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hi, I'm EMILY

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hi, I'm EMILY

7 Reasons to Take Annual Family Portraits | Family Portrait Photographer in San Diego

Mother and father laugh and look up as father lifts son into the air above his head. Son giggles, staring directly at the camera during annual family portrait session

Annual family portraits are quickly becoming one of my favorite sessions to photograph (to see why, check out this post). Perhaps you have been contemplating annual family portraits for awhile and just haven’t committed to making it a priority.  If you’re anything like me, you haven’t necessarily considered having annual family portraits taken… that is, until you hit a major life milestone – a wedding or a new family member perhaps. Whatever the reason, friend, as a professional photographer with a family of my own, I know that some day you will look back and wish that you’d documented all of the seemingly insignificant moments and changes in your family- not just the important milestones.

Annual family portraits are important for a myriad of reasons; here are seven of them!

Mother and father swing son in front of them as the entire family gazes at the camera during annual family portrait session.

Practical Reasons to Take Annual Family Portraits with a Pro Photographer:

Include the Entire Family in Your Annual Family Portraits

Have you ever noticed that there always seems to be one member of the family who ends up behind the camera taking the photos? If the person is you, I sympathize. As a mom and pro photographer, that person is nearly always me. This obviously leads to a lack of images that include the entire family. The easiest way to remedy this particular situation? Annual family portraits taken by a professional photographer will include every member of your family so you don’t have to struggle with timers or selfie-sticks!

Baby boy sits on father's shoulders, gazing directly at camera while Mom and dad smile at one another during annual family portrait session.

Eliminate the Stress of DIY Family Portraits

It’s no picnic capturing treasured images of your family on your own, especially if there are pets and little ones in the picture! While it’s certainly possible to do it yourself, it’s a lot easier to enlist the help of a professional photographer! A professional family portrait photographer has experience working with all ages, not to mention all personalities (and kiddos in all sorts of moods). They can provide tips on working with the tinier members of your family to ensure everyone looks and behaves their very best! (Interested in learning more about how to look and feel your best for your photo session? Check out this blog post.)

Not only do professional photographers guide clients throughout your family photo session, they can also eliminate the stress of searching for and creating quality print products, which brings me to…

Mom and dad kneel beside son and daughter, all smiling, at the beach during annual family portrait session.

Create New Art to Treasure in Your Home

What speaks to the soul more than beautiful printed photos of the ones we love? Absolutely nothing. In this digital driven world it’s often easy to forget that photos are meant to be viewed, and viewed often. Of course, most of us have thousands of photos on our cell phones and social media accounts. But a printed photo from a yearly family photo session becomes so much more than a snapshot on our phones. A professional photo of the entire family looking their best can become a priceless piece of art that you’ll cherish forever. (For more information about the importance of printed photos in the digital age, see this blog post).

son and daughter gaze directly at the camera while mom and dad look lovingly at their children during annual family portrait session at the beach near San Diego, CA.

Annual Family Portrait Images Make Beautiful Gifts

Speaking of the pricelessness of family photos, they serve as great gifts for your nearest and dearest friends and family! From holiday cards (here’s one of my favorite places to print our annual family holiday cards) and framed images to curated photo albums and large format canvas prints, the people you love will cherish printed photo gifts from your annual family photo session. 

Sentimental Reasons: 

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good.” -Gretchen Rubin

Mom, Dad, son, and daughter stand barefoot in the sand underneath a San Diego boardwalk during annual portrait session.

Create a Family Tradition

If you grew up having yearly family photos taken, you know what a valuable gift it can be. Certainly, the physical photographs themselves become long treasured items. But I have found that the experience of making memories in front of the camera often becomes a cherished family tradition. When you book a session with a pro family portrait photographer, they will work to make the experience an enjoyable one! Someday, your children will fondly recollect the memories of an hour spent laughing and playing together. And maybe, just maybe, your children will continue the annual family portrait tradition when they have families of their own. 

Family of four holds hands while walking through shallow water at the beach during annual family portrait session in San Diego, CA.

Create Family Heirlooms

Imagine future generations discovering your annual family portraits for the first time. They stumble across a dusty old album, long tucked away in a quiet attic. Carefully, they begin to turn the dog-eared pages, discovering their history with each passing image. Will it conjure in their imaginations the stories behind the smiles of their long-since-passed ancestors? Perhaps the images will prompt them to discover some previously unknown fact about themselves. Or perhaps it will spark an interest in learning more about their past, inspiring them to carry your family’s story into the future.

Mom and dad's hands rest on son and daughters shoulders during annual family portrait session. Sister gazes down at her brother, who is holding her hand while he gazes directly at the camera.

Tell Your Family’s Story

You know the old adage, “Time is a thief?” Well friends, the saying is absolutely true. It seems as though one moment I was anxiously awaiting high school graduation, counting down the days until my future began. Then in the blink of an eye I was married to my best friend. Another blink later, I left my job as a teacher to start my very own photography business. And in another blink, I became a mother. All of a sudden, it seems time has passed me by, leaving nothing but memories behind.

Dad with son sitting on shoulders while mom stands behind daughter, hands resting on daughter's shoulders during annual family portrait session.

In many ways, memories are intangible things. We tuck them into the cozy corners of our minds. Some undetermined day in the future, we will undoubtedly wish to pull those memories out and cradle them close to our hearts. But unless we document those moments, there’s no guarantee that we’ll retain the memories. Enter photographs – still frames of our most treasured moments.

That’s why it’s so important to document the changes in our families, so we can hold on tight to those beautiful memories. From new additions and first steps to braces and graduation, the photographs from you annual family portraits will one day serve as the tick marks on your family’s timeline. The images will tell your story, not just to you and your children, but to your family for generations to come.

Brother and sister run towards the camera, smiling and holding hands during annual family portrait session.

Looking for a photographer to capture your annual family portrait session? Contact EmmiClaire Photography today!

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