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I Believe in Family Pictures - And Why YOU Should Too

I believe in pictures- well OF COURSE I do, I'm a photographer. Pictures are so important. They help us remember a feeling, a person, a memory. They help us express ourselves, show the world how we see it, and take us to places we have never been and hope to see one day.

So, why am I writing this? I'm writing this to help people realize, "Wow! I really should get some pictures done!". Yes, I know this makes me come off like an annoying car salesman trying to hustle you into buying the newest car model (or in my case, having me take your family photos, or whatever photos you have in need of right now) but I just can't keep quiet about this because I really do believe that people not only should, but NEED to get their pictures taken!

So for this post, I have decided to focus on FAMILY PHOTOS and I will attempt to show you that you really have NO EXCUSE not to get them done. And not just no excuse, but SO MANY REASONS WHY you should.

Below are what I believe to be the 4 common reasons why people tend to not get family pictures done and my responses to them.

1) "Family pictures are just too expensive/We don't have the money for family pictures".

Its true. Getting family pictures done does cost a pretty penny. But I have yet to meet anyone who regrets spending money on them. I think its better to consider value over cost. Yes, family pictures cost money, but in the end you have something soooo valuable. If family pictures don't fit the budget, then save for them. You have all year, or all summer to save before the snow falls (by this time, most people find it too cold to get family pictures done). So for any of you who are reading this find yourself in this category, research the cost of family pictures and give yourself until September or October (that's 3-4 months) to pinch and save so you can afford to get them done. In the meantime, contact the photographer and get a session booked and on the calendar to help yourself stay committed (and to make sure you actually get a session in before the photographer is booked).

Also, has a mother ever looked back and thought, "Dang, I made my family get pictures done too many times and spent way too much money". Of course not! Usually, it's the opposite. I know so many people who haven't gotten family pictures done IN YEARS. The family pictures they have hanging on the wall were taken before their youngest child was even born, or before Sally had gotten braces and when Joe was a whole foot shorter. And I know we now all have smart phones with great cameras that help us get shots of our family and special moments, but rarely are those the ones that end up hanging on the wall, put on the family Christmas card, or the ones moms like of themselves. So like I've said, paying to get your family pictures done really is worth the cost.

2 ) "I'll get family pictures done after I lose some weight/look better"

You would be so surprised at how many moms I have run into in the grocery store who have told me this. "Oh we need our family pictures done and I want you to do them. I'll call you to book them in a few months, after I have lost some weight".

I get it, you want to look and feel better about yourself- and who doesn't? And it really is a good desire! But don't let that desire keep you from getting pictures done. If anything, booking a date will actually help you to try to lose weight. But please, my plea to all women everywhere- give yourself some GRACE. We all know women, especially mothers, run around all day doing things for other people (mainly their kids). Don't hate yourself because you are so exhausted from helping and serving others and your family that you didn't have the time to work out or the strength to make the healthiest meal. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to improve and have a healthier body, I'm just saying that 1) you're not alone in this desire and 2) PLEASE don't let it stop you from getting family pictures done. In 20 years from now what will make you more sad? Not having very many nice family photos or having family photos even though you may not have felt like you looked like a model in them.

Last thought. Family pictures are about your family. Not just you. So many times I have given someone their pictures back after a session and the mom has told me she has cried just seeing how perfectly her children and family were captured. So I promise you, it is worth it even if you don't feel your best.

That leads me to my next point.

3) "Family pictures are too hectic and stressful"

I know I'm not a mom of several kids yet, but I understand your stress as a mom. Just the thought of figuring out what everyone is going to wear is stressful. Let me say, I am glad you are putting thought into everyones outfits, it really does help make a photo better, but also it doesn't mean you just shouldn't get them done because of it. First off, I am currently in the middle of making a "style guide" that I can email to my clients to help them figure out what to wear and how to coordinate outfits. Second, I recommend perusing through Pinterest at family pictures (and while you do that, don't get caught up on thinking that your family can't look just as perfect as every photo you're seeing on Pinterest). I just want you to get ideas and see how other families have coordinated. Feel free to call me and talk with me or your photographer to get ideas or to run your ideas by. I promise, your photographer can totally help you out!

Besides the outfits, I know that taking the actual pictures can be hectic. Moms go through so much stress just to get their family all dressed and ready for the pictures that by the time they actually get to the shoot its so hard to see your kids start to act out or refuse to cooperate. Here's a couple of tips to help you out with that. 1) If you've hired a good photographer, he/she will be able to handle it. Believe me, if your kids aren't being "perfect" at a family shoot, you're not the first family to have this happen (no family is perfect! Seriously!). A good photographer will know how to help your children relax, be themselves, and will be able to get some good shots. SOOOO many moms have continually apologized to me during or after shoots for their kids. I want all you moms to know that you really don'y need to worry. There's always a bump here or there during family pictures and that's totally fine. Once you get back your pictures you'll be amazed because it really always works out. Trust the photographer. You will be amazed at how well they will be able to capture your kids and family even though your family isn't perfect. 2) This is hard for moms (and anyone) to hear, but DON'T STRESS. As photographers, we know that as a mom all you want are perfect pictures of your family. In several of the family shoots I have done, the mom is often soooo stressed. Moms just want perfect pictures and for her children to act like and look like perfect angels. First off- children (and all people) are not perfect. But that is why pictures are so fun and special! As a photographer I'm not trying to make everyone look like perfect cardboard cutouts, but I want to capture people and kids for who they are (and make them look good as themselves). Also, when you as a mom stress you know who feels it- the kids. And we all know when a mom is stressed kids often act exactly opposite of how we want them to. So please, don't stress. The photographer can handle it. Your kids are adorable and when you get the pictures back you will be reminded of it.

4) "My husband hates pictures"

Yes, most husbands hate pictures. Sometimes it's because of the cost but mainly it's because the thought of having to pose and smile for an hour is just not that appetizing to them. Here's my answer to this: trust the photographer. I know I keep saying this, but a good photographer will help your husband to not only be calm and look amazing in the pictures, but after the shoot, many husbands often say, "that wasn't that bad!". As a photographer, that is my goal. To show dads, husbands, and men in general that I can make the pictures quick and easy and they'll even be thankful afterwards that you decided to get them done. So if you're hiring a good photographer, I promise you, your husband will be shocked with just how painless the session ends up being.

So these are the 4 main obstacles that I have seen that keep people from getting their family pictures done. If you have other reasons or other concerns, please comment on this blog or on my other social media accounts, email me, or call me. Just please contact me (or whatever photographer you want to hire) and talk out your concerns with them. Just please, PLEASE don't keep your concerns from capturing beautiful pictures of the people that matter the most to you. I promise you, you won't regret it.

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