Over the past 11 years I’ve been in hundreds of homes where my life’s work has been put on display. Family photos, photos of babies, of children, of tweens, of teens and of kids in their 20’s. Maternity photos, newborn photos on up to senior photos and beyond. Wedding imagery. Mitzvah imagery. Extended family portraits. I’ve been gifted this life and this talent to bring a little piece of history to every single one of my clients.
And many times I have visually seen the phrase “Portraits of children and families give the children in the home a sense of belonging” played out. Children and teens often share with me that they love seeing their faces in these large portraits hanging on their wall. I did a senior session several weeks ago where the daughter begged for more than one wall portrait from her session. Is that not awesome to hear? I love that she thought highly enough of the work I created to ask for that! 🙂
She had a direct sense of being loved, of belonging by the visual display of her portrait on that wall…
But what has touched my heart enough for me to speak on this topic once again happened just last week. I was at a long time client’s home. The mom booked me months ago to coincide with the departure of her oldest (for a year overseas). She wanted to memorialize this time before her daughter started “her life” and “while she’s still ours”. I admit it was bittersweet for me (as it often is) but especially because I’ve been photographing this family since that young lady was no more than 10 years old. I’ve seen this family grow with one more member through our time together. In fact our last session together was about 5 years ago soon after the baby of the family turned one years old.
The “baby”, upon coming down the stairs and seeing me arrive, took me by my hand into the family room. She literally *beamed* with pride and pleasure when she pointed at one of the wall portraits on the wall. That wall portrait featured her at just one years old, holding onto her mama’s hands. Her cherub baby face smiling a several toothed grin. Little not-so-baby-anymore looks at me and smiles a toothless grin and says: “THAT’S ME!! That’s my favorite picture of me!!”
That wall portrait was a photo that I had taken. This little was pleased as pleased could be because not only was she obviously a part of a loving family and her family displayed her place in their home but that she loved it so much that she shared it with me.
Now I’ll be honest: I don’t know that she knew that I took that photo but it didn’t matter. The fact that it was my work is only part of the story.
This 6 year old displayed what psychologists have said and that photographers tout as truth. She had a direct sense of being loved, of belonging by the visual display of her portrait on that wall.
There is no greater gift than that sense of belonging. Print your photos. Display them. Take pride in your family and enjoy their faces. You’ll be glad you did. #printphotos #displayphotos #chicagophotographer