Archive for July, 2011


Remember when a few posts back I promised to tell you the story of getting caught with no permits? Today is the day I finish telling the story!

I shot little Grace at the Rose Garden in San Jose. The light was great that morning and she was so cooperative for a two year old. Especially since she got a big owie on her toe right before they met us at the park. We had a great shoot.

Right after I was done, I was supposed to photograph another mutual friends little girl. I wrap up with Grace and start shooting some of Audrey. Not five minutes into the shoot, a “volunteer” for the parks department walks up to us. He starts asking questions, making it seem like he was interested in hiring me to do a photoshoot. I give him my card. He starts asking my friend about me, my business etc. She thought the same, that he was looking to hire someone, so she played along and talked me up. Well then, he starts with his dialogue about me needing a permit, did I have a permit, did I want to buy a permit to keep shooting, etc. Now, in all honesty, I did not know I needed a permit for this particular park. Villa Montalvo, sure, it’s hard to miss their giant sign. But not the Rose Garden. I was mortified. I don’t intentionally like to break the rules, I’m kind of a goody-goody when it comes to that. Thank goodness I was photographing with a good friend of mine. It would have been much more embarrassing if it was a client I was meeting for the first time! We packed up and headed to a different park. I felt awful, but as it turned out I found a new spot in San Jose to do portraits. It was a great spot and I’ve used it a couple of times since. Hopefully I won’t get kicked out of there as well! And for the record, I did go home that night and try to buy a permit. Unfortunately, the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County make it very confusing as to which permit you need, which park needs a permit from the various government agency and which parks are fair game. I think I found the right spot but then it doesn’t let you buy them online, you have to go down to the office. So annoying! So, next time I am down at the city office, I promise to pay up…
City of San Jose: 1
Robin Reeder Photography: 0

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The before:
I shot this family shortly before it added a new family member. It’s a nice way to capture what your family was like before it grew. You think you’ll remember, but I am personally finding it hard to do that. We went up to the tried and true Villa Montalvo. My very pregnant friend graciously walked to many spots to take pics of her oldest son, the family together and some belly shots.

The after:
I also got a chance to meet the newest member of the Fleming family shortly after he was born. I ran over to do some quick newborn shots of the little guy. He was actually not so little, born at 9 pounds 13 oz, but it was nice to capture him while he was still a newborn. They change so fast, another thing you think you’ll remember but it’s really hard months and years down the road. And again, I know this from personal experience…you should see the baby books and half done scrapbooks I have for my daughters! It’s a disgrace, but I’m glad that the Fleming family will have these times preserved for them. Thanks for letting me be a part of this special time as your family grows! It’s one of my favorite things about photographing kids and families.

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This little boy was so fun to shoot. He keep us on our toes and I needed to be fast when shooting because he didn’t sit still for long. I just love his hair though. Perfect little boy hair. He also taught me a few lessons.

The most important being that not all locations are good for all models. I have a few tried and true spots at Villa Montalvo. I try and mix it up, but sometimes it’s good to start out at these spots to get the ball rolling. Steps are good for little girls who sit down and give each other hugs. Not so much for little boys just learning to walk. The bridge is a good backdrop, full of interesting angles and innocent charm. But also not a good spot for a little boy learning to walk, with it’s large gaps between boards and a big drop into the ravine below. It was a little trial and error for picking the spots to shoot in. Some of these were even shot while we were in the parking lot, which just goes to show you that it’s not all that important to shoot in an amazing, beautiful environment. What’s important is to make a connection with the model and family. That’s when you get those true expressions, moments caught in between the “say cheese” pictures. And why those are sometimes my favorite photos.

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