Why should you update your family portraits?
I’ve written and posted on social media about all the reasons we don’t update our family portraits each year. We all know the excuses: I need to lose weight. Money’s tight. We might add to our family in the next year. The list goes on and on. What I’d like to talk about is the reasons why you should update those portraits right now.
It’s been a few years (or decades) since your last family portrait.
We’re all guilty of it. Life gets busy, and before you know it, that family portrait hanging over the fireplace is 5 or 10 or 20 years old. Even if it’s been only a few years, I am willing to bet something has changed since your last family portrait session.
You’ve added new family members
A new baby, adoption, fostering, marriage, or even a new furbaby – it’s time to capture these new members of your family and celebrate them. It’s a well-documented theory that families who see their portraits displayed in their homes feel a closer bond, and children who see their portraits feel more loved and cherished.
They’re only little for a short time
All parents know this universal truth: Children grow up too fast. I want to remember every age of my daughter’s childhood. I want to remember those first steps, her goofy hair as a toddler, her jack-o-lantern grin in elementary school, and especially how close we are. Soon, my girl will be off to college, and I don’t want to forget these years.
You have an announcement to make
Are you expecting? Getting married? Moving? A family portrait is the perfect time to not only preserve these moments in your family history, but also have a fun and memorable way to announce changes.
Preserve your family history
Maybe you’re seeing a theme here. Your family has a story, and a history. Family portraits are the best way to preserve that history for future generations. Let’s be honest – family portraits aren’t really for you, at least not entirely. You will love your photographs, and you will cherish them, but who will get the most benefit from the portraits you take today? Your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren. Fifty years from now, your grandchildren will still have those printed portraits to look back on and see who grandma and grandpa were, what they looked like, where they lived, what they enjoyed, etc. My most prized possessions are my portraits that include my father and grandparents.
You only get the family together once or twice a year
Each fall and winter, I get dozens of inquiries from families who are together for the holidays. A common thread seems to be that these families rarely get everyone together in the same location, so it makes sense to have an extended family portrait taken to capture all of the generations together. It’s similar for my family – we are rarely all together at the same time, so we definitely take advantage to capture photos of those occasions! (And yes – I specialize in extended family sessions as well!)
You’ve moved, or redecorated your home
Perhaps you had a family portrait session last year, but since then you’ve moved to a new city, or state, or updated your home. This makes a great opportunity to capture your new surroundings in your new locale, or to create portraits that reflect your updated decor. I’m happy to visit your home and help make suggestions for timeless portraits that will also look stunning in your home!
The holidays are almost here!
Yes, that means holiday cards, gifts for family and friends. Grandma wants an updated portrait of the kids. Aunt Mary, who lives 1,500 miles away and has never met the “baby” of the family who is now 4, would love to receive that holiday card with a recent portrait. The fall leaves may be almost gone, but there are still many ways to capture lovely portraits in the winter (and it can be a lot of fun, too! Can you say Hot Chocolate Stand?!?).
Finally, WHY NOT?
Yes, I know that you have reasons to wait, but the reasons to update your family portrait right now outweigh any of those old excuses. Your family is valuable, right? Family portraits are an investment in YOU.
I know choosing a family portrait photographer is important. It isn’t a decision you make lightly. I would love to talk about how we can plan the perfect portrait session for your family and home. There is still time for family portraits before the holidays – so let’s talk about updating yours!
An Intimate Ft. Belvoir Wedding Day
Natalie + Chris had been planning this day for months. I first met Natalie several months before that, as she is one of our favorite makeup artists! In talking about wedding planning, and how stressful it can be, we started talking about photography for her day. At first, they weren’t sure they wanted a photographer, or needed one. Their wedding day was going to be small and intimate – attended by just their closest friends and family. I encouraged Natalie to look around and check out what her options were, because I knew she put in a lot of hard work, even if her wedding wasn’t grand on scale. I would hate for all those memories to not be captured!
After a few chats about weddings and photography, she asked me if I could photograph her wedding – and of course I said YES!! I was excited that they had chosen to document their day, and flattered that they asked me to do it! (I know you’ve all heard it before – the one, ONE, regret I have about my wedding day isn’t that it was just my husband and I at a courthouse, it is that I don’t have a SINGLE photo of those moments.) Capturing your wedding day, no matter the size, is so important, and I am thrilled that Natalie + Chris will have these images forever.
The ceremony at Ft. Belvoir was perfect. Getting to know the two of them through working together and their engagement session, I knew they were both a bit goofy, and loved to laugh. Their vows were both sweet and fun. And you can’t miss those grins on their faces! There was a lot of kissing during our portrait session following the ceremony. The National Harbor was the perfect place for a little fun – even if the wind was a little annoying. After some fun around National Harbor, we returned to their home for a small reception with their guests. I really could not have imagined a better way for them to end their day! Hope you had a great time on your honeymoon!! Thank you for inviting me to capture your wedding!
