A grandad’s 70th birthday – extended family portrait shoot

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining a woman called Jane and her family (three generations of it) at a local hotel, where they were celebrating her father’s 70th birthday.  They called me in to do a group portrait of their 25-strong gathering – a group ranging in age from 3 weeks to 70 years old, including 13 grandchildren!  We spent just over an hour working through a large number of different configurations, and I took individual portraits of Jane and her siblings, their children and father, as well as couples, family groups, and the group as a whole.  It was good fun and it left me with a huge number of photos to edit, as they went off to enjoy a big cake.  These are a few of my favourites from the day (I have not included photos of everyone, as that would just be too many pictures).  I feel the pictures of Grandad with small groups of his grandchildren sitting in the alcove are particularly successful.

Hope it was a brilliant 70th birthday – what a beautiful family!

The birthday boy
Daughter and mother
A favourite picture of one of his four sons
Another son
Youngest of the group at only 3 weeks – welcome to the world Roisin!
I really love this one – a hint of the self-consciousness that comes with teenage years, but there’s a quiet bravery in those eyes
Beautiful eyes – one of many lovely granddaughters
Can you see the family resemblance between siblings and cousins?  Something that is great fun about family shoots.  Again, I love this one – a very open and relaxed smile (especially considering I was looming above him with my camera!)

Beautifully unselfconscious – lovely to see
I love the way little people prepare for a photo

Proud grandad
I felt these smaller group shots of grandad and grandchildren worked particularly well – love the leaves on the ground

Three generations of boys – this series seemed to also work nicely with low saturation
Lovely family group

Little Roisin

Proud father and siblings
Nice in black and white
13 grandchildren – I have not photoshopped this picture as I enjoy the different expressions – it captures a genuine moment and shows the kids as they are (I could still edit this however to reduce the glare of the white shirts a little)
The whole family (with white shirts edited to reduce glare in the centre of the picture).  I will also now be working on putting together a version of this using the 30 I took of the same group to create one final shot where everyone looks perfect!- but again, I enjoy keeping a copy as is, at it shows the life of the moment.


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