Be in Family Photos! The Importance of Being in Photos for Parents.
As a family photographer, I am often faced with parents who would prefer to just have photos of their children, and not be in the images. And while I am guilty of this myself at times, let me tell you why I beg, push, and plead with parents in my studio to be in photos.
Do you love old photos of your parents? Who doesn't? I love to see my mom growing up in the 40's and seeing the dresses they wore, and seeing the suspenders and knickers my dad wore growing up. I can't get enough of seeing my beautiful mother in her lace wedding gown. I love every single photo of my parents taken when they lived in Hawaii. I marvel at every photo of my young father in the Army, or flying an airplane.
My dad passed in 2003, and I cherish EVERY single photo of our family, of him. I could sit for hours and look at photos of him carrying me on his shoulders at the beach. I love looking back at our old vacation photos and seeing my parents looking so young! I have photos of my young surprisingly hip parents driving across country in sports cars. Who knew?
What I realize from looking at those photos, is that my parents were PRESENT. They were always there with us. They were always taking us places as a family. My parents were involved and we were a family. I am reminded of that every time I look at my mom's giant oversized sunglasses from the 70s, or my dad's wide brown ties, or my mom's patterned dresses. Because they were in the photos with us.
Please take a moment to think about how much you LOVE to see photos of your own parents. Do you ever think to yourself, jeez, mom's hair didn't look that great, or I think mom should have taken off 10 pounds before being in that photo in front of the Eiffel Tower? No, you smile and think how young they look, and you love to see them in every photo. Imagine if our own parents stayed out of our photos? And we looked back through our albums and only saw us?
So, next time you pull our your camera or iPhone to take photos of your kids at the carousel, or eating ice cream, or playing at the beach, hand the phone or camera to your spouse, and take turns photographing each other with your children. If you think your hair looks bad, your makeup has worn off, you are balding, you have put on 10 pounds, ask yourself if your children, in 30 years, will care that you didn't apply lipstick? Or will they absolutely delight in seeing their parents on a windy beach building sandcastles?
So many of our memories involve photos. They bring back feelings, emotions, joy, sadness. They freeze moments in time, and preserve them. They tell a story. They tell YOUR story. If you are not in your photos, you are not in your own story, and your children will wonder where you were while they had a fun week at the beach.
A few suggestions if you are not feeling your best for a photo, but know you should be part of the image.
1. Up a few pounds? Put your children in your lap, or stand partially behind them or your husband :-) Always remember to elongate your neck and angle yourself just a tad so your are not photographed straight on, which is the widest part of your body.
2. No makeup? Have your photo taken kissing your child's cheek - no one will know you didn't have on makeup!
3. Balding? Who cares! Put your child on your shoulders! Wear a hat!
4. Feel tired and run down? Smile, and laugh. Make yourself laugh by tickling your children, it will make you look years younger :-)
Your children will cherish photos of you, and your grandkids will get to see all the photos of you with your own children.
Next time you pull out your phone or camera, promise yourself you will be in the photo. You will be so grateful you did one day!
Now, stop reading my blog, and go make a silly picture with your child :-)
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Newborn Baby and Family Photographer in Alexandria Virginia
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