It’s time to plan family photos! You are already cringing, right? Did you just get an eye twitch thinking about it? There are countless things to worry about. The location, the clothing everyone will wear, the weather – is it going to rain? Be too windy? Will the kids even look at the camera? I mean, this is our ONE SHOT to get a photo of everyone together to mark this entire year. No pressure, right? When I finally gave up the dream of the “perfect” family photo, I realized capturing my family in our own moments is just perfect for us.
Let me introduce you to Daisy. She’s three. That face kinda says it all. She enjoys bullying her big sister and bossing around other kids on the playground. Sure, she has her sweet moments but overall, she is that kid. But, hey, she is my kid. And, as you can probably guess, she doesn’t do anything we *ask* her to do. Especially smile (on command). We’ve taken three family photos together since Daisy has been around. She’s also done several school photo shoots. Can you guess how many times she is smiling in any of the hundreds of photos that were taken? None. yep. Not once.
After the first family photo session, I was stressed. I mean, my 6 year old loves to smile especially if it’s for a picture. Daisy just looks at the camera blankly or she might smirk if you are lucky.
One day my friend and our photographer Angele was talking about how families always stress about having the “perfect” photo from a family photo session. (yes, they do. I’m thinking). She talked about years from now, people will love those little “imperfections” in the family photos. The kid making a funny face or another family member smiling too big. It shows what life was really like in that moment in time. It got me thinking. She is totally right. I mean, we have plenty of photos of our kids smiling big when we take pictures at home or on the playground. But it’s a rare occasion (probably) to get the entire family together for a picture (which is why we stress) so we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and everyone else to make it just perfect. Maybe the perfect we are looking for doesn’t look like what we think? This is our life right now, after all.
This year, we did things differently. We didn’t try to cram a photo session in during the stressful holiday time. We waited until February when things were slowing down and life seemed normal to us. We met at a familiar park, with a familiar face and we just played around. The wind was blowing too hard, Claire was being a little too silly, Daisy was being Daisy… but in the end, we got:
some pretty great photos. We got us.
My a-type planning self has let this go. I’ve learned to embrace this stage in my life. Frame it, put it on a canvas, post it proudly on social media. Because to me, it’s just perfect.. refusal to cooperate and all.
Making the most out of life,
((These photos were taken by Angele Hamilton, who does an amazing job capturing families and kids. We love her, you should too.))