family portraits.


The A-Team. The Kauble Klan. The Motley Crew.

This little photo gig is something I handled over the last holiday break when I was in Ohio. It started when my aunt contacted me one day and told me about her kids’ latest adventure. By the way, the “A-Team” name comes from the names of the family being Ann, Al, Alex, Andrew, Adam and Aric. Anyway, she tells me that she wants to potentially get the kids into some modeling. Tells me all about some agency in Ohio that her friend had used and that her child had made a little bit of cash for doing a few shoots. Sounds good. Sounds golden. My little cousins are good lookin’ kids and they could easily do this. Classic American twerps. Blonde/brunette hair, blue eyes, shit-eating grins. Classic kid stuff.

After telling me all about it her next question was if I was going to be brining my camera back to Ohio over the holiday. I had to break it to her that I was not. She sounded pretty bummed and I told her I’d do my best with her camera (which isn’t a bad camera by any means) but I just didn’t want to travel with a camera, two lenses and two flashes. It’s actually a small amount but it’s a pain in the ass when you are sitting on a cramped bus for 5-7 hours and you don’t want ONE MORE thing t worry about. Well, I guess my own kindness got to me (I know… very strange sounding coming from me) and in the end I did bring my camera to Ohio. I figured her and her husband had always been there for me when I was younger by always giving me odd jobs to do to pay car insurance and gas and whatnot, why not do this one little thing for her. I didn’t tell her I was bringing it though. I thought it best to just surprise her with a little gift of kindness and see how she reacts. Needless to say she was VERY happy. So, on the 23rd we got to work.

I went over to their house knowing that I needed to shoot a headshot and a another with at least some leg in it. It was fairly cold outside and probably icy so going outside was definitely out of the realm of possibilities. In the end we settled for taking the headshots against a bare wall in their living room. I just wanted to make it a quick shoot and get the best shots I could with as little setup and as little stress as possible. The kids are cute and all, but patience is something they haven’t quite mastered.

To light the shots I had the overhead light on. It wasn’t giving too much light, but that’s ok. It provided just enough to soften out the features of the kids. The main light was a Speedlight that I attached to a stand and pointed away from the kids into a medium-sized reflector that my uncle was holding. The light came in at about a 45-degree angle to light their faces. To even out the other side of their faces was another Speedlight, pointing up from behind them to give a bit of rim lighting. Nothing crazy, just added a bit of fill and a touch of light to their ears and hair.

Here are a few select shots from that period, going from oldest to youngest.





Pretty decent shots for a quick living room setup and shoot we thought. Just looking at them in camera showed that they were good and wouldn’t need a whole lot of retouching later on. I always enjoy that kind of feeling, just knowing that less work is on the horizon. Good feelings.

For the next set of shots I wanted a bit of a different backdrop. Something not so plain but also no intrusive. We settled for shots in their dining room/kitchen. They have a nice sliding door out to the back patio and on that day was a subtle-patterned golden curtain that we could pull shut and use as a makeshift backdrop. I figured it would add a bit of color to the shots and liven up the whole scene in general.

I got to setting up the lights again. It was in the same basic position as with the living room shots except now it was reversed. We still had an overhead light on, although with us now being in a kitchen we had those lights as well. The kitchen lights came in from camera-right, which is also where I had my main Speedlight set up, once again pointing at a reflector angled at about 45-degrees toward the face. The second Speedlight was again coming from behind them at the same angle, providing the same kind of fill/rim lighting as before.

For this set of shots I wanted the kids to show me a bit more personality and to just let loose if they wanted to. Of course there was some hesitation in the beginning, though I am not totally sure why. I’ve taken MANY photos of these kids before doing all sorts of things. Maybe it was the flashes and reflector that made this feel a bit different to them. In the end it didn’t matter too much. Within a few frames, each child was in good spirits and giving me plenty of material to choose from later.

Here are a few of my favorites from this setup, once again in order of oldest to youngest.





I think it’s fairly obvious that the youngest (Aric) was having a whole lot of fun being in front of the camera. He actually gave me whole load of quality poses and facial expressions. To demonstrate this, take a look at this small group of photos of him.


Too much I tell ya. Just too much cuteness.

Overall I’d say these were a total success. I’d not worked with photographing kids in this kind of environment before (even if it was family) and I really never use flashes/lighting gear in this way. I think I’ll be very happy with these photos as time goes on and it will become one of those little projects that I am proud to say I got to do and I look forward to the next time I get to do something similar.


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One Response to “family portraits.”

  1. Ann Kauble Says:

    Excellent job!! You bring out the cuteness in the boys!

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