Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Importance of Family Photos Part 2

Read Part 1

so this is the part that I have been wanted to write for years, and couldn't ever bring myself to do it. A few years ago in what seems now like a few month span 3 people I was planning on doing family pics with passed away before we could do their session. two were expected, one was my sister's brother in law and they wanted to do family pics before he was gone. Another was my friends daddy. Both got sick and passed away before we could do them. It made me really reflect on the importance of having family pics made.

So many times one person is taking the pic, so its pic of mommy with the kids or daddy with the kids. And the whole family is not in the pic. Now with everyone having a camera on their phone now, there's no reason not to have a family pic now. And no reason not to have family pics made. I personally try to make it quick and painless, cause I know its not a man's favorite thing to do lol. But
 I hear all the time, "I need to lose weight" , "I'm too busy" "my husband hates taking pics" etc etc. But this is your family and you need to take a minute to document it, cause it'll be time you'll never get back.

My friend Melissa and I  talked about doing family pics during spring break that year, but her husband Jake passed away that week. And I'll never forget the first thing she said to me at the wake was, we were supposed to take family pics this week. It broke my heart and knowing that her and her beautiful kids would be without their dad, who was such a wonderful guy.

I asked her to write her feelings about the importance of having family pics made.

"We have all heard that pictures are worth 1000 words. I think they are worth so much more. Pictures capture a story of events in our life that can't be described with mere words. Four years ago my husband was killed in a vehicle accident. At the time our children were eight and three. The photographs that I have are the living memories for my children and are irreplaceable. I am so thankful that we took the time and made the effort to have our family pictures taken. These are timeless treasures that we will always have to remind us of our loved ones."
~ Melissa

I also asked Chrissy to write a lil something about her importance of pics. The first time I met her for pics I didn't know she was a widow. She said she wanted a family pic with her boys, I didn't know if she was divorced or what. And then towards the end of the session she said , this was her new normal and that they were adjusting to life to just the 3 of them. I've never forgotten that.

"I’ve always been obsessed about pictures….and I am that relative with my camera in my hand that everyone runs from at family events. My theory on this is, if you’re behind the camera you cannot be in front of it. In 2006, when our twin boys were born, I took this “picture taking” obsession to a whole new level of neurotic-ness. Those babies couldn’t twitch an eyelid without my camera in their face.  I was constantly warned during my pregnancy to enjoy every moment because they grow up quickly.  This is so true, before I knew it my tiny preemies were crawling infants and marathon running toddlers. BUT have no fear every developmental milestone was documented…over & over again!!!! I can remember seeing the hesitation on my husband’s face every time I mentioned that it was time for another family picture…but in the end he always (semi) willingly did it. I can remember my argument to convince him was always, “you never get these days back and one day these pictures will remind you of all these special moments.”  Over the next three years I documented every “first” (first smile, first tooth, first time eating “big boy” food, first step, birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc.). I can remember my husband & I quickly running behind them as the rode their bike for the first time. I had one finger on the shutter of my camera and my other arm extended to catch them before they face planted the concrete. As much as I was enjoying photographing their entire “firsts” I was perfectly ok with not having to document their first visit to the emergency room. Not every day was a “picture perfect” day (and YES I have pictures of crying babies, sick babies, angry babies) at the age of 2 they went through a WWE phase and felt the need  to clothesline each other for that one toy that WE HAD TWO OF. 
On November 20, 2009 an early morning knock on the door changed our lives forever. My husband, Nathan, was killed in a car accident. Most of the immediate days to follow have become a blur. I do remember sitting down one evening to gather a few pictures to display at the funeral home.  I sat their most of the night pretty much reliving our life together one photographed moment at a time. 
The twins, Russell and Rhett would turn 4 years old a few months later. Even though they were very young when their Daddy passed away I believe they can remember some things that they did with him.  My biggest fear was as the years went by they would slowly forget the times spent with their Daddy. I put pictures everywhere in our house. Pictures of them flying kites together, feeding the animals at the zoo, Easter Egg Hunts, and playing in the water at the beach). Anything and everything they did in the few short years with their Daddy I used these pictures to remind them of.  Russell & Rhett are now 8 years old (or as the always quickly correct me 8 ½) and I know they have a pretty good idea of who their Daddy was. 
The first time Jamie photographed Russell & Rhett was in 2010. I am really surprised that she ever let us come back. No, not because I had two very active 4 year olds, but because I was on a mission to have perfect, flawless pictures. This was us beginning our “first” all over again as a family of 3 and I can remember wanting those pictures to be perfect just as I wanted the upcoming years to be perfect. In true Jamie fashion, she kindly pointed out that I was being a little too cynical…lol. She was right! Not just about the pictures, but life as well. I couldn’t concentrate on every little detail of the upcoming days to make them perfect, flawless days. That’s not how life works. You will have angry, crying baby days…..but at the end of those days there is always something memorable.  SIDE NOTE: The pictures Jamie did were Perfect & Flawless!!!!
In 2013 I meet and an incredible man who not only truly loves me on what I can only describe as my perfect, flawless days (I like to imagine those in my own mind) but he shows me even more love on my angry, crying baby days (these days are much more realistic). He loves Russell & Rhett as his own. He shows them through his own actions daily how to be a hardworking, unselfish, faithful Christian Man. At the same time he finds ways of reminding the boys of who their Daddy was also. YEP, I PRETTY MUCH HIT THE JACKPOT!
Blaine & I were married in April and looking forward to enjoying many years of “first”. Russell & Rhett will soon welcome a little sister and everyone is over the moon excited. Well if you ask Russell he will be very quick to tell you, “We wanted a brudder but a sister will wurk”……AND yes I will enjoy photographing every moment. 

My advice to everyone is to take many pictures, OFTEN! If you don’t consider yourself a “picture taking” person, I can recommend an AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER!!!! "
~ Chrissy

Blogging EVERYDAY in 2014, if you catch me skipping a day win a$500 Gift Certificate!!

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