I was recently chatting on Facebook with a past RMP bride who mentioned, "Oh, I didn't realize you did family photography too." So clearly we are overdue for a blog post! My immediate reaction was, "Of course I take family photos!" but, to be fair, it's not an "of course" for every single wedding photographer out there. By now you've heard me talk up, down, and sideways about the importance of legacy (and if you haven't, check out this post first
). I am a photographer because I know deep in my bones that decades from today there will be people who want to learn your story.
And one of the strongest ways for those future generations to learn is through looking at a photo and seeing exactly who you were. I won't jump up on my soapbox now about the importance of printing
your photos to make sure this happens because you can just click over to this post
to hear all about that, but this core value I have of guarding your legacy is intimately connected to why there is a natural progression to photograph families.
Obviously, being given the responsibility to document a wedding day is huge
. There are so many momentous and fleeting moments that will never happen again. When else are all of those loved ones in one room together? So why would we work so hard to get to know one another in order to assure the utmost success of your wedding photos, only for me to disappear after you receive them? It just doesn't feel right! By the time the wedding arrives I've learned so much about our amazing RMP families that I nearly feel like a long-lost cousin. Those future generations I mentioned don't only want to learn about your wedding day. They want insight into who you were on an every day basis. They want to see the change from being a young, giddy newlywed to the immediate oceans-deep, awe-inspiring love when they arrived into your life and changed you forever.
It is with great reverence (and no props) that I approach family photography. To be given the privilege of arriving to the hospital room before your mom is immense. To watch this little one...
Become this big girl, is an honor usually only allowed for the closest of family & friends. I'm grateful to consider our RMP couples friends of course, but the responsibility I continue to hold for their life stories is never forgotten.
To find out top secret information before your best friend, is stunning.
Future generations want to see the little nuances of every day that make your life beautiful and unique. By the time your son is old enough to make memories, he most likely will no longer be trying to eat your hair. ;-)
How do I know this? Because what photos do you love to look at the most? For me, they aren't necessarily photos I have taken or even that I'm in. Those memories I have because I was obviously there. The photos that bring a tear to my eye and a joyful pang to my heart are the ones that were taken before I existed. They are the ones that allow me to learn just a bit more about my wonderful, big, audacious family. And because I know how important those are, I view the new photos being made today with the importance of someone looking at them 70 years from now. What will they learn from us?
While some photographers specialize only in weddings or only in family photography, I always say I specialize in people. I specialize in thinking about the long game. I firmly believe it is my job to create something that allows those generations not yet born to have insight into what it felt like to know you. And it's for these reasons that it's only natural we continue the story for our couples well past the wedding day.