Family portraits are without any doubt a luxury, something that you do maybe once every three or four years. This got me pondering over the times and mile stones in a family's life, when would a portrait would be a most poignant?
Here are my six most popular occasions.
A new baby or pooch is an incredibly important time in any family and defiantly a time to be recorded. So often clients will tell me they chose to update a family portrait because their younger sibling is always asking why they aren't in the picture on the wall! Of course if you get a new puppy it will just as important and part of the family too.
Little ones starting school or taking their first steps is a huge occasion. It goes without saying a rollercoaster of emotions for parents too. We are so proud at how grown up they become, and yet still so fragile as we see them walk through the school gates for the very first time. Yes that melancholy feeling that time is passing by all to quickly. Years after they step through those school gates for the first time, clients again call to arrange a portrait before their children disappear to University or College. So a change of school is a fabulous time to update portraits because people do change every four or five years, more so our little ones.
When my parents celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Their wedding album was out on display at the party and was being looked through by guests all evening. I wish we’d had a Family Portrait to mark the occasion.
When else in life do we stop time for a day in that same way, and say "This was our family now on our parents anniversary?” a family album of us as a family right now seems a fabulous update to the Finch story! I might just have to make it happen!
Last Summer I photographed a family who had their eldest daughter over from Australia, with her new family for the first time since since she’d left home on an adventure years before. It was a magical time for them all and they wanted a new family portrait to remember the occasion. They ordered a portrait for the wall and an album of the smaller family groups and their grand children. Beautiful reminders of a wonderful time together as a whole family.
Here in Loughton, we're so lucky to have so many beautiful places nearby that we can easily visit. During the spring, new flowers are popping up all over the woodland, including bluebells and lavender fields. In the autumn the colours are truly incredible. Then Winter falls it has it’s crisp low light and frost in the air. Using the scenery around us we can create wonderful backdrops which have personal meanings specially for family portraits, using colour and textures to really bring your photographs alive.
How often do we look for reasons to do something, to justify why we should go somewhere, or buy something we simply want, to make us happy? We spend so long trying to decide, rationalise, then don’t get around to doing anything. If it’s not something we really need, it’s easy to put it to the back of our mind and leave it for another time. Sometimes though when it’s something we've wanted for a while and will also give us pleasure for years to come, committing to it and spending the money feels wonderful too!
You'll never regret photographs you've had taken, only the ones you didn't.
So here’s my top six reasons for having a family portrait taken. Tell me yours!