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It has been a good two years since I did a family portrait shoot, so when I was asked to photograph the Wagner, Lineberry and Lamberton families out at the Wagner family farm near Hudson, Colorado, I was a bit nervous. “How do I do this again?”
Fortunately, the Lambertons are dear friends, and that quickly vanquished any trepidations I had about venturing back into the family portrait fold.
Furthermore, I was kind of excited about the prospect of shooting out on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. Most everybody forgets that half of this state is flat and covered in brittle grass and farmland. Much of it is private, and none of it is on the way to anywhere for me. It’s not like I just stop on by the Pawnee National Grasslands here and there on my way back from Lincoln, Nebraska. I just don’t head out that way … literally ever.
The Wagner farm is snug against an enormous grass field that faces to the West. My friend Tim (you may remember him from such asinine stunts as Hay Bale Handstand and Great Balls of Fire) was kind enough to get me on the farm for a good 30 minutes before everyone showed up … always good to scout a place and form a loose shot agenda.
The field had an amazing quality to it. It was late September, and the grass still had a little life left in it. None of the winter gray, but none of the springtime green. Just pure golden straw layered for miles. From a low angle shooting into the sun with my 200mm prime lens, it created an incredibly textured effect.
The Lamberton’s took the stage first: Tim and daughter Cora (pictured above), and Lexi and their son Quinn (three photos above).
Next up, I photographed the Lineberry family (above), Jay, Nikki, Turner and their 3-month-old daughter Peyton.
Next, we moved closer in to the residence. The home belongs to Marge Wagner, the matriarch of the family, and her sons Leon and John brought out the tractor for a photo of the whole gang. That’s Grandma Marge above, who was celebrating her 80th birthday.
By now it was around 4pm and the autumn light was getting very rich. The kiddos lasted just long enough to get a handful of everyone-is-smiling-and-no-one-is-blinking shots before the natural meltdowns happened. It was a fun shoot.