Why Family Portraits Are Important
Because They Grow So Fast
“You can’t need new shoes again!”; “I don’t know where the last year has gone”; “Aren’t you a big boy now?” Sound familiar? Children grow up at a remarkable rate and when you see them day in, day out, it can be difficult to spot the change – until a grandparent mentions it or those shoes are too tight (surely it was only yesterday you were in the shoe shop?). Taking family portraits at regular intervals is a wonderful way to chart the growth of your children – before their childhood fades into a welter of disconnected memories.
Portrait sessions needed be dull, lined up in front of a mottled grey-blue background, affairs that you recall from your childhood. Today’s sessions – both in the studio and in the great outdoors – are fun sessions where you can bond as a family and have lots of fun trying different poses – and using different props. It’s also a chance to make sure you get a good image of the whole family. Let’s face it when you’re snapping holiday pics there’s usually one person left out – and it’s usually you, the designated family photographer!
You Get What You Pay For
Everyone has family portraits that they’ve taken to mark special occasions but haven’t you noticed how they’re missing a certain something? Even with modern, digital cameras that adjust exposure settings, flash firing times and so on they are never quite the same as a professional shot, are they? I spend hours every week taking family portraits. I’ve studied and practised how to arrange lighting and backgrounds to create a natural, happy image that will be a joy to look at for years to come. Did you know that no one actually knows how long modern photographs will last for? One thing that we do know, however, is that the high-quality inks and archive papers used for printing by professional photographers have a far higher resistance to fading and damage than home, or even booth printed, snapshots. A professionally taken, printed and framed photograph might seem expensive but compare that to the cost of watching your treasured memories literally fading into thin air?
When The Worst Happens
What does tomorrow hold in store for you? A pile of work? Coffee with friends? A diagnosis of degenerative disease? Sadly, we can’t predict the future and you never know when your last chance will come. Most of us hope that we will build a whole collection of family photographs and be able to enjoy looking at them long into old age and never need to regret not taking the opportunity while it was still there. Sadly, though, that is not always the case, and missing out on capturing those moments can hurt.
Images Bolster Self-Image
Family portraits are good for your children’s self-esteem and self-image. A study by Tulane University in 1974 showed a 37% increase in self-esteem in children who kept a photographic scrapbook over a five-week period. Being able to refer back to the photographs reaffirmed their self-worth and belief in their abilities. In a similar way, family group photographs include the child in the family unit and can be a great way to create family bonds – especially if the child is feeling left out because of the birth of a new sibling or when combining two families into one unit. Seeing an image of themselves on the wall, happy and included in the family, is a daily reminder that even if you are cross with them now you value and love them all the time.
Not everyone is on social media. According to Ofcom less than half of over 65s (48%) have a social media profile and many of those will lie dormant. Sending grandparents, aunts, uncles and other far-flung relatives a family portrait as a gift is a traditional and easy to post way to keep in touch that isn’t dependant on the latest iteration of the ranking algorithms for your relations to actually see it. A quality, professional photograph will become a treasured possession that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. It will become part of your family’s history – and perhaps you’ll even start a tradition of looking back over photographs together and remembering the events that took place. Yes, it might be a bit of a pain to arrange getting an appointment everyone can attend. Yes, it isn’t free. But in ten or twenty years’ time, you’ll have forgotten those things – along with more important memories of what your family looked like if you didn’t get the photograph. Is that a price you want to pay? Why Family Portraits Are Important…Copyright 2017 By David Lowerson