This is a special family portrait, and a special family. Even though Mom & Dad are divorced, they are on great terms with each other! Whenever an out-of-town family member is in town, they have a big get-together and all the step-siblings and everyone is invited. I love that there is no animosity whatsoever. It is beautiful to see that this family was not torn apart, but rather they grew bigger and closer together! (This picture does not include all the grandkids or any step-siblings – there is more of them!)Between group shots, Dad starts discussing with some of his kids how “people” used to take family portraits every few years, and now they only do it at big events like a wedding or something. I have run into that a few times myself. Parents will say “We haven’t had our portrait done since {Teenage Daughter} was six!” It is important to take those family photos, even if it is just a snapshot of all of you piled on the couch!! This particular family did not have a complete family photo of themselves for years!!! Because Dad & Sister moved out-of-state and by circumstance were hardly ever in-state at the same time, getting this complete family portrait has taken quite a few years of waiting.

A few suggestions, if I may, for surviving your family portrait session:
These thoughts are not stemming from this session or any other recent session, so don’t think I am putting you on the spot! 🙂

1. Do not get angry. I understand that you may want your family members to dress perfectly, sit perfectly and smile perfectly, but if that doesn’t happen… Let’s be honest, it’s not going to help the situation any if you get angry or frustrated.

2. If children are not behaving properly, it is the parents’ pleasure to discuss this with the child. NOT the grandparents, NOT aunt or uncle. If there needs to be bribing or persuading of any sort, please leave that to the parents or the photographer. If there needs to be reprimanding, again leave that to the parents. Can you imagine a portrait session where Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, AND Aunt June are all getting on Junior’s case about not smiling or sitting jus right??? It’s not fun and I really feel bad for the kid when it happens.

So please, no getting angry and no getting angry at a kid that is not your own.