A few years ago Leif Barsness and I were fellow teachers and travelers in the halls of the mighty Apollo High School, roaming around looking for the hidden, illegal coffee makers that were rumored to be somewhere on campus.  I retired, leaving Leif to search on his own, while I lived in the comfort of knowing where the coffee was at all times.

A couple of years pass and I have the good fortune of running into Leif and his lovely wife, Anne, at a wedding that I was photographing.  Leif gets to see me in my full reincarnation of Tim the Photographer as I worked at Jason and Katie’s wedding.   That was the springboard for us getting together and doing the Barsness family session.

Of course the main goal of the family session is to capture that one great group shot that gets hung on the wall and put in the classroom.  With little kids that can be a bit tricky because as soon as the tableau is set, something will catch a little one’s eye and I take a great shot of three faces and the back of one head. But i know if I take enough shots I will get at least one image that will make for good wall art.

Personally I think the better images come from the candid shots and the shots of one parent and one child together.  Candid shots of any subject always capture the true emotionality of the moment.  The smiles are not the typical “say cheese” smiles.  The candid expressions are the true expressions, the expressions of the soul.  As for the one parent and child, I believe those great results come from the intimacy of the situation.  The comfort of the child knowing that they are with their mom or with their dad makes for a more natural, candid image.  These are the images I really enjoy taking at all my sessions.

I am happy to share today some of my favorite images from the Barsness session. During that time I got to catch up with Leif’s life at Apollo.  I believe he is now running an underground shadow government at Apollo and is controlling everything behind the scenes.  I also got to talk to Anne and get to know her much better.  Anne is one more example of how all of my friends have married someone above their pay grade.  She is a delightful young lady and mother.  Of course kids are kids and always fun to interact with.  Langston and Avery were great.

The hardest part about this shoot is this blog post.  Leif is an English teacher.  I sincerely hope there aren’t too many red check marks on this post.

Some of my favorites from the Barsness session.


Of course I must start a family session with the family portrait.  Love that Avery is looking at Langston.


Getting ready.

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We did have someone try to “goose” their way into out session.  Fun times at the park!

Thanks to Leif and Anne for allowing me share an hour with their  family, capture these images, and share some fun times with Langston and Avery.



Back in March I offered a Family Portrait session for a silent auction benefiting a private school.  Susan B was the highest bidder for the session that would include her husband, Patrick and their three children.  Over the weeks as we discussed details Susan indicated that she would really like the shoot to take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts.  Having never been to the Center, I decided to take a scouting trip out to Tempe and check the place out, scout for good locations and pick the best time to go.


Photographers call the time about an hour before the sun sets as the “golden hour”.  This usually provides the best lighting for dramatic, creative images.  Because the clients wanted this type of light, we scheduled the session as close as possible to this time.

As I share the images from this shoot with the readers, I would like to begin with a prime example of the magic of the golden hour that took place during this session.

At the Center, there is this beautiful pool in front of the patio that runs over the ledge and creates a waterfall.  This was one of the earliest images I took that day.

012-Edit-untitledI know the boys are cute, but notice the color of the surface and the waterfall.  We went off to other locations around the Center about an hour later came back to the waterfall to finish out the session.  The sun is almost on the horizon.  Notice how the golden hour works its magic and earns its name in the following image.

0001-8-glendale_photographer__family_photographer__family_portrait__Tempe_Center_for_the_ArtsI  believe the sun giving the water and ledge such a warm glow really enhances the image of the family.


As I posted the following photographs on Facebook, almost all of the comments about these images had to do with how striking the eyes are.  0001-7-untitled


0001-11-untitledHere are the rest of my samples from Patrick and Susan’s family session

0001-9-untitled 0001-10-untitled 0001-12-untitled 0001-15-untitled 0001-16-untitled 0001-18-Edit-untitled 0001-19-untitled 0001-21-untitled 0001-24-untitledI want to thank Susan for bidding for my photographic services at the silent auction.  It was a pleasure for me capturing these images of your wonderful family on this day.

Family Session by Poole Photography LLC, Tim Poole photographer.