I’m fully convinced that some of the best investments we can give our children are great memories.. and photographs to remember them by! And I speak for myself, too. I know my childhood was filled with so many good things but most of the actual memories I still remember to this day are ones that were properly documented in the family albums. (Thanks, mom, for taking time.)
To think our parents didn’t have smartphones and digital cameras back in the day, which means every roll of film and every photograph had to be carefully budgeted and planned out!
Today we have an abundance of these gadgets, which makes memory keeping super easy. So easy, in fact, that it’s also easy to take it for granted.
If you’re like us who take too many photographs and footages of our children every single day, you probably have thousands of them unsorted in your phone, in your hard drive, and in the cloud too. And if you’re like us, you probably planned to deal with those files one of these days but now, 5 years later haha, you still weren’t able to find the time! (By the way, don’t wait too long or you might lose those digital files forever!)
So maybe I’m not the best person to talk about how to have an organized memory-keeping process with kids 7 years old and below (working on it!), but I’m one to highly recommend scheduling a family portrait session every once in a while.
Because.. look at these photos!
If it isn’t too obvious, I’m the type of person who likes holding the camera more than being in front of it.
As a blogger, my comfort zone has always been behind the screen although I do step into photo shoots once in a while when needed.
As a mother, my smartphone is brimming with photos and videos of the girls, but not so much of myself.
Is this a mommy thing too? Is this why moms are usually not in the pictures?
I’m working on getting myself in the frame more, to be honest. I’d love for our children (and myself!) to remember “good ol’ mom” in her youth! And a lifestyle photo session with a photographer friend was just what I needed these days.
What is lifestyle photography?
Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography that aims to capture people in real life situations, special events, or everyday moments, in an artistic manner. Lifestyle photo sessions happen in everyday locations, unlike classic portraits which are usually taken in studios with controlled lighting and environment.
Without towering spotlights and camera equipment in sight, I find that lifestyle photography is the best way to take photos of children in their element. You can invite a lifestyle photographer to your home to capture your everyday routine. Or you can take the whole family outdoors, maybe go to a nice restaurant or to the park just like we did, with a lifestyle photographer tagging along.
I would most definitely welcome a photographer clicking away while we do our normal family things, no pressure. This is why lifestyle photography sessions are my favorite. It doesn’t even feel like a photo shoot at all. This day, for instance, was simply a “field trip” in Dawn and Rain’s eyes—a day in the park running around in their favorite jumpers with “Teacher Jamie” (that’s what they call her)—and I’m sure they will remember these “park days” like we sure will.
Finding the best family lifestyle photographer
We’re at an advantage here to have friends who also happen to be amazing photographers. In this case, we literally just scheduled to have lunch with Jamie to catch up, and to take a “few” shots. We picked this new restaurant in BGC with lovely interiors, had lunch, and then went to a nearby park to let the kids play. All while catching up on each other’s lives.
Plus points that Jamie’s a natural with kids, and that Dawn and Rain are already comfortable with her. (Too comfortable, actually. Lol.) With children as subjects, you’d want someone who knows how to engage with the little humans, who can handle tantrums just in case haha, and who has a few proven tricks up her sleeves.
If you’re looking for a photographer to capture family photos, here are some tips:
1. Find a family lifestyle photographer, not just any photographer.
Lifestyle photographers are different in a sense that, they’re trained to capture everyday moments within the short timeframe you have with them. It’s almost like photojournalism with little intervention, where the photographer helps you “stage” these moments in beautiful and artistic ways. The resulting photos, then, are subtly staged but still candid and organic. Just like how you would normally interact with your children in real life.
2. Take time to check their portfolio and experience.
Naturally, you want to see previous work before engaging with a photographer. See if his/her aesthetic fits yours, and read reviews when you can too. You’d definitely want to find someone who, like Jamie, is a natural with children and knows how to handle them. Do look out for smiling little humans in their portfolio for sure!
3. Establish a relationship with your lifestyle photographer.
Alright, not everyone has a lifestyle photographer friend as we do but I highly recommend you find one that you like and build an ongoing professional and personal relationship with him/her. I’ve worked with a handful of photographers before but I find myself going back to the ones I’ve built a relationship with.
Now this is important because (1) you find that you’re more comfortable when you trust the one behind the camera, which means you can be yourself and not be too conscious, (2) it makes children easily warm up with someone they’re already familiar with. ;)
Give yourself and your family the gift of photographs and memories
Check out Jamie Mapagu Photography to book a family portrait session! Check out also her #MyMomisMyHero series which is filled with beautiful imagery and stories of moms and their little ones. Highly recommended, and Oyos twins seal of approval. ;)
Jamie Mapagu Photography
Thank you again, Jamie! Til next!