If you are looking for family photography right here in Durham, I have my own personal experience to share with you!
This review is for the mother expecting her first child, parents looking to capture their toddler at this exact point in time, families who hate posing and feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, or moms and dads of sensitive children.
With 4 kids in our family we try our best to create a timeline of milestones for our children to look back on through family photography sessions! Kristin with First 28 Photography did a family photo shoot for us in November. She created a luxury experience and brought all these new ideas to the table, making our photo sesion any other family photographer I have experienced. Kristin‘s approach of blending in with our family and capturing candid moments is truly a talent!
I hope this review is helpful and gives you sense of what the experience was like for us!
Table of Contents
Family Photography In Durham
You could say I am particular. I already had the vision in my mind of what I wanted our photo session to look like, even before I started looking for family photography in Durham! I was looking for an unposed, natural session outdoors. The sun would be setting, with glowing afternoon light giving an organic, light filled, timeless feel.
I reached out to Kristin of First 28 Photography in Durham because of her stunning portfolio. It was full of family photography in my favorite muted and neutral color palettes. The two of us clicked on some unexplained level. Before I was even done explaining my vision to her, she was nodding in agreement and taking the words out of my mouth. Before anything else was decided, we were planning sunset photos. Muted wardrobe colors. A private farm with big open pastures for the location. And she told me not to worry about any of our outfits – she would give me access to her client wardrobe.
Kristin gets it!
First 28 Photography: The Breakdown
- A Planning & Wardrobe Session at my home
- A sweet welcome gift box
- Her client wardrobe available for myself and the kids (and links to suggestions for older children and my husband’s outfits!)
- Makeup/Hair person who arrives at my house just before the photo session
- Portrait Session
- Sneak Preview, hand-edited gallery, slideshow, printed proofs, glass keepsake box, and USB drive with the final images
- Ordering Session in my home
Family Photography Wardrobe Session
The coordinating of family outfits always falls on me, and it is such a daunting task! This was a totally different experience! The wardrobe planning session is a complete GAME CHANGER for moms. Kristin owns a full rotating wardrobe of various options and sizes that she allows her clients to choose from.
This way all the colors in the photographs blend together perfectly, you will feel comfortable and beautiful (because all the dress options have “give” to accommodate all types of body shapes and sizes), and you won’t spend the weeks leading up to the session frantically buying (and returning) clothes online, making multiple Target runs at midnight, or settling for something you aren’t happy to see in your portraits.
Kristin came over with her arms FULL of clothing. As promised, she delivered a complete “client wardrobe”. She offered 4 different gowns I could choose from, all long and flattering in the agreed upon color palates. I honestly could have warn all of them and been happy, but I did pick out two favorites.
My kids had a lots of options to choose from too. Kristin thought of everything – tights for the girls, even suspenders for Leo. Her sizes stop at 5T/6, so she sent several links for my 11 year old that we could buy online. (They were basic pieces from Target, which I appreciated. Nothing he wouldn’t wear again!)
I hung onto both so I could try them on a few more times to be sure. The kids tried on all their clothes, and I think it helped that their wardrobe options were coming from someone else. Less fuss.
After she left, I hung up just the options I picked out for photo shoot day:
Is that color pallet pretty or what?
She also sent me several different options from various price ranges for my husband to wear. After clicking around on the links she sent him, he bought a J Crew shirt online that she recommended. He found pants in his closet that coordinated in the approved colors. The two of them texted back and forth about the best choice for his shoes because he was unsure.
This wardrobe session took all the pressure off of me! Having a trained eye to look at your family, put together the color palate, offer choices and give their professional opinion is such a luxury!
Family Photography Portrait Session
My anxieties are always wrapped up in the portrait session. My worst fear is that I will get in front of the camera, hate the way I look, feel sweaty, stressed and worst of all- realize that my kids are annoying our photographer.
Kristin took charge of the whole ordeal. She had emailed all the details over several times so I didn’t have to think about anything. She texted us directions to the farm again a few days before, with the time she thought we should leave our house to be there on time.
Did I have to set up my own hair and makeup to be done? No! Kristin got in touch with her own trusted professional, Sam The Beauty Artist, and had all arrangements made for me so I didn’t have to lift a finger. Sam showed up at my house an hour before it was time to leave, armed with products and a big smile. It was down right LUXURIOUS to not have to get the kids ready while also worrying about how I was going to find time to make myself look decent!
Kristin pulled into the farm just ahead of us. We were laughing because it turned out we had some mutual friends who happened to be visiting there too. Kristin put my kids right at ease. Of course they were both angelic and terrible at the same time, but Kristin had us laughing and feeling confident the whole time. She’s a mother of two herself – I didn’t worry my kids were testing her patience!
We spent our photo session walking around on these beautiful hills, with horses and meadows behind us, the sun going down while Kristin chatted and snapped photographs.
After the session, I was pretty sure we’d be lucky if we got a single family shot that I could use, frame, or feel great about. I think almost every mother with young children leaves a session feeling that way, but Kristin assured me she captured a ton of sweet moments. Well, a few weeks later Kristin came over with a glass keepsake box and all the printed proofs inside, and I was astonished at how each and every photograph felt like a favorite.
The shoot yielded absolutely beautiful shots that show the best side of our children’s personalities, and what they are like at these ages.
I had no idea she even captured most of the memories that she did. I was brought to tears at the sight of my little people, their smiles and spirits shining bright, and the ones of my husband and I (the first ones since our wedding!).
What also attracted me to Kristin and her business model was the option to seamlessly create something with my portraits. The REALITY is that life is busy and we often invest a ton of time, energy, and money into getting portraits and then those digital files end up living on the computer.. And guess what, when that computer dies….I can’t even think about that!
To help bring those files to life, she offers an array of printed fine art products, custom-designed cards, and a few other options to choose from (framing and albums upon request) that she personally designs, orders and delivers to ensure the quality and printing are exactly as they should be.
We decided to create a custom Christmas card, but we also wanted to have a bigger family portrait custom framed. Kristin and I walked my home together, measuring and looking at different places the large frame could go.
The framed portrait arrived this weekend, and I smile and pause each time I pass by it in the hall.
It is clear Kristin has a passion for babies, families, and capturing the connection that each family shares. If you are looking for maternity, newborn, baby, or family photography in Durham, I can’t stress the luxury and convenience First 28 Photography offers enough.
This was a unique experience for our family, one that created long lasting memories but was so much easier than our traditional family photo shoots. And at the end, we are left with gorgeous memories capturing the essence of our family, with all of us looking and feeling our best!
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