The key to family photos? Real smiles.
Hi, I'm Genna
GENNA MARIE DAVIS
As a child I remember having family photos taken at a professional photography studio.
I was about 10 years old, and my parents had coerced me and my little brother and sister to wear matching outfits and to "behave ourselves." We stood armed with fake smiles in awkward, uncomfortable positions for what seemed like an eternity to a child.
As a reward for cooperating, we were promised that at the very end we could play with the studio's adorable 1-month old kitten. Only then did we start smilling for real. We laughed genuinely and smiled until our eyes sparkled, and the photographer snapped a photo.
That photo still hangs on my parents' living room wall to this day. It was the most genuine and sincere photo of the bunch – the one in which we were truly having a good time with a random kitten.
I realized then that family photography isn't about getting everyone to look 'picture perfect,' or posing like, a fake TV family. It's about being with the people that you love and capturing a feeling; it's about freezing moment in time.
Instead of taking stuffy formal photos, I prefer to capture families interacting organically at the beach or in some other pleasant, natural setting – preferably around sunset, when the weather is cooler and comfortable.
If your child doesn't like the camera or is uncomfortable with strangers, we spend the first part of the session playing games, showing them how the camera works and building trust. Kids usually love taking action shots (running, jumping, throwing a ball around) so this is also a great way to break the ice.
I love taking photos, and I believe that it shines through my work.
To see my underwater photography, check out my underwater guide to Costa Rica: Costa Rica Blue.