Thirteen Adults + Eleven Kids = Crazy Energy!
Coming from a small family myself, I'm always amazed when I work with large extended families like the 24 member Lane Family. "Poppy & Nanna" (Grandpa & Grandma) signed up for the "Paparazzi" Family package, as they wanted lots of photos of them with their grown kids and 11 grandkids! In addition, they planned on celebrating both their birthday's as well.
Since they were staying in the super exotic Royal Hawaiian Estate located right on the beach on the outskirts of Waimanalo, we set up three different sessions: one in a morning, one at sunset and the last for their birthday party celebration at the stunning Royal Hawaiian Estate.
Poppy & Nanna arranged for tee shirts for everyone, apparently a tradition they love to do for their family vacations. For the evening session, they had colored tee shirts with the Hawaii logo on the fronts, blue for boys, red for girls. In the morning session, the kids wore football jersey style shirts with their "grandkid" number on the back. I guess when you've got eleven grandkids, it gets hard to remember who is who and if one gets left "home alone." :-)
One thing I really appreciated about Poppy, was this was a man who loved great photos of his family and came prepared with a written shot list of every photo he wanted. And while it was quite a challenge keeping the attention span of the kids (and the adults, truth be known!) while on a sun kissed white sand beach in Hawaii, we eventually managed to get everything he requested and more...and then it was time for everyone to play. This is always my favorite part of family photo sessions... while I love to get those epic family beach portraits, I especially love to let people just play and capture the happy laughter of a carefree day on the beach!
That evening I came back to their luxurious vacation rental to capture the family celebration as the whole family eagerly celebrated the 60th and 75th birthday's of Poppy & Nanna. It was such a raucous chaos of excited kids and adults are eager for the next posed shot, that I was constantly scrambling to keep up and adjust the quickly changing lighting conditions. Before dinner, Nanna & Poppy's daughter arranged for a very sweet & moving video montage of their family photos over the years. As I snapped shots of Nanna & Poppy alternately tearing up and then laughing as they avidly watched the show, I realized that the very photos I was taking would one day be included in a moving documentation of their family history and love. And how sweet is that?!