Why YOU Should be in Your Family Photographs

As parents, we probably take dozens of photos of our family each week. Our mobile phones are full of cute, funny moments of our little ones, our pets, our partners and random things that make us smile. But how many of those photos are we in as well? Take a second to have a think of the last time that you asked someone to take a picture with you in it too. If you’re anything like me, you’re more comfortable with being behind the lens.

As a family photographer, I absolutely love capturing the special moments and connections during a family photo shoot but have always dreaded the idea of having our own family session as I am so self-critical. It’s not that I don’t want photos of our tribe, I just don’t particularly like the way I look at the moment. I’d really got into exercise after having our little lady, possibly being the fittest I’d ever been, but after injuring my back at the end of 2016 it all went a bit wrong. I’d be stuck on the sofa or in bed, sometimes for days at a time, and the pain was excruciating so exercise was a distant thought. As a result, I’m far heavier than I’d like to be and I quite honestly couldn’t think of anything worse than having to have my picture taken and having to look back at it in years to come.

I know that I’m not alone in feeling like this, there are so many of us that put off having a family photo shoot because we are too self-conscious about the way that we look. We tell ourselves that we will put it off until we have lost weight, we are less tired (who's ever not tired with little ones!?), or we have had our roots done… the list of reasons could go on! Is there truly going to come a day where we miraculously feel amazing about ourselves and would gladly be in front of the camera? Probably not! We must remember that our family does not worry about these things; they love us for who we are. When they are older, they will just want to relive happy memories and see the love that shines through each image.

Our children will grow up so quickly and will want to look back on the memories that we have created as a family. Think how much joy you get from sitting down together and looking through your old family albums from when you were small; I bet they never fail to raise a smile. There’s something wonderful about those old photo albums - laughing at old fashions and our favourite toys from when we were younger, all huddled together around the Christmas tree or various family get-togethers.

Imagine now, for a moment, when your children are older and they look back at pictures of their childhood. Will you feature in them? Will they look as spontaneous? So many of my clients don’t like being in photos – and I understand why – but I think we must remember that our children will want to see us in pictures in the future, smiling and laughing with them and feeling at ease.

With this in mind, I decided that it was time to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and to be in front of the camera for some family portraits of our own. Back in the summer, we headed to London for a family break, so I took the opportunity to book us in for a family shoot with Amanda Jane Dalby, her work is simply beautiful and I knew that we’d come away with images to treasure for a lifetime. Was it easy for me? No. Am I pleased that I did it? Definitely! Yes, I look at the photos and pick myself apart but the images capture our little family, full of love and laughter and I honestly don’t think I could love them any more if I tried!

These images now fill frames around our home and it absolutely melts my heart each time our little lady looks at them as she’ll turn to me and say that it makes her eyes all watery. When I ask her why, she simply replies with, “They make me feel happy”. And that is exactly why YOU should be in your family photographs!

Image Credit: Amanda Jane Dalby