My heart for family sessions | Milwaukee Family Photographer

My heart for family sessions | Milwaukee Family Photographer

When you look back at this time in your life what do you want to remember about your family? When your kids are grown and out of your house what do you want to remember about this exact period in your life? Go ahead take a minute and think about it, in fact, write it down or at least mentally write it down.

Now I don’t know what you  wrote down but I will tell you what I wrote down about my family. What I want to remember is my kids being little, how they have such funny and silly personalities. I want to remember what an amazing dad my husband is to them. I want to remember our dance parties and tickle wars. I want to remember their laughs, how our daughter almost pees her pants because she is so ticklish and all it takes is hearing her laugh for us all to laugh.

This is a subject that has been weighing heavily on my heart. As a photographer this is where my heart is, in these genuine connections and emotions. I want to capture families how they really are and I truly believe when you get down to the heart of every mom and dad this is really what they want. But then why doesn’t this always happen? Is it because you are so focused on your outfits that you spent hours and hours stressing over not getting dirty? Is it because you know you are spending money on them? Is it because you really just want one you can use for your Christmas card? or is it because you see all these “pins” on pinterest that you want to try to recreate?

Let me give you an example of what I am referring to…

Here is a wonderful photo of my family

IMG_8651-2Everyone is looking at the camera, everyone is smiling, but what does it say about us? Does it make you feel anything?

Now here is another image from the same day

photos by: Lovely.Life.Photography

Can you see the difference? This is who we really are, THIS is what I want to remember. This photo is actually blown up on a canvas and is hanging in our family room.

Wedding photographers understand this concept of connection and they capture it beautifully so why does it need to be different when capturing family photos?

My mission going forward with all of my family sessions is to be true to my vision as a photographer and to capture families as genuinely as I can. Now, this will require my clients to cooperate and to understand my vision and most importantly to trust me.  So, when booking a family session with me this is what I have to tell you, and I am not going to sugar coat it.

Moms and dads, I will expect you to be silly and goofy with your kids, that is your #1 job.  You are not allowed to threaten your kids with “you won’t get ice cream after this” you are not allowed to tell them to “look at the camera and say cheese” (unless I tell you to). I will expect you to tickle, whisper, kiss your kids and each other, sing, dance, and smile. I will expect you to be happy and to leave thinking “that was fun.” If you don’t like doing these things then I am not the photographer for you.
Moms, you are not allowed to worry about outfits once you get to the session, people want to see your beautiful family, this is not the red carpet, the fashion police will not be commenting on what you wore. And please relax!!!! You are rarely in photos with your kids, you are always the one taking the pictures so take this opportunity to eat it up! Your kids love you, your husband loves you and they want to see you in their family photos. I don’t care if haven’t had enough time to hit the gym, because guess what? In 20 years that won’t matter, your 2 year old will be 22 and what will matter is that you are in the photos. Everyone thinks you are beautiful, see it in yourself now.

Dads, you are not allowed to be grumpy. I do not care if you want to be in these photos, because I have heard a thousand times that “my wife is making me do this” and I know you have a million other things you could be doing. But, guess what? You are your kids idol right now, they are looking to your attitude towards this session and judging how they should respond and act. I have seen dads get upset and frustrated with their little ones and it honestly breaks my heart because this is supposed to be fun! I want your kids to look back and think “wow that was so fun!” You getting upset with your kiddos will not make them look at the camera and smile, it will make them shut down. So take a shot, take a nap, have some coffee, do whatever you gotta do to have fun at this session. And I have a little secret for you….having a good attitude towards this will win you major points with your wife….just sayin.

If you can do these things I promise to give you a gallery with images that will make you smile and maybe even cry. And YES I will get those standard everyone looking and smiling but I would be willing to bet those will not be your favorites of the session…but you will get them, and you can use them for your Christmas card if you’d like.

So there it is, my heart for family photography. I will leave you with some of my favorite genuine family shots.

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I only do a limited amount of family sessions per month, to find out more about availability and pricing please contact me! I look forward to working with you and capturing amazing memories for your family.