What are your top reasons for scheduling family photoshoots? If you’re like many people, you have never thought about your reasons. It’s just something that everyone does, right?
When you experience family photoshoots from both ends of the camera, you realize some benefits that many people never understand. Photographers get to see children grow up through the years. They watch as families take on new members, lose members, and transition through the natural phases of life. They see bonds strengthened and children grow more confident all from the magic of photography.
We’re about to forever change the way you view family portraits. We’re going to give you 10 ways that those portraits can help you build a stronger family. Boosting your child’s self-esteem is another benefit of family portraits, but we’ll cover that in a separate post because there’s a lot to say on that topic.
Today, you’ll get a glimpse into why our mission is to “Help build strong families by preserving life’s most important moments!“
1 - Document Your Child's Growth
This is one of the most common reasons parents schedule family photoshoots. You know that your little ones are going to grow up. They will never be their current size again, so you have a limited time to capture each stage of development on film.
When you take at least one family portrait every year, you end up with a series of photos that show how your children have changed from birth into adulthood. Hold a baby picture next to a grown-up picture, and you will have an amazing story of transformation.
You may not even realize how much your children have grown over the course of a year until you hold the newest family photo in hand. The camera captures everything from the change in size to their developing personality and clothing style. Hang those pictures side-by-side each year, and you will have an amazing story of development for each of your little ones.
How does this help you build a stronger family? It helps parents acknowledge and appreciate growth in their children before they’re fully grown. Children also grow up with a sense of importance because their growth has been so carefully tracked and admired.
2 - Prioritize Your Family
It’s easy for family time to get shuffled to the side in our fast-paced world. You may enjoy dinners and trips to the park together, but every family deserves to look forward to something special. There are only so many vacations you can take each year. Family photoshoots are fun activities that you can all experience together with less investment of time and finances.
Photoshoots that include the full family force you to set aside time for your loved ones. You have to commit to an appointment with your photographer and then prepare to ensure the shoot produces great pictures. From arranging coordinating outfits to re-arranging schedules to ensure everyone is available, you make room in your busy life for family time.
If you fail to prioritize family time, a sense of distance and separation can easily settle in. Rather than feeling important and cherished, kids may have deep longings to spend more time with the adults they love. Spending time together doing fun activities like photoshoots will bring everyone together and prove that your family is your priority.
3 - Nurture a Sense of Belonging
Have you ever thought about how your children view themselves? If you were to ask them who they are, their answers may shock you. This is an interesting topic because children develop a sense of who they are based partially on characteristics of the family surrounding them. They have a personal identity that will develop over time, but the identity of the family unit has a heavy influence.
When you take time out for family portraits, you send a powerful message that your family is a cohesive unit. You have a family personality and culture. Your children feel that they belong to that family unit and are immersed in that culture when they participate in photoshoots reserved just for family.
That sense of belonging is important for children of all ages. It provides a sense of safety and comfort that encourages exploration and learning. Children with strong family bonds often have more confidence to explore their unique personal identities. They may try new things and take more risks because they know they are backed by a strong family unit.
4 - Nurture a Sense of Individuality
We mentioned briefly that children with a strong sense of family belonging have the security they need to explore and learn. Let’s take that a step further. Family portraits also encourage children to think about themselves as individuals, apart from the family unit.
Children have the opportunity to see themselves from the outside when they look at family portraits. They notice everything from the way they smile to the way they pose. They notice their interactions and connections with their loved ones. They remember how they felt during the photoshoot and how those images were captured. They see themselves more as the world sees them.
Over time, those photos may help them form unique personalities and a healthy sense of self-love and appreciation. It’s natural for kids to look at their younger pictures with intrigue because they’re seeing themselves grow up and solidifying a sense of who they are as individuals.
5 - Teach Family Values
Something powerful happens when children look at their family portraits. They see themselves as a part of the family unit and are reminded of the close relationships woven between every member of that family. That helps build their sense of belonging, but it also conveys a strong message about some powerful family values.
Some of these values are love, acceptance, respect, and support. The care and teamwork of a family unit comes out naturally as adults work to get everyone together in front of the camera and bring smiles in unison. Children do their best to follow instructions and deliver their best smiles. The photographer picks up on intricate family dynamics and uses them to get the best shots.
