I’ve been a professional family photographer for over 10 years now, and I’ve heard all of the excuses. But I guarantee, your children don’t care, and you shouldn’t either.
Yes, I’m talking about your excuses for not wanting to be in any of your family’s photos.
You *think* you need to lose 5 pounds (or more).
You *think* you look old or tired.
You *think* you have a weird smile, or a crooked nose, or a zit on your chin.
Look, I’m telling you, your children don’t care. They don’t care about any of your excuses. They care about you. To them, you are the most beautiful person in the world. And to me, as your family photographer, I can tell you there’s truly nothing more beautiful than a photo of you laughing with, snuggling with, and smiling with your children.
Because, you see, those photos are not for you. Nope. The photos of your babies by themselves may be for you, but the photos of your babies being hugged by you are for your babies. Those are the photos they will post to their bulletin board in college, those are the photos they will frame when they have a house of their own, and those are the photos they will go hunt for some day – through laptops, USB drives, and online galleries – when you’re not here anymore (in the far, far distant future).
Photos are our memories. Looking at a photo brings back smells, sounds and even feelings. If you want your children to always know how much you love them, give them that tangible proof – something they can hold onto in the darkest days.
And take it one step further. Hang those photos in your home as they are growing up. When you have to work late, or are on a trip, or are too sick to hold them, they will still see reminders of you being there with them, hugging and loving them.
You may look at the photos later and remember how you weighed a little more back then. You may look at them and remember how tired you were, or critique your weird smile (your words, not mine). But you may also look at them and remember how small your baby felt in your arms, or how their warm hand felt in yours, or how wonderful it felt to smile into their sweet, angelic, new eyes and see your baby smile back at you. And I guarantee you’ll look at them and remark at how young you looked, because you’ll never again be younger than you are today.
…Okay, so, maybe those photos are for you, too.
If you’re still not convinced, one last thought… People are going to take photos of you with your children with their cell phones anyway. Would you rather it be a cell-phone photo your child treasures or a professionally-retouched image where your photographer knows how to pose you in a flattering way and edit away the zit on your chin?
I always tell my clients to at least consider being in the photos. You can choose to permanently delete them after you see them, or put them in a Dropbox vault to give to your kids when they grow up. My photography sessions are all-inclusive, so you get all of the retouched images anyway. You might as well jump into a few and decide later what to do with them!
And to close things out, here are a couple photos of me (and my weird smile) with my parents (and sisters) taken a few years back. So grateful to have these! I look so young! LOL!