Photographs... the gift not appreciated until years later

Pictures, photos, images…. memories.

Photography is one of those tricky things that no one truly appreciates until years later.

Think about it.

How many photos do you have on your phone? Probably a lot. It’s easy to grab your phone or camera and snap a picture of an event, family outing, or just about anything.

But do you really appreciate that picture right then and there? Probably not.

My Grandparents in 1942, New Orleans, LA

My Grandparents in 1942, New Orleans, LA

My Grandmother recently sent my Mom home with a huge box of old photos. My Grandma loves photos, she loves memories, and she really loves a printed photo. One she can physically hold in her hand and appreciate. Hence the big box I know have sitting in my living room.

With the box of photos given to me to sort, catalog, etc., I’m getting a glimpse of my Grandmother’s life through pictures. I found photos of her and her husband from when they were married and early in their marriage life before their 6 children. I found photos of my Aunts and Uncles when they were children. I found photos she’s kept of various family members from 20+ years ago when all my cousins were kids. I even found photos of her ancestors, one dating back to almost the Civil War.

It’s truly a fountain of memories shoved into a box!

That box of family portraits and candid photos is a treasure to me, but it got me thinking.

My Grandfather’s Grandfather Capt. Richard J Walsh

My Grandfather’s Grandfather Capt. Richard J Walsh

Photos aren’t truly appreciated until years have passed.

Why?

Because not until time has passed can we look back at photos and correlate all the memories and emotions that go with them.

Facebook’s ‘Memories’ and ‘On this day’ is a perfect example! Facebook brings up photos from 5, 8, 10 years ago when you first log open it in the morning to remind you of something you posted years ago. The photos it brings ups most likely stir those memories and emotions making you smile at something that happened years ago.

That’s the power of photos!

It’s also the downfall of photos.

It is the one gift no one truly appreciates until a significant amount of time has passed.

As a photographer, I want to capture those moments and memories for you and your family to look back on and smile. I want your family to remember those family portraits when everyone was freezing outside, but you all put on a brave face to have your family photos taken. I want you to remember how small your children were when they were newborns! I want you to remember your wedding day or that family reunion which only happens once every 10 years. I want to give you those memories!

In other words, have the photo taken!

There’s no time like the present.
The present is a gift.
Treasure it.
Capture it.
Because once it’s gone; it’s in the past.

And if you’re able to, print you family photos! Even the corny candid ones! Your children or grandchildren will appreciate it!

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Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer. She specializes in family and children portraiture, lifestyle newborn photography, and school and commercial photography.

Because They're Only Little Once | Austin and Round Rock Family Photographer

Like all professions, family photography has its busy season. Family photographers are usually busy September through about mid-December.

I understand. Fall is a busy time of year for all of us. A lot of families want to have an updated photograph for themselves and to put on holiday cards for friends and family. But your family photos are more than a holiday card.

I get it… but here’s the truth.

They are only little once.

Maybe you have a newborn. Maybe you have a 2 year old and are enjoying the excitement going into the toddler years. You might have a 5 year old heading to kindergarten in the fall. Maybe you have a 12 year old tween who is on the cusp of becoming a mini-adult. Or you might have a 16 year old who is driving, independent, and you only have a few more years left until they leave the house.

It doesn’t matter the age, this is the only time they’ll ever be it. So celebrate it!

Now is the perfect time for photos!

Capture the uniqueness that is your child, no matter what age and time of year. You don’t need a reason to have photos taken.

Believe me… you will not ever regret having your child and family’s photo taken.

And trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

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Family Photo Session | Cedar Park, TX

Family photos are wonderfully timeless.

Doesn't matter is you were sporting rainbow bangs in your family pictures or if you were wearing matching jumpsuits. Those were the fashion of the times. We rocked them or they rocked us!

Looking beyond our fashion mistakes of our youth, we still see and remember the good times when looking at photos. Which is why, not matter how painful it might be, you should always make time for your family to have photos. Your kids will want to see the printed version up on your walls and picture frames. they’ll look back and think the same things you are thinking about your family photos. But your kids will remember the good times or laugh at how crazy mom was getting everyone dressed and ready for the photos. Either way, they will have a smile on their face!

Enjoy these family photos of this awesome family!

And remember, photos are timeless and priceless.

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7 Tips to get kids to cooperate for a photo session!

It's that time of year!  Family photo time!

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Time to get the annual family photo session taken for your Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or whichever Holiday you and your family celebrate, so you can put it on your Holiday card and mail it off to family and friends in December.

Most parents love and dread having their family photo taken.  They love it because those photos create memories of how their kids (and themselves) look and acted that particular year.

