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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?