Think About the Big Picture: Family

Capturing our family at Portrait Innovations. -


Isn’t it funny how we become such creatures of habit? As technology improves, we continue to have more opportunities to be productive. Many of us conduct a vast amount of business using our mobile devices.  Seldom do we miss capturing a moment, because we have a camera everywhere we carry our phone. That’s so much different than the way it used to be. Cameras were intended for special occasions, travel and family events. Now it is completely different.

  • Baby’s first steps: captured it on video
  • That beautiful sunrise: grabbed the mobile phone
  • Birthday parties: archived using the DSLR
  • Ran into an old friend: selfie with the cell

Do you know how many photos are taken each day? A lot. As of 2013, over 200 million photos were uploaded each day to Facebook alone. Two… hundred… million. The pet, the landscape, food, the latest *whatever* purchased. The list goes on.

We snap pictures of all kinds of things. Everything except the entire family. -

Does anyone besides me recognize what is missing from the big picture? Family. I’m not talking about the hundreds of photos you snapped while the kids were opening presents or hunting for Easter eggs or even just enjoying the lunch. Specifically, I’m referring to the entire family: A photo with the whole family in the same photo.

I am very guilty of this. Every time I fill out an application or form of some sort that requests a photo of our family, I need to dig through to see if I can find one that someone else may have snapped of all of us together. The last time we had formal family portraits – one of with all of us in it taken by someone who classifies photography as their profession – was when our oldest daughter was still in diapers. She’s 12 now. The only reason we had THAT one was because my parents insisted on a photo of the entire family and all the grandchildren together. Can you relate? Since that time, we’ve added a daughter, a nephew and my new sister-in-law.

That brings me to the stark reality of the situation: Since our youngest wasn’t even born during that gathering, there isn’t a single professional photograph of our entire immediate family. Well, there wasn’t until now. While we have not coordinated photos that included the extended family yet, we do have some of all the individuals currently living under this roof. These are photos that include myself, my husband and BOTH our beautiful daughters all in the same photograph.

Capturing our family at Portrait Innovations. -

We also opted for some shots with just the girls (by themselves as well as together), some with my husband and I together and even some with each of us with the girls. The results took my breath away, filled me with delight and made me sad all at the same time.

Capturing our family at Portrait Innovations. - SahmReviews.comCapturing our family at Portrait Innovations. -

What I quickly came to realize and regret is that I hadn’t taken the time to capture moments of when the girls had baby fat, I didn’t have wrinkles and there were less pounds on us. It wasn’t that I thought it was too expensive; it’s simply that I didn’t take the time.

Actually, the price isn’t bad at all. There are packages at Portrait Innovations ranging from $20 to thousands. For less than the cost of dinner for the four of us, we could have easily scheduled a quick photo some random day, showed up wearing our Sunday best then left a short time later with our memory captured on film and paper. For that matter, I actually think a photo in our everyday clothes, showing who we truly are, would have been perfect. That’s the only regret I have about this particular sitting. I wish I had brought a change of clothes for all of us so we could just be ourselves in some of the photos.

Capturing our family at Portrait Innovations. -

The process wasn’t stressful at all and actually was a lot of fun. Our photographer joked around with all of us, laughed with us and even subjected himself to a little humiliation to keep the mood light and make sure the photo was staged correctly. Princess pose lessons, anyone?

Our Portrait Innovations photographer made sure we knew how to pose. -

I regret that I only have the one professional family photo from all those years ago and wish I had made an effort to get photos of us – even when we didn’t fit our ideal mold. I may have been heavier at points in my life (or not). I may have had my natural hair color (or not.) No doubt I would have had fewer wrinkles. I have professional photos of the girls as babies, toddlers, kids and tweens, but there aren’t any that show what my husband and I looked like alongside them during those various points in time. We cannot go back and recapture those moments now. We can look forward to opportunities ahead of us because I don’t plan to make this mistake again. As a matter of fact, the next time my Mother-in-law comes in from out of town, we can work this into the schedule. There won’t be guilt about missing out again. We’ll be capturing the entire picture with everyone in it.

