for the love of sweet baby jesus...."look at the camera kids and smile"

smiling in a photograph is highly overrated, personally I prefer kids sucking their thumbs!  In all seriousness smiling is awesome but when mom and dad are forcing the words "look at the camera kids and smile" through gritted teeth with their own fake  plastered smiles... the results are... welllll, less then natural! i think we've been conditioned by society to "pretend" that our live's are (pardon the pun) "picture perfect".  we've been groomed to believe that a perfect smiling family photo is a great representation of the ideal modern family, staged in the best location, behaving as we should….i call BULL SH**!  were far from this "normal" in most cases and so why should be pretend too be perfect when we are not.  so let your hair down, trash the ties, leave some dirt on your kids and  break away from "picture perfect"!  why not show your family's true personalities... raw, real, fun and in the moment!

i want you to ask yourself what images that you currently have that evoke a "feeling" when you see them.  is it that "perfect" family photo of everyone posed and smiling in a studio OR is it the one of your daughter catching her first fish with grandpa screaming with joy or maybe it's all your little people sitting in a chair together reading books after a long day, the blanket fort maybe?…perhaps, it's the one of your son crying because he got up way to early and he's a total yard sale of emotions!

so it's the REAL MOMENTS right, i thought so!  why? because deep down we all realize that childhood doesn't last, your kids are getting bigger by the minute and eventually they stop doing the things that you loved and admired (or maybe it irritated you at the time)  but in looking back now you kinda miss them just being kids!  did you know that you only have 18 summers with your children, scary thought!

so your question to me is why i'm bringing this up, making you all weepy and sentimental so early or late in the day?  well, i want you all to stop being so conventional with your photography.  period.  start documenting your families life unscripted,  more as it unfolds and less structured.  start taking pictures of your kids not looking at the camera, take pictures of the toys they play with, catch them sleeping and stop asking them to SMILE all the time!  if taking your own images is not your gig and you like using a professional or maybe you do both, then hire one that suits your style of photography.  have them  come along to a planned event or a non planned event for that matter, hang out in your house for an afternoon while baking with grandma or maybe it's just a lazy sunday!  whatever that may be, after your session i suggest that you plaster your walls with the amazing images, make some books out of them and buy some more tissue folks because your home will ooze of love, character and your true selves.

lastly, believe in the Photographer you've hired for the job, if you've done your research…trust in them to capture a perfect reflection of your families dynamic AT THAT MOMENT!  whether that's all smiles, throwing tantrums, picking their noses or the shy phase. the photographer will make it look magical, because that's what were paid to do.  work our magic!

below are some ideas for displaying your portraits and i've also added a few of my own family images, enjoy!

check out kristen duke's site, there's some amazing ideas for displaying /hanging  your portraits!!

these hangs out right above my desk, talk about loving my work space view...


these are some of the other wall photography displays i have throughout the my house, all ikea/costco...super reasonable for cost!





oh my babies, how i love them...