3 reasons to suck it up for your family - take that picture now!

April 15, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I've updated an older blog that still has relevancy today. In this crazy time where we're all stuck together in a small space, we need to remember what's important in our lives: Each other. This is a historical time we're living through, good or bad, and we need to document our time together. I know your hair is a mess, and you haven't put on makeup for two weeks. You're probably still in your PJs. But you NEED to get that picture.

Moms, this is mostly for you, since we are the ones who are typically guilty of this...but there's a good message in here for you dads, as well.
It's time for you to suck it up for the sake of your family. Take those pictures. 4 reasons why:

1. It isn't really about you.

One of the most common statements I hear, particularly from moms, is, "When I lose weight, I'm going to hire you for family pictures." I REALLLLLY get this. I've been trying to "lose weight" for 20 years. Every winter, I say, "I'm going to lose ___ lbs by summer so I can get a cute bathing suit." And every summer I say, "Well that didn't happen. I'm going to lose ____ lbs by winter so I don't look like a cow in my winter coat."

Every. Single. Year. since I had kids.

The thing is, these pictures aren't just for you. Your family NEEDS them. What will they have when you've passed on? We don't like to talk about death, but it's inevitable. Does your family have pictures they can hang on their walls to show their children, grandchildren, etc? Do they have something of quality they can pass down through the generations? Does a memory of you pop up in their phones while they're scrolling? Do your pictures show your family's personality, engaging together and having fun?

selfie with my husbandHubby's Christmas Party

A few years ago, my oldest daughter (after having been denied for a selfie with me for the millionth time) complained with obvious disappointment, "Mom, I have ZERO pictures with you." I quickly dismissed her with some statement about how we have several pictures together and left it at that. But then as that conversation kept running through my head over the next few days, I realized it wasn't true. My daughter (who was 14 when she made that statement) was SEVEN years old in the last family picture I could find of us. Seven. And that was a backyard snapshot taken by my mother-in-law. I, a professional photographer, had NO professional pictures of my family and only ONE snapshot. I immediately reached out to and hired a local photographer to remedy this issue. But it's more than having a wall-worthy image. Your kids want something on their phones, their Instagram accounts, etc. Your spouse wants something on his desk at work. How can we deny them this request? They want photos of US? There are much worse things your kid could otherwise be posting on social media. Now my daughter says multiple times as she scrolls through her phone, "Mom! We take such great selfies together!" We sure do sweetie.

So suck it up, mom. Get in the picture.

selfie with my daughtersenior photo session

2. Your family thinks you're beautiful.

We will always be our worst critic. But our kids don't see us the same way we do. I remember a year ago, I went to bed with wet hair because I was too lazy to dry it. (I mean, I do that all the time, but this memory is from a year ago.) When I let my hair dry naturally, it creates a funky wavy look ESPECIALLY when I sleep on it - so I woke up with what can only be described as Medusa hair. I came out with coffee in hand and sat on the couch, as I heard my daughter say, "Oh my gosh mommy, you look so pretty with your curly hair!" Listen people, I looked like crap. No lie. And it's not like she's a little toddler who doesn't understand fashion - she was 18 years old at the time! But our children see us with a different pair of eyes than we do. They think we're beautiful. Give them something to hold on to.

Get in the picture.

Beauty & the Beast selfie with my hubbyDisney trip with my love

3. You're teaching your daughter to hate her appearance.

Your daughter (and your son) is gorgeous. You know it. Her dad knows it. But she doesn't. She's going through that self-conscious stage when she feels awkward and pressured to look perfect. And you're reinforcing that insecurity when you tell her you won't take a picture with her because you don't have on make-up, or you're not dressed well enough. You're embedding the idea in her head that there's a such thing as "too ugly for photos". You're ensuring that awful but contagious lie that "I'm not good enough". Show her that you're beautiful and she's beautiful and he's handsome. So here I am, in all my makeup-less glory...

Get in the picture.

selfie with the man childLove this boy

my camikins and me Disney selfie =)

4. This is a historical time in your life.

Good, bad, ugly...regardless, this time is something you've never experienced before and God-willing, may never experience again. An event that has turned virtually the entire planet upside down. When you talk about this with your future generations, they'll want to see the evidence, the pictures. Get those pictures wearing your mask. Capture the kids next to a pile of toilet paper. Call your favorite photographer to do a front porch session. =)

And. get. in. that. picture.


Here's a couple bonus tips for you:

Hire a professional and talk to her/him about your concerns. Experienced professionals know how to pose you to achieve a more flattering look and help minimize your concerns. Then, if and when you really do lose the weight - take family pictures AGAIN! What a success story you'll have...

HAVE FUN! Don't stress about making sure everyone is looking and smiling perfectly, all at the same time. Have fun together. Crack jokes. Laughter causes authentic smiles, not forced "are we done yet" smiles. Engaging with each other brings out your family's personality and creates memories. Those are the best times to take pictures!

Take the selfie.

Hire the photographer.

Hang the picture on your wall.

Enjoy the moments, captured forever.


Jacksonville family portraitsLeonard Family PortraitLeonard Family Portrait  



And suck it up, mom...this one's for them.


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About the photographer:

Kellea is a lifestyle photographer, specializing in family and high school senior portraits. She's located in Jacksonville, FL, but often travels to clients in various parts of the country, including Atlanta, Memphis, Destin, Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.



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