Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

The LOVE Project: Capturing 3 generations

Being a photographer has been an incredibly rewarding as a hobby, from meeting interesting people, to capturing their special moments, such as anniversaries, weddings and engagements. This past weekend presented itself with an opportunity to capture a first for me – three generations of women of a typical Korean family. The setting was beautiful – a stunning location, about an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Daejeon, near the city of Cheongju. The pension is rightfully named – A River Runs Through It, yup just like the famous movie (and ironically, where my husband’s family is from – Montana). This was no Montana, but it was pretty dang close – peaceful, green, quiet and picturesque!

Daejeon family photography by Alla Ponomareva at www.allaponomareva.comWe started the session at around 3 pm, walking around the property, while trying to find nice locations, which were suitable with a still pretty bright sunshine. Ideally, 3 pm would not be an ideal time for a session, due to the harsh shadows and very high contrast look – not ideal for female subjects and my style of photography. I opted out for open shade spots and filled the shadows with an on camera flash shot through a ring-type flash softbox.

With young kids and first time subjects, you want to make them comfortable at first, with some far away walking shots or full body-type images. Once I see that the energy is picking up, I suggest a change of scene for a closer posing – 3 quarter length to a portrait. So a slow progression from wide angle shots to a close up is my standard approach, giving subjects a chance to get comfortable with my style, get used to being photographed and let loose with their own natural posing as well. Not all subjects are comfortable in front of the camera (in fact, most are not), so directing the posing is one of the surest ways to create trust and give some direction. Keep a watchful eye for natural posers or in-between shots which may be just as great as the posed ones.

Daejeon family photography by Alla Ponomareva at

Children usually have a short attention span, so make it fun, playful and let them roam, while again, keeping an eye out on those un-posed moments of them just being silly, cutesy kids they are.

When photographing groups of three or more, pose them nice and tight. Any space between people, no matter how small, appears larger in an image, so bring them in even closer! Affection is also key in creating a lovey-dovey family image full of emotion and care, so don’t let those hands wonder – put them to work – touching, hugging, caressing!




Lastly, ask each subject to tickle each other, kiss, hug, tell a secret, squeeze super tight and make funny noises when laughing – to bring out those wonderful, organic smiles, which should definitely make your clients and family happy!

Daejeon family photography by Alla Ponomareva at

I would love to photograph you and the people you love in Daejeon, Korea or nearby. Let’s get in touch and plan your next session!

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