MIchael Negrete Photography

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Aidan and Lukas Reluctantly Pose for the Camera...

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Every year I photograph Aidan and Lukas right before Christmas so I can give family members gifts they love and something they can’t return even if they don’t like it.  It’s also so the Negrete boys have something to give mom and my parents.  To be really honest I kinda hate photographing my own kids even though I love the results.  My boys are so sick of growing up around cameras that I have to yell, bribe and threaten to get them to cooperate for a portrait session.  I’m a good psychologist when it comes to getting what I want for a portrait session so I pulled the Papa and Nanni card with the boys.  I told them the portraits were for my parents and they should participate in being good subjects to create some awesome portraits.  That bought me a solid hour with the boys on location.  I added in some starvation; I told them the faster we worked the faster we’d go out for dinner.  I so relate to my own clients struggles in getting their children to do portraits.

We went to Downtown Pomona in the arts colony since we had done portraits their about two years ago.  I thought it would be cool to see them grow up in the same environment and they’re be familiar with the spot.  This location has so many options that I knew I could work fast and furious to capture some authentic moments with the boys.  I kept it simple and worked with my Fujifilm XT-2, some prime lenses and a reflector.  The boys played photo assistant holding the reflector for each other.  I used many of the same tricks I use with my clients to capture some real moments.

Overall the session went really quick and I think it was a little fun for them and not as miserable as they imagined.  Once I sorted through the several hundred images and came down to the final twenty or so I chose to keep it simple with a preset that simulates an old warm tone fiber based paper and toning combination I used in the darkroom many years ago.  The resulting images show each of their unique personalities.  I like that they look good in the portraits and are also in their street clothes.  I chose to let them wear everyday clothes so they still look young.  The boys are getting so smart yet they are still young so I wanted that transition shown in the portraits.  

I think it’s important that we face the struggle with our kids occasionally to capture some amazing images.  I have tons of pics of the boys from my phone but taking the time for the process of creating amazing portraits yields an emotional portrait that we’ll cherish forever.  I can look at these images I created again and again.

By the way my mom is still telling me how much she loves these most recent images.  Great portraits make you feel something when you view them.  View all the great images in this short slideshow.

Michael NegreteComment