We don’t get our picture made as a family that often but thanks to my Mom we have every Halloween for the past few years. Because of the Holiday it reminds us that we should do this and we do it in the same place as the previous year. We know we always take it on the front steps so this year even though we were hanging out in the back yard we all came around for “the” picture. We never want to at the time, but we do and later we are happy we did. It is much like a professional photo session you schedule – it may seem like some effort but you will be so glad that you did it. I recommend taking a picture of your child or family in the same place every year. It is fun to see how they grow through the years. Even if you don’t stay in the same house you can try a photo in the front of the different homes you have. It will be just as fun to mark the different places you have been and how your family changes through the years. It doesn’t have to be perfect. As you can see in our picture this year, our standards have become so low that we don’t even make the kids look at the camera! (The trick-or-treaters walking on the street and other things were much more interesting.) If children are fussing or not into your big photo moment, take it anyway. Capture real life of how they weren’t always agreeable at certain ages. Some of my favorite pictures of myself and my kids are from birthdays where we are showing the bottom lip and pouting. You will laugh about it later if not in the moment. I’m not a big Halloween person but I think it is fun to see the different costumes every year. Christmas is another time of year that everyone is dressed for the season and will remember to get a family picture. In front of your Christmas tree or fireplace is the most obvious place. Easter and Fourth of July are my other favorites that seem to prompt us to have a picture made together. I have to think these photos can help your child with their memories of growing up. I want to remind mine that their family and our time together is important.
Other ideas for capturing your children: Try a piece of furniture in your home or a prop you child can hold or stand next to. When our oldest child was born we started taking a picture of him in a big chair in our bedroom every month. It is interesting to see the change through the first year and also through the years as his feet can finally touch the floor. I’m thinking of pulling out my wedding dress and taking a picture of Kate wearing it every year. I can’t think of a better way to use that dress. Let a little boy wear Dad or Grandad’s big shirt and watch him eventually grow into it. It is helpful to have a reminder every year to prompt these mini photo sessions. If it isn’t a holiday it might be a birthday, family gathering or just a note on your calendar. Hopefully it will be a fun thing and not something to stress about. Even if you only try something like this every few years, you can still see the progression over a period of time and it will be special.
Note: We can’t get over how little Kate once was in the 2007 picture! When you have a newborn it is hard to imagine how fast and how big they get. Even my boys look very young and sweet 3 years ago. Oh, and you do not have permission to laugh at me in that picture. You are getting a little glimpse of me at the end of pregnancy with a newborn. You probably won’t see it again. It’s not easy gaining THAT much weight! ugh. A not so fun fact about me: I gained 55 lbs with each pregnancy no matter how I ate. One of the many reasons I did not enjoy being pregnant. Thank goodness the end reward was so worth it each time!