The Wider Angle Snapshot: Capturing a Family Bonding Moment (A Health-promoting Picture Moment)

The thought of taking a picture of someone taking a picture of my children is not something I would think of as resulting in a striking photo. However, two years ago, I came to appreciate taking such pictures when my wife, my three boys, and I traveled from our home in Massachusetts to Rhode Island for an outdoor family photo shoot.

The Photo Outing

My wife and I are always up for a fun, family outing. This is how we felt the day we went for a photo shoot at Colt State Park. It’s a popular Rhode Island venue, in the town of Bristol, that I’d be visiting for the first time in ten years.

The park’s grassy landscape, plentifully lined with trees displaying maturing springtime foliage and the picturesque view of Narragansett Bay, made for photo-perfect backdrops. Weather conditions also contributed to the ambiance that would make for a quintessential outdoor photo-session. It was sunny and comfortably warm, with just enough cloud covering to provide the right amount of overcast lighting that is considered ideal to many in the photography world.

All around, we saw people mingling with their family or friends, having a picnic or cookout. Volleyballs games were visible from the main park road and a couple of frisbees were flying through the air. There were people out on their bikes or skateboards. Fifty feet away from where our photo session was held was an outdoor wedding. It was the second Saturday in June and a pleasant spring day for an outing to the park in The Ocean State.

Two of our friends, both professional photographers who work together on many projects and live in Rhode Island, had posted on their website a special for a springtime photo session. My wife and I jumped at the opportunity. The occasion was the new addition of our third son, barely two-months-old when the pictures were taken.

As we were getting the boys ready on the morning of the shoot, it was important that we wore color-coordinated clothing. We wanted a springtime, color scheme that would be warm and subtle and, yet, would elicit the utterance of “awesome” from others. The chosen colors were pastel peach and coral.

Yes! We took this photo shoot a bit seriously but we were also having fun with it.

The Wider Angle

Our photographer friends were taking pictures in tandem. One took direct-face shots while the other took shots of the same poses from a different perspective. Seeing how much the older boys were attending to two cameras, especially when it was just them cradling their newborn sibling, compelled me to take out my smartphone to capture the moment. The first photo included among the three posted above (feel free to click on the images to enlarge them) was the result of this decision. I call it the wider angle snapshot. Upon looking at this snapshot a couple of weeks later on my computer, I was awestruck.

Viewing the image of my three boys snuggled together in front of two photographers, with the two older boys really enjoying the experience was heartwarming. And their apparent attentiveness, despite the repeating sound of a shutter from two cameras hovering around them, was not only about me having photographic evidence of my kids complying with the directive to sit still and say “cheese” and “strawberries.” (I also have photogenic evidence of them doing the opposite 😉 )

It was about realizing how a fun activity like a photoshoot can enhance a bonding moment among family members. It was about capturing a sentimental experience that my wife, the boys, and I would nostalgically look back on for years to come. It was about a snapshot in time that my Cuban-born mother would describe as an image representing the meaning of “La Familia.” And having the two photographers in the snapshot appears to have somehow underscored the significance of the occasion.

The Takeaway

If you happen to hire a photographer or ask a family member or friend to take pictures of you with your children or, just your children, I would recommend taking a picture of them taking a picture of the family. As you can see from the sample photos above, it could end up being a pleasant and memorable image that never becomes tiring to look at.

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(Lisa Frechette and Janet Moscarello are the two friends who took pictures of me and my family. If you happen to be in Rhode Island and are searching for a reputable photographer, I invite you to check out the webpage of either one: http://www.LisaFrechette.com and http://www.JanetMoscarelloPhotography.com/connect.)

Photo credit: The Health-promoting Bandwagon and Google search.

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