What do you think about when you read those two words above?
I can tell you that, for me, images of toddler fits, sweaty moms, uncooperative kids, bored husbands, denim shirts, matchy-matchy, posed families, plastered smiles, snotty noses, and horrid backdrops all in an attempt to look happy to be taking photos as family are what I used to think about. Meanwhile, everyone really wants to punch everyone else, including the photographer, in the face.
I've partaken in a few family photo sessions in my time. To be completely honest it was not enjoyable. A lot of stress and scenarios like the above aforementioned situation with results that were disappointing.
However, in the last few years, portrait studios seem to have been traded in for a professional photographer. The professional family photos I've seen coming out of Facebookland are something to be envied. In fact, I appropriately call this envying of photos - get ready - Photo Envy.
I had major photo envy.
And after witnessing the magic that professional photographers are able to create, I started to regret not hiring a professional photographer for many of the most important events in my life.
The magic that's created in these still snap shops can never be recreated. I didn't want any altering of what I look like. I didn't want my children's eyes to be photo shopped beyond recognition. I just wanted photos of my family the way I see them - gorgeous, perfectly imperfect beings that rock my world every day and reach in to the depths of my soul. My heart beat on a page. That's all.
So how was I going to get that? And, a better question...how was I going to sell the idea of a family photo session to my family photo session hating husband? And how was I going to convince him that not only would we have to attend and be the subject of this family photo session, but we also had to pay a good amount for it with no store coupons available?
Husband: "So what do you want for Christmas this year, Honey?"
Yeah, so this year all I wanted for Christmas was professional pictures. And that's what I got last Friday.
After spending a few weeks obsessing over coordinated outfits, colors, location, hair and makeup - all for me, of course - it was finally time.
I gave my husband and teenage son a lecture that went a little something like this. "Don't ruin this for me."
We arrived at the location and met with our fabulous photographer from Sobecki Photography after Facebook stalking her page for two years. We were all dressed up and the sun was to set in an hour. It was time.
There was no stress. There was no sweating. There was no arguing. There were no fake smiles. Everything was easy and effortless. In fact, we were so un-stressed that we decided we wanted to go to dinner because we still actually wanted to hang out with each other afterward.
And I think the whole experience may have converted my husband. Score!
So why are family photos important?
It's a snapshot in time that will never, ever happen again. Kids will grow up so fast. And you never know what tomorrow will bring. Capture now and have it forever. You never know what will change as life ebbs and flows. You never know what will be taken away or permanently gone.
But I can take them myself with my camera.
No, you can't. Not like this.
But I'm fat/I don't like my hair/my face is oily/I have big ears
Just do it. Don't wait to loose the extra twenty pounds. Don't wait because life can change so fast and you will always, always regret not capturing that moment.
But it's expensive.
The money held me back for a while, I admit. It is an investment. But, I'll tell you what, when we were finished and I saw the results, I thought I didn't pay nearly enough for the images I saw staring back at me. Not nearly. They're priceless. It was a steal, as far as I'm concerned.
So, all I'm saying is that this is probably the best Christmas present I have ever or will ever get in my whole entire life. I got exactly what I asked for - pictures of my family the way I see them through my eyes.
And now...my heart beat in photos.
Hire her because she pretty much rocks.