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The importance of family photography

Every day it seems as if your children are changing in the smallest of ways. They may have grown another half an inch overnight, or they’re looking more like adolescents than babies now. Teeth come and go, constantly altering your children’s smiles. They are truly growing up right before your eyes. If you’re not taking family pictures, you’re counting on your memories alone to preserve these moments. But will you remember the small details? The way the flecks of color in their eyes sparkle when the sunlight hits them? The adoration you see all over their face when they look at you. The bad news is that you can’t stop time. The good news is that you can capture these feelings and love you’re sharing for each other by finding an experienced family photographer.

 

Happy mother holding her baby boy near the NYC skyline

A joyous moment between a mother and her baby boy near the NYC skyline

 

REASONS TO HIRE A FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

There’s more than one reason you may want to hire a professional photographer to take your family’s photos.

 

Preserve Vacation Memories

While on vacation at an awe-inspiring place like New York City, you’ve likely done what all tourists seem to do at some point in their journeys. They want to capture those big, amazing moments when they are standing at a landmark or gorgeous natural setting. The best way to do that – and the method everyone turns to – is with a photo.

But do you want a half-grainy image of your family where the background you want to include is accidentally cut out by the gracious stranger you’ve just asked to snap a family photo for you quickly? Or do you want a breathtaking picture where all your family members are looking in the same direction and the lighting appears to be just perfect? That’s the difference between what an amateur photographer and a professional can do.

You’re shelling out thousands of dollars for this family vacation. Do you really want a snapshot taken by a fellow tourist where half of the Statue of Liberty is missing and everyone in your family is squinting?

 

Downtown Manhattan is the perfect backdrop for this bonding moment between a mother and her daughter.

Downtown Manhattan is the perfect backdrop for this bonding moment between a mother and her daughter.

 

Children Grow So Fast

When you’re a parent, the days may seem long at times, but the years pass quickly. You’ll wake up one day and wonder when your kids got so big, when they stopped holding your hand, or became old enough to drive. You’ll miss those days when you were ready to tear your hair out because your child couldn’t go two minutes without asking you something. Having your photos professionally taken will give you frame-worthy pictures you can hang so you can always remember your children as they were, even if they were a bit high-maintenance.

 

Closeup image of mother's hands holding her son's baby feet.

Closeup image of mother’s hands holding her son’s baby feet.

 

Jump On the Newest Holiday Card Trend

Years ago, people would send a store-bought Christmas card to their friends and loved ones. These days, it’s become much more popular to personalize Christmas cards by putting a family pose on the front. Maybe this will finally be your year to outshine the perfect family who lives down the street – the ones you kind of secretly dislike because they always have everything under control when you feel like a hot mess most days.

You can all put on coordinating red or green shirts and play up the holiday season vibe for the pictures, or you can use a beach photo taken when you were on vacation. There’s no right or wrong look to go for when it comes to Christmas cards.  These cards can become treasured keepsakes – people tend to save them rather than throw them away like ordinary Christmas cards.

You don’t have to save the professional photos only for Christmas cards either. Some families recreate the same pose every year, with hilarious or heart-touching results. That’s something a professional can help you with too.

 

Christmas Card showing a modern NYC family along with their children.

Christmas Card showing a modern NYC family along with their children.

 

It’s a Chance to Get Dressed Up

Parenthood isn’t usually glamorous. You may spend half your time covered in spit-up, or with SpaghettiO stains on your pants, courtesy of your toddler’s hug before they’ve washed their hands after lunch.
That’s your day-to-day life, and how messy and imperfect it is can make you feel like you’re not doing this parenting thing correctly. You can feel like other parents are nailing it, thanks to their filtered social media pictures, and you’re barely escaping being featured as an incompetent parent on the TV show Supernanny.

Don’t worry – that’s how parenthood sometimes feels. But you need the occasional success to counteract the times when you have a mountain of laundry to fold and you let your child have way more screen time than they should.

Having professional photos gives your family a chance to dress up in their best clothes, proving you can still clean up nicely when the occasion calls for it. That’s a good feeling for parents. While nobody’s life is perfect, it’s nice to highlight the good times and show you can pull it together sometimes. It can make the bad times easier to bear, having the opportunity to look back on the special moments like these photos. And you can feel as if you are crushing this parenthood thing as much as your glamorous neighbor when you need to.

 

Lifestyle family photo from Central Park with a beautiful family holding their daughter's hands.

Lifestyle family photo from Central Park with a beautiful family holding their daughter’s hands.

 

What To Look For in a Family Photographer

If you’ve never hired a family photographer, there are a few things you should consider first.

  • Style: Where do you want your photos taken — indoors or outside? Check out any potential photographer’s portfolio to see if they’ve taken photos you love. When you see photos that speak to you, you’ll know it. If you know you want outdoor pictures, look for someone who specializes in outdoor photography.
  • Availability: Some photographers need a lot of lead time before an assignment. They may already be fully booked weeks, or sometimes even months in advance. It depends upon how popular they are, and what season it is, particularly if you want an outdoor photo shoot. Book the appointment as far in advance as possible. If your photographer of choice is already booked up, you can consider postponing your photoshoot, or ask them if there is another photographer they’d recommend.
  • Price: As a parent, it can feel like your paycheck from work is spent before you’ve received it. But that doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest photographer you can find. Value-priced photographers aren’t always a bargain. Their photos might not be as good as someone who specializes in family photography, or there could be hidden costs you might not consider. Make sure you know what is included in the price, so your family won’t be eating ramen for weeks to pay for those photos.
  • Experience working with children: Not everyone is great with children. That’s a special talent. Some photographers can get genuine smiles from shy children, while other ones are given stink eye from kids the whole session no matter what they do. If you have children who are under the age of 14, you’ll want to look for photographers who can connect with kids during a photoshoot.
  • Don’t ignore word of mouth:  People love to brag about great services and, likewise, they spread the word when they feel disappointed with something. By checking out a family photographer’s online reviews, you can get a better idea of whether you’ll be happy or have buyer’s regret. If you’re traveling and don’t have friends in the city you’re visiting, you can read online recommendations to get a sense of what a customer’s experience was.

 

Stylish family sharing a candid moment near a colorful brick wall.

Stylish family sharing a candid moment near a colorful brick wall.

 

Preserving those moments

You know your time with your children is only fleeting. It won’t be long before they are adults with families of their own. So, make the most of the years when they’re under your control and have to do your bidding. That gives you the time to schedule annual family photoshoots so you can mark how much your children have changed. You’ll have those moments preserved on film so you can remember how different your children looked when they still fit on your lap.

Once you have those pictures taken, do more than post them on social media and put them in a drawer. Make sure you put them in a special frame and hang them up in your house. That will let your children see how important family is to you. And that’s a lesson they’ll take to heart.

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