Do You have a favorite family photograph?

I have quite a few. I actually had a very difficult time picking one out, but for the purpose of this post, I will focus on this photo:

My mom passed away when I was 9, so the images we had with my mom in them; well, that was it. I’m not saying that I would prefer this image to a professional image of my mom and I, but instead, it got me thinking about all of the rest of the old family photos. Our family has a TON of candid photos that make the memories come flooding back, like the one pictured. Me opening my first glo-worm on Christmas, swimming in the pool with my sisters, smiling with a mouthful of marshmallow by the campfire; the list goes on. I had originally set out to find a family photo that included all of us. I didn’t have much luck finding one that would be “favorite photo” material Basically, the few photos of our family were taken of us literally standing next to each other, as if we barely knew each other. Some were really dark, some bright, and others were fuzzy. And while I love the pictures because of the people of them, I can’t find any image that shows our family being us, like the candids did… so I started looking for an image that made me feel something.

When thinking about why it is one of my favorites, I realized that it had nothing to do with the quality of the image, which is usually what initially draws me into a photo, but instead, it had much to do with the people in the picture itself, which happen to be me and my mom, and the feeling/memory that is attached to it. It isn’t a professional picture, but my dad definitely captured a moment that I can never get back. I cherish all of the photos I have with my mom in them, just as much as I cherish the photos with my dad in them, but I do find myself wishing I had more images like this, with my mom and my dad in them. It’s too late now, but I wish that we would have had a family photographer to capture these moments of us, all of us.

I have a family of my own now. I have followed in the footsteps of my dad, being the shutterbug at family events, and in turn, I’m not in many of our family photos unless we set up the camera on self timer, or have them professionally taken. Try getting good quality, candid family moments while simultaneously pressing the shutter remote button… Not easy…

So, what do I suggest?

I want to stress that snapshots are important. Take the camera out of your purse when you’re together with family and friends, and you’ll have a good chance of getting some really great candids of your loved ones being themselves. But, don’t ignore the other images that are even more important. The ones with you in them, too.