Parenting

Do you get professional pictures taken?

In the age of digital magic, Tracy wonders how many people ditch "professional" photographers for personal snapshots.

Our last family photo, by photographer Shawna King.

I’m a big picture-taker. I come by it honestly — my mom is renowned for having pictures of everyone and everything we’ve ever done. When she pulls out her camera everyone moans, “Awww, Mom!” but truly, it’s such a gift to have a photographic chronicle of our growing up, even with all that big hair, the braces and my navy-blue framed glasses (which seem to be back in style, btw).
 
I also used to be good at printing out my photos, but that was back in the days of film, when you had to print them out to see your brilliance. Such a bizarre concept now, isn’t it? I also used to be great at taking my girls to have their photos taken at a store. Because their birthdays are almost exactly six months apart, I’d get their photos done around each birthday, “professionally” chronicling their growing up.
 
But this past year, it got complicated. Once they were in a daycare centre, the girls got pictures taken there, which didn’t quite coincide with my schedule. And last year, Anna got them taken at daycare and school. But how would I know if I should wait for those, or get my own done around Avery’s birthday in September? (For the record, Anna almost always arrives with a nice school pic, but Avery, not so much.)
 
Last year, our niece took a picture of Avery at her birthday party that was so beautiful I enlarged it, framed it and used it as her “official” photo. It got me thinking — with all the capabilities of the digital world, do we even need to get “professional” pictures anymore? Can’t we crop and edit our own snapshots ourselves to get a beautiful photo?
 
On top of that, I’d rather shell out some money every once in a while for nicer, more natural photos with a photographer that will take us out to a park and spend some time getting some candids and group shots. Since Avery’s birth almost four years ago, we’ve only had two nice family photos taken (it was all just too hard!). The money we spent to do this last October was, to me, money very well spent. And because my husband rarely picks up the camera, it’s really my only chance to be in our family’s photo history!
 
This past weekend, we took it to another level, getting a group shot of my entire family — my parents, my sisters and their families. The last picture like this was taken five years ago; Anna had just turned one and Avery was the furthest thing from our minds. Anna was always complaining about this photo, that it wasn’t “complete” and that “we don’t even look like that anymore!”
 
So we did it. I haven’t yet seen the results, but I’m so happy that we did it. Avery was not in the mood, so I’m not expecting much for our family’s photos, but I’ll be thrilled to have the group shot. This time, I was the ringleader, figuring out the date, the place, what everyone should wear, and getting the “Awww, Mom!”-type comments. But I didn’t care. As my mom has always known, someday, they’ll all look back and be grateful to that we captured this moment in time.
 
Do you get professional pictures taken of your kids or your family?

Photo by Shawna King Photography.