When people ask me what is my specialization in photography the answer is always – the chaos. I love the dynamics of an uncontrollable photo session with a two years old – the chaos per se! I always appreciate having sessions with toddlers (though is it as exhausting as running a marathon) because there is no way you can stop them, control them and tell them what to do. They are absolutely running the show – and this is a perfect set up for your most natural and most favourite family pictures ever.
Chaotic, naughty, funny and even silly pictures will be your favourite – I can assure you! Even families which try to smile and look at the camera through out the session always choose those absolutely authentic pictures of nose kisses, hilarious tickling or cuddling attack. And this makes me happy every time.
Imaging a huge canvas on your wall with five pairs of eyes staring at you with an ecstatic “cheese” expression. It is strange, right? Even if these are your most favourite eyes ever.
So here are some reasons why you need more of the chaos and fun in your family pictures:
1. Those pictures will immediately transport you into the time when your kids were little. They are the quintessence of the childhood. And they will do this in two months, in five years and in twenty. Because THEY ARE TRUE.
2. On bad days they will remind you that IT IS FUN and JOYFUL to have kids and family even if we do not manage to feel it all the time. And they will make you smile and feel warm every time you look at them.
3. If a picture screams at you with emotions you do not care how you look like and this is so liberating. It brings you onto a next level of acceptance. Almost as good as meditating!
4. Your children will have some great moments of joy and love captured, which will become the part of their life story even if they will not have any true memories about these times.
And WAIT I am not only talking about pictures where everyone is smiling and kissing. I am also talking about grumpy face pictures, about soothing pictures, tired pictures and I-am-bored pictures. All kind of those not-so-perfect-pictures. Those pictures also show love and connection between you and your kids.
How Do You Get Them?
First of all you should free your mind from all the family pictures you saw on the pinterest. Those can be great pictures. But you cannot be authentic while you are trying to replicate something, even if it is something authentic. I hope this make sense!
Second, you should think about your family, not about your photographer. A family photo session is the time you spend with your family, not with the photographer. Photographer will guide you and will create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. But photographer cannot make you play and cuddle with your family for real. And you should really do this. You have about one hour of undisturbed time to spend together with people you love. During the photo session there is nothing else for you to do!
Third, you do not need a professional photographer to capture those real moments. You can ask any friend with the camera. But you should really stage it as a photo session and give yourself at least 30 minutes time, so everyone can really get involved.
Repeat it frequently and you will appreciate this experience and the pictures!