I am a family photographer in Watsonville and as such it is my privilege to not only photograph families of all shapes and sizes, but to convince the parents in these families that they, too, should be included in the pictures. After working as a photographer for families in Watsonville (and all over) it is always amazing to me how often a family photo shoot doesn’t include the entire family. It’s astonishing how many parents (both moms and dads alike) choose to opt out and let the kids have all the fun. Now, perhaps you are that rare parent who already sees the inherent value in forever capturing your family at a moment in time. If so there is no reason for you to continue reading and let me congratulate you on your insight and forethought. However, if you are of the vast majority who not only decline to be photographed but actually go to any means necessary to dodge the experience, then let me take a few moments to poke some holes in your logic and convince you of the error of your ways.
First and foremost, it can’t hurt. Unless there is some rare and unknown disease in which sitting in close proximity to one’s family with a vague expression of happiness causes one to have symptoms of physical pain, then taking a family picture literally can’t hurt you. But seriously, in this age of digital imaging where little to no resources are used up to take a picture, my philosophy is it can’t hurt to just try one or two family shots. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised and find out you love them (you’d be amazed what can happen in the skilled hands of a family photographer). Of course there is the off chance that you truly don’t like the pictures, which brings me to my next argument.
While you may not like the pictures of yourself right now I can guarantee that in about 20 years you are going to look back at those images and treasure how young you looked and reminisce about the days your family was young and the kids were still kids. You may decide that right now the pictures with you are going to do nothing more that sit safe and sound in the digital stratosphere. But, someday you will be glad they’re there and even if you’re not, surely future generations will – which brings me to my third and final point.
When it comes to pictures you have to get your mind out of the here and now and think about posterity. How much do we love pulling out old photos and laughing at the hair styles and mocking the fashion choices of decades gone by and commenting “look how cute I was!” (to which my Mom always says “yeah what happened?”) More importantly though, how much do we love looking back at who we were and what made us who we are. Pictures fill in the gaps of what our memories can’t recall. Few of us remember anything from our early childhood, least of all what we looked like or even what our parents looked like. The pictures you take today are the only thing future generations will have to look back on.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. If I haven’t persuaded you yet that including the ENTIRE family in a picture is paramount then I fear there is no convincing you. But, just in case, let me leave you with one final thought: in the long run you probably won’t regret taking family pictures but you possibly, and quite probably, will regret NOT taking family pictures.