Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Wheeling Township, Part IV: A not-so-perfect perfect portrait October 5, 2017


WHEN I OBSERVED a family gathering for photos during the St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township Germanfest, I raced to join the photographers. I expected to get a classic posed group shot. But what I got proved better. Much, much better.



I witnessed six women and a sister focused on getting their brother/son/nephew/grandson to join the group for a portrait. I didn’t hear the little guy object. Loving attention from all those family members likely curtailed any negative behavior.



I adore this series of photos. In each frame I see the deep love this family holds for one another, especially for that sweet little boy.



The best portraits are not always the perfectly posed, everyone smiling shots. Rather, they are the ones that tell a story, that snapshot a moment of interaction, of emotion, of love. Those are the best photos.






This concludes my four-part series from Germanfest.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “From Wheeling Township, Part IV: A not-so-perfect perfect portrait”

  1. Ruth Says:

    A Great series that tells the story so well. Group shots can be challenging.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Perfect photo. I love the unstaged and natural photos the best and these although the ultimate goal was to have a staged photo make me smile. Wind swept skirts and all.

  3. Valerie Says:

    Thanks for this series Audrey. I have heard of this Germanfest from others also. Hopefully I get there next year.
    It’s fun how you captured the portrait process…it’s tough to get a good family portrait especially with young children.

  4. sidetrackken Says:

    Wonderful family portrait. Your photographic instincts at their best.

  5. Jackie Says:

    Love love love this!

  6. So true Audrey! One of my favorite photos of my mother is where she has her mouth open and I think she’s calling to or yelling at one my siblings. Nowadays, with digital photography and disposable everything, some of those wonderful “mistakes” will never see the light of day. 😦

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Great pictures

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