an honest look at family portraits today.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting this sweet family. I was excited to get out of the studio and get on location. Once I got on location I knew this experience was going to change me more. The drive home was a beautiful time of reflection and got me to thinking about things. People always ask how I shoot SO many portraits and don't get sick of it or how I remain inspired. There is no magic formula. Sorry. Buzz kill. It's great to have a family that drives me, being around them makes me so happy. I know that I crave being around them, so I have designed my life around that. I take advantage of every chance I get to be a part of what they are doing. The truth is that you will NEVER re-invent the wheel, that was a pretty damn good invention...the good news is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO. All you have to do is BE you. Enjoy YOUR family. Get OFF pinterest, instagram, and Facebook. Stop making a million props to bring to your photo shoot {don't hate me yet, keep reading ;-)}. Chances are VERY high that your kids don't care how long you spent on that sign. No, the moments they will cherish forever are the ones that show what their family life was REALLY like. Unscripted. Now you might be thinking I am not creative, my family doesn't interact well together, I take awkward photos, or I have to look at other people's pictures to get inspired. You're MISSING the big picture, YOUR family. Whatever that looks like is beautiful and so full of joy. Every family is unique. There is NO magic secret to my inspiration. In fact, this may surprise you, it all it started in a Western Carolina classroom. No cameras. No pictures. I am not even sure if I knew how to work a camera back then. It's in those classrooms I learned what would drive me, and ultimately what would help to make me successful. I learned how to work with people, not my favorite people, not the people I laughed and carried on all night with, people who I knew very little about. It was those interactions that helped to give me confidence that I can get along with anyone. Every family is different, they each have a different story to tell. That is what inspires me, day in a and day out. I challenge you to seek that. I challenge you to do some research, hire a photographer that understands people, that understands dynamics, and has an eye for capturing the essence of what makes you and your family special. Social media may be fun and trendy, but what your children will crave is family photos on the wall that tell YOUR story, and show your family in it's most authentic form. In preparation for your next family photoshoot instead of looking online for a million ideas or stressing over outfits, I challenge you to go do something you know will put a smile on the face of everyone in your family. Hold on to that moment and cherish it. If you don't feel natural in a studio or a field of wheat, then talk to your photographer about coming with you and where YOU want your picture to be taken. It's an investment, but one I know you will appreciate later because no matter who you are, BIG or SMALL, YOU are beautiful, and your story, your life and your family is worth being documented. 

Trust me, it's worth it.

Love, EmilieCarol