"Double Six With the Guys"
I pull out my gear and the family groans collectively. They know they'll become instant subjects and let's face it, none of us wants to be the focus of the camera. We want to visit, laugh, eat, play, and eat some more without becoming the next big photo essay. But what can I do? Everyone eventually appreciates that we have a record of each celebration or holiday later on, they contain our memories better than we do sometimes, and sometimes contain people we don't ever want to let go of either.
There is a way to do this, get the pictures you want, even get ones you LOVE, all without ticking off your closest relatives and friends. But you have to play a part. Step into a roll, so to speak.
You have to go into wedding photographer mode. You know what I mean... the fly on the wall approach. This mode means you grab your camera, and simply bide your time, float about the edges of groups or rooms, till folks forget that you are taking pictures of them at all. I can even do this with a flash, off camera, set down somewhere close to the action, and trigger it remotely when needed, all without blinding people and causing a riot. Personally, I don't run well from angry mobs with a camera in one hand and an appetizer in the other...
Today's shot is my favorite from Easter dinner last weekend. The family was playing Dominoes, and so immersed in the game that I could sneak around and wait with camera at the ready. I got a few posed pics, then let my son, my brother, and my uncle forget about me. I like to keep a wide angle zoom on the camera which gives me instant flexibility concerning how close I am to a scene or how much room I have to move around, and still get everything in the frame. The flash was tucked off to the side on a small table, remotely triggered. And, to keep people from feeling like targets, I made sure to aim the camera at the action itself for the most part. I didn't want to miss it.
I wound up with a great story telling shot, in some great light, involving people I love deeply. Even without faces, you've got three generations sitting at a table (as confirmed by the differences in the hands), their posturing suggesting each move is being considered carefully, and the low angle and perspective placing you in the middle of the game. A frozen moment. One that embodies how great and relaxing the weekend was.
Got family events you need to capture? Dig into your inner wedding photographer/fly on the wall mindset and don't miss it. Don't miss the moments that count.