Family Is One Of Nature's Masterpieces

24th November 2016

The headline is a quote from the philosopher George Santayana. I thought it quite appropriate given what I do, but it also made me think about the deeper aspect to family portraiture.
Our lives these days are hectic, particularly when you are parents with children still at home. The demands of modern life make it difficult for the important 'quality' time, which help bond the family unit. There are many things and activities which families can do spend precious moments together. There is one which until recently, I hadn't thought about, but it is unique and certainly merits consideration.

Family Is Not An Important Thing, It's Everything….

As you see by the images I'm sharing, this session was not just an immediate family group having their photos taken, but an extended family (the Spencers), with grandparents Irene and Keith, their children Gavin and Sharni, (and partners Shelley and Mark) and of course, their three fantastic grandchildren. Great fun it was too, an hour or so spent capturing some family shots, with all sorts of combinations, whilst the children were allowed to run, and play in between their sets. Everyone was very relaxed throughout, and was fantastic to be amongst the family as they laughed and joked, and generally enjoyed themselves.

There are of course other things going on during the session. Conversations, discussions and jokes between the adult members of the group, play time with parents and children and grandparents and children…in short family time is happening, quality family time.

Making The Most Of Being Together

The quality family time being demonstrated during this shoot is, of course, not unique to this session. It happens at every family shoot, be it with an extended group or just Mum, Dad and the kids. I'm not so blind that I hadn't noticed that this has always happened during these sessions, but it was the continuation of the time after the shoot that has recently dawned on me.
Often the photos are taken late afternoon/early evening, particularly when young children are involved, and the photo party are always dressed nicely for the occasion too. So it makes sense to make the most of the time of day, and being dolled up in your best bib and tucker and go on to grab a bite to eat. Which is precisely what many families do.

I think this is a great idea. As I mentioned before, time is a precious resource in this day and age. Hence, the biggest challenge encountered when arranging extended family shoots is finding a mutually convenient date that everyone can make. When everyone has gone to the trouble of making such an arrangement, it seems best to make the most of being together.

My family portrait sessions are always fun and relaxed. So much so, that even Dad will enjoy them…
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