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“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” ~Dorthea Lange
True confession time…I am a sentimental sap. Shocking, I know. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that knows me that I LOVE looking at photographs. I love the nostalgia of the black and white and sepia toned photos of my grandparents’ and parents’ early years. I love the memories encapsulated in my own poorly composed snapshots. When my dad lost his battle with cancer in 2011, I clung to every photo I had of him. I grieved that I hadn’t captured every second he and my oldest son shared together. That loss made me feel all the more acutely the importance of capturing every important moment shared with a loved one. I am painfully aware that there may not always be another opportunity.
There’s something missing
So you can imagine my horror when flipping through pictures shortly after Harrison was born and observing a huge something missing from all of those adorable new baby photos. Oh, there were a plethora of pictures of the new baby. We had adorable photos of the beaming big brother, proudly fawning over his new sibling. There were the stolen, intimate moments of daddy, cuddling his boy, the love and pride radiating from every shot. Photos of the grandparents, and the aunts, and the uncles, and the cousins were plentiful. What there WASN’T were pictures of mom. I am quite certain that was my own fault in the beginning. I had just given birth, and while you may be radiating that “new mom glow,” you’re also rocking that “new mom pudge” and that ravaged “I-just-pushed-a-watermelon-through-a-button-hole”look. That doesn’t always translate into a beautiful picture.
But then I started noticing all of our photos, and I realized that I am rarely in the pictures. No doubt I am not the only mom that has made this realization. I know that I am the nostalgic one. Those sentimental moments that need to be captured jump out at me. Therefore I am the one to capture them. I pull out the phone at random times to catch those candid, intimate moments. Because I am the one behind the camera, I am not IN the pictures. But I also recognize the sadness I feel when I can’t find good photos of my dad and I together, and I don’t want my boys to feel that loss.
The importance of scheduling family photos
Because of that, I schedule family photos. For years we had a former student and dear family friend, Victoria Johnson of Tori Jean Photography, take our photos. I have known Tori since she was a freshman in my English classroom and she has grown into such an amazing woman and a fantastic photographer. But she got married and moved to Wisconsin, and our busy schedules meant that this year we had to search for someone new. When I stumbled onto the Facebook advertisement of Danielle Zoll with Faith Fotography, one look at her website proved that she would be perfect to capture our family. I booked our fall mini session right away. The reaction I would get when I informed my family of the exciting news was inevitable. It would be cause for my husband to grumble, and my boys to whine and moan, but these photos are IMPORTANT to me. T
he moment that we met Danielle in Tower Grove Park, I knew that these would be fantastic pictures. She made us laugh, and she made the boys feel comfortable. She was able to get the best and most natural sides of us. I am painfully aware that someday our boys will be grown. They will have lives and families of their own, and I will long for the days that I could dress us all up in coordinating outfits. And someday, hopefully much, much farther down the road, I will not be here, and I want my boys to be able to flip through the family photos and have these memories to cling to. Family photos look cute on those seasonal cards, but they are so much more than that. They are a way to mark this year down for posterity’s sake. They remind us of the love and laughter of this period in our lives. It might not seem important now, but I promise…someday, it will be.
Check out Tori Jean Photography
https://www.facebook.com/torijeanphoto/ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Faith Fotography https://www.facebook.com/FaithFotographySTL/ in St. Louis, Missouri and schedule your family photos today!