One of the frustrating things that family portrait photographers sometimes experience is when parents (and it’s generally the mums) say “I don’t need to be in the photographs, just the kids.” I remember it happening on a couple of my family shoots, when I was asked to just photograph the children.
Now, I know exactly why those mums didn’t want to be in the photos – they were self-conscious about some particular aspect of their appearance and didn’t feel comfortable about getting in front of the camera. However, if you’re not appearing in your family photos, what will your loved ones have to look back on in years to come?
My parents are now in their mid-80’s and one of the things I love doing when I visit them is getting out the old family albums and looking at the photos of them when they were courting and of us as I was growing up, of which there are hundreds, as my dad was very keen to document my childhood years; I am so grateful now that he took all those photographs.
Family photos are irreplaceable, and whether you snap them on your iPhone or book a professional to take them for you, I think it’s really important to put aside your feelings about how you think you look and make sure your family life is documented with you in it; after all, your loved ones are not going to be judging your appearance and in the scheme of things there are far more important things to worry about.
Here are some photos of my parents then and now – my dad looking incredibly handsome and my mother looking very stylish and beautiful; I especially love the one of her in her traditional cheongsam. And the photos with me, capturing those moments which I don’t remember but which are so precious.
You can also see some of the lovely families I’ve photographed in the past, and who now have their pictures displayed on their walls.
So whether you’re a parent, daughter or sister, when you next have a family get-together, step in front of that camera for those who matter most and forget about what the rest of the world might or might not think! Those photos may not mean much now, but one day they will truly be priceless.