Kristen Carter Photography Desert Gilbert AZ Family Photos_0018The following conversation has played out at least twice a month for as long as I’ve been a professional family photographer. The personal details & setting changes, but the words are always very similar.

Fellow Mom at Park (FMP): “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a professional photographer, specializing in family & children’s portraits.”
FMP: “How fun! We need new family photos. It’s been sooooo long since our last session. I think our youngest was 4 months old. He’s 5 now.”

Me: “Oh, it’s definitely time then!”
FMP: “Yeah, I really want to lose the baby weight and then we’ll do them.”

….. And that right there is the statement…. It changes with each person. It could be, “I need to lose weight,” or “I don’t photograph well.” I even hear, “my husband hates how he looks in photos,” but there’s always *something* keeping them from being in family photos. There is always a reason that they put it off, month after month, year after year, thinking that they’ll do it in the future. They’ll have beautiful portraits made of their children, as babies and at milestones as they grow, but they don’t feel ready to be in the photos themselves.

If you’ve ever uttered a similar statement, I’m going to let you in on a secret. Your kids don’t care about your reasoning. They love you. They love you if your hair is a mess, if you have sleep deprived eyes, if you still have the baby weight (and your baby is 10). They love you, just as you are. They think you are beautiful. And they WANT to see you in portraits with them, framed on the wall as they walk by everyday, printed in an album that they can pull off the shelf and flip through to relive past years. They want to look back years from now and see your family over the years, changing, growing, laughing. Being you. Beautiful you.

One day, they won’t have you in person. They’ll only have the photographs and memories. They’ll remember your voice, your smell, the way you smiled at them, held them, loved them. Those photos will bring you back to them. I hope that it is many many years from now, when you’ve had decades with them to craft those memories. So, do it for them. Allow a professional photographer to help you, to give you an experience that makes you feel as beautiful as your children see you, to create beautiful photoraphs that last. Don’t put it off another year. Before you know it, that little 5 year old sliding down the slide will be welcoming their own child into the world, and you’ll wonder where the time went.

  • Nancy Mitchell

    IMPORTANT from a mom who knows! My family photo is the one at the top with the older kids. Kristen’s message is so important I decided to leave a note. I was always thin, never had any issues with being in photos UNTIL 10 years ago. My family’s life changed I had cancer and poof skinny minnie out the door in walks big momma ( I say that with pure love). I stopped being in the pictures becuase I was so ashamed of what my body had become. My excuses were plenty, my clothes didn’t fit right, I looked too fat. I’ll lose weight and then we’ll get some pictures, oh heaven help me if my double chin showed LOL. My children are now 22, 20, 20 and 16. I met Kristen when my oldest Josh joined the Navy. I wanted family pictures because I knew with military life you just never know when you’ll all be together again. She was AMAZING! She made me feel comfortable about being in front of the camera and I LOVE LOVE those photos. Fast forward 3 years and my oldest 20 year old JT came home and decided to join the Army! My oldest came down for a surprise visit and I HAD to call Kristen to get another set before JT too was on military time (The photo at the top os from that session). It was sooo thrown together at the last minute we didn’t coordinate in any way and I have about 4 inches of gray hair because I hadn’t gone to the salon. Again Kristen was amazing she squeezed us in knowing just how important this was for us and we had such a blast! I know this is long but it’s important. I don’t have family pictures or pictures of me with my children for such a long span of time it breaks my heart. I cannot go back in time to take them, I missed out on those precious moments captured in time because I was too afraid. Now I can see what we look like today and I love those but I have nothing to show for those times in the past! Kristen is right YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and your children know YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Get in front of the camera with those beautiful babies of yours before they are no longer “babies”! You can lose the weight any time but you will NEVER get back the time you lost hiding. I promise you, you will not regret getting in the pictures BUT you will regret not having them! Love you Kristen YOU ROCK!!!

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