How the family works together is a powerful display of values. When the printed pictures are received, children can see the confident poses and happy smiles on the faces of the people they love most. That’s likely to influence their own confidence and happiness because they feel connected to the family in the portrait.
Making time for family portraits also sends the message that standing together as one unit is important. Kids grow up knowing that togetherness is essential to a happy, secure life. By simply snapping photographs together, you raise children who understand the value of family.
6 - Encourage Sibling Bonding
Sibling pictures are often the highlight of a family photoshoot. It can take some work to get kids to pose together effectively, but the results are worth the effort. The children have a lot of fun playing and posing together, and those good times strengthen the bond between them.
No one else will ever understand what it’s like to grow up in your family. Your children share experiences that only they can understand. When you give them opportunities to take center stage and pose together, you encourage them to love and respect one another on a deeper level.
The sibling bond is also deepened when they look at family portraits and see the bond that they each share with parents, grandparents, and other family members. For example, an older sister sees the adoring look of her parents as they stare down at her baby brother.
Children feel closer to one another when they realize that they share one important thing: love and connection to adults in the family. Parental bonds are powerful. Realizing that your siblings have that same bond with your parents is powerful as well.
7 - Create Cherished Family Memories
Family photoshoots are so much fun! Yes, there are some stressful moments as babies start crying, toddlers refuse to sit still, and wardrobe malfunctions are revealed. All of those mishaps become memories that you may laugh about later on.
You may also form memories of having fun together in front of a brightly colored backdrop. Some photoshoots also have tender moments where family members share loving glances, hold hands, and stare into one another’s eyes. Everything that happens becomes a memory that you will forever hold in your mind. Of course, you will also have photographs to make remembering even easier.
It’s difficult to fully appreciate the beauty of personal relationships within a family. Daily life is so hectic and sometimes mundane. You grow accustomed to seeing one another daily and even disagreeing from time to time. It’s not until you stand before the camera and smile together that you realize the depth of your love for one another.
Family portraits give you the opportunity to slow down, step back from daily life, and really appreciate your family. The memories you create are next level because you’re fully focused on the present moment.
8 - Document Changes in Family Dynamics
Every family goes through changes with time. The people you include in your family portrait this year may not make an appearance next year or in five years. New family members enter the picture due to marriage or adoption. Other family members may exit the picture because their time here on Earth is up or due to divorce. Children grow up and move away for college or to explore the next journey in their lives.
Family portraits are a great way to document those changes. You celebrate those in the picture each year and pay tribute to those who are no longer around. You may even watch as your family unit grows larger and larger with time, adding loved ones as your children move through adulthood.
If you include multiple generations in your family photos, you will have a better overview of changes within the extended family. If you can get grandparents and even great grandparents to participate alongside grandchildren and great-grandchildren, you will have memorable documentation of fluctuations within the family from year to year.
9 - Create Heart-Touching Keepsake Gifts
Family photos make excellent gifts. You can have large portraits printed and put them in decorative frames, passing them out to family members for birthday or holiday gifts. You can also use them to create special t-shirts, sweatshirts, throw blankets, mouse pads, and other items. Every family member old enough to appreciate the value of a family portrait will enjoy receiving these gifts.
You can also use family portraits to create keepsakes. Think about scrapbooks and photo albums that your kids will one day take to their own homes. These keepsakes will give your kids a meaningful look at their childhoods. They allow children to remember and talk about some of the most special experiences of their early years.
Most people just love looking at themselves when they were kids. You can continue sharing the strength of your family unit long after your kids have moved out and developed adult lives of their own.
10 - Solidify Bonds with Distant Family Members
A strong family unit sticks together even when some family members are physically distant. Family portraits are a great way to bring everyone together even if hugs aren’t possible. You can take family portraits and share them with one another. When it is possible to come together for one large portrait, everyone will appreciate being together even more.
Grandparents and great-grandparents often feel connected to grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they receive family portraits. If they get to participate in those portraits, the sense of belonging is even stronger. All of this works to keep your family strong and united regardless of distance.
Bonus - One Last Way to Strengthen Your Family through Portraits
We’ve focused heavily on strength within your family as a combined unit. It’s important to also note how powerful family portraits are for the littlest members of your family as individuals. Look out for a follow-up post, in which we’ll discuss how your family portraits can boost self-esteem for each of your children.