family portraits

smilingI photograph families. And babies. And children. What I don't do is the kind of family portrait that requires a stiff posture and a fake smile. When I was 8 or so, I remember the sheer misery of Olan Mills family portraits. My mom and dad "discussed" color coordination and completely stressed about it. Once in the studio, the (personality-less) photographer pushed us together and told us to look happy (my personal space was totally violated). Having to sit down and smile, I (sometimes) find it hard to not look grumpy.
So, it is my quest, when photographing families, for the posing to be natural (and NEVER stiff). And I ask parents to NEVER tell their children to smile. You can just tell when it is not a genuine smile, you know?
When a mom asks me how they should dress for their session, I say "DON'T match". Wear your favorite colors & clothes that are flattering on you. I love big bright colors. Especially green.