What do we take family photographs for? What do we do with them?
We live in a digital age now where our lives are documented and shown online for all to see. We photograph the highlights of our days and they show up on the timelines of our friends and family on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Most of us have camera phones we pull out to snap our kids, pets, family and even our food. It's a normal thing now to snap a picture for the tiniest thing and share it. Then we back them up to a hard drive, or they get lost on a disk, or they eventually show back up on your Timehop app or Facebook memories. The pleasure of that photograph lasts for the few minutes it takes someone to click "like" or comment that your child is so cute, or they are jealous of what you are doing.
Do you remember the days when you used to hand in a spool to get developed; the excitement of seeing what came back. Didn't you just love going up Granny's loft and pulling out the big box of old photos. Having a good rummage through and all the amazing memories that come back of those loved and lost, the summers spent with family, the awkwardness of your youth. Holding those photos in your hand to stare at and just remember, it's a lovely thing and one that we don't do enough now.
We don't take photographs for ourselves, we take them for our children. Every day photography is just that, photographing the every day things that happen. When you book a family shoot you are dedicating time to your children and saying that you want special photographs of them, you want to remember them at a particular time in their lives, the stage of growing up they are experiencing, their relationships with their siblings and other family members. You want photographs that say "this is who we are, we're a family and we love each other and we want to remember this". But, you'll likely get them on a USB and then that will sit in a drawer. When we show clients their images on a screen we love seeing their reactions, but when we show them a print of that photo their "wow" turns into "WOW". Research has shown that displaying your child's picture in the home can boost their self esteem. There's a great article here explaining the ins and outs of it. The basis of our blog post today is to encourage you to print your images and display them on your wall. There's no piece of wall art you can buy in a shop which will evoke the same emotions in you as a beautiful portrait image of your child. And your child seeing that having pride of place in your home will help them feel valued and proud.
On a personal level, we are photographers, we take photos ALL the time, but that's because photography isn't just a job to us, it's our passion. And we have the best models in our kids. Our boys aren't as forthcoming as our daughter when we pull out the camera but that's something we love about them and their images don't need to be full smiles and posed for us to be proud to display them. Our home is FULL of our children's photos. So much so that a short while ago they all walked around counting how many of each of them were up on the walls so they could figure out who was our favourite. Doesn't that just completely back up the research?
Print your photos. Show your child that you love them. And have the most unique art to you that you can't buy in a shop.