While I was working over the weekend, my client Steve said he was talking with a friend and mentioned they were having family photos taken. The friend groaned and said, “Don’t tell my wife,”. I laughed—men not being “all in” when it comes to family photos is nothing new. There are even a good lot of women who opt out of being part of their family’s photos. But why is that? Why is there push back, when it comes time for those family photos?
What’s the first thing you do, after signing your contract and submitting your retainer? If you’re like 97% of my clients, you start shopping or rummaging through dressers searching for The Perfect Outfit. While I’m guilty of this myself, I can’t quite understand why we stress about what to wear. Sure, we don’t necessarily want large prints of our kids with peanut butter on their faces, in their ratty sweat pants (my daughters haven’t worn jeans since Kindergarten) but does it *really* matter? I tell my clients, you do NOT need to be in your Sunday Best; clean pants or dresses, complimentary colors, weather appropriate and you’re all set. I’ve seen far too many moms work themselves into a tizzy, over pattern combinations, color coordination, hair and make up, thoughts about their weight, and let’s not even get started with “will they behave or won’t they,”.
I want everyone considering me for their photography to know Pinterest Perfect is NOT real. More important than everyone ‘sit-stay-smile-look’ is the genuine interaction. At one of my shoots over the weekend, this sweet little one picked up his shirt, and shared his belly with me. And I love that. I love it, because he was so comfortable, he was so happy, he was so three-years-old. I love that his siblings are all looking at me and that he is 100% toddler awesomeness.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, who do you find yourself snapping at most? If you’re like me, it’s the very people you’re hoping to get those happy smiling photos with. They see you worried about things and in turn, it upsets them. Your spouse may see you getting upset and wonder why you do this every year which frustrates them, then you get even more frazzled because what the heck are THEY so worried about when you’re the one doing everything!? (sound familiar?)
Please believe me when I tell you, you do NOT need to worry about Picture Perfect. It’s ok if you all throw on something you already own. It’s ok to mix pattern and color. Pattern it up! See the above, the stripes and plaids and solids? It looks so good together! It’s ok, if your toddler shows me his tummy. It’s ok if you weigh more than you did, your freshman year of college. If you’ve not worked with me before, I’ll just tell you right now- my sessions never last more than 45 minutes. This gorgeous family of eight? Forty-five minutes. I can get smaller families done, in and out in 30 minutes, even if your toddler takes his shirt off. If your partner is on edge about “how long do we have to be here?” you can tell them, 45 minutes tops. 😉
When we chill out, accept that all things aren’t Pinterest Picture Perfect and realize THAT’S OK we find ourselves and those around us actually enjoying photo sessions. I promise, it’s going to be better than you think, so shed the stress and the worry. Just come, hang out. It’ll be good!