Family portraits ... some people get all giddy (ME!) when thinking about their family portrait session with a professional photographer. Moms will start the google search ... "best family photographer in Lee's Summit" hoping to find the magical memory capturer of her dreams. Someone to capture those sweet moments she has dreamt of since she first said yes when her spouse proposed engagement to her ... kids smiling and looking happily into their parents eyes ... kids hugging each other ... you know those Hallmark moments.
While others dread family portraits due to the stress it can cause - Will the kids behave? Will I look skinny in the pictures? Will it rain that day? Can I get everyone ready and looking their best at one time? While portrait sessions can have their challenges there are many benefits to taking the plunge and scheduling your family a photography session with a professional photographer. Here are 7 reasons why ...
1. The obvious ... NEW FAMILY MEMBER ... Are you adding a new family member to your household? What a great time to schedule family pictures. Having a portrait that includes everyone in the family is a great idea! New babies are so fresh and precious that scheduling a newborn photographer to capture the newest member of the family is a great way to show off your new little guy or gal. Some photographers offer a photojournalistic approach, while others offer longer sessions so that you can get baby posed in cute wraps, hats and outfits. If planning to do a newborn session please check with a photographer while baby is still in mommy's tummy; as I recommend doing newborn sessions within the first 10 days baby is born to take advantage of their great desire to sleep. (This helps when trying to pose baby.)
Another time you may have a new family member is when someone in the family gets engaged and married. Engagements are so exciting. You will want to get an updated family portrait so that he/she feels like they are now part of the family!
2. Displaying family portraits in your homegives your children a sense of unit, it gives them a sense of where they belong and it gives them self-esteem. (How Family Portraits Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem). Are you proud of your kids? Showcasing your family portrait on your wall where everyone can see let's them know you are excited to be a family. When your kids can see that your are proud to be a family, and that you are proud THEY are part of your family it lets your children know they are loved and part of something. It let's your children know they are important too. So schedule that family portrait session and then PRINT YOUR IMAGES!!! This is a great time for technology, one thing that we are slacking on however is that because we can take pictures any where we want and are often given a disk of images only, we do not take the time to actually print the images and hang them in our home. Please, PRINT YOUR IMAGES!!! Hang them, make an album, print some for your kids to put in their own rooms. It is important to not only schedule the portrait session but to also print the images. Even if you are given a disk or flash drive of your images you risk them being obsolete one day in the future. Who knows if in 20 or even 40 years from now you will know where that flash drive is, which flash drives has pictures on it, or even worse, maybe with new technology your flash drive will no longer work. No one uses floppy disk any more.
3. MEMORIES .... Schedule a professional photography session to save those memories! People always say kids grow fast. Now that I've had the opportunity to be a mom, I've realized how quickly the stages do go. When we decided to have a baby I didn't realize they are only a baby for 1 year. I know it sounds silly, but I imagined being a mom for so long and it didn't occur to me that the sweet, squishy time would only be about 12 months. After that, the fun begins in helping them learn to walk and run. Once they've mastered running we get to help them learn to talk. Oh those sweet times of innocence are so precious! Then they move on to be little kids, then big kids, then pre-teens, then teenagers and before you know it they are moving out and having their own babies. Whew!! (holding back the tears) So take the time now, I know life is busy, but make it a priority to schedule family portraits once a year or even every other year. When the kids are having kids it will be fun to look back and show their kids what mom and dad looked like when they were young.
Below is just 9 years of memories and in that short time she grew into a girl!!! A big girl! (tear)
(Photo Credit to EverAshley Photography on the antique session)
4. Christmas Cards ... It is always nice to get an updated family portrait to show off on your holiday card. I love thinking up new ideas to put on my Christmas Cards to send out to friends and family. This year I even got a 5x7 photo album as a gift from my mother-in-law so that I could put a copy of each card we've had over the years in it. Such a little thing, but I think that was my favorite gift I got this year. So fun to watch how our family has grown over the years. I also love getting photo cards from friends, family and clients. I find it so fun to see what people come up with and to see how their families have grown as well. I really enjoy a good Christmas newsletter from old friends too. It's a nice way to catch up on what has been going on in their lives even though we don't get together as often as we use to.
One of my favorite cards is below - photo credit goes to Melanie Jackel Photography
5. Update Your Decor with New Family Photos ... Are you looking to get a fresh look in your living room? Why not schedule a family photo and then plan your outfits around your living room color scheme!?! We did extended family photos a few years back for my mom and grandma. Purple is a favorite color for both ladies. So we dressed in purple and hung the portraits in my mom's living room. In my home I like blues. So almost all our family photos have been in blues.
Photo Credit for Image Below: Melanie Jackel Photography
6. Give Photos as a Gift ... Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas ... all great times to give a family photo. Last year my neighbor's 4 children gifted him a family photo for his 80th birthday present. Family means the world to him so he was surprised and honored to have everyone in the same place at the same time. All 22 family members were there. This is quite a task when everyone has social lives, jobs, gigs and one household lives in Egypt. It was such a joy to be able to see them all get together and celebrate their love for him. So next time you are googling ... "what to get mom for Mother's Day" remember you can always take the time to get everyone together for a family photo! This will make Mom's Day!
7. History in the Making ... All of my grandparents have now gone on to a better place. All we have left is what we can remember in our minds, stories family can still tell us and pictures they have left behind. What legacy will you leave your grandchildren and great grandchildren? Death is a sad part of life we will all be effected by it at some point, if we haven't already. Even the loss of a pet can be hard.
We loss our dog, Hank at the beginning of the summer unexpectedly. I was so glad we had a few family portraits where he was included.
I hope this never happens but if you ever have a fire in your home; after you get your family and pets out what will you go back for (if you can safely)? Many will grab pictures on the walls in a time of desperation to hold onto something.
Pictures are an insight into where we have been and who we are. Whether it is a picture of your current family or pictures of your ancestors. Take time to capture this time in history. Seize the day ... do the search, "photographers near me" and schedule your family's history making family portrait session.