Why are family portraits important?
Happy World Photography Day!
My first camera looked a lot like this one and I won my first competition using it, having developed the film and image myself in the school dark room. This is where my love of photography began so it seemed fitting on a day when the world pays homage to the history of photography. I also thought this was a good opportunity to reflect on why family portraits are so important.
Kids love looking at photos of themselves and their family - my 4 year old recently asked for even more photos on our walls (apparently we still a couple with space!) as he felt there weren’t enough. In the words of US Psychologist David Krauss “Placing a family photo where a child can see it every day, without having to turn on a device, gives the child a sense of reassurance and comfort. Photographs have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It lets them know that they are loved and cared for”. Why would you not give your kids this opportunity to develop their sense of belonging?
We are are responsible for the history of the future. I worry that in years to come when historians look back there will be big gaps in our collective photographic history, where computers have crashed and everything on USB sticks has been lost. That’s why every single collection I create has printed images and why my clients buy my beautiful frames to display their images around their homes.
We are creating the heirlooms your kids will treasure - one day these images might be the most important thing they own. My Mum recently found a copy of a graduation photo I had been hunting for. It’s a photo of my parents and I. We are posed in a studio against a dark background; we all look quite young and my eyes look a bit sleepy as if I'd been celebrating the night before..... and it is the only formal photo I have with my Dad. It’s priceless to me and is going on the wall so my children can see who their Grandad was.
My wish for World Photography Day is for everyone to find time to get some portraits taken, framed and hung on the wall. There is always an excuse “I need to lose some weight” “I’d rather just get photos of the kids” “I’m too busy”; but as parents, we need to exist in photos with our children. They don’t care how we look, just that we are there. Let’s make sure we are.