How I Turned My Family Vacation Into A Fine Art Photography Shoot

My wife is a model.  She is beautiful, costs lots of money, and may be a little high maintenance…  Let’s keep that last one between us.  But seriously, she has no interest in modeling (though she could easily be one) but she is a great sport and goes along with most of the crazy shenanigans I ask her to do for the sake of a good photograph.  So when I asked her to help me make some artistic photographs it only took a small amount of arm twisting and the promise of 25% of all proceeds made with the photos to go to her personal “fun money” account to get her to comply.

This project was shot with a Leica M (Typ 262)

A little back story may be helpful here…  Lately I’ve been having a feud with Instagram.  Instagram doesn’t know it and I’ve not told anyone, but I hate it (more on that in another article).  So, I’ve stopped pandering to likes and follows and have been focusing on creating photos that I get excited about creating.  This project is a perfect example of creating art that speaks more to what I like rather than worrying about what others will like.  Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can create a beautiful photograph with the advanced cameras we have access to these days, but nobody else has my imagination.

Now, I’ve been visiting Kiawah Island for the past 20 years and have become a little bored with shooting the usual landscape images.  Don’t get me wrong, I have not photographed all there is to photograph on this island…  Not even close.  I’m just a little burnt out on beach landscapes at the moment.  Taking this and the fact that I’m tired of creating images for others, I decided this trip could be the perfect chance to get a little (lot) creative with the only subjects I had readily available, my family.

Like I said, my wife is a great sport.  When I told her my idea about the image above, she was half excited and half thinking I was finally trying to kill her.  Luckily, she threw caution to the wind and attempted to execute my idea.  My awesome parents watched out 1-year-old son, who must have thought we finally lost our minds, while Kyra and I made these images.

Admittedly, the shot above did not come out the way I wanted it to.  The wind was being a jerk and blowing the buoy looking thing behind her making it look like it’s coming from her butt.  We really like this photograph so we will recreate it without the butt buoy making an appearance.

This project was some of the most fun I’ve had with a camera in a long time.  I’m so used to creating candid street photography that actually working with a model seemed rather taboo.  I’m a lucky man to have such a beautiful subject that enjoys helping me realize my vision…  No matter how crazy it may sound.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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4 replies on “How I Turned My Family Vacation Into A Fine Art Photography Shoot”
  1. says: Becky

    Great shots, John. It is good to have you enjoy the shoot so much and extra good that you recognize how lucky you are to have a live-in, cooperative model!!! 😉

    1. says: John Barbiaux

      Thank you! It really is eye opening when you realize what great images you can make with a subject that’s around just about all the time.

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