Shoot story: A brotherhood portraiture session

Autumn is just fitting his feet on the starting blocks and here already goes the light away…
This isn’t too bad cause you and me both know that when light there is, during this season, it is of the greatest premium quality. It comes from a low angle and paints your beloved landscapes with gold!

Two weeks ago, I went abroad for a family shooting. Three brothers to portray, not the classical way… Sounds like something I can do right?
I was for long interested in photographing “brotherhood” which all in all is very different than portraying three individuals. The latter puts an emphasis on personal characteristics while “brotherhood” stresses the familial bond.

The idea is to find the right balance between the two, both to satisfy an artistic vision and a portraiture interest (you would not want your kids not looking like your kids in your family album, or would you?).
Starting point was to ask for three similar outfits, of a color that would complement the natural setting. We went for three Bordeaux T-shirts and pairs of blue jeans.
Here was the catch: I had to bet that the three young boys would act in tune, pushed by the similar outfits as visual clues, while expressing individuality through body language.

“Brotherhood” would then manifests itself visually in a very natural way despite the forced similarity. We would later emphasize the coherence of the many different shots through the use of a few accessories like the American flag (something that would relate to the presence of a family figure) and a recurring use of fire as a comforting and warming force (another hint to represent a second family figure…). Later, as shown above, I allowed the elder brother to change is shirt for a grey one, the time of a few shots. I thought it would illustrate the affirmation of individuality with age, adolescence and personality confirmation.

Anything else? Yep… Why the forest and the camping thingies? Well, our three boys are active and passionate “scouts”, meaning they know their “way” through the wood. And this “way” involves knowledge sharing and teamwork: family values? I believe so…

Anything else is technical, a fast telelense, a prime wide angle and as usual, a lot of preparation through Internet browsing, images saving, mood boards and all the crazy stuffs. A pince of YouTube tutorials for a Lightroom trick or two.
You know it by now if you regularly read those lines, all this preparation won’t help you in any way while shooting, but remains essential! To get you in the mood or to open your third eye very wide before hitting the photographic battlefield.

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One last piece of advice… Cover yourself with warm clothes! I know it’s tempting to run in t-shirt when taking your pics, quite an effort sometimes… But I got seriously sick through that and remained blocked in my bed, nearly for a week after the shooting.

This said, enjoy fall’s light!

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