Needless to say, I’m a believer in having up to date family portraits displayed in your home. Of course I would say that. I run a family portrait studio so I’d go out of business if I said anything else. Saying that, I truly believe it!
Many of you will have seen some of the quirky portraits I’ve done with my wife and daughter, which have been part of a pregnancy series that will soon be coming to end. Photos that rely heavily on Photoshop! Photos where I use multiple images and timers to create something impossible or outright dangerous. These have all been taken recently and as I said, it has been for a series that will end with the baby being born.
We don’t have those up in our home as of yet so if I believe in family portraits in the home, what do I have?
For the last five years around my daughter Graces birthday, my wife and I go to our friends’ portrait studio in Wooton Bassett in Wiltshire. My very good friend Samantha (Sam) runs SLN Photography and we met while working together for another photography studio in Reading many years ago. Each year on the run up to her birthday, Grace will ask me when we’re going to see Auntie Sam for the new photos as it is now an annual Bremner family tradition.
After Graces first birthday shoot, we had loads we loved and many of these are displayed in albums my wife keeps. We also decided to do a set of 3 images that were a family shot along with a shot of each of us with Grace. In addition, we put up a large square image of my daughter playing a small piano that I just adored.
The following year we added another 3 underneath the first 3 that once again featured a family shot and each of us with Grace. This tradition of the 3 images has continued to what we have now which is a rather large dramatic set of 15 images that has made a feature wall in our home.
As the years have gone on, it has become easier to figure out which images to have as we like to balance them with the previous ones but Sam always takes loads of images we love. She wouldn’t have her successful studio if she didn’t! We have the remaining images as Digital Files so I can have them on my iPad and my wife can print them for her albums.
The joy these photos bring comes from many different things. Grace being able to see she is growing up and changing. She knows how old she was in each photo and like a proper girly girl, she loves seeing how her hair has grown. I love that the photos have really captured our relationship in a way that makes me smile when I stop to enjoy them. The photos aren’t about what we look like but how we are as a family and that’s really special.
With baby number 2 being due today (or on the day this article was posted at least), some may say that these photos are about to be out of date as the family was incomplete.
I don’t believe that.
The current photos may only have 3 of what is about to be a family of 4 featured but this wall represents a story. A story that started out with one little girl and is about to grow in to a family with 2 little girls. We will add to the wall and continue having our family portrait session each year so both our daughters can see how they have changed (and monitor their hair growth).
Life often gets in the way of arranging portrait sessions. It’s easy to let that happen especially once the kids start school because you still get your ‘this is what our child looks like’ portrait done each year with little to no effort.
Don’t get me wrong I love the traditional school photo.
So much so that I was really disappointed when my daughters first ever school photo was shot on a white background trying to be modern.
For me, that simply wasn’t what I wanted so I bought a traditional background and shot my own school photo so we had one.
But as I said, these are the ‘this is what our child looks like’ portraits. The photos the child will eventually look back on laughing at how strange their hair looked or how dated the school uniform was.
When a family portrait is shot in a way that captures how you are as a family; when it really does tell your story of how you are right now. That’s a picture you can look back on and draw some special happy memories from.
I love that Sophie the Giraffe is featured when my daughter was 1. This was a gift from my Brother and Sister in Law and I remember thinking it looked like a dogs chew toy. Little did I know it would become such a useful teething tool! When Grace was 2, we had Winnie the Pooh characters as she loved the movies and when she was 3 that had moved on to Toy Story. The images when Grace was 4, she had really come in to her girly girl era, which is why she’s doing her nails with her mum but this year there wasn’t really anything we thought was significant enough. She loves arts and crafts but we decided with baby number 2 on the way to focus on just having fun and focusing on that.
So as I said, I truly believe in having up to date family portraits displayed in your home. I love going in to other peoples homes and seeing they have family images up regardless of whether it’s a Made Portrait or not. It helps makes a home a home for me. But it obviously helps when it was taken here.
This wall is amazing as it’s such a fantastic mix of family days out, weddings, special occasions and of course, a couple of Made Portraits can be seen in there as well. Thank you to Kelly Sheppard for sending these images in to me.
Have you been thinking about updating your family portraits? Have you recently had a baby and like the idea of starting your own family wall? If so, a Made Portraits Family Session costs JUST £20 and that includes a complimentary A4 print. You can buy your own Made Portraits experience here.