Holly + Chris’ Navy and White Fall Wedding
Can I please just say how perfect the Hotel Monaco is for a wedding?!? I love this venue! The fun colors, decor, and amazing staff made Holly + Chris’ wedding day absolutely wonderful. The weather couldn’t have been better. From the minute I met Holly + Chris last winter, I knew their wedding was going to be fun. Apparently, this day has been a long time coming (or so I hear from their family and friends.) Well, I can say it was worth the wait!
At the last minute, we learned that their wedding was falling on the same weekend as the King Street Art Fair. The crowds certainly made things a little more interesting, and we had to come up with an alternate plan for photos, but everything worked out beautifully. While my associate photographer grabbed photos of Chris and his friends getting ready, I stuck with the girls on the other side of the hotel. It was a bit tricky trying to coordinate everything without having them bump into one another! Holly + Chris opted to do a first look without the look – Chris was so nervous!! (But it was one of my favorite parts of their wedding day!) Holly was cool and composed until it was time to put her veil on, when it suddenly became real that she was finally getting married to her sweetheart. I think a few of us were crying along with her! (Remember, ladies – blot, don’t wipe those tears away!)
Surrounded by friends and family, they declared their love in a romantic courtyard ceremony. Holly’s younger sister (a bridesmaid) sang Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years while Holly and her father walked down the aisle. It was so incredibly sweet, and she is very talented! After their exchange of vows and rings, their exit did not disappoint! Chris high-fived everyone on their way back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.!
Following the ceremony, it was time for a few quick photos, then on to the party! The DJ kept everyone moving all night long, as did the dessert buffet and late night snack bar! I left happily exhausted and content. What a fun, fabulous, gorgeous day for a wedding! Thank you for choosing me as your wedding photographer, Holly + Chris! Love you both, and wish you many decades of happiness and good times!
It’s October!!! I can hardly believe it! October is usually the busiest month of the year for family & couples photography. My clients are thinking ahead to the holidays, and want to take advantage of our beautiful fall days. This time of year, it’s easy to find the perfect location, but it’s a little harder to find what to wear! Whether you are dressing two or six or more, here are some easy tips and ideas for your portrait session! Haven’t scheduled your annual portrait session yet? Click here!
Dressing for Family & Couples Photography Sessions
- Don’t match everyone exactly! No more white shirts and jeans! You want timeless photos, and the perfectly matched polo shirts with khaki pants or jeans will surely make your images appear dated. Instead, look for coordinating colors, and not matching colors.
- Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color in an accessory! Whether that is a bright scarf for mom, fun shoes for the kids, or something like a statement necklace, don’t hesitate to brighten your photos up with an accent color. Some of my favorites are magenta and yellow!
- Take it easy on patterns. A few patterns here and there are ok. Texture is actually amazing in portraits, but you don’t want to overdo the patterns or clash!
- Layers, layers, layers! This is the perfect time of year to layer a cardi over your favorite shirt or dress. You can even layer leggings with tall boot socks and your fave boots. Men look sharp in button down shirts with a sweater vest and sportsjacket. Add a scarf or puffer vest to a more casual jeans look.
- Consider both your portrait location and your home decor! Planning on displaying your updated family portrait above the fireplace? If your home is decorated mainly in neutrals, you will want to keep your color palette neutral in wardrobe as well. Taking pictures in a wooded area with lots of yellow and red leaves? Then avoid super bright summery colors and choose jewel tones or browns instead.
- Skip all black or all white – especially for children. There is a trend in holiday clothing for children – almost everything is white, black and red. Unfortunately, these colors are extremely severe-looking on most people, but even more severe on children.
- Stay true to your comfort zone. Not a cocktail attire kind of couple? Then skip the pearls and find your favorite sweater instead!
- When shopping for the kids, try stores that offer “lines” of clothing in a variety of sizes. My favorite is Gymboree, because it is easy to dress multiple kids in coordinating outfits that look great in photos. (Also try Janie & Jack!)
- Last tip – for children, please be sure that the clothing and shoes fit properly. What could otherwise be a wonderful, adorable family photo can instantly be ruined by ill-fitting clothing. I understand wanting clothing to “last a while” on your kids, but the annual family photo session is not a time you want to buy a size big! (This is particularly true for shoes – which can also be dangerous when too large! And remember to allow time to break new shoes in!)
If any of you are visual, like I am, here are some great guides put together based on Pantone’s colors for the season. While these guides show adult male and female pairings, they offer great guidance to consider for the kids and even high school seniors as well!
I still have a few spots open for family and couples photography this fall! Contact me today at 410.921.9232 or schedule your session at this link! Currently, there is ONE remaining space for Fall Mini Sessions on October 18th – book it while you can. These limited edition sessions will be held in one of the most beautiful locations in Howard County, Maryland – near my studio in Savage Mill. Every year the color in this spot is stunning, and a popular choice for my clients. See you soon!