Santa Monica California Portrait Photography

Santa Monica, California Portrait Session Published on Simply Bloom

 

Don’t know about you but as far as we’re concerned there really is never a bad time for the beach, even in December. We loved this session the moment we saw it because its anything but your typical beach session. Framed by the pastel tones of the boardwalk, the sweet mother-daughter connection takes center stage. We were lucky enough to get a few extra details from Rochelle on how she sets up her sessions, especially this one in particular.

This mother-daughter trio took a special girls trip in celebration of the oldest daughter, Alessandra, graduating from high school before heading off to college in London. It was such an important milestone for Alessandra and a special memory for their family that they wanted to have a photo shoot to freeze the moment. Although they now live in Washington, D.C., both sisters were born in Santa Monica. It was a place they remember fondly, so it was the perfect location for their portrait session. We woke up early and walked around Santa Monica, the pier and the beach. They rented bikes from their hotel, frolicked on the beach and explored the sights.

PHOTO DETAILS
Photo Lab: Richard Photo Lab, www.richardphotolab.com
contax 645, fuji 400

What’s the story?

The most important part of a portrait actually begins before you click the shutter button. It starts with the story of who you’re capturing, what they want portrayed, and why. Your work will be its best when you become dedicated to capturing your subject’s story. So, listen and get to know them first – without any cameras.

For this session, I captured a mother-daughter trio who took a special girls trip in celebration of the oldest daughter, Alessandra, graduating from high school before heading off to college in London. It was such an important milestone for Alessandra and a special memory for their family that they wanted to have a photo shoot to freeze the moment.

Prior to the session, talk through some who, what and why questions with your subject so you can draw out the best portraits possible. Remember – the story is what gives the fine art portrait its “soul.” Without soul, it is just a pretty picture without meaning.

What to have them wear and bring + choosing a location

To fine tune your session and map out what it will look like, create Pinterest and mood boards to develop your shoot. I love the design process of a session – from what to wear to the choice of the ideal location. These details help tell the story! The theme, their coloring and features, and choice of location will all assist in determining how they should dress. Everything from the shoes, to clothing, hair and make-up, will all tie together to tell their story.

You may even want to incorporate personal props that have symbolic meanings to your subject. It could be an instrument if they play music. Maybe their pet? A special car? Flowers? A painting? A movie? A song? You can draw from endless inspiration!

Although this family now lives in Washington, D.C., both sisters were born in Santa Monica. It was a place they remember fondly, so it was the perfect location for their Southern California portrait photography session. We knew we wanted to wake up early to walk around Santa Monica, the pier and the beach. For attire, we went with a more casual look in neutral colors as the girls would be riding bikes, frolicking on the beach and exploring the sights.