(TLDR: family portraits are important even when you're sick. If you haven't had them done, you should consider it. there are photos here, click the first you see if you don't care for text)
I own a camera. I have a family. I like to take photos. If any of those three statements resonate with you then your photos probably are missing the same thing mine are. The photographer. Because if you’re in the shot then who is taking all the photos!
I believe that everyone should get a proper family portrait (whatever that family looks like) at least once. Where everyone is present, and relaxed and looking at the same spot at the same time. It is like treating the family out to dinner. No one has to cook and clean and everyone gets to enjoy the meal and time being together.
If you're reading this and thinking, "we don't have a family portrait done" you should really consider it. There are a host of photographers in your town, guaranteed. Photographers of all walks and artistic expression.
Portraits can, but don't have to be, a huge and expensive affair - they come in ranges and you should explore those ranges and see what suits your personality and expectations. Get in touch with your local photographers, get quotes, get a sense of what you want and then commit to it. I promise you, it is worth it to see everyone there looking awesome.
If you want to get in touch with me, I'd love that - we can walk through your needs and budget together. But no matter who you choose, I urge you to do it. Think of it as a dinner out, but with less photos of your food. Way less, actually.
My wife rarely spends any time behind the lens of my camera (afraid she’ll break it, unfamiliarity with the gear), and barely any time behind the lens of her own point and shoot. She’s in the moment of life, she spends her time in the moment more than she spends time analyzing the moment. And who can blame her? I’ve only just found that I can actually leave my camera at home instead of lugging it everywhere, or that I don’t have to bring everything, or that I can use the camera that came with my phone. You know, Like real people.
So until my son really refines his technique with his camera (he does have one, and he takes awesome candids) the notable absence of myself will continue for the most part. But every year we make it a must to get out and take an honest to gosh family portrait during the fall. Usually this happens in late September because of the colours and because it coincides with our son’s birthday and our own wedding anniversary.
But here it was in October and we hadn't yet accomplished the simple feat of standing still for a camera. Every week and weekend there was just something that got in the way, and there was the nagging part of my brain that said we’d miss 2013 if we really didn't get it together.
And then pneumonia and bronchitis. Both father and son were hit in September (thankfully, mom has an iron constitution). We’re just getting over it now and we’re still getting chest x-rays to ensure we’re clean. But the consensus was that if we didn't get it done on the weekend it was just never going to get done. So Sunday we wake up and I have a massive allergy attack.
I took pills, puffers, Jacob took his antibiotics and we bundled up and hit the open fields of the amazing Scotsdale Farm. I love shooting at Scotsdale because you can take so many different pictures with so many different backdrops and barely move up or down the gravel lane. This weekend there was a movie or television shoot going on so we stuck to the main entrance which has one of my most favourite combinations of things: Grass, and sky.
We shot for just under 12 minutes. It was too cold and the Merritt boys were all too sick to be out for much longer. I dialed in my exposure and took a few quick snaps of my most favourite subjects before turning auto focus off, clipping the camera to my tripod, and turning on the wireless release; we finally got down to the business of capturing our family for another year.
Jackets on, jackets off, mittens on, mittens … on. Click, click, click and then back in the car for a drive home and treats for being an awesome family.
Janet even picked up the camera for a few shots which was exactly like being treated to dinner. Thanks, darlin'.
Next year we’ll do it all over again. Only without the sickness.