Wichita KS Family Photographer | The bookends of life - grandparents and grandchildren

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!

Wichita Family Pictures Grandparents
Wichita Family Pictures Grandparents

Famiy Photographer Wichita KS | A little sugar leads to better behavior...

When working with children, you need to be flexible. As a Mom, I know you want your family portraits to be great and as a photographer, I want that too. Kids, however, don’t always follow this theory! If there is a day that they are not into being photographed, its always the day your session is scheduled. Been there, done that. Sometimes we need a little sugar to encourage better behavior! Positive attitudes and a little encouragement work well to provide for a happier session.

As a parent, I know sometimes I have needed a little sugar to help life go by without a fight, for both me and my kids. I take the same stance with my portrait clients. A little sugar (*cough* bribery) helps a portrait session go a little bit easier.

When you have a positive environment, you get honest smiles, eyes filled with laughter and the child(ren) will look forward to getting photographed again.

With the thoughts of encouraging a positive environment for my sessions, I created the Treasure Box concept to help add a little persuasion into my portrait session mix. The Treasure Box is filled with toys, candy and trinkets to encourage good behavior.

During our initial consultation, I ask about what types of topics (i.e. activities, colors, books, TV shows, TV/movie characters) your child(ren) in interested in. I do this so that I can get down to their level and talk to them about what they like. This helps to keep their attention and focus. It also helps children who might have any anxiety about being photographed.

Using the children’s ‘likes’ my clients tells me about during the initial consultation, I try to stock the Treasure Box with toys, trinkets and sometimes candy (parent approved of course due to food allergies) that will appeal the child(ren).

At the start of the session, as a group with parents present, the child(ren) get to preview the Treasure Box. I let everyone know that if we do really well during the session at the end of session, they get to pick a prize (with parental approval of course).

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Wichita Family Photographer | What story will your pictures tell?

When you take a picture, there is always a reason behind why you are taking a picture. You are taking that picture to tell a story, remember a celebration, or save a moment. Similarly, when you schedule a portrait session, you are doing so to celebrate an event, to capture a memory for tomorrow, and to hold onto a feeling of a moment in time. Every portrait session tells a story.

When planning your next portrait session, think about why you are having pictures taken, what is the story you are telling?

Are you having your family photographed because your youngest is getting older? Do you want to include something that involves their childhood? Is your oldest child headed for college?  Are cousins or grandparents who live out of town visiting? Tell their story in pictures.

Do you have a pet that is getting older and you want to celebrate their life? Do you have a new four legged member of the family? Do you have a special place you and your pet like to visit together? Tell their story in pictures.

Call (316) 290-9857) or email (karra@islaycornersphotography.com) today to tell your story!

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