The 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.