The Value Of Family Photography
In the field of early professional photography, the real essence of family photography was overlooked. Back then, photographers have no idea how to motivate their clients, while family subjects on the other hand failed to actively take part during photography sessions. It can be observed that most if not all family stills from centuries ago were usually stiff images wherein the subjects are idly sitting on chairs without showing unnecessary movements, snapped under limited lighting with large format cameras and slow film. The resulting photos are too formal and stiff, that they lack emotional value and appeal.
It should be considered that similar to family storytelling, photos indicate relationships among the members of the family, and such perspective was what past family photography failed to encompass. However, with the changing landscape of technology, photographing behaviors have also changed. As more and more people gain access to cameras and become familiar with its technicalities, the process of photography also became less intimidating, which in turn changes the emotional content of family photos. Family members are now open to being photographed, disregarding formalities and stiffness that once permeated past photography.
Modern family photography is moving away from stiff and formal photos of the past that were often snapped inside studios. Today, more and more circles of family are choosing to have their portrait shot at a location that holds special meaning to them. It might be at their bedroom, at a favorite vacation spot, or with their prized possessions”"a clear representation of family bonding time. On a similar note, while the subjects of past photography were often compelled to maintain stiff poses while directly looking at the camera, modern photo shoots permit the members of the family to engage in ongoing activities without the need to look at the camera in order to make the shot more realistic.
There are three key reasons why many parents commission family portraiture: pride, documentation of family growth and of course as means of remembrance”"to remember not only the faces but also the laughter and encapsulation of fun and memorable moments. Photographing children, for instance, has become so common because for parents capturing their little ones during their early years is a priceless reminder of a time that will never be returned again. Children photos are more than just historical records of their growth, they are also universal truths that speak of their innocence that would be lost once they are exposed to the outside world.
The same perspective is also applicable with teen photos often commissioned during high school graduation, which is a key changing time for the whole family since it is a commemoration of a child’s academic accomplishments and maturity, and at the same time the realization for parents how they are about to let go of their children to explore other parts of themselves without their guidance. From then on, family gatherings are less frequent that the time spent together become more special when special occasions take place. Whether it is during a wedding, anniversary or christening, the idea that the family is complete once again after a long time is already enough reason to capture every sweet moment in the camera. Family portraits freeze frame vital parts in our lives that serves as our reminders of why we work, love and live.
More than just capturing the aesthetics of every family member, family portraiture, regardless if they are teen photos, parent photos or children photos has a more important function. It is a means to capture the heart and sole of the family. The subjects could either look directly at the camera and be able to project his or her emotions, or engage on an ongoing activity without looking at the camera but emphasize emotion through actions. Succinctly, family photos greatly detail how a family perceives the world.
Family photography has never been given much attention during the past. However, as more and more parents realize the real value of family photos; family portraiture has evolved into a fundamental concept that captures the heart and soul of the family. Photographing children is one good way to document the growth of one’s child, while teen photos commemorate the happy memories of those times when one enjoys the comfort of his or her family.
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