Be Inspired at home family | Feature by The Light Fantastic-Sarah Morris

Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you. 

I am a 6th generation Houstonian, wife, mama of a hilarious three-year-old, and a design geek.

Unlike so many other photographers, I was not born with a camera in my hand. I took photography as an elective while attending the University of North Texas back in the 00’s, and I changed my major from Journalism to Photography after the second class meeting. For the next three years, I made lone trips to small Texas towns on the weekends to photograph the people and the built environment there.

After graduation, I realized that photographing my preferred subject matter was not going to pay the bills, so I pursued a career as a wedding photographer. As my clients started to have kids, I naturally gravitated toward family photography, and it became my jam. There is just so much less stress involved!

Having been in the photography business for about 15 years, I have seen a lot of trends come and go. I strive for a timeless style of image, and don’t rely on heavy presets or actions. I feel like the only thing that should date images 25 years from now is the subject matter itself.

What makes you the most nervous during a session?

Grumpy, uninterested dads throw off the energy for me during a session, but I’ve learned that it goes with the territory. Luckliy it is becoming more and more rare, and I’m better at brushing it off than I used to be!

What about this session was most memorable?

The house! It was impeccably decorated. The mama had hired a decorator and it showed. I enjoy a challenge and photographing the messiness of real life, but it was nice to be able to point my camera most anywhere and not have the odd distracting element in the frame.

Were there any hurdles?

We were at the end of what seemed like the most dreary, overcast winter on record in Houston, and the skies that day were dark. I use mostly natural light, and despite ample windows, I found myself needing to supplement with bounced flash. The house also was spacious with some wide spaces that made this somewhat difficult. I bumped up my ISO more than I typically am comfortable with, and it worked out well. I learned photography with film, and I must be a bit stuck in the mind set that anything above ISO 400 means super chunky grain. Cameras have come a long way since I started!

Your best photographer/session advice?

Be chill. If you are on edge, your clients will be on edge. Easier said than done for some folks, including myself.

What is one goal for your business ?

I’d like to photograph more true documentary family sessions. They are a blast and I get a connection with clients unlike in any other session type. It’s a genre that’s not very popular where I live, but if people realize that it’s a thing, I think more people will be interested.

What gear was used to achieve these?

Canon 5D MKIV

Canon 24-105mm F4 IS

Canon 50 mm F1.8

Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro

Canon Speedlite 580 EX

Any presets used or hand editing?

Basic Lightroom exposure, sharpening, and noise adjustments

Alien Skin Exposure filters tweaked for each image and of varying opacity (Portra is my favorite!)


One thought on “Be Inspired at home family | Feature by The Light Fantastic-Sarah Morris

  1. Love your style. And great advice of ‘be chill’. Families are often stressed enough about a session without the photographer being stressed as well.

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