Of course I’ll take a beautiful family portrait with all of you smiling at the camera prettily… but I bet you I’ll take ones you’ll love even more. Like the one of this mama and her husband and their three wild and amazing little boys.
I call it the Christmas card photograph. You know what I mean… the one that makes it onto the front of your Christmas card and the one the grandparents are always asking for.
So why won’t it be your favourite?
The Christmas card photograph shows what everyone looks like. It shows Johnny at 6 with his missing tooth and Susie at 4 with her hair curled nicely. And there’s nothing wrong with that; I have one of my family from each year. But I would so much rather my photographs tell the story of who you are, and not just what you look like.
As a family, we aren’t always sitting serenely, smiling at the camera. And I’m guessing your family isn’t either.
We’re a family who cuddles and laughs. We’re a mama and her little girl who have a dance party while the boys roughhouse, until my little girl decides to pile on top and join in.
What’s your family like, mama, and is it reflected in your photographs?
I wrote last week about how, above all else, I want each member of my family to know that they are truly cherished and loved. And the photograph that hammers that message home isn’t the one with all of us trying to be perfect. It’s the one of all us loving on each other.
Most of all, mama, I want you to look at the family photographs on your wall and feel. I want you to feel joy and love and gratitude and goodness. I want the photograph to bring tears to your eyes because your family is so amazing and you just love them and their crazy ways so flippin’ much.
So yes, I’ll happily take your Christmas card photo. You can send it to the grandparents and your second cousin and whoever else is on your Christmas card list. But more importantly, I’ll take the photo that will make you laugh (and cry).
P.S. I know the littles just started back to school and Christmas seems really far off but if you want your photographs in time for Christmas, the studio cut-off date is November 22nd. Since Vancouver weather can be a little iffy in November, book your session for October to give yourself lots of time!