We met down at the Burlington waterfront on what turned out to be a wickedly windy day. Johanna came laid back and friendly and clicking away as unobtrusively as if she were the tail of a kite just along for the ride. I’m a terrible subject for a photo shoot. Self conscious and annoyingly apologetic in front of the camera, I find it difficult to “be natural” which, as everyone can agree, is what makes a great photo. Nevertheless, Johanna had such a natural way about her that pretty soon we calmed down and just did our thing, allowing her to capture some beautiful shots.
When I needed some direction she made suggestions, but mostly she followed the whims and wishes of my completely uninhibited children-a good way to make the most of a photo shoot. I appreciated her flexibility as well as her ability to make the most of the short time we had together. We came with time constraints, but she constantly took pictures ensuring we had the most options for the time spent. If there was a word that combined efficiency and fluidity I would use it here-it was a perfect marriage of the two.
More than anything, we love how the photos turned out. It is a real feat to get the four of us in the same camera frame and these are pictures that will go with us a lifetime.
After what seemed like weeks of having to reschedule (all of which was my fault), my family and I finally met Johanna at Shelburne Farms for an early morning photo shoot. I had spent entirely too much time trying to figure out what we should all wear for the pictures…should we be all matchy-matchy with our clothes? Could i wear white jeans if it wasn’t yet memorial day? Why did I even own a pair of white jeans? What about the wind coming off of the lake? What about “bat in the cave” boogers hanging off my kids noses? In the end none of this mattered.
Johanna has a very casual, hands-off approach to taking photos. After we met and introduced ourselves we were off to various locations for the session. I hardly noticed Johanna was taking pictures if it weren’t for the quiet click of her camera as we wandered around the grounds of Shelburne Farms. Her style is quiet, unobtrusive, and respectful. She also didn’t request that we have too many “posed” pictures..something that I enjoy when getting my picture taken. Her photo journalistic technique captured moments that one doesn’t normally get when making everyone sit and pose for a picture. For example, my six year old has a smile that could make any grumpy person feel sweet inside…but you can only see it when he knows you’re not watching him. Johanna captured a few of those gems.
She also managed to capture some wonderful moments between Henry and Ruby. As Ruby starts to develop her own personality that is not just being “a baby” Henry is now enjoying his interactions with her more. I loved that Johanna nonchalantly swooped in to grab a few of those moments. She also didn’t try and make the kids smile when they were grumpy. I can only imagine a photographer has a big job ahead of them when the kids are cranky. I liked that she just let them be kids and didn’t try to make them out to be perfect angels.
That morning at Shelburne Farms was very special for me. Lately I find that we don’t do too many things as a family. Or rather, we do things as a family, but we’re not really experiencing them together. That morning we got to just be one little group. There wasn’t much whining, I wasn’t rushing to “do” something, and I’m pretty sure neither my husband nor I uttered the words, “don’t do that” to either child. And the best part? We got most of those moments captured on camera by Johanna. If you’re looking for a photographer who is kind, gentle in spirit, and is talented to capture the every day moments in her photo journalistic style, then Johanna is the one for you. Thanks Johanna.