Wednesday, 17 September 2014

One + One = Three: Berlin Family Portraits

Mother, Father and Baby Portraits in Berlin


My customers give me great ideas all the time.  As a professional photographer who specializes in portraits, I have photographed many couples and families over the years.  But this year I was pleasantly surprised when a mother in the U.S. hired me to take photos of her daughter Ashley and her daughter’s boyfriend, Alex, in Berlin—both before and after their baby was born.  I provided a portrait gift certificate, which she in turn presented to her daughter as a gift.  In a world of selfies and endless photos of newborns, it is really a special gift to take time out to hire a professional photographer to get some really classy shots.

The portrait shoot was to be divided into two sessions. Part one of this little family documentary began one warm day in May of this year.  We had the majestic beauty of Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, a mother great with child, an anxious father and some clothing props.  I like to take time to talk to my clients before, during and after the portrait shoot.  In order to get natural, relaxed portraits I find it is best to communicate as much as possible.

Sanssouci Park is the perfect place for portraits.  It is spread out over a monstrous amount of green space filled with little palaces, fountains, lakes and enchanted grottoes. As the former stomping grounds of Prussian royalty, the gardens and grounds were laid out in grand scale and style.

We had many natural and architectural backdrops to choose from, which is every photographer’s dream.  I am one of those photographers who has turned his back on traditional ‘stuffy’ studio shots with fake backgrounds in favor of location photography. I believe there is no artificial substitute for nature
and the great outdoors. I really enjoy choosing the right location for special portraits.

As is usually the case, I got too many good shots to share in one small blog space, so here are just a few highlights of our two portrait sessions.

And Baby Makes Three

As you can imagine, the arrival of a new baby makes life hectic, but in early July we managed to set up a time for part two of the portrait series.  I suggested we use the gardens around my little cottage in order not to tire out mom and her new baby with excessive walking.  When I mentioned our trees, grass, garden furniture props and a big silver bear statue, Ashley said ‘You had me at big silver bear statue.’

Babies seem to really like me—or are at least they are not afraid.  I am fortunate that I don’t have to wave toys, squeaky dolls or do any dances—babies just look at me with some sort of natural curiosity, as if to say ‘Who is this large, goofy man with the camera?’

After a brief bout with the bear, we took our time relaxing and taking shots in different places around the property. After an hour or so, we parted ways feeling that we had really done the ultimate before-and-after shots—with a big silver Berlin bear thrown in to boot.

Schedule your Berlin family portrait session today by contacting me here.  Or give the gift of photography by ordering a portrait gift certificate.  Your family will thank you!  ;)