Say hello to the Smith family. While visiting from Utah this past summer, Shani wanted to have some family portraits done at the house they were renting on Kiawah Island. Knowing she was going to have all of her children in attendance, as well as her only grandchild, she couldn’t let the opportunity slip through her hands. So, she reached out to us at King Street Studios to schedule a session.

As we approach the houses of our clients, we always keep an eye out for things that would make for an interesting photo. We even plan on being on location 20-30 minutes before the scheduled shoot time for that purpose alone. So, before we headed out to the beach with the Smith family, Todd situated them in different locations around the house he had noticed when he did his initial walkthrough. He started off by getting shots of the whole family in the frontyard and backyard, and then filtered in and out family members to get a good combination of different shots. He then took Kamree, Stephen, and and their son Beckham to a location right off the golf course near an oak tree they had spotted during their stay before heading out to the beach.

Shooting at the beach is always tricky. We never know what the wind will be like until we get out there, nor do we have a clear understanding of how harsh the sun will be. And, when it comes to families who have small children, it’s tough to keep them away from playing in the sand and focusing on the photos – although, those sometimes are the more popular shots we get! This is why we always suggest to our clients that it should be the last shots of the session. It’s better to get shots of the family in locations where all we have to worry about is composition and posing (i.e. the “safe shots”).

When we got out to the beach, Todd was able to put his creative expertise to use. Using the gray sky as a perfect source of natural light for the background and positioning the Smith family with the wind going into their faces, Todd captured the perfect family portraits Shani and her husband were looking for. Take a look for yourselves!

Family Photography- Smith Family © King Street Studios
Photography by Todd Surber
Words by Manny Aponte