The holidays are here (say whaaaaaaaaat?!). Many of us are starting to think about (or if you’re like me, stress about) all-things-holidays. Like what the hell am I going to get my 4 year old this year? Can I just give the baby some wrapping paper to rip up and an empty box to climb in? (Don’t judge, we all know that’s what she really wants). Do I really have to cook a freakin’ turkey this Thursday or can I get away with a fully-prepared Whole Foods holiday feast (again, we all know that would be better than the dried out turkeys I’m becoming known for)?! Or how about that dreaded holiday card??? Ugh. The holidays are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But boy, they can be so stressful, right ladies?!
This is the time of year many people hire a family photographer to capture photos for holiday gifts and that little card we just talked about. After being in the photography business for the last 17+ years, I’ve heard time and time again that family photos can be SO stressful. But, I’m here to tell you they don’t have to be.
Every Family Photographer Should Do This
When hiring a photographer, think to yourself, “would I hang out with this person outside of this family session?”. If the answer is HELL NO, then you may want to keep looking. And if you’re anything like me, you may be a bit behind on your “to-do” list this fall. If you haven’t hired a photographer yet, you may be starting to scramble as many photographers are already booked for the remainder of the season. However, that does not mean you need to settle. Find a photographer that makes you feel comfortable. In my opinion, every family photographer should do this. Quite simply, put you and your children at ease. Knowing that you’re free to be yourselves in front of the camera is everything.
Photographers, listen up …
We’ve seen it all, right?! We have seen the kids that just aren’t into family photos this year. And the mom that arrives late and frazzled (that’s me at our family session). As well as the family dog that has zero training and won’t stop jumping on the toddler. And I know I don’t even need to mention this one but, we have all seen the dad that is already checked out before the session has begun. (Dads, we get it. Family photos are not the number one thing you have on your goal list for Sunday morning. But please, put on the clothes mom asked you to wear. Show up happy. Remain happy. Have fun with your kids. And trust me, you will make mom one very happy lady. Plus, it’s only an hour and you only have to do this once a year.)
Photographers, do me a favor? Let your clients know that you’ve seen it all. There’s no pressure. We’re not there to judge their parenting style or skills. We are there to have fun and capture the real, the raw, the beautiful family they are. Putting your clients at ease is the number one thing every family photographer should do to get natural expressions and photos your clients will want to purchase.
Moms, do me a favor? Remember this. We don’t care how well your kids listen. How well trained your dog is. Or how much excitement (or the lack there of) your husband showed up with. We’re there to document the here and the now so you have something to look back on when they’re all grown up. Which to me, seems like it’ll be here before we know it.
So, breathe. Let’s all just take a deep breath and remember that life is messy. Parenting isn’t always pretty (you should see our family photo sessions). But I can bet you’re doing better than you think you are. Just by showing up and committing to documenting these family moments says so very much. xo
ps – this is one of my all-time favorite Boulder families that I’ve been photographing for YEARS now. I absolutely adore these parents and the way they’re guiding their children through childhood. Big hugs for amazing parents and even more amazing children.