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Family Portraits and Laughter

The Fall is the busiest time of year when it comes to family portraits sessions. We are slowly but surely leading up to the Holidays, hence this is the time the race to the Holiday cards also begins. I personally love this season. This is the time of year when I first became a mom and since then, I have always cherished the Holidays in a special way, because I learned to see them and experience them through my daughter’s eyes and later on my two sons. Although we often complain about The Fall – or the lack of- in Los Angeles, I am grateful for the shorter days and yet the golden wrapped sunset of Autumn. A session at the beach can be so magical and fun during this time of year, as the water might be still warm enough to jump in and yet the lighting is soft and silk-like.
 
Fall family sessions often are an occasion to visit families I might have supported in the past as a Doula or perhaps whose children I have photographed at birth.
 
Nevertheless, I get to cuddle with the babies and that simply makes my afternoon. A couple of weeks ago, a mama dear to my heart and soul asked me to photograph her family. The main reason being that she felt they were way due to have some recent photos together; to stop time a little, despite her 4 boys growing and changing so fast.
 
Color image of mom and dad with their 4 boys sitting on the sand at sunset smiling at photographer Diana Hinek during their family portrait session with ArtShaped Photography and Birth Services
 
We met at the beach and the boys were wrestling and running in the water, having a wonderful time, which is what I always hope it would happen during my photo sessions. We had the perfect weather, the most glorious light …and yet when I got home and looked through the images, I realized that something was missing. I had really wanted to see my friend shine. One of the most feminine beings I know among 5 mainly creatures: her husband and their 4 boys. I wanted her to stand out as the Queen of hearts and portrait her being adored by her family. So I offered a re-shoot. When the day arrived, as I was waiting for them by the Pier, I received her text letting me know they were just crossing the playground….PLAYGROUND? What playground?
 
Bottom-up view of four borthers looking down at the camera of ArtShaped Photography and Birth Services while sitting on the lifeguard tower in Santa Monica, California.
 
If you know West Los Angeles a little, you probably know what had happened… They went to the other Pier, the Santa Monica one. The one that on a Friday afternoon takes about half an hours to get to from where I was: the Venice Pier! So in the most heroic attempt to beat time and the very imminent sun set, her husband drove the whole family across town and got to the Venice Pier 10 minutes before sunset. Here you can see some of the images mama M ended up choosing as her favorites. I am so thrilled that she loved the photograph, but more than anything I am happy because I know that from this ‘comedy of errors’ of experience, this family had the chance to make some fun memories. The hysterical panic-induced laughter, the adrenaline of making it just in time and the will of embracing the unpredictability of life has become the essence of these photographs; the legacy of a family, its representation and testimony.
 
As colorful as the sunset these four boys playfully pose for Santa Monica based family photographer Artshaped Photography
 
In this color tinted by the sun image, Artshaped photography captured the love between two lovers dancing barefoot in the Venice Beach sand at sunset.