A few weeks ago, a friend asked me, "How can I convince my husband to do family portraits?" Often times men will go along with it to make the wife happy, but even if they do, doesn’t mean they are happy about it. I have other friends and clients who just have pics taken of their kids because their husband refuses. This makes me a bit sad because I think it is so important to show solidarity and togetherness with the family portrait. Lets face it, most men don’t love to have their pictures taken. (There are a few select men that I have come across that do).
So today, let me suggest as we focus more on dads this weekend, something that will help the men in your life enjoy family portraits a little more. It’s very simple. Come close and I’ll whisper it….Include something they love to do. Is it football? Frisbee? guitar? Amusement park? Have a family activity photographed. This has become popular with professionals, called Lifestyle photography and I personally LOVE it, but I don’t really get requests for it (I wish I did!) The key is to just play and have fun, might sound much more appealing to the man in your life.
The fact of the matter is…it isn’t really fun for anyone to sit up tall, look straight at the camera, in a cohesive manner, in clothes someone else picked out, and smile. But we women like that perfect shot, right? So for your next family pictures whether you hire a professional or have a "friend with a nice camera" snap shots of you, think of something your husband would enjoy doing. Think more about playing and less about posing.
It is one of the highest compliments to me when at the end of the session, the dad says, "that was fun!" I’ll often include the posed shots for mom, but if I have dad throw the child in the air, or wrestle with the big kids, that is their idea of fun… mixed in with the dreaded. It just so happens, those candid moments are my favorite to capture as well. Even if you don’t have a sports theme just for him, just let them be, it will help them relax. We women have a tendancy to get cranky (and nit picky) when we want that perfect-ness from our family, and it stresses our husbands out, believe me, I KNOW! Tell yourself (I know, it’s hard) there is no such thing as a perfect portrait and just enjoy your family. Let them decide and plan the session.
Though they may not always say it, this is something they may actually enjoy;) If they might also bring up the money factor, you just remind them of those rounds of golf or cycling gear, and save your splurging pennies (and birthday wishes) and he cannot argue to that end. Beautiful family portraits are heirlooms that have no price. What does your husband love to do that would be fun to have photographed?
P.S. Here is an idea for family pictures at home, right in your own backyard.