The Reality of Family
Any family photographer knows that the behind the scenes of a family session is not very glamorous. You're clucking, chattering, and whistling to try and get all the children's eyes on you, positioning yourself like a ninja so that your shot can make it look like the children aren't pouting or crying.
I have photographed the Veley family for nearly 5 or 6 years.
You can see their sessions here:
This summer we thought we were going to be proactive and get an easy Christmas card photo in August, since the weather was beautiful and we were in the beautiful Muskokas. How naive we were. This is probably my favourite family session with the Veleys, because it was so real. Elora (the toddler) decided from the moment I pulled out my camera that she was not going to have her photo taken, and Olivia (the preschooler) has decided that her current smile (squinty and precious) will be her most natural smile. We literally ran through the forest to get to our spot because the mosquitos were so bad, and when I say "we" I really mean Nathan ran carrying Olivia, while Hillary, Elora and I trailed behind. At one point Elora just buried her face into the blanket much like an ostrich and probably the highlight was Hillary and Nathan standing behind me singing "Love is an Open Door" to get the girls to smile. Seriously people, THAT is the reality of family. The Veley's would be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as perfection and they live that out. They admit their mistakes, celebrate their victories and know that during a one hour photo shoot if we get ONE photo where everyone is looking it's a success. Instead of expecting your family to look like an istock image photo, embrace the shot where your toddler is hanging upside down and you are all laughing at the outrageousness, embrace real life. The Veley's have always done family raw and real in front of me and I am very grateful, they don't pretend to be something they're not they just be them.
So enjoy your family today. Enjoy the imperfections. Enjoy the fact that your toddler refuses to get their picture taken and insists on laying on their face. That your preschooler's smile is so wacky and so perfect all at the same time because she loves it. And that when it's time to get photos of just the two of you, you have about 4 minutes before someone starts yelling "MOM" or "DAD". Enjoy family.