Life is full of little love stories. Stories about family, loved ones, new babies, businesses, pets and everyday adventures. Little Love Stories Portrait Photographer, Genelle Bevan, is all about capturing those moments. We talk to her about her 20 years photographer experience, her photography style, get her tips, and find out her favourite ways to go about framing those special little love stories. Spoiler alert: It’s all in the laughs.
Describe your photography style…
When I’m taking photos I always try to keep it as real and as natural as possible. I want real moments, real captures and snippets of the person or persons I am photographing and their relationship with each other. Sometimes to me the most imperfect photo is the one I love the most. The tummy tickles with huge laughs, hair over the faces and genuine love just oozing out. I love, love, love beautiful light, golden light, soft light any creative amazing light.
“Good photos don’t just happen when you set a family down and pose them in good light. Good photos take time, knowledge, comfort, and a lot of love.”
Genelle Bevan, Little Love Stories
Do you have any tips for picking the right family photo to frame?
Again natural moments. I rarely take photos of families all looking at the camera and smiling. I will during the shoot but for me the photos of the cuddles, the giggles, the running and the fun and love are way more expressive. Choose the image that makes your heart sing, not the one where you all look perfect.
Your ability to capture those special dad moments is extraordinary! What’s your secret?
I think with dads their relationship to their children is the decider for me as to how I photograph them. Sometimes dads are the protectors, the holders, the strong ones. Other times they are the fun crazy ones who rough and tumble with the kids. Sometimes they are both. When I’m at a shoot I tend to chat to everyone a lot, ask questions and generally look like I’m wasting time but really I’m observing how they answer, how they interact with each other and also giving the kids some time to feel comfortable with me and show me a little bit about their personalities.
Do you have tips for others wanting to take great photos of their dad?
Once again for me it is always in the natural capture. Yes the light is important and I always shoot into the sun so the person is lit from behind. The cropping is important, I always work on the rule of thirds so with a portrait I would aim for the subjects face to be on the line of the top third. And filters can sometimes be a little too much. I have a certain look that still shows the natural image colour and feel but has my spin on it. Don’t over filter as sometimes it takes away the longevity of the image. But the MOST important thing is what do you love about your dad. His laugh, his smile, his strong hands. If it’s his laugh do something funny. Make him laugh and capture that. Get your siblings to help. Stand behind you and do something you know will make him laugh.
What’s one thing you wish every client would do for/prior to a shoot?
Talk to me about what they wear, what feel and style they love and what works in their house. I think of my images as family works of art. If you were going to put a framed print of your family up on the wall think about what colours work in your house in the space and wear something that will compliment your design style. Also make sure the location where we are shooting suits the family feel and is what they love to do. Then it means more.
What’s your favourite thing about being behind the lens?
I’m a watcher and observer. I always have been. My favourite part is being behind the lens watch a moment unfold and know when I click the shutter that I’ve nailed it.
Any photography or framing trends you are loving right now?
I’m loving that particularly family photography has become far more organic and beautiful and natural than it was ten years ago. Those horrible staged studio portraits are really out and more artistic, creative and emotive images are taking over. Result, more candid and special moments making for more frame worthy shots.
How do you bring framed photography into your home and interior style?
I’m really into that beachy, boho, rustic vibe so natural bleached timbers, whites, rusts, browns, greys really dominate my home. Lots of natural fibres and textures. Linens, chunky floor rugs, lots of cushions and wood. So with frames I tend to keep it simple and in that colour scheme. Natural timber and white frames.
Can you share some of your Little Love Stories with us…
Baby Tommy Turns One
I had photographed Glenn & Caitlin’s wedding a few years ago, and Tommy when he was a baby in the studio. I’ve known Glenn’s dad since he used to teach me at pony club as a kid. Glenn grew up about ten minutes from me on a farm so when Caitlin asked me to photograph Tommy’s 1st Birthday shoot it was natural that I got them to come to my farm and we got that beautiful rustic feel that they love and are comfortable with. Tommy was very shy at first and clung to Glenn for comfort but once we got playing and said hello to the cows and horses and had some tickles and wizzy dizzies he was a different kid. I just said to them just play with him and I’ll do my thing. I love that they aren’t focused on me at all. They are totally focused on him and the love just oozes.
Family Time at Flinders
So Con is a good friend of mine and an amazing wedding photographer himself. Every time I caught up with him and Bec she would say to me I soooo have to get you to shoot some family portraits of us I just love your style. So one day I just messaged Bec and said OK lets do it this week as the weather was looking incredible. She jumped at it and much to Con’s frustration we chose Flinders as Bec loved the look, but it was nearly a two hour drive for them after work. When we got there the kids were complaining. Con wasn’t feeling it because he’d been working all day, it was hot and they were all bothered. I just keep chatting to them as we walked down to the cliffs trying to just get him to relax and unwind. When we got there he just went WOW, and I smiled. I think sometimes clients don’t understand why they have to put themselves out and sometimes drive a long way, or have the kids up a bit late to get amazing photos. But I think when he saw it he totally got it. I think you can tell by the shots that it was worth the hassle. A little note too I’ve known these guys before they had kids, when they were just a couple in love so I also wanted to capture them together, still in love, so I did a few shots of just the two of them which they loved.
Fun on the Family Farm
What an awesome, amazing family this was. When I get asked to do extended family shoots with lots of people I always feel a little apprehensive as it’s sometimes really hard to get connections and natural moments when there are so many moving pieces to work with. From the minute I arrived at the farm and was greeted by Nan the matriarch of the family in a beat up mercedes 4wd, in her gumboots with the dog in tow I was smiling. She just said jump in and off we bumped through paddocks, scouting locations, then on to the family shack (which was incredible). I then spent around 20 mins chatting to everyone and hanging out whilst kids got dressed and everyone had wine and cheese, including me. Poppy came up and started telling me about his old truck that he wanted in the shots and we hit it off immediately. The weather wasn’t great, a bit overcast with rain threatening but the vibe was just pure joy at being able to all get together and hang out on the farm. You can tell these kids, both young and adult, have had a fabulous time growing up on this farm. I don’t think I could have been happier with the shots and I think this one is definitely my favourite extended family shoot of all time.
Ready to frame some of your stories? Let’s frame >