least once or twice and I piece it together in Photoshop.
And if people are smiling, even better. And we did a fun photograph with everyone wearing hats and holding the balloons. The balloons were their own challenge. Sometimes we settle with good enough for an expression.
I always start with the large groups and then we whittle down to the smaller combinations. This is the grandparents with the grandkids. We then pull out the grandparents for just the grandkids.
And then we photograph each family unit. We wanted portraits that were a little more dynamic so we had people sitting, or kids standing behind sitting parents. It’s a little bit of controlled chaos. But the photos turned out amazing!
The sun was setting quickly, and I brought my lights so I could control the formal portraits, then we were back to candid photographs… like grandpa watching TV with the grandkids.
They then set a cake on fire with 70 candles. It seemed like a bonfire. And then I stayed about an hour longer and captured the family as they socialized. I try to stay invisible… dressed in black like a ninja.
I hope you enjoyed the photos! I delivered about 350 photographs to the family… that sounds like a lot, but most of them were the candid photographs of the family as they gather before the surprise, and then during the surprise. I’m pretty flexible as a photographer.