When I look at family photos from when I’m younger, I see my parents present and involved. I notice them hugging me and their eyes crinkling with love as they look at me. I’m grateful for their presence in these photos, for my now but also for my future when they’re no longer around. I’m also thankful that these photos exist for me to show my son as he grows up; to show him where he came from and the family ribbons that weave a longer and richer history than he is currently able to comprehend.
A few days ago someone told me that they have no photos of them with their Mum as a child (and no photos at all, literally ZERO) because she felt she was too fat to be in photos and didn’t want to ruin them. That story broke my heart into about 100 pieces for the lady that told me that story. And I wanted to put a few of my thoughts down in black and white about what I think kids care about around family photos.
1. They DON’T care about your appearance
Your weight, wrinkles, grey hair, bingo wings, whatever other thing that you are using as an excuse to stay out of your family photos are totally irrelevant to your kids. I promise you, when they look back on photos of their childhood, whatever their age, they won’t be scrutinising your appearance.
Fair warning, (if they’re anything like me!) 20 years from now they probably will mock your outdated fashion sense or old-fashioned looking house but heyho, what family photo album would be complete without that gem for your kids to enjoy!
2. They DO care about you being present
The main things your kids will remember when they look back at your family photos is that you were there. The time that you spend together, and therefore those times that are captured in photos, will be the lasting memory for them. If you’ve invested in a family photo session it’s purely time to be together. That’s all kids need to thrive.
3. They DON’T care about fancy activities
Yes, kids love trips to Disney. They obviously enjoy days out and big presents. However, I truly think that the beauty of family is really captured when you are being yourselves at home. Those little moments of love and magic are captured in the cuddles, the skinned knees, the games of hide and seek and the cookie baking at home.
See, it’s just as much fun jumping off the sofa on a dinosaur as any fancy, expensive trip!
4. They DO care about your affection
It’s all about the love.
That’s it. Love, love, love, love, love!
I loooooove love. You picking up on that yet?!
Little Fraser here wasn’t even 12 hours old when I went round to document his brand new life. Imagine being able to look back on your first hours meeting your siblings like this. My heart can’t even take it!
5. They DON’T care about where you live
You’re looking round your house right now I’m sure and seeing that long to do list of cracked plaster and scuffed skirting boards. My to-do list around the house is as long as my arm. My son sees none of that. I would hazard a guess he wouldn’t even be able to tell you if our house is bigger or smaller than his best friend’s house. Kids simply don’t see these things. I’m sure you would love to live in that Ideal Homes show home before you get your family photos done, however I urge you not to wait. That home may not be in your future (plus that home will have scuffed skirting boards too if you’re planning on letting your kids move in with you!) but also, your current home is the patchwork of your family world. All of the happy family memories that have happened in your house deserve capturing, does your home not deserve the same?
6. They DO care about your time
We’re all so busy these days and it’s hard to turn off, not least of all because our phones are ever present and ever pinging. It’s so important to remember to turn off, unplug and spend time with our families. Kids just crave our time and attention and photo sessions are a great way to do this. It may seem daft, but booking a family photo shoot does force everyone to unplug and focus inward. And that’s a great way to get some uninterrupted family time in. Plus, you have the record of it for evermore!
7. They DON’T care about the weather
Well, this isn’t entirely true because not everyone loves being out in the pouring rain, but as adults, we’re much more reactive to the weather than children are. Little kids are happy to be out jumping in muddy puddles (yeah, thanks for that Peppa) and getting wet and just don’t care. However, waiting for good weather just delays capturing your now for your children. And they don’t care about the weather enough to sacrifice their future memories.
See, all soaked but happy!
Ditch the excuses
Whatever you’re using as the excuse for avoiding the camera, really ask yourself if it’s valid. If you’re deliberating making yourself the ghost in your family photos then look at it from your child’s point of view in later life and exist in the photo for them while you still can and they still want to do these fun things with you!
Be brave, get in touch below and let me capture the extraordinary ordinary of your world.