Family photography is not just about taking pictures; it’s about creating a visual narrative of your life, filled with love, joy, and cherished moments. Through my lens, I help families etch their stories into beautiful, emotionally resonant photographs that they can treasure for generations to come. Family photos can truly be deeply meaningful. Back in 1994 when Katrina Christ Photographer was founded, I knew then how important family photos were.
I have always said, “Children seeing themselves in a family photo on the wall reconfirms for them every single day that they are safe, secure, loved, and part of a family.”
So, are family portraits important? It is a constant unconsciousness, it gives our children a sense of identity and a higher self-esteem.
Many years ago a family came in to choose their photos a week after their photo shoot. In their design consultation, after we had done the slideshow and we were comparing similar photos and choosing their absolute favourites, I decided to speak up to the parents and tell them why they should not choose a certain photo.
There were two fantastic photos of Dad with his three kids. One where they were all snuggled in equally and the other where the middle child was leaning out from everyone. Both were really great shots and I could have let them choose and stayed quiet, however, I know that middle child syndrome is very real so I spoke my truth and they were super appreciative.
I explained that whilst they were both amazing photos, if they chose the photo where the middle child was leaning out, it would cement in their subconsciousness that the older and youngest child were closer emotionally to their dad.
Middle child syndrome is the belief that children born between the oldest children and youngest children in the family are the most disadvantaged, neglected, and overlooked. A middle-born child tends to receive the least amount of attention from parents according to that belief.
You can appreciate how important it was that I speak up for that child. As I write this I wonder if I knew this intrinsically because I am the middle child.
Either way, we had a fantastic conversation about family and the importance of every child to feel loved and heard equally and yes they chose the snuggle one.
“I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”~ Psychologist David Krauss Ph.D. from Cleveland, Ohio, one of the early pioneers of phototherapy.
Family portraits capture memories, document growth and show the love and relationship between your loved ones. Families are always changing and evolving with the birth of every child and also the passing of our loved ones. The passing of our loved ones is sad and I actually don’t really like to talk about it, however, it is life and I always think thank god we took photos.
Photos are a beautiful way to remember our loved ones. Just seeing a photo, whether it’s hanging on your wall or on your phone or laptop, can bring back everything that happened in the taking of that photo, especially if you were there. A family photo has the ability to remind you exactly how you felt at that moment. It has the ability to show how much you love or loved someone.
When I am helping my families choose their photos I preface it by asking them to choose emotionally. Don’t necessarily choose the photo where everyone is looking perfectly into the camera, choose the ones as well where they are looking into each other’s eyes and laughing, the silly ones, the ones that will remind them of their relationship and the joy of knowing that it was captured perfectly by their photographer.
We are not just photographers!
We are the creators of memories… We know how to bring out the best in people and allow them to be themselves.
We are the keepers of memories.. We know exactly what ISO aperture and shutter speed are needed so we don’t miss a thing.
Family photos bring JOY. Family photos can bring so much comfort. Family photos can be emotionally healing.
Are family portraits important? Absafreakinglutely and for so many reasons:
- Preservation of Memories: Family photos capture moments in time, allowing us to preserve and relive cherished memories. These images help us remember special occasions, milestones, and the people who are important in our lives.
- Family History: Photos can serve as a historical record of your family’s journey, helping future generations understand their roots and heritage. They provide a visual connection to ancestors and family traditions.
- Emotional Connection: Looking at family photos can evoke strong emotions and reinforce the bonds between family members. These images remind us of the love, support, and shared experiences that define our family relationships.
- Storytelling: Family photos help tell the story of your family’s life. They can be used to narrate family anecdotes, share stories about the past, and pass down wisdom from one generation to the next.
- Identity and Self-Reflection: Family photos often capture moments that contribute to a person’s sense of identity. They help individuals understand where they come from and how they fit into the larger family narrative.
- Celebration of Growth: Family photos taken over time can show how family members have grown and changed. They document the passage of time and the development of each family member.
- Strengthening Relationships: The act of taking family photos can be a bonding experience in itself. It encourages family members to spend quality time together, share laughs, and create lasting memories.
- Healing and Comfort: In times of loss or separation, family photos can provide comfort by reminding us of the presence and impact of loved ones who may no longer be with us.
- Legacy: Family photos can become a part of your legacy, something you leave behind for future generations. They provide a tangible connection to your family’s history and values.
- Artistic Expression: Some people enjoy photography as an art form. Capturing family moments allows for creative expression and the opportunity to experiment with photography techniques.
- Connection Across Time: Family photography bridges the gap between the past, present, and future. It allows you to connect with ancestors you may never have met, fostering a sense of continuity and belonging.
- Expression of Love: As a professional photographer who loves making people happy, your work plays a crucial role in capturing and expressing the love within families. Your ability to evoke genuine smiles and emotions in your subjects contributes significantly to the emotional impact of these photos. Family portraits showcase the bonds and relationships within your family. The laughter, hugs, and shared smiles in these images convey the love and connection you have with each other, creating a heartwarming narrative.
- Generational Legacy: Family photography allows you to document generations. From grandparents to grandchildren, these photos tell a multi-generational story, highlighting the passage of time and the continuity of love and traditions.
- Reflection and Growth: Looking through your family photo albums can be an emotional journey. You can see how your family has grown, both in terms of the number of family members and their personal growth. This reflection can be deeply moving and inspiring.
- Positive Interaction: During a photoshoot, family members interact in positive and supportive ways. These interactions can translate into improved relationships and a more harmonious family life.
- Improved Communication: The process of discussing and planning family photos can lead to improved communication within the family. It encourages members to collaborate and express their preferences and ideas.
- Reducing Stress: Engaging in a fun and creative activity like a family photoshoot can reduce stress and anxiety. It provides an opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment.
In essence, family photos serve as a visual diary of a family’s journey through life, helping to strengthen relationships, preserve memories, and provide a sense of identity and connection across generations. They are a tangible representation of the love and experiences shared within a family.
My passion for making families happy through family photography I hope contributes to these psychological benefits. It has always been incredibly important to me that what I do has a positive impact on the emotional well-being of every family I meet and photograph.
Being with people is how I recharge. I can literally feel my cup filling when I am with people and most of all families. I have a fair amount of experience with families, over 30 years of talking with and photographing them. Similar to a hairdresser I have had many in-depth conversations with people about their lives, their family, their joys, and their struggles. I feel honoured that people feel safe to tell me and I love to be that person to really listen and support and love them.
Seriously I feel so lucky to still be doing what I love, photographing families and knowing how important it is on so many levels.
Are family portraits important? Yes!!! I would recommend doing family photos very few years, check out more in my gallery.
Lots of love,