When I am photographing a family group with teenagers, there are always two kinds of young people. As with most families, there are those teenagers who want to be a part of a family portrait and those that don't!!! Most of the time, the polite ones keep their feelings to themselves. They don't come right out and tell you how they feel, they just show you by behaving extremely serious in each pose and not smiling when asked or prodded.
Then there are the kind who don't hold back anything. These are the kind who boldly tell you to go where no man has gone before. These are a rare breed, not extinct, yet, but they do exist in real time.
What I have noticed, however, during my 42 years as a professional photographer, is that I can usually get a smile out of every person in at least one frame of our session together. The problem is that they are not all smiling in the same frame at the same time!
But things are better, now, with digital photography.
This family portrait was made in my studio. It was a blended family that gathered together for a special reunion portrait. They all came with a positive attitude.
Everyone was cooperative, but it was hard to hold a big smile when 20 shots are be fired of you, so some images have some of the group with a big smile while others are somewhere in-between.
No one moved between exposures and the background did not change.
With digital darkroom magic, I was able to take an ordinary family portrait and make it great. Out of 20 images, everyone looked good in at least one frame.
First, I found one image where most of the family was smiling. In this portrait, it was the father, mother and little girl.
Second, I picked the best expression from each of the 19 other frames that were taken during their session. I cloned the best facial expressions of each family member onto that first image and within a couple of hours, I had a composite image with everyone looking fantastic!
Mom and Dad loved their portraits, and we created three 30 x 40 images of three poses for their home and office walls. We created two of those images for our own gallery. They have theirs hanging in their home and at their office at Hope Realty in Coeur d' Alene.