Why Have Portraits Made? Part 1

Why should I have professional family portrait taken and how often?

hamster family tradition

This is a common question for my studio. Generally I suggest a portrait session every year. Yearly portrait sessions are especially important if you have a puppy or small children because they do grow and change so quickly. Most common is for people that have a portrait session every year so they can add those photos to their Christmas cards or Mother’s Day presents are birthday presents and be and have the record of their family every single year.

One family I photograph every year has a very special story.

They purchased a portrait session gift certificate at a Boy Scout auction. there previous photographer had moved away or gone out of business and they always had family portrait taken.

When they hired me they showed me all their family pictures from every one of the last 14 years leading up there stairway and through their upstairs hall. Except for one year. A family of four, the children were in elementary school when mom was diagnosed with cancer.  

Summer of 2014 we chose a local park for the portrait session. The family even brought the dog and the hamster! Although the mosquitoes were out in force we all had fun posing in the flowers.

Spring of 2015 this family won the Boy Scout auction once again and I waited for the call to set up their session. By the end of October I haven’t heard from them so I reached out to schedule before the snow and the busy holidays started. 

The email I got back from Dad brought me to tears. Mom’s cancer has come back and they were spending the month at a hospital in Denver.  I offered to come to Denver and photograph the family at a garden near the hospital. But Dad relayed that Mom just wasn’t comfortable having to wear a hat and not feeling well in her family portrait. Of course I completely understood. I offered to help in any way I could and let him know that I would touch base again in a few weeks.

By the end of December I heard again from Dad. Maybe we could do our family portraits inside in our home and our Christmas tree? Of course I said yes and we set a date just before Christmas.

Once again the family of four gathered with the dog and hamster and we enjoyed portraits around the Christmas tree and in front of the fireplace in the comfort of their home.

This year I saw the family again at the Boy Scout dinner. Dad was busy coordinating the huge dinner. Mom looked great and was back to work. The kids were working hard at middle school and high school.

Yes, they won the auction again. This summer we will meet again, laugh at the silly hamster, try new hats for Mom, and make another family portrait to display forever with all the previous years. Many thanks to this family for treasuring their family with a professional portrait every year.

(They are a very private family and asked me to keep them anonymous when telling their story.)