A question that I get asked a lot is "When should I get a photo taken?" Sometimes it's new parents who are considering how frequently to take their baby's photo and sometimes it's simply a question of when to update a family portrait. The answer I can't help but give is "NOW is the best time to take a photo!" I'm not trying to drum up business and I'll try not to preach, but I've got my reasons for saying this.
The first goes back to the new baby. For heavens sake, buy a good camera and use it! Children change so much in the first few days, months and years and you need to be ready to capture these moments. The cost of a good camera can not outweigh the joy you will have in years to come from the photos in your hand. Practice with your camera, set the date on it correctly, save and store your photos, negatives or files carefully so the next generation will not lose them or will not know how to identify them. Invest, when you are able, in professional portraits of your child and family as well. They will be cherished heirlooms.
Family portraits are a different animal. I often say that no one over the age of six actually LIKES to have their photo taken. We are all too much aware of what we see as our own flaws in photos. But really . . . GET OVER IT!! You can always look at yourself in the mirror and think you need to lose a few pounds, get your hair cut or buy some great new clothes for a family portrait session. I believe we need to think more clearly that future generations of our family -- 50 or more years down the road -- are going to cherish the photo and will not look at it and say "Gosh, grandpa sure did have wrinkles around his eyes" or "What were they thinking not having matching outfits."
I'm not saying you need to get a new family portrait as often as you need to get your new baby photographed. But, please don't put it off or wait too long because life comes in and can change your life in the blink of an eye. I would write a blank check right now if I had a photo of my parents, my brother and I taken of us as adults. We certainly could have done it but just didn't. We all think we've got all the time in the world. I photographed a wedding with my father and brother in February, 2001 like I had done hundreds of times before. By February, 2002, both these men were gone from my life. I have never seen a photo of my husband with his parents and his brother. His family just didn't take family portraits and his only brother died in a car accident when he was 25 years old. I can say, without even asking him, that he would LOVE to have a portrait of all of them together.
So . . . no matter who clicks the shutter, grab your kids, grab your family, hold your chins up high and SMILE!! CLICK!!