Capturing Memories


I’ve heard many reasons why families have their portraits taken. For some it’s tradition, for others it’s for gifts. Everyone has their reasons, but after creating my own little family and having a photo session with a now retired wonderful Belfast-based Photographer, I’ve come up with 10 reasons why EVERY household should get on board with family photography. If you’re unsure about whether to book a session, read on and I guarantee you'll find your reasons why!

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"They grow so quick!"

I'm definitely not the first mum to get emotional when their tiny little baby moves up a clothes size, crawls for the first time, or says their first word (In my boy’s case it better not be dad!) I used to think the phrase "they grow so fast" was the most cliché line uttered by British parents, but now I fully appreciate how important it is to document each little milestone, because they never come back around. Believe it or not, your kids will grow up, move away and become "too cool" to have pictures with their family. They’ll be busy travelling, going to university and moving out with friends and partners to make families of their own (I know, scary). So make the decision now that you won't regret later.

No matter how old your child is when they drop in for their session, there will always be something new they have learnt, or a funny expression they’ve been doing recently. Whatever it may be, if I witness it, I'll shoot it! And if this does happen, it’s a picture to cherish. Without it, the memory might have been forgotten. No matter how insignificant something may seem, I promise it will make you smile in years to come when you look back.

Sessions are fun for kids and parents!

Gone are the days of the stiff, staged portrait, at least where my studio is concerned! I'm all about kids and parents having fun - and capturing exactly that. I don't want to produce static images of you sat on a chair with your arms on each other’s shoulders. Who wants a picture of their child with a vacant expression, anyway? I want to see your kids in hysterical laughter after being tickled by mum and dad! I’ve not had one family tell me a shoot was boring, and seeing how sassy kids can get when they warm to the camera is amazing! After leaving my studio you'll not only leave with striking images, you'll also leave with fond memories of the actual session.

Get the family together

It’s not just parents and children that can come in for a session, I fully encourage you to invite grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - even god parents! A photoshoot is a beautiful excuse to get everyone together, as so many family members move away, get swallowed up by busy jobs and fast-paced lifestyles. Why not put all that aside, set a date and get everyone together to create new memories for you to look back on in years to come?

Capture special moments

Life passes by so quickly that you sometimes forget to stop and appreciate how your child looks at you, or how you look at your child. During a session with me I never stop shooting. I'm always looking for "that shot" where dad is looking at his daughter with so much pride he could burst, or when mum is looking at her son with eyes full of love. Capturing the relationships between growing siblings is also important. Watching them learn from each other, building their own little personalities and making those funny expressions. Candid images are so significant in remembering the early days of life and I'm always on the lookout for those special micro-moments for parents to cherish.

Give them as a gift

If you do decide to get everyone together for your shoot, or even if it’s just a few of you, it’s such a lovely idea to give the images as gifts to the rest of the family. The smiles on their faces as they receive their beautiful picture will be a gift in itself. Not only can the images make a great present - so can a family session. Lots of families put it off when they become too busy or when life gets in the way. So if you know someone who hasn't had a shoot in a while, or ever, why not buy them a voucher and give them that extra nudge to create some stunning memories and images?

Brighten up your house

We all take a few pictures on our smartphones, or, in my case, hundreds! But as much as we love our phone snaps, and as good as they may look on the screen, they don't compare to the luxury feel of a professional image hanging on your wall. I strive to produce the highest quality images I can, which will last forever. Professional shots aren’t just 'pictures,’ they are pieces of art you can hang proudly.

Photos can live longer than you do

Who else loves looking through childhood snaps? Pictures of their mums with 80s perms, grandads during the war, and great-great-grandparents you sadly never met. What better keepsake to pass down to your future children, grandchildren even great-grandchildren than high quality digital photos that will last forever?

Parents are always behind the camera

I can’t be the only mum who gets stuck behind the camera. I'm always taking pictures of my boys, and if I didn’t ask my mum or a stranger in the street, I'd never get a picture of all three of us. And even if I do, it often comes out blurred or has bad lighting. It’s rare that we get a decent family picture, and when we went for our photography session, it was so refreshing to know that the responsibility was in the hands of a professional who knew what she was doing (and believe me, that girl knew what she was doing!) Let me worry about whether the kids are smiling, or if your blinking, or if it's your best angle, and you’ll end up loving every shot.

"I hate having my picture taken!"

If I had a pound for every time someone said this to me, I'd be very rich! One of the main reasons why people don't like having their picture taken is the person behind the camera. Pro photographers know what they’re doing, know how to make you feel comfortable, and know how to ease that awkward pose, making you laugh to get a natural smile. Every single person who walks into my studio with caution or nervousness walks out with a completely different mind-set. Through a shoot, they become more confident in themselves, especially when they see their pictures.

Life’s too short to NOT get them done

Let’s be real, life goes on and unfortunate things happen, so stop saying "we'll do it next year," "we're too busy" or "we'll get round to it.” Just book! You never know what’s around the corner, and you don't want to miss out on getting a beautiful family portrait while you can. At the risk of ending on a morbid note, this is such an important one, if not the most important.

 If you've got to the end of this post and still don't understand why you should book a session, then I'm lost for words! There are so many reasons why pictures are important, I wouldn't have based my career on it if I didn't believe it myself. I could list a thousand more reasons (I won't, don't worry!) But if for whatever reason you’re still unsure, feel free to reach out and maybe I can put any concerns you have at ease. If I’ve changed your mind and persuaded you to book a session, then I look forward to meeting you!

If you've had a family session in the past, let me know what made you do it, and how you feel looking back at your pictures!