It's early August and fall is just around the corner. As a San Diego family photographer, August to December are the months I have the most family session bookings, so August tends to be the month where I "gear up" for the busy season ahead. Fall is a popular time to update family photos, grab those Christmas card photos, and frame updated pictures of the grandkids for grandparent gifts. Because I'm a family photographer, I clearly value the importance of photography, but for those of you who may not, I want to share a few things to consider when you're weighing the option of booking a family session.
Why I believe family photos are an important investment
1. Family photos capture your family in your current season of life
I've said it before and I'll say it again, life does not stand still! At the time of writing this, my "baby" is a month shy of 5 and entering TK, making me an "empty nester" during the day. This season that is upon me has come faster than I could have possibly imagined when I was knee deep in diapers, nursing, and caring for 4 kids ages 5 and under. One thing I am SO. INCREDIBLY. GRATEFUL for, is capturing my family at each season along the way (my husband may say otherwise, lol!). I have professional photos of each one of my kids' pregnancies and newborn phases. On my book shelf at home I have a picture framed of my second son, sitting on my pregnant belly that holds my daughter in it. My hallway is lined with photos of my kids holding their new brother or sister, our first Christmas card photo as a family of 3, my husband and I holding four babies on our laps, and our kids running in circles around us as my husband and I love on each other. These are some of my favorite images that remind me of each season of our family as it has grown over the years.
2. Family photos are a gift to your children and future generations
Something I highly value in our family photos, is myself and my husband being in them with our children. I personally do not have a lot of photos with my parents when I was a child--and I get it, moms are typically the ones holding the camera! There is also body image that comes into play and the awkwardness of being in front of a camera. Even though there are times I don't necessarily feel my best (hello huge pregnant belly!) I am still always so grateful that I have images of myself with my kids. These photos are our family's legacy and *hopefully* ones that our children and grandchildren have framed in their own homes one day.
3. Family photos are a wonderful gift to give others
I don't know about you, but buying Christmas and birthday gifts for my parents and in-laws is so dang hard!! I often feel like my go-to gift is a framed photo of my kids, but to be honest, that's usually a welcomed and wanted gift for them. Last year I printed a photo of my husband's entire extended family on canvas, and gave it to my in-laws as a Christmas gift. They loved it and have it hanging in their home..a reminder of the fun we have when we are all together. I always recommend creating photo books with your family session images for grandparents or even yourself for the coffee table. This summer I had several extended family sessions that were given to grandparents as a gift. I can't think of a better gift to give Grandma and Grandpa, then an evening with their children and grandchildren!
Deciding whether to have your family photos taken or not typically comes down to "is this something we should spend money on? I could easily set up my own camera or snap a selfie with my iPhone." When we "flip the script" on family photos though, and see a family session as an investment, it changes the entire narrative. We tend to invest in what we value-a home, vacations, etc-and capturing memories and important seasons of life are a wonderful way to invest in what matters most in your life....your people.