The Importance of Photographs

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Categories Infants

One of the things I never realized when I was about to have twins was how truly exhausting life would be. Of course, I knew life would be chaotic and I knew I’d be losing out on a lot of sleep, but I really, honestly, just had no idea. It took me awhile to realize that I ran on autopilot for weeks and even months on end. Someone suggested to me that I try to take pictures of the kids every single day. Not just pictures of them in the cute matchy-match outfits, but pictures of the mundane, ordinary moments of our day to day life. I have my digital photographs meticulously organized (thanks, Picasa!) and it’s easy to scroll back through years’ worth of history in the lives of my children. I am so grateful for those boring photos that are probably only interesting to me and my family, because a lot of that time is just a blur to me when I try to think back. When you’re so painfully sleep deprived, it’s just not possible to memorize every single precious moment.

One of my biggest regrets, however, is not making the time to have professional pictures taken of my children. I mean, I have a few. We managed to pull ourselves together and head over to the mall when the kids were a few weeks old. And I have lots and lots of average looking photos of my oldest daughter, taken at various JC Penney stores, Olan Mills photo studios, and of course, Wal-Mart – who can pass up the obligatory 102 portraits for $12.95? When we’re talking about pictures of our pride and joy, more is better. What I didn’t realize, though, was that those pictures are really pretty crappy.

A friend of mine is an amazingly talented photographer, with such a stunning portfolio that she has more clients than she knows what to do with. When she was first starting out, and trying to build her portfolio, she came over and took some pictures of my children. Here is one that took my breath away:

I have a wall full of pictures like these, and they just aren’t the sort of thing you end up with when you go to those chain stores. I wish so badly that I would have known this gal back when I got married and when I was pregnant and when my babies were brand new. She’s taken pictures of everyone and their children in our circle of friends, and the maternity pictures always make me teary. I have very few pictures of my bare pregnant belly, and I regret that now. What truly makes my heart hurt, though, is seeing pictures of brand new tiny infants. There’s such a short, precious window of time where you can get amazing pictures, and once that time passes, it’s too late. You can’t get that time back. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about:

I don’t think any woman could look at that picture without spontaneously ovulating! It’s precious to the point of heartbreaking! And I hate that I don’t have pictures like that of my twins. So this is my plea to you expectant mamas: find a photographer who specializes in baby photos and get her on the phone! Set something up where she can come to your home the first week you’re home with your babies. I KNOW it’s a crazy, exhausting, hormonally wacked out time – I know it is. Honey, I know: I have two sets of twins! I’ve lived through it. But make it a priority, so that you don’t sit around boo-hoo-hooing a year or so later, when you see pictures like this and they aren’t framed on your living room wall.

I know it’s expensive to have photos done. Believe me, we are broke as a joke, trying to maintain a family of seven over here. But truly, if you just skip getting the half-assed cheap pictures done every other month at Wal-Mart, you should easily be able to afford one amazing photo session with your kids every year, with a talented professional photographer. It’s so worth it, I promise you won’t regret having nice photos made. And the grandparents will love you for it.

Photo credits:
Lamb Photography

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7 thoughts on “The Importance of Photographs”

  1. Gorgeous! Yeah, there’s nothing quite like professional photos. Another idea is to hit up your local twin club. Turns out my MOT “little sister”, whose twins are about three months younger than mine, is a photographer (weddings, mostly), and has offered to take pics of my kids sometimes! Otherwise, thankfully, my nice camera seems to be doing the trip. I’ve taken an unnatural amount of pictures in the last seven months. Thank god for digital, right?

  2. So true and such good advice! I’m an amateur trying to turn professional photographer and so I’ve exhausted almost all of our memory space on our imac w/ pics of the boys. But what I am realizing now is that I’m in virtually NONE of the pictures! And a picture of all four of us as a family is nearly non-existent. I mentioned this to j and he said, “well, let’s just set up the self timer.” I laughed. So we’re using some our tax refund to have some professional pics done of our family, in all our various configurations. Because these boys are going to look back on their lives through photos and say, “where’s mom and dad?”

  3. Hear hear!!! We splurge on a very talented professional photographer for pictures of the family every 6 months. And my maternity session portraits are something I will treasure forever, as well as the newborn shoot we did at our house.

  4. Wow! Those are amazing pix….I loved Lamb Photography. I was on that site for more than I’d like to admit during work! Truely beautiful and so so talented. I so am jealous she’s not local.

  5. Yeah, I think I just ovulated. Sigh! Thank heavens my tubes are now tied, LOL.

    Great advice. I love looking at amazing photos of kids and babies like the ones you posted.

  6. That is a beautiful picture of your girls. I can see having something like that done of my girls. We haven’t done professional photos but once and I don’t really regret it … babies are just babies. I want to spend that cash as my girls grow and can appreciate seeing themselves. I guess if I had the extra money, but we haven’t … I’ve written about taking pictures of toddlers at home. I think there are lots of ways to cherish them with home photos. I take a few thousand a year!

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