Next month? Next year? Several years from now? Is there ever really a perfect time to have your family photos taken? If so, when?
I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Because I, myself have really been slacking on making sure I have enough of images of my OWN family. Not just my kids – of my ENTIRE family. Awful of me I know. But its like that saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”. In the past I’ve focused so greatly on building my business and photographing other’s families and kids, that often I’ve inadvertently neglected to document my own family. I’m working on making major changes in that department.
When I hear chatter from people about whether or not to get family photos, I often hear a lot of this type of thing:
“We don’t have time this year…maybe next year…”
“Maybe when we can afford to spend more…photos are so expensive…”
“Maybe when I lose those last few pounds…”
Does this sound like you? Of course it does. Because it sounds like me as well. If truth be told, I am not comfortable in front of the camera. I never have been. At the moment I am not at my goal weight. I feel like every time I have a camera pointed in my direction I look like I’m making the Chandler Bing smile AND despite how easy I am able to make it look, my kids are super difficult to photograph. Sometimes it seems more like torture than an enjoyable experience for me. So believe me, if you have a reason for not doing this, I get where you are coming from!
But guess what? I also have a fear. I have the fear that after I am gone, my children will only have a small handful of photographs of me. I worry that when they think about me, they won’t remember me as the Mom who’s in the photos with them, but rather as the mom who took them all or worse, ducked out when a camera was pointed her way. And that is not the legacy I want to leave my family with. No matter how unhappy I could ever be with parts of my body, or how awkward it feels to be in front of the camera, I know in my heart of hearts that my kids won’t be looking back at the photos saying “Sheesh, I wish she’d have lost some weight before taking those pictures” or “I wish she had a nicer smile“. No. Because I am their Mom. And like all children, mine love me far beyond my own insecurities. And so do yours.
There is no perfect time.
It’s true. There will always be a reason not to do this. But life is uncertain. Those of you who have ever lost a loved one knows this all too well. We have no idea what’s in store for us tomorrow, or a week from now, or a year from now. There are people as young as myself being diagnosed with things like Breast Cancer. And that scares me to death. So I can’t wait. I can’t hope that the perfect time for a family photo is around the corner. The perfect time is now.
Are family photos expensive? Its an investment. And like any investment, cost is relative – its about what you VALUE. Putting off that new techie gadget or designer handbag could easily afford you an amazing set of professional quality images. What about time, you don’t have enough time for family photos this year? Set aside 2 hours. Seriously. That is the length of the average family photography session. How about your weight? Still waiting to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds? Stop stressing! Love yourself for who you are and just be the person your family loves. Because you…yes YOU are fabulous and beautiful just the way you are.
I hope this post is that little push that some of you need to take a real, honest look at some of the reasons you may have been putting off family photos. And I hope that you act on it. Book yourself a session with a professional photographer who’s work you admire. I think you’ll realize the same thing that I, myself am slowly learning – how painless it really is.