The holiday season is about a lot of things.  It’s about bundling up and getting ready to spend some cozy time inside, trying out some new recipes and sharing delicious food.  It’s about recognizing the important people in your life and taking the time to thank them for all that they are.  People find all kinds of creative ways to share and remember the holiday season, not the least of which is through family portraits

But how many family portraits have you seen that involve the same boring backdrop, with the same fancy dresses, ties, and christmas bulb earrings, with everyone looking vaguely uncomfortable and rather stiff?  It’s part of my business model and personal aesthetic to avoid that sense of cliché.  I want the phtoographs I take to stand the test of time, and remain in fashion all year round.  Whether the portraits are in studio or on location, my number one goal is to quickly get to know the family, learn their dynamic, and foster that in the photographs.  Family portrait photography is not only about capturing how individual people look at a certain moment in time, but it’s also about capturing their relationship to one another.

That’s why I love this photo!

Of course it is not the typical family shot where everyone is looking at the camera smiling.  But it tells the story of a loving family whose boys are beginning to grow into men.  All boys pass through that stage where they are embarrassed to hug or kiss mom in public, and it’s capturing this sense of uncertainty that allows families to look back years later and relive the moment.

I once had a 4-year old birthday shoot and the little girl showed up in one of those “princess” dresses that you’d get at a department store; aqua blue, complete with the plastic gemstone tiara and magic wand.  I asked mom if this was the only outfit she had (a standard question I ask so that I don’t get ambushed at the end by additional outfits) and she pulled out another similar dress in fuschia.  I grinned and she said “This is who she is right now, we might as well capture it!”.  I love this sentiment, and take full advantage of it in my childrens and family photography.

Capturing the unique essence of a family can be challenging, but is 100% worth it!

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