Why Family Photos Are Special to Me

At around the end of March, I took photos for a family who requested that I keep all of their photos completely private. In fact they asked that I didn’t even put them on the Internet. At all. Many photographers would be distressed by this because they were hoping to build their portfolio, but in my case, after 15 years, I’m okay with it. I can accommodate name changes or complete privacy for client services. I would be happy to do so for any family, and there’s no additional charge for it, except for purchasing a simple USB for delivery. I’m just trying to meet people’s needs.

Now, just because I can’t show you any images doesn’t mean I can’t tell you something about the experience of the images in my mind.

I always love it when a couple really shows their love for each other and their family. The warm glow that I experienced on this occasion from seeing the essence of family shown in real life is an experience I’d never trade for anything.

There’s something about the pure joy of parents with a child that always lights my soul on fire.

My mind is filled with these moments from other sessions, too, as I think about it. When that child is young and learning to walk or older and laughing uncontrollably. When they’re being tickled or even sometimes sulky teenagers that the parents are just okay with…

There’s a joy in family portraits that I find addictive. Even though most of the work in my portfolio is with corporate now, working business to business and creating professional branding photography for corporations, I still love those brief moments with families that make me smile with the joy of time together. So today instead of showing you a bunch of photographs that I can’t show you and won’t out of respect for these people, I’m just going to tell you about the things I remember. The stories that form little pictures in my mind, little moments from times long gone now. Smiles. Laughter. Silliness. Those carefree moments of pure togetherness.

I find as I get older and my life is stressful I tend to forget moments that matter. I rely pretty heavily on my personal phone for taking the photos of those moments and sometimes when I forget them, I regret it quite a bit. It is one of the true joys of being a photographer to actually capture moments like that for people in a professional manner so they can’t forget the good times they shared – or lose their images, with my sophisticated backup system in place.

I’ve heard the phrase “unforgettable moment” but I don’t really believe it. Not anymore. Everything is forgettable to some degree. Our memories degrade. For some of us who get really unlucky, they degrade even more.

Photography is one of the ways we as a society deal with that and it’s something that I love being a part of.

If it has been a long time since you’ve had family photos, especially if you’re the main family photographer, and you’re not usually in the photos of the family, I sincerely encourage you get some professional family portraits done soon.

And every time you remember, when something great is happening, hand your phone off to your spouse or friend sometimes. You never know which photograph is going to be the one that you will remember forever and come back to again and again.

Note: No photos attached to this post belong to the family whose photos were kept private.

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