I recently visited Miranda, Mike, Mason and Max at their home in Welland and “interviewed” them for a quick video testimonial, talking about their experience with me and the family portraits I created for them. Here’s the video:
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In September 2012, Mike and I realized that our children were now 2 and (almost) 5 and we did not have a photo with all four of us together (with the exception of a snapshot of the four of us wearing our Pittsburgh Steelers gear- taken while we were watching their first game of the 2010 NFL season, when Max was just a newborn. Mike would count that as a family portrait, but it’s not really what I had in mind). After seeing the incredible work that Bryan did at the weddings of a friend and coworker, and considering that I used to babysit his wife (wow, it feels weird to type that), we knew that we wanted him to do our family portraits.
Aside from being tremendously talented and personable, Bryan Caporicci is also the youngest photographer in Canada to receive his Craftsman of Photographic Arts by the Professional Photographers of Canada. His portfolio is truly amazing- we knew that we wanted his relaxed and fun style to capture our family as our authentic selves.
We went to Merritt Island in Welland to take our photos.
Bryan didn’t even take out his camera for the first little while; he indicated that his previous experience with photographing kids taught him to just let them play and introduce himself and let them get comfortable with having him around before whipping out the camera.
Naturally, he was absolutely right; we ended up getting some really cute photos of the boys just playing around on the playground equipment. We fed the ducks in the river and rolled down the hills. For someone like my husband who is completely and utterly camera shy, he can testify that this portrait session with Bryan was quite literally ‘a walk in the park’.
Being the worrier that I am, I fretted over whether we got any good shots. My kids were active and were hot and cold; alternating between being hyper and camera shy. Before leaving, Bryan assured me that he had plenty of material to work from and we arranged a time to head to the studio a few days later to check out the proofs.
When I went to the studio to see our photos, I was blown away. I wanted almost every picture. They were gorgeous and fun and he made the selection process so simple and easy; putting the photos up on an enormous screen and showing my how the different sizes would look on my wall. It was so nice to see the photos in giant format with full detail, instead of tiny little proofs.
Also, there was one huge difference for me when it came to our portrait experience and that was the photo editing. As luck would have it, our young and very rowdy family did not actually get one photo where all of us were looking at the camera at the same time. Talk about everyone’s worst nightmare! However, Bryan worked his magic and edited 3 separate photos to create one perfect portrait of our family that now hangs on our wall. If we had not worked with a photographer with that level of skill, we would have had a wasted photo shoot and a lot of disappointment. To me, this was the most valuable part of our experience; Bryan’s exceptional editing skills truly saved the day! I gushed over how thrilled I was with the end product and thanked Bryan profusely for his service and talents.
A few months later, Bryan contacted me to see if we would be interested in helping him update the testimonial section of his website; in the form of a video. He wanted to come to our house and tape us while we shared our experience. Camera shy Mike was not really on board at first, but I was all over it! I am a firm believer in recognizing a job well done. For individuals like Bryan who are self-employed, they don’t have a boss who provides feedback or does an assessment of their skills; they rely on their customers to let them know when things are going well or if something needs to be tweaked. Plus, I was more than happy to demonstrate to potential customers the type of experience they could expect when using him as their photographer. It was settled; the Van Dyke’s were about to become movie stars.
Bryan came over to our house, set up the cameras and we just started having fun. He asked us a few questions, we goofed around with the kids, and we were done.
In true Bryan fashion, he made us feel immediately comfortable, we shared a few laughs and he got some silly footage that he used to create the cute little video testimonial.
Honestly, we have watched this video so many times already and still continue to laugh; the kids think it’s hilarious to see themselves on the screen. Their favourite part is when Max puts Mason in a headlock and screaming ensues. The joys of life with boys. Although I know that we were technically doing Bryan a favour by agreeing to complete this testimonial, I’m not quite sure who should be thanking who at this point because we now get to enjoy this cute little video, capturing our family having fun!