I made this family portrait back in 2001. I had done a series of formal, posed portraits of each individual and then the group. I was very careful during the formal session and realized I might have been too careful. I remembered something I heard the late, great Don Blair say. “If you can’t have fun in photography where can you have fun?”
So – off the cuff, I just yelled something at the group like “Go ahead and have fun.” Apparently the girls took this as a cue to give their little brother a kiss and the result was more than fun. To the parents, it was precious.
When I presented this image to the family, the parents immediately started weeping with joy. This was the type of moment they’d seen from their children, but never captured.
Sometime we all get too serious. Relax. Let your hair down. Don’t worry if this shot is technically perfect. Marvel in the fact that it’s spontaneous and fun and provided the family with a memory they will cherish for a lifetime.