I woke up this morning with an urge to speak out. To put some understanding to thoughts, feelings and expectations that moms go though (including myself!) when it comes to what all photography and family pictures is all about.
First, I want everyone to answer a question- Out Loud.
WHY DO YOU WANT FAMILY PICTURES?
Do you want those model perfect looking images? Do you want those perfect kiddos that you see on movies? Do you want everyone looking at your pictures to know how picture perfect your family is?
Do you want a picture of YOUR family? One that shows love, laughter, smiles, tears, overall happiness? Do you want everyone that enters your home and sees those images to just know how perfect your family is because you are a REAL family?
I see families every day, every single one is different BUT they do have one thing in common. I see kiddos who are kiddos, acting silly and having fun. Dads who are dads, just chilled and ready for instruction. Moms who are CRAZY worried about how things are going to go.
My first thing I try to say is Let’s Have Fun! That’s what we are here for! We are going to try some posy stuff but other than that…we are going to just have fun. Capture your family being a family. Loving, kissing, tickling, and best of all Eskimo kisses!!!
Now, I do understand that everyone (including myself) wants those family shots for the Christmas Card and around the house that you can see everyones face, their beautiful smiles and perfect snuggles. BUT, don’t stress yourself over those. You get a couple of those and then the kids are ready to move on. They are more interested in playing superman and flying though the air, hanging on dads back, telling mom all their secrets. Kids are MUCH more “into” it if you do it “their way”. Yelling, threatening and all that fun stuff…shuts them down. So, if you pick a time to give in for a bit….this is it!
What happens during a shoot if the kiddo is “just not into it”. Well, my take on it is that you do everything you can to get what you can get. Just like when us parents get up in the morning and we are “just not into it”, not ready to go to work, not ready to do the laundry or clean the dishes. We are all subject to those days, even if you are just 6 months old. So, you make the best of it. You let the kiddo be the kiddo and you roll with the punches. You chase him around the field, you pick acorns out of the tree, you learn how to balance rocks on your head. If he/she is just more comfortable with you then on their own (mostly the little ones….) then take advantage of that even if that means just a few individual shots! When they are 2-3….they won’t want to be held down..they will want to run!!
I promise, the memories of having those moments will pass you by so quickly that in 10 years once the craziness is slowed down or in 25-30 when you are enjoying those grandkids….those fun and interactive memories with your “then” baby will bring happy tears to your eyes. You will sit there and wish those moments on those that you hold at that moment. I know this first hand as my mother just went though tons of photos….guess which ones she loved and laughed and cherished the most! Easy answer!
I just want the whole “stress” part of family pictures to be removed as much as possible. I want the thought of having family pictures to be a positive one and not a “Oh, I hate this day”. Just take a deep breathe and jump head in. Every single family is amazing in their own way. Each person in that family is an individual and should be treated as one. When you wake up and its picture day, expect nothing but the best out of your Perfect family the way that they are!