You did it! After months of planning and coordinating travel schedules with your spouse and adult children, plus your parents, any siblings and maybe even their kids, everyone is finally on Grand Cayman and under one roof for a week-long family vacation.
You can’t recall how long it has been since everyone was together, but it seems like ages ago. Kids grow up fast. Life marches on and memories have a habit of fading away.
It’s in moments like these we turn to photography to capture the joy of being surrounded by our loved ones. Sure, everyone in your family has a smartphone and will be taking enough Instagram selfies and SnapChats to share online. But, for a dynamic family portrait nothing compares to a professional photographer.
I recently sat down with Janet Jarchow, who also goes by JJ, a photographer at one of our favorite on-island portrait studios, Better Angle Photography, to better understand what guests can expect during a family photo shoot.
“The Golden Hour,” usually an hour before sunset, “is my favorite time of the day for a shoot,” says Janet. “The lighting is flattering, it’s not as hot, and the way the setting sun lights the sky and sparkles against the water makes for a beautiful backdrop.” Janet doesn’t hesitate to cite the villas in Cayman Kai and North Side as the best locations for lighting.
Sunsets in the summer months occur between 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and in the winter between 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Morning and afternoon photo sessions can also be scheduled depending on availability but then you have the heat and high sun to contend with.
“We’re exceptionally busy during Christmas and Easter. And, since there’s only three of us David, Melissa, and myself—and only one golden hour per day, our availability becomes limited.” Janet interjects that, “it’s best to schedule the shoot on the front end of their holiday while everyone’s enthusiasm for being on island is high and their clothes clean and crisp.”
Color coordinated outfits make for the best photos—think blues, whites and khakis. It’s also best to have some hair ties on hand to keep the wind out of your face.
“Our photographer arrives at the guest’s villa just before the session start time for a quick chat on what the client wants in their photos—single portraits of the kids on the beach, couples portraits by the ocean, or multi-generational group shots which remains very popular with tourists on holiday.”
Once the guest shares their expectations, the photographer leads the portrait session snapping pictures of the family for a good hour. “It’s important,” Janet continues, ”to get the kids photos taken first, so they don’t get bored or fussy during the group portraits.” Starting with the children also tends to have a positive effect on the adults, “their smiles widen when the kids are having fun—you can see it through the camera.”
After the photo shoot, the photographer goes to work batch editing anywhere between 100-150 images using Adobe Lightroom. Balancing exposure levels, color correction, and image cropping are basic photo editing services covered by the session fee. Additional cosmetic edits and retouching will run extra.
The retouched images are then uploaded to a private image gallery and shared with the guest via an emailed link. Each gallery is connected to a network of US-based printers for professionally printed photos, or photo printing websites like Shutterfly.
Prints from Better Angle Photography come in varying sizes and use archival paper which won’t fade over time. Follow this link to check out their pricing on prints and photo services. Click here for a full FAQ on what to expect during your photo shoot.
As a member of Silver Thatch’s preferred vendor network, Better Angle Photography extends a 10% discount to our villa guests. We recommend booking your portrait session as early as possible to secure the coveted “golden hour” time slot.
Of all the excursions and experiences to be had while vacationing in Grand Cayman, none will remain with you for years to come as an island family portrait session. We invite you to visit Better Angle Photography’s website and portfolios for David & Mellisa Wolfe, and Janet Jarchow at the links below.
David Wolfe Photography: Portfolio
Melissa Wolfe Photography: Portfolio