When was your last real family photograph?

23 thoughts on “Think About the Big Picture: Family

    1. When the girls were little, we got inexpensive packages at mass merchandisers. But we never considered having an entire family photo. SO worth it and the prices as Portrait Innovations were as good as the less professional places!

  1. Luckily we have had pictures taken regularly, as we are a military family, and I have a crazy photo-obsessed aunt.
    It is super important to document each season of your life!

  2. I just LOVE pictures of my family so I do this semi-regularly, even though they grumble about it. I think what clinched the deal for me was when I had professional headshots taken for my blog. Even though it was less than $50 bucks, I felt so self-conscious paying to have pictures taken of just ME, but the results were amazing. With a professional photographer, just the right posts, right outfit, right light, they came out fantastic and I use them EVERYWHERE. That really got my attention to see the difference a real photographer can make. I just had my son’s Senior pictures done at a studio and it was totally World War III to get him cleaned up enough and get them taken, but now he’s really happy with them and wanted some to give his girlfriend. I have a whole post on my blog about the importance of headshots and business cards, not just for bloggers, but for everyone. Found you on #Triberr

    1. Thanks for the insight, Adrian. Yes, photos are important. I’ve always been snap happy with the kids and pay for school pictures, etc. But the whole family… it just never occurred to me! So glad we finally did it. And yes, the professional photo I had done for my professional headshot makes me feel proud. And happy. They work magic, don’t they?!

  3. Love your family pictures! We’re lucky and have a professional photographer in the family who sets up the entire extended family and all the individual families every year at our family christmas get together. They either go up on fb for everyone to copy or are given to everyone on dvd. It is so great to look back at all the these pictures and see all the kids growing up and the families expanding…great for future genealogists too.

  4. what a lovely family 🙂 The last time we had a family photo was when my grandfather was still alive. My mom is a single parent and I’m an only child, so there’s only the two of us. She doesn’t like taking pictures, but I take pictures with her when I get the chance. Getting your photos taken by a professional photographer and in a studio is still different. Memories are best captured in a paper film and keep it in an album.

  5. I love professional family photos. These are all so gorgeous! My sister does amazing photos but lives a bit away from us so we haven’t really gotten ours done. I would love to though, they make beautiful memories.

  6. I do agree with getting family pictures and it is something that we never did either. I will have to see if my adults sons will do it now. It is never too late.

  7. You’re right! Family pictures are so important, we try to have a photographer come to our house every 3 years for family pictures. She does such a good job, it’s totally worth it!

  8. I love family photos but I am so guilty of hiding from them! We used to have a lot of family portraits but got out of the habit with our second child. We are going to book a session for this holiday season 🙂

  9. I think it is good to take good portraits every couple of years. Those pictures are spectacular and will be fun to look back on.

  10. We don’t have any professionally taken family photos and I really feel bad about it. We have some selfies and pictures others have taken, but the quality isn’t really good. I’m thinking on booking a session soon!

    1. There are very inexpensive options (discount packages), Ave. So very worth it. Maybe even consider planning a photo shoot in casual clothes to showcase your personalities. I wish we had more through the years other than the candids taken by people during holidays, etc.

  11. With a new one due in 2 weeks – I know my wife will be wanting professionals done very soon after, especially with the autumn season upon us!

    1. Congratulations, Dave! That’s exciting news. The two of you should go in and get photos of her pregnant. I only have a few of me pregnant at my shower then on the way to the hospital and I actually regret it. Wish I had something professional to be able to show the kids now that they are older. They would get a kick out of it!

      Is it a boy or a girl?

  12. You have a gorgeous family and your happiness really comes across in your photos! We took family pictures two years ago and included my parents and my sister and her family. The photos came out fantastic but kids grow so darn fast that it is time to plan another session!

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