Jessica E Family | Seattle Family Photography

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Jessica E Family | Seattle Family Photography

Oh how I adore my families. Seriously. I fall in love with all of them. 

This was my second time photographing this sweet family. We met at a mountain lake on a sunny spring evening. It was one of the first sunny days we have had around here in a long time. Seattle has had a very rainy winter and spring, even for us! 

We played in the woods, explored the lake, and even got our feet wet in the cool water. 

It was a wonderful evening spent with wonderful people. Oh, and of course their fur babies came along as well. They have the cutest little pups that always join us for photos. 

Enjoy this beautiful family and this gorgeous location. 

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Baby Amara | Seattle Newborn Photography

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Baby Amara | Seattle Newborn Photography

I met this sweet family for their maternity session a few months back. You can see that gorgeous sunset session by clicking >>> HERE

I knew their newborn session would be fantastic as they are super laid back. We met on a drizzly Saturday morning. Their tiny baby girl was only a week old and so beautiful.  A full head of newborn hair.

In home newborn sessions are perfect in Seattle. It's the kind of session I can do all year long and these types of session really have my heart. 

Enjoy this sweet newborn baby girl and her precious family. 

If you are interested in booking a maternity and newborn session with me, click >>> HERE

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Best Locations For Family Photography In Seattle

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Best Locations For Family Photography In Seattle

Best Locations For A Family Photo Shoot In Seattle | Elena S Blair Photography

The weather is changing and us Satellites are trading our clouds and rain for sunshine and blue skies! That means it is officially Seattle Family Photography Season! My favorite. 

Chances are you have your family session on the books and you are wondering what location you should have your session at. This is on of the most common questions I get asked "Elena, where should we have our session??"

I don't want this to be a point of stress for you. I want my sessions to be a relaxed and fun experience. I wanted to share a few tips on how to pick the best location for you and your family. 

Seattle has an abundance of locations right in the city or within a very short drive of the city. We live in such a beautiful part of the country and I love including it's beauty in your family photos. 

Here are a few things to consider when selecting the best location for your family photography session in Seattle or anywhere really. 

1. What does your family like to do for fun? How do you all like to spend your time? 

Make sure you are choosing a location that will best suit your families personality. For example, if you love hiking together we may want to head out to the mountains. 

2. Consider the ages of your children. 

If you have super young kiddos an urban location may not be a great choice because you don't want to have to worry about cars and other people to distract your little one. Perhaps an open field or park may be the best location. 

3. Take into account the season your session is scheduled for. For example, there are some gorgeous parks in the fall that really show the beautiful Pacific Northwest autumn colors off. If it is going to be warm on your session date, going to the beach and letting the kids get their feet wet might be super fun! 

4. Let's talk about traffic. Seattle is gorgeous, but the traffic is awful. We don't want you commuting across town during rush hour. That won't make anyone excited for family photos. So make sure to choose a location that will be easy to get to at your scheduled session time. 

Here are the different types of locations Seattle has to offer for family photography.

1. Urban. Seattle has some incredible urban locations that show off our historical architecture as well as some great textures. 

Seattle Family Photographer Elena Blair Photography | Favorite Seattle locations

2. Beach. We have an abundance of beaches right here in the city of Seattle! We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much water. What is fantastic about our beach locations is that they are usually surrounded by trees and water so you get a ton of diversity at these locations. 

Seattle Beach Photography Location

3. Forrest. We actually have forrests within the city limits! Seattle is so incredbile. If your family loves to spend time in the woods the forrest may be be best location for your session! 

 

Seattle Family Photography Forrest Location

4. Park. Seattle is chock full of gorgous parks! Parks can be especially gorgeous in the fall when the leaves are changing. This makes a lovely back drop for your family photos. 

Seattle Fall Family Photos

5. Mountains. This option is weather dependent as many of my favorite mountain locations get snowed in come December, however if you are willing to drive about an hour out of the city, the back drop is very rewarding. You can make an adventure out of it. 

6. Open field. Luckily, my favorite field is right in the city, however I know of a few remote fields as well that are only a 30 minute drive away. Fields make a gorgeous back drop for your family photos. 

Best Locations For Photography In Seattle

There you have it! Hopefully this gives you some great ideas about where to have your next family photography session. You have invested your time and your money into this experience so taking the time to really consider the location is a good idea. 

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Three Tips For Creating Great Family Portraits | Photography Tips

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Three Tips For Creating Great Family Portraits | Photography Tips

Three Tips For Creating Great Family Portraits Elena S Blair Seattle Photographer

Hey friend! 


It is not a secret that I love family photography. And I SUPER love Seattle Family Photography because I love the people in this city! They are for sure my people.  

Family photography is what I would say is my speciality, my zone of genius. I love it. But I will admit, there was a time when I was telling my friends... "I think I am going to give up on family photography and stick to newborns and seniors." You guys! I suck at seniors. And while I do love newborns, at that time it was posed newborns I was talking about. This couldn't have been further from what I love or what my heart wanted. It was what I thought was easier. 

So what gives? 

