Portraits by Cynthi bio picture
  • Hi! I'm Cynthi (yep, it's short for Cynthia). I'm a wedding and portrait photographer serving the Treasure Valley in Southwest Idaho. I'm a lover of beautiful light, sweet glass (nerdy photographer lingo for camera lenses), and the whole creative process that each and every session brings!

    I have a casual and relaxed approach to sessions. I'm a pretty mellow kind of girl...until I nail a really killer shot...at which point I've been known to squeal and/or scream. :) Have a look around and if you have any questions or are ready to book a session, just click on the "Contact Me" form above!

Tips for a better family photo | My Good Morning Idaho segment

Photo Tips on Good Morning IdahoYeah, that’s me…on Good Morning Idaho…that’s live television…

Pretty much the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. But it’s doing ‘scary stuff’ that makes us stronger, right? And I’m just so thankful and honored for the opportunity!

I was asked to come talk for a few minutes about taking a last minute family photo for Christmas cards. Christmas is just three weeks away and it’s awfully late in the season to be contacting me or most other professionals with enough time to get photos back for cards, so these tips are more for the hobbyist who’d just like to set up a tripod or enlist the help of a friend to take a quick snapshot. Well, since I had to prepare a segment for the program, I thought it appropriate to share all those do’s and don’ts, tips and tricks with all of you as well!

So we’re going to start off with your wardrobe. This is definitely the most frequently asked question I get, “What should we wear for our family photos?”

DON’T have everyone to wear a white shirt and khakis. Sure matching outfits may be simple, but it will also look dated and boring so we’re just going to move on.

DO pick 2 or 3 coordinating colors to incorporate in the family’s outfits. Use patterns, solids and different textures to add interest. As you’re planning your family’s portrait wardrobe it can help to lay it all out on the floor–everything, shoes and all–to make sure you like the look of it put together. This is especially helpful if you have a large family.

DON’T wear logos or character shirts. This is because as someone looks at the photo their eyes will automatically be drawn to your shirt instead of your beautiful faces. It’s a distraction.

DO dress for the weather. Because no one can naturally smile when their teeth are chattering. You can be bundled up and still look great! Think cute hats, scarves and boots.

DON’T shoot in bright sun. When the sun is directly overhead on a bright, sunny day it creates harsh shadows and causes people to squint–not so flattering.

DO shoot in the “magic hour” or even shade. We photographers like to call that last hour before sunset the ‘magic hour’ or ‘golden hour’ because the light is so soft and lovely and flattering. But nice, even shade like in the shade of a building is nice for portraits as well.

DON’T take a long time to pose everyone. You’ll lose their attention (especially when working with young kids…and husbands).

DO have everyone get in really close. Not only will it help get everyone in the frame, but it helps show connection. We all have a personal bubble, but sometimes those things just need to be popped to get close enough to show love within the photograph.

DON’T make it stressful. Put too much pressure on your family to get the “perfect” picture and all you’re going to get are forced smiles and awkward faces.

DO make it FUN! Sometimes you need to just let kids be kids, give kisses and cuddles, have a tickle fight, maybe mom and dad need to make a couple bathroom noises or just be silly. If you make it an enjoyable experience, you’re more likely to like your pictures.

If you’d like to watch my full segment on Good Morning Idaho click HERE.

December 8, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Donna - Oh my gosh, this is awesome! Congrats to you!

December 8, 2014 - 6:10 pm

Jessica - This is awesome! Congrats on the great publicity!

December 8, 2014 - 6:27 pm

wani - oh wow – that’s amazing! congrats! lots of great tips – thanks for sharing :-)

December 8, 2014 - 9:18 pm

sarah - great tips! and way to be BRAVE!!! it’s so nerve-wrecking to do that, but you are awesome for going in the direction of your fear. i hope that someone who sees this will be drawn to your work and you’ll get some dream client bookings!

December 12, 2014 - 9:27 pm

admin - Thanks, Sarah! It was WAY scary at first! But I’ve only ever seen that it’s doing the scary things that make us stronger. :) Thanks for the support!

December 15, 2014 - 12:43 pm

karen - Great job! What an awesome opportunity!

“Our fondest dream is to live in a library…” | Caldwell Family Photographer

Let me introduce you to an amazing family. The Bucks are talented, kind, entrepreneurial minded, and well…super smart. In fact, my husband says Jamis intimidates him (which is saying something coming from my 6’3″ confident man!).

Tarasine is an awesome homeschooling mom to these wonderful kids and an eternally patient piano teacher to two of mine. And on a side note, this particular piano program is seriously amazing. My kids were playing quite complicated songs almost immediately and are now creating their own compositions with chords and rhythms and everything. Where ever we see a piano they immediately plop right down and play “Ode to Joy” (their current favorite) and everyone can’t believe they’ve only been taking lessons for 5 months. If you’re in the Canyon County area and would like more information, please go to Tarasine’s website or Facebook page.

Well, as you can imagine, the Buck family’s home is filled with interesting books from the classics to the modern, and after just a couple piano lessons my kids began asking if they could borrow some. Tarasine graciously obliged, and said, “It’s always been our fondest dream to live in a library…well, now I guess we do!” It’s quickly become a tradition that as soon as the lesson is over my kiddos are right at the bookshelves trying to decide which one to “check out” this week.

So when it came time to discuss their family portrait session, this (below) is exactly the kind of scene I pictured for them! The older kids completely immersed in their own novels with the littles on mom and dad’s laps, doing what they love, surrounded by this beautiful landscape.

Family Reading in a fieldRead with your childfamily photographer in nampa idahonampa idaho family photographerbest family photographer nampa idahokids laying on a blanketfamily photographer in boise idahofamily pictures in nampa idaho

September 29, 2014 - 7:40 am

Catherine from Open Shutters Photography - Love how you incorporated novels. Obviously a perfect fit for this family. Well done!

September 29, 2014 - 11:14 am

Emily - Beautiful session – love those colors. Wonderful post including some insight on the family and their love for books, too!

September 29, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Melissa Avey - Oh my goodness I love these so so so so much!!!

September 29, 2014 - 4:18 pm

Debbie Wong - Very cute photos of the kids!

September 29, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Melissa Hopkins - It is so wonderful that you are able to photograph her family using your art just as she teaches your children her art. Great job!

September 29, 2014 - 9:13 pm

Larianne - What a lovely family! Such a cute session :)

September 29, 2014 - 9:27 pm

sarah - how cute are these guys?! so sweet with the books and all. and those colors pop!

September 30, 2014 - 10:13 pm

Karen - They sound like ‘my kind of people’. What a fun session!

October 2, 2014 - 11:38 pm

Adam Parth - Love the use of books and the color looks great!

October 13, 2014 - 11:09 pm

Carmen - Beautiful light, location & family!

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