Do a Family Portrait Today Before It's Too Late; a personal story
Apr 2, 2019 | By: Kendrick Howard
What is the value of a family portrait in today's digital age? It's a question I am faced with as a professional photographer on a weekly basis, it seems, and I occasionally would struggle with an answer that made sense to the average person that didn't have my perspective on it. It seems everyone has a camera of one type or another. To illustrate the point a bit, in 2016 95 MILLION photos were uploaded per day to Instagram alone! To make things even more incredible it is reported that Instagram use has doubled since 2016. That is a staggering figure when you think about it, and it calls to question the title of this post.
This past year has really opened my eyes to the value of the family photograph. I was called to photograph a wonderful family this past fall and I noted a real sense of urgency from the mother who hired me. It was so urgent that when I called her to see if she wanted to reschedule because the weather had gone south, she replied that this was the only weekend they could do it. It wasn't until she came to pick up the enlargements that we made for her that I realized the reason for the urgency. Her husband, and the father of her children, had passed away the week before. To this day that event still gets to me, but I feel so proud that I was able to get that family something that they will have forever to remember one of the nicest men I have ever met.
Fast forward about a month, and the reality of this issue came home to our family with the passing of my own father. It wasn't unexpected, but it's one of those moments in life when one starts to reflect on many things. The first thing we all did was start to look for photographs of Dad, and I realized that the last time we had a family picture done was when my sister got married, which was about 10 years ago. It was a great shot, but there is one glaring issue with that shot: my son hadn't been born yet. As embarrassing as this is to admit, there is not one single family portrait of all of us since my son was born 9 years ago. And now, oh so regrettably, the opportunity for that shot is gone forever. Here is another slightly shocking fact that I hate to admit: we have only taken one shot of my wife my son and I together! One shot of all of us in 9 years. I can tell you for certain that changes today!
This post may seem a bit self-serving. After all, my family is in the business of making family and high school senior portraits, but the obvious point I wan't to get across to all of you is to get a family portrait done. NOW. And do it every year if you can manage. I don't care if you use us or have a friend take it with an iPhone. Just get it done. Don't wait until it's almost too late. Do it now while everyone is happy and healthy, because when that family member is gone you will absolutely wish you had. Take it from me.