How do you feel about pictures of yourself? Or your kids? Do you really see yourself or them in the images?
Holiday photos maybe? Family vacation group photos? School photos for example? Do they represent your child well?

I have the feeling they may not…

When good photos make us feel bad

I recently listened to this podcast called “We can do hard things” by Glennon Doyle.

It’s an excellent listen in general but there was one episode that really struck a chord with me.

It was about family photos.

The hosts, Glennon, her sister Amanda and Glennon’s wife Abby discuss school photos and family pictures in a real, honest way.

They talk about how Amanda’s daughter didn’t like to be put in a dress for school photos because it wasn’t what she felt suited her personality. And they tell stories of how family vacation photos always go wrong and everybody hates the experience.

We put so much pressure on the perfect image that when the time comes, how can we have a good experience and actually enjoy the process AND the photos?

Without tearing ourselves apart for not looking perfect?

It’s hard because we see all our flaws – that nobody else sees. We feel imperfect and the actual photos don’t match up with what we expect and hope to look like.

Throughout the conversation, all three women come to realise that having a single photo shoot in a year and no other images at all puts too much pressure on the outcome of one day. They’ve got to be perfect.

But families aren’t perfect. Kids have tantrums, get their clothes dirty, partners aren’t keen on posing and everyone just wants to do something else entirely. Nothing is perfect.

But that’s just life.

So if we take the pressure off by documenting our lives more regularly – not just by booking a photographer (I am at your service if you want me but I understand that can get pricey 😀) but by photographing our wild children as they are. Without putting them in their Sunday best that they most likely hate anyway.

Let them be their Tuesday-afternoon-going-for-a-playdate-version. With messy hair and ripped shorts if that’s what they want to wear.

And take a picture of your friend with their kids, whatever they do. In the moment, unscripted. Without asking them to smile for the camera.

Because what do we tell our children otherwise?

That the memories we want to keep of them are only those of happy moments, with smiles and clean clothes. But life is so much more than that.

There was one sentence in the podcast that really stuck with me:

“A picture is about being seen. And this idea that we have to change ourselves, change our children, dress up, look different than we are, alter ourselves. That means we are never really being seen.”

Have a listen to the episode and this beautiful, honest conversation about why photo day is connected to stress and the images always fall short of our expectations.

Let’s change the narrative!

If you don’t have any images of yourself or your family where you truly feel seen, get in touch with me now and let’s have a chat about how I can help you! My family photography is unposed, unscripted. There is no expectation of what the outcome will look like because every photo is unique – just like your family is.

Let's talk about your family session

Not quite ready to chat yet? No problem, why not download my freebie instead?

jumping on parnets bed family photo shoot

More articles that might be of interest to you