Every year when family picture day rolls around, we are always scrambling to get out the door.
My kids complain about their mom-chosen outfits, telling me they don’t match. They complain about getting their hair combed or styled. They complain about wearing church shoes instead of play shoes. They complain about the thought of smiling and posing for 30 minutes.
And as their Mama, I complain about them complaining. I fuss at my boys for wrestling in their clean and crisp clothes. I ban messy snacks and markers hours before picture time. And I bribe my kids with the promise of a treat once the photoshoot is over.
Every single year, my husband vows it’s the last year he’s agreeing to take family pictures. And every single year, I con him into doing the whole crazy parade all over again.
Why Family Pictures Really Matter
Family pictures are never perfect . . .
The scrunchy-nose smiles.
The frozen-face cheeses.
The child who can’t take his eyes off flocking birds.
The always drooling baby.
The child who can’t stand still to save his life.
The child who can’t keep her thumb out of her mouth.
The prompt for the husband to whisper into his wife’s ear when he only has one volume.
. . . but a good photographer can turn the imperfect moments into glimpses of treasured unfiltered life.
I don’t book family pictures every year so I can look at my perfectly posed family. I get family pictures so I can freeze this little moment in time. So I can look back at our life as a family during that season. So that the pictures will trigger memories—the heartwarming and the challenging—of having four kids ages six and under.
I will never forget the hard moments of parenting my crew through each season, but I want to remember these moments of us standing together—united.
Families may look different for everyone. But I can tell you one thing all families have in common: they are the sum of more than one. Whether you’re part of a large family or a small family, we’re all better together.
For better or for worse, these are my people, they are my heart and I’m beyond blessed to call them my family.
Photography by the talented Brittany Hellmeister