Well, I hated family photography because I was trying to make my families look perfect. I was scouring the internet trying to find the perfect poses and then trying at every shoot to pose my families in these perfect ways which was making me feel totally defeated. It would make anyone feel that way. Sound familiar?? Please tell me I am not alone. ;)

So let me tell you three things you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your family photography and whats more is that it will make it more satisfying for you too. 

1. Give up perfection. Let it go. Today, stop trying to make your families look perfect. Instead, focus on capturing connection and emotion. Family is anything but perfect and there is no rule book that says we have to make them look that way. Put your own twist on it. 

Seattle Family Photographer, Seattle Family Photography | Three Tips To Improve Your Family Photography



2. Use movement in your family work. Ask them to sing, dance, spin, run, tickle, tell a story. Anything to get them engaged and moving. You will love the results. 

Improve Your Family Photography With These Three Tips From Seattle Based Family Photographer Elena S Blair



3. Tell the parents over and over again NOT to look at you but instead to look at each other. This will make the images more meaningful and more emotive. They need lots of reminding about this as they have been trained to look at the camera their whole lives but it will be worth it. 

Three Tips To Improve Your Family Photography Shared By Elena S Blair


Give these tips a try and let me know if even these simple tips help you make a change. Family photography is very in demand so don't give up! 

 

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Baby James | Seattle Newborn Photographer

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Baby James | Seattle Newborn Photographer

I know I have said this a million times and I know I will say it a million times again but I love newborn photography. My sessions are super chill. I know how much is going on in your house when you have a newborn baby. Last thing I want you to do is feel stress about your baby acting a certain way for perfect photos. Your baby is perfect just as he or she is and I will show you that. I will come into your home and capture you just as you are. I use my experience as a NICU nurse to keep your baby safe and comfortable all while using my experience as an artist to create timeless images for you and your family to last a life time. 

This session was so heart warming. Baby James was named after his grandfathers and both were present for the shoot. We got many images of baby James in the arms of his grandparents. Then, we captured him with his big sister and his parents.

It was a sunny spring morning here in Seattle and the warmth of the sun filled their home. But the warmth of their love is what left me leaving with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. 

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I Am A Camera Gear Minimalist  | Photography Tips For Canon Users

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I Am A Camera Gear Minimalist | Photography Tips For Canon Users

Elena S Blair Photography  Canon Lenses Must Have Camera Gear

Hi Friend, 
I hope you are having a wonderful week! 

I don't know about you, but when I was first starting out I thought I needed a ton of expensive camera gear to be a good photographer. I also thought to be considered a "professional" I had to have the latest camera body and a bag full of lenses. Not to mention an expensive camera bag at that! 

This was a major point of stress for me as we were on a very tight budget seven years ago. The only reason we had a DSLR was because we used our tax return money for it. But I wanted to make this business work so bad! So bad! So I decided to forge ahead with my Canon 50D and a 50mm 1.4 lens. 

I grew my business from nothing to a regular business with that gear alone. No other lenses. I made a pact to myself that I would not spend money on my business that I didn't make from my business. 

Of course, I have since upgraded but I still remain very minimal with my gear. I have a Canon 5D miii, a 35 mm 1.4, a 50mm 1.2, and a 135 mm 2.0. I also have a macro (non L) lens that I bought used. 

I use a combo of the 35 and 135 for family sessions and occasionally bring out the 50. 
http://www.elenasblairphotography.com/seattle-family-photographer/

I use the 35 almost exclusively for newborn sessions. I bring out the macro lens for about 5 minutes of each shoot. 
http://www.elenasblairphotography.com/newborn-photography-seattle/

I use the 50 exclusively for school shoots. 
http://www.elenasblairphotography.com/school-photography-seattle/

Everyone asks me when I plan to upgrade to the Mark IV. At this point I have no plans to. My miii works just fine and I have no need to drop nearly 4K just to have the latest gear. I will need a real reason to do that. 

I think starting my journey with a basic body and one lens made me a better photographer. It forced me to get creative in tight spaces (the 50D is a crop censor) and it inspired me to learn how to be *really* good with minimal gear rather than relying on lenses for effect or quality. 

If you are ready to upgrade, I recommend renting first. You may not love a lens that someone else is raving about. It really is a personal preference. 

So don't let other peoples massive gear stashes pressure you. The gear is nice, but it's the artist behind the lens that makes the photograph. 

Xoxo,

Elena
 

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Baby Taylor | Seattle Newborn Photography

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Baby Taylor | Seattle Newborn Photography

Stephanie was our real estate agent when we moved back to Seattle from New Mexico in 2009. She quickly became a friend. 

This sweet family had two babies in 18 months and I was lucky enough to be invited into their amazing home to capture both babies. They love their baby girls fiercely and it is always a pleasure being in their warm and inviting space. Stephanie is a skilled designer so every detail in their home is perfect. 

Newborn photography is absolutely a passion of mine. These moments are fleeting and need to be documented. I am honored I get to do it so frequently. 

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Baby Eleanor (Nora) | Seattle Newborn Photographer

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Baby Eleanor (Nora) | Seattle Newborn Photographer

Do you ever have the feeling that people come into your life for a reason? I mean like every single person?

