Just the words give me anxiety. I have a love/hate relationship with family photography. I love having pictures of my children and our family, but I hate the struggle that a photo session becomes. The are six of us, and getting six people to all look and smile at the same time is virtually impossible. And prior to the photos is the Battle Royale also know as wardrobe. One girl wants to wear a ball uniform, the other melts down over having nothing “cute” to wear. The Husband and the two youngest aren’t any better. My boys could care less about having their picture taken; it requires them to be cooperative, clean, and smiling. All of which have no appeal to them. I have come to believe that it is easier to negotiate world peace than to have a successful, meltdown-free portrait session with the Stephens family.
My family has one portrait in particular, that as beautiful as it is, bears no resemblance to the emotions we actually felt at that moment. (Thank goodness.) My Husband and I had argued the whole way there because it was about 100 degrees in the middle of July and I had asked that he wear a long sleeve shirt. (With the sleeves rolled up, I’m not unreasonable, people). The kids were hot and cranky because it was right in the middle of nap time, and I was stressed out over making sure everyone looked their best. By the time the camera actually started clicking we were already over it.
Why is that? Why must every single photo session be a complete and utter disaster? I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Just the other day I had a conversation with a friend about the trauma of family portrait day, and she too has experienced the same frustrations. The whole day is a wreck, the session is a wreck, and then some how a week later you receive photos that are beautiful. They capture the moment, the emotion and the relationship that clearly wasn’t visible to you that day. And they bring you to tears.
My only explanation is this: Photographers must be doing the Lord’s work!!! Anyone who can take the worst of situations and turn it into a beautiful piece of art has to be divinely blessed and spirit guided! To all my photographer friends, bless you!!! God bless you for your patience, perseverance, problem solving, and hostage negotiator skills. May your reward in Heaven be great!