Introducing Mondays are for Moms. In an effort to be a better blogger, I am going to start a recurring theme for Mondays. Although I in no way consider myself an expert mother, I have gone through the Senior Year with a child before and there are observations that I have made through my experience. We often joke that our oldest is our “test child” that we make all of our trial and error mistakes on. As we progressed through the end of high school and now the first semester of college there are definitely some things that we have learned. The hope is when our 4 year old gets there we WILL be experts. The likelihood is that we just won’t care as much.
Anyway… one thing becoming very clear to me is how important it is to get family portraits taken the last couple of years of high school. How often we overlook this. I think that family portraits probably peak for a family in the preschool/early elementary years. As kids get older, your weekends get busier and scheduling family portraits gets harder and harder and, honestly, a lot of us moms are starting to show our age a little bit more and are more reluctant to get in front of the camera. There are just so many reasons… so… we put it off.
For a lot of families, traditionally, the fall marks family portrait season. People like me need a reason… a deadline… and for most of us, Christmas cards is a perfect reason and deadline. Six years ago, I realized the importance of incorporating the whole family into the Christmas card portrait instead of just the kids. For the last two years, we have been blessed to have my favorite wedding photographer, Jennifer Weems, take our picture, but even before that we utilized the timer to get a presentable image of the entire family. A family photo has graced the front of our Christmas cards for the last 5 years and the 13 years before that it was a picture of our kids.
This year was the first year EVER that we didn’t send out a Christmas card. I have to admit that when I realized this, I had a brief, but overwhelming sense of guilt. You may ask, why did we not get a card out this year? Because we couldn’t get a family picture. We had to wait until we were all in the same region of the state, but when my oldest came home for break it was the rush of pre-Christmas chaos and how her work schedule conflicted with my husbands. Then child #2 left for the Rose Parade immediately after Christmas, ruling out the possibility for New Years cards. Even now by the time my husband and kids got home from school and work, my oldest is out the door for Sonic and/or someone has a practice or a lesson or something. The only time all 7 of us are under the same roof, there is at least one person sleeping.
And do you know what? It is only going to get harder and harder to get everyone together for a family portrait as the years go by, but it doesn’t make it any less important. If anything it makes it more important. Your time with your kids under your roof is quickly passing by.
Because of how important I think it is, I was excited to be able to do family portraits for two of my seniors’ families this fall. It is your last year with your almost adult child home in your nest… such an important time in the life cycle of a family! Your family make up is about to change forever!
Although I recommend family sessions be separate from senior sessions, in most cases I am willing to incorporate the entire family into the last 20 minutes of a senior session.
As for my family… I am hoping to snap a couple of pictures before we send the oldest back to college later this week. Then, I don’t know, maybe Valentines cards? Uggg…..