Dear Families: Show Up As You Are

posted in: Portraits | 0

Families are messy, especially when there are kids involved. And this means that no family portrait shoot will ever be perfect. In fact, rarely do family portrait sessions go exactly as expected! This facts that every family is so unique and that no family portrait session goes exactly as expected is what makes it such a fun way to make art.

When I make family portraits, we spend about an hour together and make a combination of formal group shots where everyone is posed and smiling at the camera, and candid ones where the kids play and run around. The story of most families is one of chaos, excitement, ups and downs, playing, running, jumping, hugging, and laughing.  I like to capture it all.

And thus, I have some advice to families planning for their portrait session: be realistic and be yourselves.

We have to go into your family portrait session expecting the unexpected. Babies cry and poop whenever they want.  Kids do that ridiculous smile where they brace their teeth and close their eyes. Sometimes it rains.  Sometimes it’s cold.  Sometimes people have stains on their clothes that they didn’t notice.  Sometimes we end up doing photos in your living room even though you didn’t plan on it. Sometimes your kids won’t behave no matter what you try to bribe them with.

Know that we’re going to make family photos for about an hour and get an amazing selection of proofs. Of course, not everyone will smile in every photo, not everyone will have their ties on straight, not every child will give you the smile that you want. And it’s likely that at least one person will have a meltdown – it’s usually the 2-year old, but you never know. Still in the proofs we end up with, you’ll see a snapshot of your family as they are, on an average day.

From those proofs, I’ll help you  select the few images that you feel best represent your family as they are in this moment in time. And even if someone’s hair is a mess, you will treasure the photos anyway because these moments are part of your family’s story.

I am just the storyteller.

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