Updated: Jun 6
Spring portraits in San Francisco Bay Area
Spring is here! All the dead and cold has given way to everything beautiful, lush and green.
Oh, how much I have waited for this time of the year! Right after new years I start counting days until Spring. So do you, isn’t it?
Well now that the sun is shining bright and the days are getting warmer and longer, it's time to head outdoors again and enjoy this beautiful show Mother Nature has put for us.
Life certainly becomes more poetic in Spring and there is a natural inclination towards all things art. If you have been feeling particularly drawn to photography and would like to figure out how to make the most beautiful Spring Portraits, you are in the right spot! Photographing your family, friends or even self portraits in Spring can be so challenging and rewarding at the same time.
Let me take care of the “challenging” part for you, so you can reap the sweet fruits of rewards!
01. Spring Landscape
Before you head out to photograph Portraits in Spring, it's important to know what kind of landscape you are dealing with. Is it lush green with beautiful tall grass or are you headed to an orchard for Cherry Blossoms? Or are you lucky enough to live by nature preserves that are covered with breathtaking wild flowers?
Whatever the case may be, you need to know the color of your backdrop, restrictions in place(by mother nature or the farmer who owns the orchard), and the state of the ground you will be standing on. The knowledge of your landscape will dictate the colors and type of your outfit, the time you will visit the orchard/field and the choice of footwear.
You would not want to visit a muddy wild flowers field in sandals, coz they will most certainly be not coming back with you!
02. Your Outfit
Now that you know the landscape, let's discuss your outfits. The very first thing you need is to choose a color palette that will make for the outfits of the entire family. You can pick 2-3 similar or complementary colors and have everyone figure out their outfits within those color choices.
Now, we have all seen beautiful images of these gorgeous women in flowing gowns standing in flower fields looking so stunning. If that is your style, by all means, go for it! But if that is not you, please feel free to wear the kind of dress or outfit that is so YOU! When you look at those pictures you should see yourself, not some version of you that you would not recognize. For me, I always dress up using outfits from my closet, so that my pictures are me!
03. Spring Backdrop
Now, unless you have actually thought this through, here’s how the Spring Portrait session will go. You will stand in front of the flower field or the cherry blossoms, maybe point towards a flower and click pretty pictures. To take your pictures to the next level, try this:
Have your subject get in the middle of the field
Make sure you have flowers in the background and the foreground
Now bend down to the eye level or even lower if the flowers are not tall enough
When you look through your camera, make sure you see “blurry blobs of flowers” in the foreground, in-focus flowers next to the subject and blurry flowers in the background.
This will add layers and depth to your images and making them more true-to-life, the kind that will transport you back to the flower fields every time you will look at them!
When used carefully, props make for the most dynamic and engaging pictures. Some of my favorite props for Spring photoshoots are:
Floral/solid-color scarf. A simple thing like a scarf can make for such amazing pictures. Have your subject hold out the scarf and let the wind pick it up! Nothing is prettier than a scarf flying in the wind.
Chair. I know it sounds weird, but hear me out. A Chair in the middle of flower fields or huge lush green grass provides the most beautiful juxtaposition. Hard against soft, rigid against gentle, man made against natural etc. I carry a lightweight chair with me whenever possible!
Flowers! I know, right! There are flowers everywhere, get a bunch and hold those for your portrait. Or make a flower crown. Add them to your boots to make the “spring boot” photograph. The possibilities are endless.
05. Sprinkle with Joy
Of all the photographs you ever made, I am sure the ones you remember the most were the ones filled with joy! Joy has a way of triggering nostalgia, of reminding us of the good old days. Now, don’t confuse joy with the cheesy grin, joy is heartfelt, shines through your eyes and covers you like a warm blanket. The onus of this is totally on the photographer though! Make your subject comfortable in front of your camera, interact with them, make them laugh, remind them of a beautiful memory, let them forget the camera in their face and really live the moment! Sprinkle it with joy. Their’s and your own too!
If you are ready to learn more and take a little in-depth course on photographing your family in Spring, here's a little course for you.
Beautiful Stories Photography
Bay Area Family Photographer
Maternity, Newborn and Family Photography
by Heena Mukhi
Your love is deep and timeless, your photos should be too!
Beautiful, emotive and authentic photography for fun loving, bear hugging, deeply connected families in San Francisco Bay Area!
Serving South Bay Area, Los Gatos, San Jose, Saratoga, Cupertino.
Got questions? Check out my FAQ page