This is apart of a series! This is part 1.
It’s no surprise that most of the families who come to me for photos start with the mom’s desire to get family photos. I think I’ve only had a handful of dads in the last 12 years who have wanted to surprise their wives or just really want photos of their family.
I had one family where the dad didn’t have a lot of photos growing up so he really values family photos now that he has his own family.
I sat down with a good friend, Millie, to chat about the desires of moms to have these family photos. What makes a good family photo and what are some things that moms really want out of their family photos. Millie has three kids and recently has gone through some changes with her body that makes her not like photos of herself.
What I’m so proud of her is that this hasn’t stopped her from getting family photos! If you’re going through a period of time where you’re feeling self-conscience about your body don’t let it stop you from taking family photos. <<Spoiler alert…keep reading>>>
So we sat down, like I do with all my families, and talked about what she wanted to get out of her family photos, the WHY of her wanting family photos.
Let’s take a quick break to talk about how often you should get family photos!
Click on the image to see it bigger!
Watch a short clip about what
Millie thinks drives people
to get family photos
I also love what Millie said about this project:
“It started with a phone call to my college bestie. I had been spoiled in my acting career working with top notch photographers who knew how to get my best photo. They knew how to give directions and I, luckily, had a degree in following directions. I was also spoiled in how healthy my body was.
Now my heart is 3 kids fuller, but I wasn't having the same experience I had with family photos that I had back when I was acting. Not that we have bad family photos from the past! It was just a very *different* experience then before I had kids. Was it me? Is it my three monkeys? Is it the extra weight I carry from a hormonal situation that's management has gone about as smoothly as an ancient wooden rollercoaster? I didn't know.
But I kept thinking, surely, we could get a photo of me with the kids that captures me looking as good as I FEEL when we are together.
Photographers have so much to manage at once! It's not an easy job to get people to be relaxed AND happy. I wanted to understand their perspective and learn how to be an active participant in the process of creating our family photos. I knew @kaitlinroten would be able to help me understand where the photographer is coming from, why they think some photos are better then others, a reality check, and how I can communicate my wants/needs to collaborate better for awesome family photos that I knew were possible!
Lucky for me, she did that and so much more. I can't wait to share it with you.”
So the challenge is, how am I going to portray Millie’s family so that years down the road people looking at the photos see their little kids and remembered how much they loved each other WHILE AT THE SAME TIME flattering Millie in the photos so that she didn’t feel like she was choosing just photos of just her kids or just photos where her kids looked nice and she was in an unflattering pose.
Millie and I had a very raw conversation about the areas of her body she feels insecure. We also talked about ways we could pose her with her family so that she LOVED the way she looked. I insisted on hiring a professional for makeup. I had a great conversation with my local makeup artist that I use and she said that makeup isn’t trying to hide anything, it’s accentuating your already great features. I also knew that this move would make getting ready less stressful and make Millie have more self-confidence!
We specifically talked about how I like to use prompts to get families more relaxed in their photoshoots. So I might say, “think of a time you were really proud of your son and tell him about it”. It produces GREAT reactions out of people but sometimes being lost in the moment you might pull your chin down and get unwanted necklines or tuck your arms in too close to your body and squish out your arms too much. I told Millie to watch the angle of her neck, twist at her torso, and always leave a little space in between her arms and her body. Like always, during the session, I always give feedback if posing needs to be tweaked.
So with our conversation, we left it off at we should have an in home photo shoot! Having an in-home photoshoot is hard work before the shoot - you do have to declutter and clean - just a tiny bit of space. The benefits are advantageous! You get access to toys, bathrooms, snacks, kid’s natural environments, you don’t have to reschedule because of the weather! So after listening to Millie I felt like doing an in-home photoshoot will be the best option for her family!
Next I’ll share about the in-home shoot, Millie’s feelings about the shoot,, some of the photos, and then we will wait to hear what Millie thought about the photos!