I don’t know if I’ve ever met a dad who was particularly excited about sitting for his family portrait. I genuinely believe dads value the photographs, or will with time. No one, in my family, is more likely to walk you through each and every one of the old family photographs than my father in-law. But actually making the portraits is more often an excruciating study in martial compromise.
The mothers arrive, having dressed the entire group in a carefully orchestrated coordinating outfits, hauling a bag full of handmade photo props, floral accessories, and a change of shoes in one hand and a small child in the other. Behind her, the dad is making slow forward progress while checking his watch.
The first time a father demanded, “are we done yet?” (mid-session) I was taken aback. Now, I’m more surprised when I get through an entire session without having to coach dad on revising a strained facial expression.
To this end, I want to make a potentially controversial suggestion. Every family portrait doesn’t have to be the entire family, every time. Instead, consider having a full Family Portrait made in the fall (for holidays cards and/or posterity,) but make the spring session a Mommy & Me. In most families, dads and kids are photographed disproportionally to mom anyway. Everyone acknowledges this phenomena but few bother to compensate for it.
Some extra good news: in January all Family Portraits (including Mommy & Me) are discounted! Click through to schedule a snuggly home session (like the one featured here.)