Meet the Smagacz Family:

This is my second largest family to date, 26-total. WOW! One of the many things I’ve learned over the past 30-years in photography is experience counts and you must remain flexible in this profession.

Lisa commissioned us to photograph her family from Brentwood, TN while in Florida on vacation.  What I have learned is, try to put as many “things” in our favor, time of day for outdoor portraits is vital, if there are small children you want to choose a time when  they are at their best and it’s also best to feed them before the photo session and clothing selections can make or break a portrait.

We scheduled the photo session on a Thursday at 8am. At 8am the sun is pretty high in the sky and can be difficult to find good lighting for a large family grouping of 26. I arrived early on the photo day and scouted the grounds and found this spot. I liked the depth it gave us, we set the group up on the cart path so they would not get the clients wet & dirty from the dew. I learned if I put my camera at a lower prospective it would not show the cart path. The location was not far from their vacation villa, which was a benefit for the grandparents at ages 79 & 75 years young.

You learn to improvise and make the most out of any/all situations. I recall way back in my early training that when you are in a difficult lighting situation… back-light! So I did, with a little help with a fill light off-camera.

What I’ve learned the past 30-years is everyone in the group needs to look good. Starting with mom, if mom doesn’t look good you are done! Happy momma, happy life.

What I’ve learned through my decades of photography is to listen to the client. Occasionally they have a few ideas of their own and I try to make it work.

One last thing from what I’ve learned through my time in the photography business is to have a plan. I start pre-planning the night before, I start getting my mind “set” into large family groupings by looking at past large family groups we have done, thinking about the ages of the children, wondering how mobile the grandparents are, etc.  It’s not always EASY putting together 26-people and making them ALL look good with lighting, posing and expressions, etc. This was not an easy task and certainly NOT for someone who has little experience with large family groups. But it was worth the effort, we now have captured their family vacation in 2014. Who knows if or when they ALL will be together again?

Realize how much better your portraits could be...

Looking at the first image, you see an attractive couple celebrating their 25-wedding anniversary in a urban landscape location and think it's a nice photo. The current trend of  "natural light" photographers produce retouniely. A trained professional certified photographer, my job is to use my knowledge and secondary lighting to create the the second image. It's the little things that makes a difference.

It's the little things that makes a difference

It’s the little things that make the difference: We went to the beach with the Boydston family from Oklahoma yesterday morning for their family portraits. As I was scouting for the best location to position the family I saw the sun coming up.  I was looking NE. I love using natural lighting and felt it gave good separation between the subjects and the background. I prefer not to use flash whenever possible, but in a certain situations I needed extra light. The flash was off camera to the left of the subject just out of camera view. Photo A without flash…see how dark their faces had I photographed them in natural light. Photo B is with flash to match the ambient light. I used a Quantum Q flash. Even during the sweet light time “sunrise” I will sometimes add a little more light.

Meet the Boydston family from OK

The Boydston family at the beach at sunrise from Oklahoma. Afternoon thunder storms are one of the reason why we do sunrise sessions this time of year. And it was a beautiful sunrise. Thank You M/M Boydston, clients like you make our job not a job but a pleasure to serve you.

Family Tree, 1845 of the Overstreet Family, Copy work job:

This is just one of the things I love about my job, variety and a challenge.  I received a call from Mrs. Sharon Overstreet about a family tree piece dated back to 1845. She wanted to copy it and make additional copies to pass out to her family. This piece was so important to the family that they were hesitant to leave it with me.

Once I got off the phone I felt like it was a fairly straightforward project. Once Mrs. Overstreet brought the family tree piece in I knew it was not going to be a simple copy or scan job like I first thought. The genealogy was hand written in fine print dating back to 1845 in pencil and ink. The size of it is 47”x44” on faded paper type on post board that did not lay flat and it was folded. I asked to keep it a day or two, went home and thought about it, made some calls and pretty much knew the best way was to copy it photographically. I have never regretted paying the extra fee for the higher end glass (lens). I don’t know of any scanners this large. So I decided to split the piece up, photographically speaking, into 8-sections then stitch the image back together again in photo shop. I must admit I was pretty happy with the finished product. We used Plexiglas to flatten down the warped piece.

Looking back, I wish our family had a written family tree. My grandmother passed away at age 85 and her knowledge would have been a big help. But now she is gone and it will be much harder to put our family tree info together. Start with your family tree today. That was really cool looking back to the 1800’s and seeing the first Overstreet family had 12-children 11-of them had children of their own. WOW, it’s a large family. How far can you go back?

Meet Miss Photogenic contestants from Miss SIlver Spurs Pageant

Meet the bwp Miss Photogenic from the Spurs pageant: presenting is Ally Wilson a representative of Bruce Wilson photography.

Little Miss: Karlie Heberlin
Jr MIss: Kaylee Newman
Miss Silver Spurs: Baily Simpson


Congrats LMSS, JRMSS & Miss Silver Spurs 2014

Congratulations to Brighten Mick on being crowned “Little Miss Silver Spurs 2014”.  

Kassidy Cabot the first ever “Jr Miss Silver Spurs 2014”.

Whitney Hopkins “Miss Silver Spurs 2014”.

 All of us here at bwp are very proud of you!

It’s nice to see you get the recognition you all deserve for all your hard work. I know your parents are proud of your/their accomplishments. 

We wish you continued success, health & prosperity, now and in the future.

Bruce Wilson Photography Family and Staff