Today we’re going to chat about a topic that may be controversial in your household: family photos. In my experience (both as a wife and as a professional photographer) it’s totally normal for spouses to be on different pages about the necessity of taking family pictures.
Several years ago when my husband and I were poor college students, I really wanted to be able to have updated pictures of our family every year. He was not a huge fan of the idea, so we came up with a little deal to make us both happy. We decided that he could make a large purchase that he otherwise wouldn’t have even thought about (hello, college student budget!) if we could take yearly family pictures for the next decade. I think I got the better end of the bargain: 10 years of family photos with zero complaints. It was the best deal I ever made.
As a professional family photographer, I understand that while family photos are a big deal, they don’t have to be a big production. These are memories that you will absolutely cherish forever, but I don’t want them to be the cause of tension in your family. So, let’s chat about a few ways we can make your photo session easier on you!
I like to meet my clients where they’re at in their current phase of life. Let’s celebrate all the little quirks that come with being a parent to kids with different personalities and needs.
If you’ve got a few busy little ones who have a hard time sitting still, we can prioritize play during the session and still get those fun shots of big smiles and kids just being kids in nature. On the other hand, if you have a shy or insecure child, we can really hone in on those detail shots of hand-holding or shoulder cuddles. Whatever season of parenting you’re in, we’ll find a way to create positive memories of it.
The reality is that sometimes working with kids’ unique personalities can be easier than trying to work with a husband or father who is absolutely not on board with their photo being taken. When you find yourself in that camp, it may be helpful to sit down with your spouse and break down a few of the common misconceptions about family photos.
You just have to be yourself! The photographer isn’t there to judge you or document your outfit for a magazine cover. They are taking these photos of your family for YOU. Your photographer is used to working with people who aren’t used to being in front of the camera and will give you advice on how to pose naturally. As a photographer, creating a safe and comfortable environment is my top priority.
It won’t be several straight hours of just you pasting on a smile for the camera. Know that there will be plenty of photos that involve other family members where you will able to just smile and watch. There will also be times when we want shots of you just being a dad: tossing your kids in the air or walking with them. Your photos can honestly be as laid back and casual as you want.
In fact, please eat a good meal beforehand! It’s also completely normal to take a quick snack break mid-session. Especially when there are kids involved, I like to always have a few snacks on hand. I’m more than happy to pause every now and then if you feel like you need to regroup. It’s important to me that we work at whatever pace is comfortable for your family, whatever that may mean for you!
They are a way to memorialize where your family is at right now, your kids’s smiles and ages and funny quirks. Think about how much joy it will bring you to send your parents an updated family photo, or to hang your little family’s smiling faces on the walls of your home. These are pictures that you will want to display in your office at work or use as your phone’s background. You will look back at these fondly for years to come.
I hope these ideas were helpful to you no matter where you and your spouse are when it comes to family photos. They are an investment that you will never regret!
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As someone who wears a lot of hats (wife, momma, nurse, and photographer). I know that those once in a lifetime moments can truly fly by. My mission is to capture those beautiful moments so that you can come back to them years down the road and relive them! The best way to do that if to find out who YOU are and what type of moments YOU treasure the most.
Wanna meet me? I love my cute family, the pop of my Made by Mary necklace over my heather grey sweatshirt, and eating ice cream for every occasion - Tillamook Mudslide is my favorite!
And I can't wait to get to know you!
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