Portraits with the bunnies... Just in time for Easter!
Spring Smiles A-Bounding!
A review of our session with Keith Trammel Photographic
by Debra Ross
Put a doting ex-Kodaker together with his two golden-haired little princesses and a digital camera, and you can be confident that your future will be filled with thousands of images filling literally gigabits of space.
Notice I didn't say quality pictures. The ex-Kodak daddy is a mathematician, not an actual photography professional. Some of the images aren't bad (and indeed, many of those adorn various other pages in this web site), but there is no question that they are living proof of the difference between a professional daddy and a professional photographer.
Our "daddy-produced photos" of Madison and Ella together usually has one looking like an angel while the other might have just been asked to sample brussels sprouts, or both of them making the Ross Scowl in response to "smile now or else" admonitions, instead of showing the beautiful natural glows that are so often on their faces in real life.
That's why I got excited when I heard about Keith Trammel Photographic's "Portraits with the Bunnies" feature for Easter.
First of all, I'm a mom who likes her kids to have fun, so even just the idea of having kids play with bunnies as a way of getting excited about Easter was enough to peak my interest. But when I saw some of the sample photos on Keith's web site, I was extremely impressed. This isn't a department-store grin-and-click-and-get-out-quick session; this is a lovely setting with a seasoned professional who puts his heart and soul (and some good marketing sense) into his work.
Needless to say, the idea enchanted my daughters. I had made the appointment 10 days in advance, and Madison put a little star on her calendar, each night counting up "how many more days 'til the bunnies" as she made that day's X. Ella was particularly excited because my nickname for her is "Baby Bunny"--for days, she told everyone she encountered, including Keith himself, "My mommy calls me Baby Bunny because I was born near Easter, and soon I'm going to get my picture with the bunnies and hold a real live one all by myself!"
I am thrilled to say that my girls' expectations were amply fulfilled. We had a great time. Keith Trammel is an experienced photographer who was able to capture an ample array of portraits to choose from during a session that lasted about 20 minutes. This is the fifth season he has incorporated bunnies into his Easter shots, and I suspect that he gets a fair amount of attention from the community for this creative idea. "You put bunnies and kids together in a room," he explains, "and the magic just happens."
The bunnies themselves, which are on loan from the Farmington Country Max just for the purpose, are indeed just as sweet, soft, and cuddly as they look. However, the actual scene isn't quite as serene as it appears in the portraits. It turns out that Mom or Dad actually plays an active role in these photos as an Assistant Bunny Wrangler. Yes, I recommend skipping your aerobics class the day you get these portraits done: Sure, sometimes they would snuggle in the girls' laps, but mostly the bunnies seemed interested in exploring. Miss Andrea (Keith's assistant) and I spent most of the time chasing them down and placing them back in the setting, as Madison and Ella watched us and laughed. Keith did a good amount of capturing the girls' attention for the camera at key moments, but their expressions were so natural and spontaneous that even though I could see he is good at this aspect of his job (the part that I, personally, dread when I'm the one behind the lens), it wasn't terribly necessary.
Immediately after the session, it was great to be able to walk through the photos with Miss Andrea as she projected them up on a screen. As I made some difficult choices, selecting among the many great shots, the girls munched on just-baked cookies and sorted through a basket of toys on the floor, provided so parents can discuss the merits of each shot in relative peace. (They also have a TV with movies to entertain the kids in case you need some extra time.) And, as you can see from the accompanying portraits, they are beautiful. (The girls, too, but I was talking about the portraits.)
Keith's work is divided between indoor shots in his studio and, when the weather improves, outdoor shots in the area around his studio on Main Street Fishers Rd (County Road 42). Their on-site portrait environments include waterfalls, ponds, formal gardens, rustic barn sets, and natural wooded settings, and I had fun admiring the examples of his work that adorned the main sitting area. They also have a marvelous "Baby's First Year" program.
You can click on any of the photos in this article to see the shot in greater detail, but it's clear that what you see on the screen can't compare with the finished product that will be perfectly printed and color balanced. I'm looking forward to my prints.
As I said, Keith Trammel Photographic is a vastly different experience than the Cheap Clicks at the Mall; his packages start at $89. If you would like to experience The Bunnies for yourselves, or if you'd like any information about his other programs, call Trammel Photographic at (585) 924-3340. or email Keith at TrammelPhoto@choiceonemail.com.
Update: In 2010, the sessions are being held on March 11-13 (Thursday-Saturday).
©2005, 2010 Debra Ross. All rights reserved.