Los Angeles photographer Alyson Aliano recently welcomed a family of five into her home to draw on the windows, jump on the bed, and take a bath. Alyson created the project with art director Dawn Bauer in order to add some wholesome kids and family photos to their portfolios. Check out what Dawn and Alyson had to say about the experience in the below Q&A:
First off, can you tell me a little bit about this project and how you got started with it?
Dawn: I needed to add more diversity to family themes with great locations, and LA was the place to be. I knew Aly lived in LA and had a great house. I asked if we could have a family shoot there, and she was on board! I thought this would be great work based on the “Real Mother” project Aly had.
Alyson: This is my 3rd shoot with Dawn. We photographed 2 other shoots together, based on Dawn’s clients’ image needs—lifestyle and portrait, some real moments, and some more directed moments. This shoot is about a family together at home. I have been photographing “Real Mother,” which is a personal project, on and off for about ten years. I photograph family and kids whenever I can and love being around kids. When Dawn mentioned it, I was really excited.
Were there any challenges involved with this project? If so, how did you overcome them?
Dawn: Working with a real family of 5 was a bit harried. They have 3 kids to wrangle, so it was all hands on deck helping the parents and Aly out with the shoot, from hair and clothes to snacks and toys.
Alyson: I would agree with Dawn totally. We choose a “real” family that was actor-models and actually related because I wanted a family dynamic that was natural, especially with kids.
What was involved in planning/preproduction?
Dawn: Casting a real family was a total score on LA Casting, so we were really fortunate to have them. And a friend had worked with the dad and daughter before and knew they were great talent. From there, getting toys and art supplies to make Aly’s house all set up for kids crafternoon was great. She did a wonderful job! The parents also had clothes and toys for the kids.
Alyson: I get really involved in propping the shoot, which is fun. Since this shoot was with a brother and sister, they would all of a sudden just start playing, laughing, and having fun, and it’s so amazing. I tried to have as many lighting set ups ready throughout the house so we could move quickly from room to room to maximize our time and still have a natural look.
What excites you most about these photographs?
Dawn: The real love and connection with the family was so great. And Aly is a total professional and captured wonderful moments.
Alyson: I love when the collaboration and fun you have with your whole team is evident in the photos.
Any lessons learned from this shoot?
Alyson: I learned I use all of my technical and creative brain to maximum potential when shooting; I was trying to have my assistants flag the glass with black to minimize reflection while also talking to the kids about what they were drawing on the glass on the other side of the door and reassuring my better half that they were glass safe markers and would clean off.
Alyson and Dawn are excited about the feedback they’ve received thus far for the photos, and are already planning their next family fun shoot.
To view more of Alyson’s work, visit alysonaliano.com!