"Professional photos represent a big investment, so it’s important to me to work with a photographer who gets me and my family. I want a keepsake that’s better than my iPhone-quality pics and that really captures my children’s personalities. That’s exactly what I got from Rya Duncklee.
After our first email correspondence and then a phone conversation, I knew that I would love Rya when I met her in person; she took the time to get to know me and to discuss my expectations. When she sent me an example of the approach she wanted to take with the kids, I immediately loved the idea of a lifestyle session, which would capture precious everyday moments, rather than featuring the kids dressed up and posed perfectly for pictures. She also sent me a fascinating “getting to know you questionnaire,” which asked seemingly unusual questions but actually helped Rya learn about each child and understand who we are as a family.
After we had talked and Rya had reviewed my questionnaire, she sent me a mood board that showed her vision for the shoot. No other photography session I have ever experienced has included such a feature, and I loved seeing how she envisioned our upcoming session. The mood board beautifully reflected the thought, the care, and the passion she pours into the time she spends with her clients.
Before our session, I told Rya that the beach near my parents’ house is a special place for both the kids and me. We enjoy playing in the tide pools and searching for sharks’ teeth; the time we spend there gives Britton a chance to nap on me in the carrier while Kingsley and I take long walks, enjoying our beautiful Northeast Florida coast. Not surprisingly, we decided that the beach would be the perfect place for Rya to photograph the kids while they enjoyed doing one of the things they love most.
Early on the morning of our shoot, Rya spent time getting to know the kids while they had a little breakfast at my parents’ house. Since she already knew a lot about Kingsley and Britton from the questionnaire, that it made it easier for them to get used to her being around us, taking pictures. After we headed out to our shoot at our favorite spot on the beach, the kids just played as they normally would have on any other day, and they both had fun with the props Rya had brought. Although I anticipated some captivating candid shots, I was genuinely amazed by the proofs she sent me, and the video she had put together brought me to tears.
That video proved to be the perfect keepsake for capturing my children’s personalities. As excited as I was about the pictures, the video took our session to another level. I love having both stills and a video of Kingsley and Britton, playing and being themselves–and it’s an easy way to share the session with friends and family.
Do you ever have professional pictures done and then never do anything with them? Until I met Rya, I, too, had been guilty of doing exactly that! For your next family photo shoot, consider hiring Rya. As I discovered firsthand, her videography is a such a dynamic component of her work that you’ll never even be tempted to let it–or her enchanting photographs–sit, figuratively gathering dust, in your computer."