Halloween is my FAVORITE time of year. In 2020 I celebrated the holiday visiting family and thus did not have a chance to dress up myself. In order to get myself into the spirit, I thought it would be awesome to hold a costume contest! I had 9 families enter into the competition and they all had such cute costumes!
The prize was a free family session. With Halloween over, as we all know, we immediately skip Thanksgiving and get festive. The holiday season starts the second the clock strikes November 1, and we all needed to update our family photos to send out holiday cards to family and friends. The contest ran for three days and gained a lot of traction on my Instagram account. The winning family, the Incredibles (AKA the Clarks), gained 101 votes over the three days.
Through the experience, I realized that I could have changed a few things. I had setup a heart button on my Instagram story for people to vote. Instead of people clicking that button, they were sending me random hearts as a direct message. After realizing that on day one, I set a specific color heart for each family in case this were to happen again. I also used motion graphics to make the heart more prominent for people to click on inside the story. I stated in the opening slide for the next day that in order for a vote to count, they needed to click on the button in the story. Of course this did not stop all of them from voting incorrectly but if they sent me the correct color heart, it helped me to understand who the vote was for. If I were to do a contest like this in the future, I will absolutely find another way for the voting to occur.
I was ecstatic to work with all of the families and offered each of them a discounted rate on a future session they would like to book. I was, however, happy to see that the Clarks had won. This is a family that I had worked with before and had known personally for quite some time. I first worked with this family for Vanessa’s twin sister’s college graduation and again for their son, Oliver’s first birthday. Oliver is a model for the camera and had such a fun time running around during our session.
My favorite thing about the location we chose, Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, is the fact that you can go there a hundred times and still get unique photographs every time. Vanessa was a bit concerned that it would look repetitive to go to Floyd Lamb Park because she took her maternity pictures there a few years prior. Ultimately, I think we captured some great images that differed from her maternity photos even in the exact same location! This park is huge and has so much potential year round.
There are hidden textures everywhere. I love using the gazebo and tree line pictured above to frame families. As I mentioned, however, this park is huge! We took a short walk behind this gazebo and there are historical buildings and tons of hidden gems. There are cement walls towards the back that I always eye but haven’t found the opportunity to use. Instead, I am always drawn to this water tower that has been recently painted and restored. The bright white paint and the lines in the siding draw the eye to the family in front of it.
I’m not quite sure I would hold a contest like this in the future but I am glad I got the experience from doing this one. I was so happy to see all the families dressing up in theme together! It gives me ideas for costumes in the future! The family session with the Clarks is also just one of my all time favorites and I am so excited to work with them again in the future!