Here’s a scene that plays out frequently with my portrait clients – a family shows up to have their family portraits taken, the kids are fussy, the husband grumbly, and the wife running around trying to make everyone happy because she just wants ONE good photo of her family, dammit! You can picture it, right? Maybe it’s a scene out of your own family storybook. If you’re reading this, and this is your family, I wanted to write a little something for those moms who wonder “how do I get my husband to let me take family photos?….without complaint?”
Now, I don’t want to pick on husbands here. I’m sure there are exceptions to this where it’s the husband has organized a family photo and the wife is complaining but, personally, I’ve only seen the above story play out. And enough to want to write about it. And, before I start, I want to also add, I’ve had many, many dad’s who are all in (including my friend Ryan who said I could use these photos of his family when he wasn’t actually grumpy). But if you fall into the “grumpy about taking family photos”, this is for you!
So guys, I get it! I don’t like having my photo taken either. Why do you think I’m always behind the camera?! It’s not comfortable. But you’re going to have to get over it. For the sake of your lovely wife who has worked her butt off researching photographers, working out everyone’s schedules, finding coordinating outfits, getting everyone cleaned up and ready, getting herself ready, packing snacks, planning bribes, getting everyone in the car, trying to keep everyone happy so they don’t show up grumpy and then keep it going during the shoot so that the photographer can have shots you all will cherish later whether you know it now or not.
Hear this – she is not trying to torture you! She loves you. She’s proud of her family. She wants to show you off and decorate her home with the faces of those she loves. You can get behind that right? Can you get behind that enough to smile at her while someone snaps a photo of it?
Also, I have noticed that when the husband is grumbly, the kids almost always are too. It’s totally learned. You have the power to make this a fun experience for not only you but your kids and spouse as well!
One last plea – do you have a photograph of a loved one that you cherish? Maybe it’s a photo of a parent or grandparent. What if you didn’t have that simply because that particular loved one hated to be photographed? When you’re being photographed, try and think of your future adult children or your yet to be known grandchildren, and smile with all your heart into the camera at who they’ve become.
If that doesn’t work to make you smile, a good farting noise never fails… ?
P.S. It actually doesn’t take your soul away…or even hurt.