Aren't we all?! Yes. But we shouldn't be! Take some reassurance from a photographer.
At the start of every family photoshoot I hear the same thing from the parents in the same tone of worry, guilt, shame and embarrassment. I hear the words "Sorry, they've been really unsettled today and they have been crying a lot, I hope they go alright!". Or "They won't stop vomiting up their milk, I am so sorry!".
Let's get something straight. You don't need to feel sorry.
Here's why and this is coming from a mum-photographer with a 6 year career who's captured over 1000 families, couples, weddings, you name it. You've been trained to think you need to have perfect smiling photos.
You have been told over and over by every post you see online, you've been told by your own parents telling you to smile when you were younger, you have been told by every photographer's website, sharing countless perfect smiling photos and what's even harder to get past, you've been told by your own friends who share their family photos.
They might confess the reality of how insane the shoot was but they still only share the happy photos. Not the ones that depict what it's really like to be a parent taking small children literally anywhere and that's fair because they've been told to, just like you have.
Here's the reality of it: Every single family shoot is absolute chaos. It's pandemonium. It's insanity and we should be ok with that being captured. That's half the fun of it so it's about time we start to enjoy it rather than punish ourselves for our kids tears and sulks.
Your photographer can still create magic with reality. We're creatives and after all, artistic creativity is just problem solving, only pretty. But let's blatantly address WHY you initially feel that worry and guilt in the first place.
It's because no one ever shares the reality! Parents want a photo of their child smiling for a couple of reasons.
1: Because they love their kid's smile (fair enough, it's adorable).
2: Because that's all we ever see so it's what we are programmed to think we need.
There are other other common and normal realities to capture. Other more raw and real expressions.
Let me tell you... If you arrive to your photoshoot knowing that your kid will probably cry and spew and that your photographer is totally cool with it and you might get some hilariously real moments and expressions to look back on.. Your children will feel your level of calm and probably be so much calmer themselves as well.
A good photographer knows how to capture these moments in a beautiful, artistic way and here's the best bit: They also know how to get a few smiles out of crying kids as well.
So parents, express to your photographer that you're cool with a mix of smiles and tears. Photographers, start sharing the real moments. The cries, the voms, the tantrums and the hilarious ridiculousness of it all. We need to tell each other that this is okay.
My biggest tip for getting through your family photoshoot? Inhale, exhale, and let it go. Drop the shame. Your kid is being an asshole? So what? They all have their moments, it just means you're a normal family like anyone else. Take their tantrums in your stride. Laugh it off, at least one of you will be smiling in the photos (haha).
I know that I am personally ready to see more reality captured. How about you?
Follow @the.love.archives for more honest content. #LetTheKidsKeepItReal