Ignoring your newborn photography session for a moment…
When was the last time you existed in a photograph with your children? I’ll be honest, I’m not doing well here either. Apart from the odd ‘mum and child having fun’ selfie, I’m drawing a blank. We had family photographs taken as part of our newborn photography sessions, but after those initial first few months, we’ve failed to prioritise an updated family photoshoot.
Why do we stop after the newborn photography session?!
Many of us, myself included, prioritised booking a newborn photography session as this stage is so fleeting and the teeny tiny details are so perfect they need to be captured to be enjoyed at a time when sleep-deprivation isn’t clouding every waking moment. Which is likely to be approximately 23h and 37 minutes of each day!!
But why do we stop after this initial desire to capture the moments and preserve these memories? Life with growing children who are chasing before our very eyes on a daily basis is no less precious.
Existing in photographs vs hiding behind the camera
Are you usually hiding behind the camera? I do! Although often, the camera I have with me is my phone as to be honest, I want to be present with my son, having fun rather than lugging around camera gear to ensure that I get a perfect shot. The downside of this is that whilst some turn out great, many just use up memory and the closest I come to a beautiful image of us together is a wonky selfie snapped on our day out. Or in the garden. Or on the sofa. But the point remains that none of them are worthy of putting on a wall.
You know the ones, odd angle, terrible lighting, slightly blurry as you’re using the fancy new iPhone that’s a bit too big to hold still and press the button at the same time? Good, glad that’s not just me!! In short, it’s not something I’d ever frame to put on my desk or hang on a wall.
We allow visual gaps to emerge. Lots of beautiful newborn baby photographs and then…?
I know I’m not alone when I say that I have serious gaps in our visual family history, most of my clients say the same. The days are whizzing past at breakneck speed and they add up into weeks…. we’re all conscious that even those slightly blurry phone snaps aren’t as frequent any more. Personally I don’t want the weeks to stretch into months, or heaven forbid - years!
We all answer “family” when asked what our priorities are, but we tend to not prioritise recording our joint history
Except one lady I was talking to a while back did. Her story is a little different as she has dementia running in her family. She told me that every year she gets a new photograph of that years’ milestone, including her with her family so that one day, should she too be afflicted she’ll be able to look through her “dementia book” and have the visual reminder of her life, loves and achievements. I think this is a lovely idea!
Make a family photography schedule
Being a photographer, having a child and talking to clients who have experienced devastating loss and now prioritise photography over other thing has made me much more conscious of capturing my own life. I don’t mean on social media. Who knows where these platforms will be in the future. We can all name a few that were all the rage and then vanished into the ether. I mean tangible photographs that can withstand the test of time.
I do worry that one day I won’t be here any more and if I keep avoiding being photographed he won’t have anything to look back to see me or us together. The sad thing is, I’m always behind the camera but for my son, I need to make sure I’m in front of it too!
Let’s exist in photographs beyond our newborn photography sessions!
Why don’t we all make a commitment to exist in photographs this year. You’ll see me using that tag on Instagram and it comes from a very genuine place – one day these images will be our childrens’ most precious and treasured possessions. We all know people who’ve lost a parent and they will back this up.
Let’s make a commitment to leave our children a wonderful legacy, visual proof of how loving and fun their family life is. Until then, we get to enjoy beautiful images in our homes that make us smile and our hearts sing every time we see them. It’s a win:win!
If you’ve been considering a family photoshoot but feeling awkward is holding you back, then this blog should help reassure you that it’s not as uncomfortable as you might fear and if you’d like to have a chat about scheduling a session, get in touch.