As you all know, I am a child photographer. I’ve been one professionally for 18 years. That means, I have been doing this longer than my son has been alive. Have I always known that I wanted to be a photographer? No. Have I always loved photography? Yes. When I was growing up, I was told to graduate from high school (with good grades), go to college, get a degree and then get a great job. Being a photographer was not an option. I can only imagine where I would be or what my life would be like if I had actually tried to become a photographer many years ago.
In case you don’t know, I have eight siblings, six sisters and two brothers, yet I have only one child. Most people would think that I would have many more children just because of the number of siblings I have. Well, I used to want four children because that’s how many of us there were when my parents were still married. As I got older, the number of children I wanted decreased. At one point, I ended up not wanting any children. Please don’t think it’s because I don’t love children because I do. During this time, adulting was particularly difficult and I just didn’t think that I could effectively parent someone. To put it plainly, I was scared.
So, why do I want to photograph children? Because I find it joyful. I enjoy playing with the children and getting to know them. I love their honesty and authenticity. They are simply themselves and they don’t care what you think about them. That lasts for a little while until they get old enough to care, which is usually a bummer. I revel in their playfulness and marvel at their unique personalities. My favorite part is when they just walk up to me and give me a hug. It’s usually so random but extremely sweet. I appreciate that more than they will ever know.
I know how important pictures of your children are. Both my parents have dozens and dozens of Polaroids and snapshots when we were little. Heck, I have dozens and dozens as well because once I received my camera as a Christmas gift you would barely see me without it in my hands. Even though I have upgraded my cameras over the years, it has always been my greatest treasure.
Although snapshots are great, formal portraits have their place too. To this day, one of my favorite images is an old family portrait. This was back in the day when photographers came to your house, like I currently do. It was my mother, father, sister, two brothers and our dog. What a fabulous picture it is! In case you’re wondering, I’m the one sitting on my mother’s lap. Yep, I was the baby for 9 years and then another sister came along.
As an aside, my dad said that Kelly, our dog, was laying down watching the pictures being taken and all of a sudden, she decided to get up, walk over to us and sit in the absolute perfect place. I so loved that dog!
Anyway, in my personal life, I really haven’t taken too many pictures over these last few years. When our son was little, I took tons and tons of pictures. As he got older, the frequency slowed down. I guess I didn’t want him to be embarrassed by me and my camera. I certainly didn’t want to feel intrusive. At any rate, they slowed down a lot. I’m trying to get better at taking more random images because he is the only child that I’m going to have and he will be 18 in just 2 short years. I need memories to hold on to.
After six years without a formal family portrait, I finally got around to doing it. Here is the post about that session. I really do believe that having formal portraits taken is a vital activity for your family. Not only does it provide beautiful decor but it also saves memories and has been proven to boost children’s self-esteem. I’m not telling you what to do but I kind of am. Really, you need to book a session today because as we know, tomorrow is not promised. I had to sound so dire, but you never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Whether you have them taken by me or another photographer doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you get it done. In case you are wondering, I would love to create those portraits for you!
“If you don’t think that photos are important, wait until they’re all you have left.” ~ Missy Mwac