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The Extreme family portrait series picks up back in Burlington Ontario, another family run business called that makes gummy vitamins, IRONKIDS & Adult Essentials. These things are delicious a great way to get your kids to take their vitamins, since they’re a candy that’s good for you; the only problem I’ve had with the boys is that they want MORE vitamins than I should give them. Read: not candy.

The family practices what they preach: a balance of nutrition and a healthy active lifestyle. Everyone takes part in some sport, activity, and they do it every day… sometimes the most sport I get up to in a day is moving from the couch to bed, so it can get pretty intimidating.

As usual we had a rough idea of what we were going to shoot before we got there, as you can see, this image has a bit more post-processing in it than what I’m used to. We ran into a few snags with our background so started to experiment a bit with the “race” theme that dominates the image (the ridiculous nature of a skiier on concrete in a warehouse that opens up to a marathon in the background is not lost on me – but hopefully you can suspend your disbelief for their sake). We also had to add more branding, as this image is as much a company driven product as it is a portrait of the family itself – this image will see commercial use for them – so there was certainly more creative input from both sides to accomplish the final.

In most family portraits, I take time to light the room and then add exposure by way of flash, per subject, where needed. In the warehouse there was no way I was going to be able to overpower the ambient in a meaningful way – those photons would have gone up to the ceiling and dissapeard before they came back down – so we shot the background separate from the individual familiy members, then brought it all together in post.
I prefer to shoot people in place on location, it helps give them the proper perspective so I don’t have as much warping and sizing to do in Photoshop, though by request, a foreground element was shrunk, which stands out to me, but it’s a matter of taste.

You can see I used my new toy light modifier, the Photek Softlighter, a lot in the above images. It’s currently my largest modifer, and allowed the subjects to actually move around a bit in their session to give it a more natural look. I’ll have to be careful with this thing, though, since it’s so enveloping it’s easy for me to overlight a scene.

Special thanks to Lee Mousseau for the assist on the shoot, hell, he facilitated it by driving down to Burlington with me; the Toronto Marriott Hotel for a place we could stay & keep loads of gear at night; and Julie Cole for being the first mom to bring me out to Burlington, then pimping my work hard – I truly appreciate it.

You should probably head over to flickr and click through to see the “original” size on this three image pano to see the details.

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