To all the dads who arrive at your family portrait session with a smile on your face… thank you.
I realize family portraits probably aren’t the number one thing on your list of things you want to do that day, or likely even the 37th thing on your list. But the fact that you showed up with a smile means a lot.
When you’re there (somewhat) willingly, the mood of the session changes. Everyone is more relaxed. The jokes come easier. The smiles, a little more ready.
Your whole family settles in more quickly and I get to see the best of all of you, together.
But it’s not just your photographs that are better. Your happy heart (as we call it in our house) for that hour or two has a long-term effect on your children as well.
Displaying family portraits in your home has an acute effect on our child’s sense of self-esteem, acceptance and belonging.
And displaying family portraits of an engaged dad loving his kids? That packs a lot of power.
There have been numerous studies on the impact of an involved father on a child’s life, especially when it comes to daughters. For a girl, having a strong bond with her father helps her self-image and feelings of safety and intrinsic worthiness.
Your smile as you arrive at the session? That smile is going to lead to an amazing, authentic, connected moment between you and your kids and hour from now. And that moment is going to result in the perfect photograph to frame for their room.
Obviously your kids aren’t going to stand staring at the portrait in their room for hours on end each day. But it will register when they wake up, and when they come back into their room after breakfast and again as they turn out their light on the way out the door. And it’s going to register the 20 other times they’re in and out of their room that day.
Day after day, week after week and month after month those moments add up. They reinforce to your kids that you have their back, that you’re their tribe.
That portrait isn’t going to solve all their problems or take away any hardship they’ll face, obviously. But it matters. It matters a lot.
So to all the dads who put a smile on their face and embrace their time in front of my camera (and even go along with my jokes at their expense), thank you.