The Kulikov-Hagobian family.

I’ve always struggled a bit when it comes to formal family portraits. My mind immediately goes back to the odd smelling, sterilized waiting room in the photo department at Sears where numerous parents spent an hour bribing their kids with sweets and treats in an attempt to get one “good” picture as soon as their names were called. I have memories of being dressed up in stiff collars, tucked in shirts and reversible belts. And I remember trying to hold still as the hot flash triggered again and again…not exactly a good time really.

Now that we have PJ and he’s 3, I totally understand the value of this type of picture. I have on occasion, setup a backdrop, strobes and taken formal pictures of the three of us. Really though, the pictures that are the most important to me aren’t the posed shots, but the unexpected moments that I have been lucky enough to capture. Those are the shots that remind me of how PJ was a year ago, of how his laughter bellows throughout the house and how at 3, he values certain stuffed animals enough that they often find their way into the photographs. I guess I’m a fan of the real life picture. The nitty-gritty and often not so pretty picture. The unexpected look, the crazy faced laugh, the run, jump, fall and cry. These are the moments that will remind me of how it feels to have a 3 year old that sings songs, air guitars when AC-DC happens to be playing, who runs and says, “I love you daddy,” when I pick him up from daycare and who sneaks into our bedroom and climbs in bed with us before the alarm goes off.

Nicole and Todd are friends of mine and they asked that I take some pictures of them. I thought I’d try a little experiment and show up at their house before the shoot…before they were ready for their pictures. And I like what I saw. The real life type pictures. Family pictures inside the house. The chaos of trying to get everyone out the door each morning. I’m hoping that these types of pictures will serve as a reminder to them of what it felt like to have a 1 and 4 year old running around the house at the same time.

When given the option, this is the type of family portrait I’m going to make.

san luis obispo family portrait photographers

san luis obispo portrait photographer

san luis obispo family portrait photography

san luis obispo family portrait photographer

san luis obispo family portrait photographers

san luis obispo portrait photographers

san luis obispo family portrait photographer

San Luis Obispo Family Portrait Photography