When I logged in to my social media this morning, the first two posts were the stories of two families. For one family, today is a day of celebrating a wedding anniversary with mentions of grown children and growing grandchildren. For the other family, today is also a day of commemorating a loss of a parent who played such a tremendous role in her family's life, she is missed daily since her passing.
Both of these stories remind me of how important it is to remember grandparents when we are planning our family photography sessions. Having lost a parent and my children's grandfather, I know how precious those images of the older generations are when they are no longer with us.
My dad grumbled as only he could when I asked him to pose with my children. Now that he's gone, those photographs are the most precious things I own to pass down to my children. He is and was an important part of their story and they were such an important part of his story as a grandparent.
Grandparents must exist in photographs for you as their child and for their grandchildren.
It's a simple question to ask grandparents, would you like to be in a couple of photographs with us at our next family photo session? We are having a session this Saturday, are you free? If you don't ask, they can't say yes.
A grandmother commissioned me for a session last year as she wanted professional photographs of her young grandchildren were all together in town. The grandparents hadn't planned on being in the photographs, just the grandkids. That was until I asked if we could get a group shot of the grandparents with the grandchildren. The main concern was that the grandfather had come straight from his job in construction and his clothes were dirty.
To that concern, I simply said this
'It doesn't matter. All your grandchildren care about is that you are in the photograph with them. This photograph will mean more to your children and your grandchildren in 20 years than whether you have on a better shirt and clean jeans.'
With this idea in mind, when a recent session was scheduled during a family trip to visit family, I asked the Mom would her Dad be interested in joining us for the session.
We had him stay for a few photos before he headed off to watch a Royals game on TV. Those 20 minutes he spent at the session is an invaluable gift to his family.
I have photographed this family for many years but I think I can say this session was probably one of the most special sessions. These boys love their grandfather so much and he loves them!