Worth Preserving | Photography by Jen Huang | As Published in Volume 02

February 29, 2016

“Elisa and Ed are such wonderful artists in the wedding and portrait industry, it was a giant honor to be asked to photograph them and their son Lucien while they were on a trip out to the west coast. Photographing another photographer, and one as talented as Elisa, comes with its own pressures, but it felt so natural and effortless to work with her and her beautiful family. 

I love living in Santa Barbara because it is filled with seemingly endless sun filled days. To me, the most important factors for good family photographs are beautiful light, a fitting location and classic, natural styling. The Brickers, with their impeccable taste, styled themselves with some help from Jess Wilcox hair and makeup. The natural colors called for a natural backdrop so I chose the wooded oak park near my home. The overhanging branches offer gorgeous filtered light, and for Lucien a forest worthy of exploring! As the sun started setting we also shot in front of the large agaves and cacti at the Santa Barbara Mission, bringing in a little taste of southern California. 

I shot primarily Kodak film as I love the warmth that it brings into portraits. Portra 800 is one of my favorite Kodak films as it offers so much versatility, you can shoot under shaded branches as well as out in the open sun. I also shot some Delta 3200 black and white film because I love the emotion that black and white film captures – without color the photograph becomes deeply about the sentimental. My film was scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab because I love the consistency that I receive with my scans, my lab understands the way that I want my photos to look, and scans them to my specifications. 

When I first started shooting family portraits, I found them to be quite challenging, even more so than a wedding, because it’s so hard to manage younger children in a short time frame. Over the years, I realized that the problem with posing or directing children is that they don’t really want to be posed or directed. The beauty of photographing children comes from allowing them be themselves and capturing them in the moment. Now family sessions are some of my favorite jobs because the images are so honest and organic. Some of my favorite images from this shoot are of Lucien making silly faces at the camera. Now that I have a son of my own, at the time of writing this, just four months old, and I remind myself that one of my main responsibilities is to preserve memories, and family is definitely a memory worth preserving.” Jen Huang, Photographer. 

JEN HUANG  | Contax 645, Kodak Portra 800, Delta 3200. 

Venue: The Santa Barbara Mission & Oak Forest. Hair & Makeup by Jess Wilcox. Film Scanning by Richard Photo Lab

This feature was published in our 2015 Volume 02, and also given the Cover Honor. Submissions for our 2016 Annual Printed Volume are now open. 

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