My mother died when I was 33 years old. My children were 3, 5, and just turned 8. My youngest doesnʼt remember Nana. My middle child has very sketchy memories of her, and my oldest is the one with the most memories of ʻher Nanaʼ. I have snapshots of each of the children with her, but no actual portraits of them together. How could I have let that happen? I am a pro-photographer. I knew that my mother was dying of lung cancer, and I still didnʼt create lovely images of her and my children. ʻIf onlyʼ I could go back in time and re-do those choices, but I canʼt. I can only go forward. With my grandchildren.

I became a ‘Nana’ for the first time on August 21, 2005 and for the second time on July 3, 2008. On July 22, 2006, my grandson’s almost lost me, their ‘Nana’. I had a stroke. A brain bleed stroke, a Hemorrhagic Stroke. How could I go forward in my life, being a pro photographer, without taking the time to be photographed with my grandchildren? Didn’t I want something different for my grandchildren than what my children had?

A plan began in my heart a few weeks ago. I wanted photos of me and my grandchildren having fun together. I know how hard it is to get your family together, clean, ready and cooperative, and then take the photographs. AND then you arenʼt in them…so I asked a friend and fellow photographer, Whitney Scott for an appointment. Whitney and her husband, David, run Whitney Scott Photography, based in Carthage, MO. They have a really fun, whimiscal style of portraiture–just what I wanted. Also, it didnʼt put any pressure on any other family member to photograph us. Children of photographers, begin to be hard to photograph after a while–they know every button to push with their parents during a session. My youngest, would always cross his eyes just as I clicked the shutter. Years of portraits with a child with crossed eyes…do you
know how hard that was to correct before Photoshop??? I had to do it with dyes and pencils on each individual print. Wallets were just left alone under the theory that no one could really see it anyway…but I digress.

It was important to me to create visual memories for my grandsons, Andrew aged 6, and Grant, 3. They have already figured out how to push buttons in portraits, so I wanted more of a relaxed, less posed, journalistic approach with them, and Whitney and David knew just what to do. (read: fart machine) We went to Red Oak 2, near Carthage, a recreated town complete with houses, cars, trucks, and numerous other things for two busy boys to play on. But most of all, I want my grandsons to look at these images and remember how much I love them, and how much fun we had on that particular day.

How much is that worth? You canʼt put a price on it. It is invaluable. It is paying FULL PRICE to a friend and fellow photographer. If you havenʼt done a family portrait session with your family lately, book one right now with the photographer of your choice. Make time to capture your history. We ask our clients to do this, do we value it enough to make it happen for ourselves? Donʼt wait, like I did, until it is too late.

Have you scheduled a session for your family?