I feel like this about the families that I capture. Jenny contacted me for a maternity and newborn package. We have since gone on to stay in touch online and we have a ton in common. ;) She is a strong and motivated mother, doctor, AND business owner. I am lucky to have met her. 

Their newborn session was laid back and fun. We chatted about live with kids and I captured them enjoying their sweet new baby. Newborn Photography is such a gift and I am lucky to be able to do it. 

Enjoy! 

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Baby Juliet | Seattle Newborn Photography

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Baby Juliet | Seattle Newborn Photography

If there is one type of session I am most excited about right now it is this type. Fresh 48 newborn photography, or as I like to call it, birth space sessions. To capture a baby this fresh is a true honor. Get in touch with me if you think you would like this time captured for your family here in Seattle. I can't wait to meet you! 

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Family Posing That Works | Photography Tutorial

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Family Posing That Works | Photography Tutorial

Hey, don't miss your free download at the bottom of this post! 

Family Photography Posing Guide | Elena S Blair Photography

When I am working with a family my main goals are to capture love and connection; a glimpse into the essence of what makes a human relationship.  

I do not want my clients to have images that are stiff and uncomfortable (albeit well-dressed) versions of themselves.  I want them to end up with images that convey a feeling, and that bring them back to a fleeting moment in time.  

Without a sense of connection you are simply capturing the pose and their outfits.  Perceivable connection gives family photos a human feel, and makes everything contained in them appear genuine.  

Once you give yourself the creative freedom to go beyond traditional, stiff and posed family portraits, you can create artistic and emotive images. I like to think of my approach more as guiding than posing.  

Here are five of my go to “poses”, and how I bring out emotion within the each one. 

 

Standing

 

I ask them all to hold hands and spread out a bit to form a line.  I make sure that they are always holding hands to keep the physical connection present.  I ask them first to look at me, then I encourage the family to look at each other.  Often the children continue to look at me because they are curious.  There are two layers of connection here. Their actual physical connection and the connection to me and the camera with their eye contact. Next I bring them all in tight while standing and ask them to look at each other.  If they are having trouble relaxing and engaging naturally, I ask them to start talking and joking. This yields more genuine expressions and relaxed body postures.  The connection is exhibited by their close physical contact, eye contact, and casual interactions with each other.  

 

Sitting

 

I usually ask the family to sit on the ground.  This is the most posed and traditional image I get, however that does not mean it has to be stiff.  I want their bodies to make one contiguous shape, no matter how many subjects there are.  I ask the parents to sit right next to each other, then put the children on top of the parents laps or very close in front of them.  Make sure that you can see the parents heads and that the parents have good posture!  I make noises and sing songs to hold the children’s attention just long enough to capture a shot with everyone looking at me.  You have two layers of connection here; subject connection through close physical contact and connection to the camera through eye contact.

If it seems too stiff to have all the family looking, or you simply want to yield another shot from this pose, stand back and ask the family to talk to each other and pretend you aren’t there.  They don’t need to be looking to make a strong and connected portrait.  Shooting a family interacting invites the viewer to contemplate the family and their loving relationship.  




 

Tickle Pose

 

This is my personal favorite pose as it always yields a carefree and connected shot.  Immediately after I made everyone sit and look at me, I ask the parents to gently tickle the children and remind them to look at the children while they do it.  The kids laugh and have fun and the result is an image full of love and joy in an unbridled manner.

 

Laying Down

 

I love to have my families lay on a blanket together.  First ask the parents to lay down next to each other.  Then ask the children to lay on top of their parents.  This usually makes the children laugh and because it is silly they are excited to execute this pose.  Next ask the parents to look at each other and the kids to look at you. This creates a close and playful moment which is loaded with connection.  The children’s eye contact draws you in, and physical proximity is a layer of connection which combines well with the parents gazes toward each other.  

 

Movement Poses

 

Capturing connection with movement creates a captivating portrait.  I will often ask the parents to hold hands and stand back and ask the children to hold hands and walk or run  toward me.

 

To get the whole family involved in movement, I ask them to hold hands and spin around in a circle slowly while singing a song.  Another option is to ask them to hold hands and walk away from or toward you, or engage them in an activity like playing in the waves.  


Ask dad to toss one of the children in the air.  As he is doing this ask the rest of the family to stand back and watch.  An added bonus will be if you get the family members who are watching to touch in some way or participate in an activity like dancing or twirling.  

Simply encourage them to play, run, jump, or splash. They will have fun and you will capture a real moment. 

Movement creates a dynamic layer of connection.  The viewer is drawn in by the authentic facial expressions and body language that come out when the family is moving.  The viewer is connected to the activity, even if more static, perhaps pondering what the primary subjects are doing.  It is as if the viewer has a private glimpse into the family’s unique relationship or dynamic.


Family portraiture can be artistic and intimate.  I encourage you to relax and enjoy your family sessions.  Explore the deep love and connection that is present in every family, and discover how to convey these emotions through your creative work.  A successful session will often inspire a family to invite you into their usually private, intimate world.

If you want to explore my style of family photography, check out my Lifestyle Family Photography workshop.

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