Why do families stop hiring family photographers once their kids reach their teens?
Teen years. I know its an awkward time when you are supposed to dislike anything your parents’ request. Right? But, perhaps we, as family photographers and parents, are just going about it all the wrong way? I can empathize with teenagers who do not want to spend a hot summer Saturday afternoon with their entire family, “Smile, sit, fix your shirt, don’t elbow your sister, look that way, smile. SMILE?!” Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way! It can be fun. (even for the parent who is uncomfortable with being photographed).
When Melanie (Mom) and I discussed their trip to New York City, she was well aware that her children would not embrace a family session with enthusiasm. Not only are her elder children teenagers, but she is a family photographer. (They are no stranger to being the subject.)
Melanie was open to ideas, accepting their groans, intentional goofy gestures, and bored expressions to the camera (just a few of my favorite partially cooperative yet mild forms of protest). I prefer a display of character than a frozen subject so, why not capture a few that will be a source of entertainment for many years to come? A parent who sees value in documenting their lives together and the beauty of their children’s laughter, tears, and groans is my ideal client.
I proposed we go somewhere new during their visit to New York City. Perhaps, a trip to Coney Island and documenting them from a day in life approach to giving everyone space. If the opportunity presented itself, I’d lightly direct a few family photos between eating, rides, exploring, and a few games. I’m so glad the challenge was accepted! The kids could catapult themselves on amusement park rides that I am too scared to ride myself. They embraced some friendly family competition with games, and we indulged in Nathan’s and delicious gelato at dusk.
Want to me to travel with your family to document your vacation? See me an email! I promise your kids will love me…unless you leave me alone to watch their gelato.