I love when family comes to visit.
The thought of someone else to entertain the kids, I mean my kids getting to spend meaningful time with their grandparents.
Showing off the local jewels to out of town guests. BBQ's with the family, bedtime routines interrupted by stories from Grandpa.
Sneaking out for a date night with the hubby while someone else spends quality moments with the kids (and I don't have to pay a sitter).
I start to think about family photos while everyone is in town. I know that the chances to have everyone together is pretty slim these days and I have to take advantage of that when I can. I often photograph the kids and the grandparents together, my husband and his dad working on a project, Uncles playing baseball in the yard, but I am never in the picture. IT's never all of us in one image.
I get it, the thought of getting all of the extended family together for family photos is torturous. I know I would rather get poked in the eye than try to get all the family together in one spot, at one time. Convince Uncle Tommy to not wear that neon pink T-shirt that he got at spring break circa 1986 and then make them be happy and smile. Dude, Uncle Tommy has worn that shirt to every family gathering since 1986, it's not coming off no matter how much beer you bribe him with.
What if I told you there is an easier way. That there is a way to have genuine, real, heartfelt family photos without the stress of a photo session with everyone including you in the pictures. I am not lying to you I promise.
Imagine this, your mom and sister come to town. They live halfway across the world and you don't get to see them nearly as often as you want to. Your mom and you are super close. You make each other laugh over the silliest of things and you love watching your two kids snuggle up with Grandma. You know your time is limited with them and you want to keep things as fun and easy as possible. You call up your favorite local documentary family photographer and say hey, come spend the afternoon with us!
These are the images you get.
All smiles, fun, picking out of pancakes and noses.
You get images of what your time with family feels like!
You get to spend time with them doing what you want to do not what you have to do!
You grab some late lunch, gossip about the latest scandal from back home. Talk about the things that have changed or the ones that need to change but haven't.
Head out for a late afternoon stroll to show off some Florida nature at Circle Bar B Reserve in Lakeland, Natural Florida in it's glory, full of birds, alligators and armadillos.
Come home and cook dinner together as a family. Maybe your mom cooks your favorite dish from childhood or maybe you just order pizza.
You stand in the doorway to your daughter's room after her bath and watch your mother read to your daughter. You celebrate your own holiday traditions together.
You just are.
No stress, no pretence, no fake smiles.
Just real life.
I get time with out of town family isn't always stress free, why add on more stress by asking them to "pose" for family photos too? A real life documentary session allows for everyone to stay relaxed, just enjoy their time together and sneak in those pictures. We can even get that one picture of everyone sitting in one place, at one time, looking at the camera real quick!
Have family coming to town? Call me (or email cause I get it that no one wants to talk on the phone) and lets get the ball rolling!