I’ve just spoken to a new client, who booked a portrait sitting for his parents’ forthcoming wedding anniversary. One of his big reasons for booking was that a family member had died recently and when going through her things, he’d been struck by how beautiful some of her portrait photographs were. He said it was a lovely to have these as a memory of her.
We also talked about photographs taken within the family – and I believe these are different to professional portraits but can be wonderfully valuable. A client a couple of years ago put together an album for her father’s sixtieth birthday with photographs dating back through their lives. One photograph was of the father and his two daughters with a yellow car – chosen for its colour at the request of one of the daughters. Another was of the father and a daughter at the kitchen sink, washing and drying up together. They really are a reflection of their family life. While I can photograph a ‘Day in the Life’ session with clients – and have – this catching of everyday activity is something that anyone can do – with treasured results. One of the drawbacks of this, however, is that the photographer – a family member – won’t be in the images. So, in an ideal world I believe that we’d have a family camera in a home that anyone can use (certainly adults) so there is no one person always missed from the photographs and complement this with regular professional portraits.