Fine Art Film Package | Northampton Portrait Studio

My favorite portrait setup these days is simple. Winter light, black backdrop, 4x5 camera loaded with black and white film, model seated on a stool at the edge of the window. 

We’ve had a surprising number of sun filled days this winter which I’ve been celebrating in the studio. There are several rooms in my studio to photograph in. The room I call my daylight studio has south facing windows rendering incredible bold, beautiful, and contrasty light during the day. It’s the room I want to spend all of my time in, not only for the light, but also the camera setup. Which made me think, why not offer a fine art film portrait package to my portrait offerings.

Now you’ll be able to book a regular session and add on the fine art film package as well. This package will be photographed with my large format 4x5 film camera, which means we’ll slow down a little more during this part of the session to make each frame count. The film package will include 10 total frames using both Tri-X and Polaroid Originals films in black and white.

A regular portrait session usually lasts about an hour at my studio and includes shooting time as well as the editing and presenting of a private online gallery of images. You will be able to add the fine art film package onto your regular session. 

Film photography will always be my first love and I want to offer this beautiful and original analog format to your session. I believe in connection above all else when it comes to portrait photography, but I can’t help but favor the timeless quality rendered with analog film.

My Approach To Family Photography | Northampton Family Studio Photography

I like to describe my photographic style as fine art documentary photography based in improvisation. My style draws upon my influences that range from portrait photographers including Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz to photojournalists such as, Margaret Bourke-White and Eve Arnold. 

In fact, I love this quote by Arnold, which is pretty much how I approach portraiture. 

“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”—Eve Arnold, American Photojournalist

I studied both fine art and photo journalism in college and graduate school. When it came time to choose which area to focus on in graduate school: fine art photography or photojournalism, I had a difficult decision to make as I felt like I belonged to both sides. Eventually I chose art, but I also felt like my style was a mix of both fine art and creative documentary photography. The summer before I entered graduate school, I travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland for a photojournalism course, and learned how to create documentary style photo essays. 

The trip coincided with The Fringe Festival, where thousands of known and unknown artists perform all over the city in various genres from theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, to spoken word. I photographed a number of performers from the Festival and loved every second of it. 

What I learned was the need to be technically proficient. More importantly though, I learned how to talk to people on the spot. I learned how to create authentic portraits that felt honest, emotive, and expressive. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of having to approach someone on the street, listen to their story, and ask if I could photograph them.  I was filled with nervous excitement, thinking they would likely say no, but thrilled when most everyone said, yes. 

Creating a connection with another person has always been the real work. The camera settings, lighting, and background are important, and yet, what makes a great portrait is so much more. During that course and over the years, I talked to people. We had genuine conversations. We shared details about our lives. Within the span of several minutes, we both had to allow ourselves to be heard and seen. Not as performers but as people.

I still use the same techniques during a family portrait session. I like to spend a few minutes talking to you and your loved ones. I want to hear about your day, share stories, and find out what your interests are. I expect the kids to get tired of being in front of the camera, it’s natural. I also don’t expect them to smile every frame. I build in breaks for them to go wiggle, dance, and snack. My goal for each session is to create a relaxed studio environment that is fun and memorable. I want to photograph meaningful images that you can pass onto future generations. Plus, I hand out chocolates at the end!

Date Night Photo Session | Northampton Studio Photography

When was the last time you and your special someone had a great portrait made of just the two of you? I can’t remember either.

I can’t tell you the last time my husband and I were photographed, just the two of us, without our two boys. Unless you count our camera phone snaps and wedding portraits, we don’t have a great portrait of us as a couple. 

It’s important to honor the connection between the two of you. I was reminded of this during a recent photo session with the sweet couple pictured above.

This is why I’m adding a special Date Night Session this month, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ve designed these 30-minute studio sessions sessions to be quick and fun so you can fit a photo session, dinner, and a movie in one night on the town. I’m including a complimentary 8x10 signature fine art print with your session because I want to celebrate you. Not just on screens but with professional printed portraits you can hold and display.

Click here to inquire about booking your Date Night photo session.

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