Family Portraits at Camelback Bridge in Normal, IL (Bloomington – Normal Photographer)

Last week I had the honor of making family portraits for this gorgeous group, whom I met through our mutual friend (and client) Katie. We met on one of our first warm, sunny, spring days, where the Camelback Bridge on Virginia Ave. crosses my favorite wooded stretch of the Constitution Trail.

20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-3 Although they live in Bloomington, the Camelback Bridge has sentimental value to this family; the kids have always loved zooming over it in their dad’s old Beetle and getting that butterfly-feeling in their stomachs. (I still love that feeing, don’t you?.) 🙂


This was a full session, so we did portraits of all the kids individually. How cute are they?

20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-5 20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-6 20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-7I used my SB900 to balance many of these shots (especially the backlit ones). We were moving around frequently on foot, and I was working without an assistant. So, rather than hauling a light stand, I just laid the light right on the ground (camera right, triggering with my Pocket Wizard transceivers), with it bent up towards their faces – no soft box, just the diffuser. This is a good on-the-fly method, but it did create some hard shadows from certain angles. But, those are the kind of technical problems I can fix for print orders.

20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-8 20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-9

Monica (mom) brought along a fun prop:

20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-11 20150408_BlogPost_RatcliffFamilyPortraits-12

While there wasn’t much color in the landscape yet, I’d scouted the previous weekend, and I found views with pops of green grass and warm leaves. Mother Nature cooperated and provided us with a lovely warm sunset, and their coordinated yellow-and-blue wardrobe added color and contrast. Even so, a couple views were still relatively monotone, so I thought they worked well in B&W, such as this one:


The shot below was the last shot of the evening – and one of the hardest to pose, but they were such troopers! We may have gotten photobombed by a car at the top of the bridge, but that’s nothing the Photoshop gods can’t fix.


All, thank you for the honor of making these images for you! I hope you treasure them. You all made my job so easy! Such a beautiful, fun family!


About Mosaic Collective, LLC

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, founding member of Mosaic Collective, LLC, which was founded in early 2017 and is based in Central Illinois. I own and operate Mosaic Collective with my partner in business and life, my husband, Nathan. Mosaic Collective, LLC houses our rental property, my consulting contracts (with the nonprofit and public sectors on various work), and also my commercial and portrait photography business, which has been doing business as Holly Baumann Photography since 2008 long before the formation of our LLC. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and sometimes, my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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