Authenticity Always Wins

I hear consistency is everything to a portrait photographer and the ultimate compliment could be if a client tells you their photos are exactly what they expected. It means your style is predictable and they know what they are going to get before they even hire you. Translation...their satisfaction is guaranteed. But I am still in the process of evolving and looking for my favorite style. I have been drawn to light and airy photos, especially since I often photograph beach, but I live in Oregon and for as much time as I spend photographing coastal sunsets, I spend much more time amongst the clouds and the trees. Also, Oregon can be edgy...sometimes even gritty. Its not posed. Rather, it does whatever it wants. Sometimes light and airy just doesn't feel right for the space, the weather, the location, or the clients. 

So I am following this feeling and letting go of my style a bit so I can be authentic and true to what the art calls for. Its a bit risky. What if the client doesn't like their photos? After all, they don't match what they saw in my portfolio. Its a risk I am going to take this time. In my experience authenticity is always the good guy, and the good guy always wins.

I scheduled this session at Reed College, a beautiful college campus I am very familiar with because my husband happens to work there. Lots of beautiful buildings, trees, a river, and on this day I was hoping a stunning sunset. In reality, it was classic Oregon...chilly and cloudy and the golden hour stubbornly refused to appear. 

I loved photographing this family of seven. My largest family to date! They were amazing, and charming, and beautiful. They had style and sass and I loved watching them all wrangle and herd each other around the campus. On this day I didn't see them as light and airy...I saw them as grounded, and striking, and smart, and best of all, authentic. They were real. So I wanted their photos to be real too. 

To top off the evening we did get a few moments of sunset in the final moments of our session, but I still think the cloudy images are my favorites.