UW Arboretum Family Portrait Session

Mallory just had her first birthday, so it was definitely time for some family photos.  We decided to do the shoot at the UW Arboretum behind the visitor center.  It has many varieties of wild flowers and grasses for background.  We went to a nice shady area and took a number of photos. 

Mallory is expressing her personality here. She has lots of expression for instances at a time.  In this photo she is about to remove the bow from her hair.  Maybe she will keep it in for the next shoot. 

Cute kid

I love her blue eyes as shown in this picture.  Anne and Andy are posed perfectly and perfectly happy (and proud parents) watching Mallory trot around the grassy area of the Arboretum.

Using my studio strobe with the Paul C. Buff Vagabond battery pack I was able to get soft light on Mallory (though she was in a shaded area) while producing large beautiful catchlights in her eyes.

Mallory and family

Mallory no longer needs the hand support of her parents and she quickly let everyone know about it.  She did not want to be tied down; she wanted to run!  But this picture of her parents holding her hands will be framed and made into a classic James Studio portrait.

holding hands

 If you have a family and would like to get some wonderful outdoor pictures at a very reasonable rate.  Check out the Portrait Prices page and give me a call at 233-5556. 



Studio & UW-Madison Arboretum

Saturday, October 3, 2010 I had a photography session with Katie Thompto.  Katie is currently a student at UW Stout, but her family lives here in Madison.  

The following are some of my favorite shots from the day.   In fact, this first image is a great shot of her face, eyes, and her peaceful countenance. 


Doesn’t she have a beautiful smile?  I think it really shines in this pose. 

Another view

She is a sweet young lady who enjoys being photographed.  She had taken some modeling classes, so she knew just what to do with her arms by keeping them away from her body.  Keeping the arms away from the body reveals more of a woman’s shape and is generally a more pleasing look. 

Katie sitting in the studio

I like the subject in the prone position.  I think it is flattering.  It provides an interesting shallow-depth-of-field look.  In this picture the face is in focus while the legs and feet are out of focus. 

Katie on her tummy

Katie is leaning against the barn-wood wall that is in the studio.   The barn wood is all natural and provides a variety of interesting looks for my subjects.

Katie against the barn wood wall

Next we went to the UW-Madison Arboretum.  There are many beautiful spots in the Arboretum; this one is extra special and is complete with several ducks that have temporarily made it their home. 

Katie at the duck pond

In this photo you can see that the ducks were really cooperating quite nicely–they decided to visit us on our side of the pond. 

Katie on the ledge

I thought Katie would look great among the weeds, so we journeyed to another part of the Arboretum for some shots just after sundown.  Notice the rosy sky in the background.  Now if you are wondering if Katie really had to walk out into the the weeds, she did not.  There is a path for people to walk on so no damage is done to the foliage.  But the natural look is still very good. 

Katie in the weeds

Here is another look.  I really like this image a lot except for one thing.  It looks like Katie’s hips are shifted toward the camera, which is to her best advantage.  The subject’s weight should be on the back leg and the hips shifted away from the camera to help show her slender shape. 

Katie in modeling mode

Katie was a great sport, as she was willing to do lots of jumps for me.  She really enjoyed this part, but I think part of her enjoyment came from the fact that it helped to warm her up when it was getting quite chilly.  In another picture I could clearly see goosebumps on her arms!

  Katie Jumping