But let's be real, it can be a tad stressful on Mom and Dad.  It’s tough coordination schedules, games. Then you have to find a photographer who’s work you love, book your the photo session, and gather outfits for the family.  Not to mention bribing, threatening, and begging the kids to behave, smile, and act nice during their photo session.

Sound familiar?

It's pretty common.  I can't tell you how many times I've had Moms and Dads stressing about how to get their kids to cooperate for their family photo.  And with four kids of my own, I completely understand and can relate!

So with the busy season of photography starting, I compiled a quick list to try and make everything go a bit more smoothly at your next family photo shoot.

  1. Make sure all your kids are well fed.  Yes, it sounds like their pets, but it works!  Kids who are hungry are generally not willing to cooperate.  Does the term hangry sounds familiar?  So make sure they eat a good meal or heavy snack before the photo session.

  2. Kids should be comfortable in the clothes they are wearing.  If that gorgeous shirt/dress/skirt itches and irritates your child's skin, it's going to show in the photos.  If your little girl doesn't normally wear a hair barrette or headband, but you want it on her for the photos, chances are she's going to constantly be playing with it or taking it off.  If you're kids are comfortable in their clothing, they'll be more relaxed and willing to cooperate.

  3. Bring snacks!  If you have young children, snacks are always a good motivator for them.  As a parent, I know I can feed my child a full meal and 30 minutes later they'll be hungry again.  It's normal.  So having non-messy snacks handy during a photo shoot works wonders!

  4. Talk to your kids before hand about your photo session.  Surprising your kids with a family photo session never goes over well.  Tell them what's going on and what to expect at the photo session.  If they know your expectations from the beginning, they're more likely to cooperate.

  5. Bribes and Rewards.  As a parent, I'm not above bribing my kids sometimes.  Is it ideal?  No.  Does it work? Heck yes!  Promising them ice cream or a special treat afterwards usually gets kids to cooperate better during a photo shoot.  My kids love Dum Dums (even the older ones), so I'll grab a handful and promise them one when we're done.

  6. Allow your children to smile naturally.  I can't tell you how many times I've had parents behind me tell their kids to say cheese.  Although their children smile, it's not natural.  It's my job as a photographer to photograph your kids natural expressions.  I promise I can do it even on a bad day.  Plus, they're natural smile is a lot more photogenic than a 'cheesy' smile.

  7. Just relax!  If you as a parent are tense, your children are going to feel it and be tense too.  Family photo sessions can be a lot of fun and interactive.  A good photographer will guide you naturally through your session and have fun as the same time.  Don't sweat it, I've got ya!

Although these suggestions are more of a guideline than hard rules, they'll help you and your family get through your Family Photo Session with ease.  Just enjoy the moment and allow us photographers to capture your families memories!

I still have a few spots available for Fall sessions. Email me at emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com or contact me here to book your photo session today!

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Tips for clothes styling and colors for family photo sessions

When it comes to group and family photos, the question of 'Should we match?' always comes up.

My suggestion is to color coordinate, not necessarily match.

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Matching isn't a bad thing, at all.  If you have a large group getting together (think family reunion or co-worker celebration) and you're wanting a large group photo of everyone in a special shirt, definitely go for it.  If you want to keep things simple and classic with all black or all white, do it.

However if you don't want to match, but you're not sure what to do, I would suggest color coordinating your outfits.

What's color coordination?  It's choosing colors that match while still styling everyone in the photo uniquely and bringing out their own personality.

In order to help you visualize color combinations, I've put together a few samples.  Basing outfits off of these color palettes will allow you to build outfits around your group or family photos while still bringing out each individual's own unique, personal style.

A few tips on styling group and family photos:

  1. Don't tell everyone to wear red (or any color), then expect all the reds to be the same color.  It's a lot more common than you think.  Clothing manufacturer's all use slightly different dye, so you'll never get just one shade of red.

  2. Black and brown can be combined and look good.  Think black tights with brown boots.  It shouldn't work but does.

  3. Let's face it, young kids look cute when they match.  Older kids, not so much. Older kids want to stand out from the crowd and be themselves. 

  4. If you're uncomfortable in an outfit, don't wear it and choose something else.  If you're uncomfortable in your clothes, it will show up in your photos.

  5. Pick a neutral (white, brown, black, cream), and then start choosing colors off of your neutral.

  6. Think of your setting and background.  Have a warm background, choose cooler colors to stand out.  Cool background, choose warmer colors.  Bright colors really pop with neutral backgrounds!

  7. When in doubt, ask for help.  As photographers, we can tell you if an outfit will photograph well.  Plus, we love to see families and groups rock their photo sessions!  Send us a picture! We'd love to help!

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