Tis the season to do professional holiday photos of our children. Similar to the annual school photo these pictures hold a special significance to both the parent and the child. In reflecting on this significance the other day I thought maybe it would be good to share my experience and help others see the value of doing them and what memories they can instill.
Speaking from memory, I remember all to well how much I dreaded the thought of getting a holiday picture taken when I was a child. It was really stressful for some reason and as one of four children I know we didn’t make it easy on our parents nor the unlucky photographer. We were little hellians of the 1960’s and I think it only took 4 years for us to make our parents feel it was not worth the bother of getting these portraits done. That is a bit sad and if I could I’d get those pictures done every year now. Looking at them is such a joy and unique way to remember Christmas at ‘home’ and all the special memories that get lost until you look at those pictures. The rocking horse, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, BB Gun (Red Rider of course!), my brother hiding under the bed when Santa came and wonderful cookies and baking of my mother. I’m really grateful my parents were able to do these portraits when did.
As a parent my oldest child was great her first year of pictures (6mo. old) but the next 2 years you would have thought we were murdering the poor child! She had the special talent (maybe it is not so special) of being able to vomit at will at that time and of course she did that at the studio one year. It was not until she had a baby brother that she began to calm down. Not sure of the true reason, but I think it was a combination of needing to be ‘brave’ for her little brother and to kindle her motherly instincts. For what ever reason getting past the hell of getting her ready and being embarrassed at the studio was a welcome relief!
I missed getting the holiday photos done for some years but how glad I am that I did the years I could. In recent years I was blessed with a second chance at being a father and now that four-year old is in the mode of getting her annual holiday photo done. We missed last year due to the economy and until I started to write this I was thinking that it might not happen again this year since it is not much better and we are trying to make sure we can be ready for an even longer economic depression. Writing this has made me realize that even just going for a simple inexpensive session with a ‘big box’ photographer is something we can and should do. The holiday portrait is an important part of the season and the memories it can provide for the family in the coming years.
Watching a portion of a holiday movie today I was reminded that “Without roots a vine can’t grow”; without pictures memories don’t root and are lost more readily, and with out these memories we never really know who we are or what has helped make us the person we are.
Remember to print those digital pictures. Sure it is nice to have them on a phone or on your computer but it is all too easy to have disaster strike and those thousands of pictures are gone in an instant. Photos are priceless and like a lost memory you never get them back once they are lost of destroyed.