Prepping for Family Photos//Tips and Tricks Part I

Fall is coming and with it comes fall family picture season! 

However, if you’re like me the idea of getting in front of the camera is a mixed bag, so every Sunday in September I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks to get you ready for that big moment in front of the camera.

Tip #1: Focus on what your body CAN do.

Yup, that’s right this first one is about loving your self right where you’re at. We talk about this a lot because, let’s face it, it’s a hard one.

I’ve never felt confident in front of the camera. Even at my fittest, healthiest, slimmest, strongest I hated my body for one stupid reason. I didn’t FIT into the brands that were popular. American Eagle and Abercrombie didn’t carry jeans that could fit over my athletic legs built up from the hours and hours and hours I spent riding horses with my friends. I couldn’t see my body for what it COULD do only for what it couldn’t do. Fit in those pants. 

I always look back at that healthy younger version of myself and laugh. There’s a meme that goes around Facebook that says I wish I was as skinny as I was when I first thought I was fat. It’s true for so me because it’s so easy to get caught up in what the world around you says.

So now when I’m about to get in front of the camera I choose to dwell on the things my body CAN do and has done. I can run, I can walk my dogs, I have energy to keep up with my family and friends. I carried a baby and my body continues to keep him alive. I can reach out and hug my husband and hold my baby. I can recover from surgery and illness and find so much more joy on the other side. And I want my son to know these things about me. I want to exist in his memories. I want there to be evidence of these things that I am proud of. 

So in spite of how I feel, I will do this and find joy in it. I will leave evidence of how much I loved my family and found joy in them everyday. 

And that is how I talked myself into these family pictures 7 weeks after having my son. In the moment I struggled to not hate them because of the way I looked. But he has already changed so much and I’m glad I exist in them. <3

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Redefining Beauty//Arizona Child Photographer

THE INSPIRATION

Over the years we have worked hard to inspire diversity in the 'media' we create. Believing firmly that representation is important, that beauty is more than skin deep and that we need to create images that reflect those values back to our children. We have loved meeting families from all walks of life and have loved hearing the stories about the amazing and admirable things their children are accomplishing. But at the same time our hearts have been broken by the knowledge that these same kids don't always see themselves the way their parents do. So we were inspired to create a session that included images of a different kind of before and after. It was an experiment, but we wanted to know if we could show a group of kids in a tangible way just how awesome their hearts are, would that be reflected in a way we could see? 

THE SESSION

We asked parents to submit their kids to our project keeping them in the dark about what we had in mind to ensure that reactions were genuine. A simple submission form requested that parents tell us what they admire about their child. We picked 10 kids, 5 boys and 5 girls for this project. The set up was simple, white outfits on a white background to ensure that nothing distracted from us capturing the emotions of the day. On the session day we asked parents to read what they had written and then select 2 descriptive words to write on the arms of their son or daughter so we could capture a bit of what was said. 

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THE OUTCOME 

Every child was different in their reactions while their parents read to them, but what was incredible to witness was the way the kids excitedly shared the words their parents had chosen. We asked the kids to pick the word they liked the most and show it to us in the group pictures. The kids quickly took ownership of the words, proudly showing me and the other kids and explaining what the word meant. The ease and speed with which they opened up to each other and let their true selves shine through was phenomenal. After this project, We will forever think twice about the words we us to paint the ones love. 

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To all our lovely families. Thanks for trusting us on this adventure! 

Want to stay in touch about future opportunities like this one? Join our Facebook group here