Importance of Family Photos

Everyone is documenting their life. Everyone seems to have a camera and takes selfies, pics of their food, of the weather, their kids, events, everything. Right? I think we take photos to help us remember where we have been and what we have seen. Photos document our life.


So why have professional family portraits? Why not just have selfies and camera phone photos? For one thing, the camera phone is a wide angle lens and not very flattering. I feel like my forehead is huge and the shape of my face gets distorted unless the phone is 5 feet away or so. Another thing I noticed it the quality of the image is great on a 3 inch screen or even on a computer, but if you print out a phone photo the quality isn’t the same as a professional camera.


Getting everyone together for a family photo can feel like a big pain. Let’s be honest. When my kids were babies they were hard to get to sit still or look at the camera. I had traditional photos done every year and we hung up the prints of our little family. My favorite photos were always the more candid shots, me giving my one year-old a kiss on the cheek. I liked having traditional shots, but the more real shots were fun too.


This year we took family photos at a park one night. It was 90 degrees outside and my kids were not that excited to have photos taken, but it had been a while since we had “real” professional photos taken. (my tripod is ok, but not the same as a real photographer.) I found a fellow photographer to trade family photos with and she did an amazing job. We stayed in one spot and I’m so glad we took the time for photos. My kids are 20, 19, 16, and 14 and changing so fast (as kids do). I made a photo book of that session and have it on my coffee table to look at. The photos tell who we are right now in 2020 and life will always change


Every year I make a photo book of our family. We have photos from our trips, school events, sport events, music concerts, and other family times. What I love most is how photography sparks a distant memory. I can relive that moment in time by seeing a photo. I see how much my kids have grown over the last 20 years. (yes, I’m that old.) My oldest is 20 and I can see those same baby blue eyes over the years as he has grown into an adult.

Here's a print on my wall of my 4 kids from 14 years ago

2020 photo of me and my hubbie

Why print our photos?

I love to walk around my house and see photos of my kids and family. It makes my home more personal, more us. Home is family. Now that my kids are moving out and moving on with their life I really treasure those photos I have of them. I love to see our photo books and the shots I took of them as little kids. Having photos on the wall gives me a sense of identity. I belong to a family. We love each other through all the ups and downs. Seeing photos as I walk through the halls of my home I feel love for my kids. I remember they are my kids to give love to. I am their mother. Sounds silly, but photos remind me of what really matters to me: my family.


When I’m having a bad day I can see a photo of my wedding day on my bedroom wall and remember that day as a happy day. I was so excited to get married and so in love. Photos can help me remember the love I feel for my Hubbie and remember how happy I was that day. The feelings are tied to my photos.

this is me from a film slide taken by my grandpa

me and my grandma

Family Photos Build Self-worth


This year I also found some slides of my grandpa. He was a canon shooter with a nice SLR camera and several lenses. I had so much fun seeing myself as a baby and toddler and little girl through his eyes. I also saw his parents and family on the slides. It’s family history. Photos show us who came before us, what they looked like, who they were. Photos tell a story. 


I just found research that says printed photos increases self esteem for kids. “My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall,” says David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio. “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.” Wow, I’m not the only one who things these printed photos are important! He goes on to say,

“I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It lets them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for.” That’s amazing isn’t it? Photography can help kids see the love of their family in a photo and feel connected and important in their family.


I love lifestyle family photography since it is more relaxed and playful. I love to see a family connect with each other. They laugh and play together and I capture that in a session. There are also quiet times when a child is sad and I can capture that too in an instant. Speaking of which kids can change their emotions in an instant. They go from crying to laughing in seconds sometimes. 


So, family photography is worth the investment. It’s worth printing your family photos on the wall and saving the memories in print to be passed on after you have passed on. My photos will outlive me and you.