Family portraits often go overlooked or forgotten. Life gets booked up, the kids have multiple sports and activities to attend and sometimes we’re just too tired to even think about it. Listen, I get it! The idea of trying to get all kids, yourself and your spouse ready is overwhelming enough just thinking about it. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. No one said family portraits need to be formal with everyone wearing matching outfits. Family portraits could be more of a lifestyle session with a family picnic in the park. For those who want something laid back, it does’t have to be a stressful event. Opt for a lifestyle session for your next round of family portraits. Or you could go the more formal route which is a bit more traditional. It’s up to you!
As long as you hire a photographer to take yearly photos of your family you’re golden! Imagine yourself looking back on the last 20 years of your life. Each year showing how your family members grew, the toothless smiles, tender moments shared, and the faces of the ones you hold closest to your heart. It’s pretty special right?
Family portraits also aren’t just for a couple who has children. They can include aunts, uncles, parents, cousins, etc. You could book a “family” session with the people in your life who are your chosen family, rather than blood relatives. It could be of grandkids and their grandparents. Your family session may just be you and your significant other or you as a single parent with your kiddos. No two families are alike. Which means you have the decisions of who you want to incorporate in your family session that best suits your situation!
Julie’s Family Portraits
One day, I received an inquiry from a woman named Julie. She inquired with me about a family session including her mother and three other siblings. Julie and her siblings were grown adults with kids of their own who lived all across the country. They were all going to be in town for a few days and wanted some updated family photos with just their siblings and their beautiful mother.
As Julie and I got talking she mentioned that her mother was currently in a nursing home and that all four kids hadn’t been in the same place with their mom in years. And that in itself was cause for new family portraits. Julie was also unsure of how much more time they would have with their beloved mother. Having professional pictures with her was something she really wanted. So we set a time and a place to capture their family all together.
On the day of the shoot I met Julie’s mom and photograph her in the most beautiful way. Her silky white hair blew gracefully in the breeze. Wrinkles, filled with wisdom and stories of her life covered her face and hands with unique intricacy. Her smile was bright with joy in having all four of her children by her side. She held the hands of each one of her grown children. The same hands that many years ago held their tiny fingers.
After The Family Session
We didn’t spend a long time together as Julie’s mom tired and needed to rest. As I said goodbye to each one of her children, a few tears were shed and many thanks were exchanged. They all knew how much these photos would soon mean to them. It probably wasn’t at the top of their list of things to do. But the 30 minutes we spent together capturing their family was well worth the time out of their day. And was a moment in time away from the nursing home making a memory together.
I remember driving home from that shoot with tears in my eyes. The photographs I just created would become one of the things they had left of their sweet mother to hold onto and remember her by. This family session hit me hard. It continues to make me feel a certain way every time I think of it.
Julie and her siblings were all incredibly happy that they all flew into town. Not only to spend a few days all together but above all, to get photos taken to remember this occasion. A few months after their session, Julie emailed me letting me know that her dear mother has passed. She expressed how grateful she was that she booked this session. Her siblings were just as thankful that they had these precious photographs to hold onto as they celebrated the life of their mother and grieved her loss.