February in Durham is rather bleak and brown. Everything is damp, with very little color or greenery to be found. “Let’s use the brightest walls and murals in Durham for these portraits!” I declared, hoping to find a solution to the dreariness. Drew and Viktorija happily agreed. First I tried to do my research. The Durham Mural projects website was scoured, as were any online family portrait sessions in downtown. I schemed and plotted, but finally threw up my hands. “Hey, why don’t we just explore?”
Having glimpsed the wonderfully bright red doors leading into FullSteam Brewery off Rigsbee Avenue, we decided that would be our first stop. It was the first warm day of the year. Downtown was marvelously empty and quiet. FullSteam Brewery wasn’t even open yet, although ten minutes into our session one of the owners popped his head out to see what all the giggling was about. The doors proved to be the PERFECT bright setting. Especially when combined with the primary color palette with which Viktorija and Drew dressed themselves and their boys.
All together, these lifestyle family portraits in downtown Durham turned out even more fun than I could have planned!
I always try to let toddlers do their own thing. Forget about begging for smiles, I let mom and dad tickle and tease and toss those kiddos around until they forget I’m watching. Then suddenly they remember and want to grab at my camera, with goofy laughs and twinkling eyes. It makes for the best sort of portraits.
I never realized how many vibrant murals are back to back within the Rigbee Avenue and Geer Street neighborhood. We used each and every one of them as backdrops for these downtown Durham, lifestyle family portraits.
Can you say BULL CITY? I <3 Durham.
Ollie alternated between loving the attention and melting into pools of tears. Lukas, meanwhile, thought the entire affair was planned for his benefit and basked in the attention.
Just a block away, we found a great mural against the inside of an apartment courtyard. Everyone took turns posing against the bright graphics.
We finished off our session with a few quick portraits outside of Motorco. I really love the beautiful cafe lights strung across the sky!
Worried that you can’t get beautiful outdoor portraits taken before everything is blooming? Downtown might be the perfect backdrop for you! With all those bright colors, you won’t even notice the trees don’t have any leaves yet!