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  • Writer's pictureDeanna Giordano

The Importance of Family Portraits

Capturing A Moment In Time with Your Loved Ones

Planning a family portrait session can enhance your relationship with your family immensely. It puts your loved ones in the spotlight, and makes them feel appreciated and special. We only get to live this unique lifetime with them once, and it is so important to photograph it with honor and integrity! When I photograph families, I get to freeze a moment in time that they will never experience again. Your children will never be this age again, as they are constantly evolving and changing by the day. These are moments you will have the opportunity to look back on and enjoy with pride and love in your heart. This point in time is one of a kind, true to you, and depicts who you are as a family unit. Let’s make it memorable and an enjoyable time for you to share with your family!

Documenting Family History

Have you ever heard of a wall of fame? In college, I studied a book, The Photography Cultures Reader, written by Liz Wells. In this amazing book, there is a chapter called In Our Glory by Bell Hooks (1995). She talks about what life was like growing up in the racial era, and how her family used family portraits to cope with the challenges and tribulations of society during that time. She says, “Sarah Oldham, my mother’s mother, was a keeper of walls. Throughout our childhood, visits to her house were like trips to the museum- experiences we did not have because of racial segregation. We would stand before the walls of images and learn the importance of the arrangement, why a certain photo was placed here and not there. The walls were fundamentally different from photo albums. The walls were a public announcement of the primacy of the image, the joy of image making. To enter black homes in my childhood was to enter a world that valued the visual, that asserted our collective will to participate in a non-institutionalized curatorial process”.

This was their way of documenting their history and their families! When I read this chapter, I was touched by how culturally influenced this art practice was, and how useful of a technique it truly is to preserve history in the family. It feels to me that more cultures should be doing this, because the people in our families matter, and our ancestors matter. These are the people we live for, the people who give us motivation to wake up every morning, and they are the people who instill values into our lives. When your family eventually passes away, these are the possessions that your great grandchildren are going to hold onto for generations. The most valuable tool photography provides us is documentation and preservation of history.

Allowing Children to Feel Loved & Accepted

Let’s be honest, your children may not feel overzealous about taking family portraits, but once they see themselves on the walls of your home, they’re undoubtedly going to feel loved and accepted. Children seeing themselves in photographs boosts their confidence and self esteem! During childhood, kids are learning how to be themselves and interact with the world. The more you can accept your children for who they are, the more they will grow into themselves and be exactly who they’re supposed to be. This aspect in photography really is a driving force for me as a photographer, because I understand the importance of love and acceptance in the family in order to bring them closer together.

A Word From The Artist

“Photography means so much more than a pretty picture hanging up on your wall. It represents history, your lineage, and tells your story of who you are. My soul has healed in ways that I couldn't imagine since starting family portraiture. Our families are the most important thing in our lives. They are our strength, our tribe, and our community that keeps us on the path of integrity and good nature. When my clients experience a session together, they are in the present moment, capturing what is now and the love they share for one another. This art heals families from the inside out, and holds space for gratitude to flourish between parents and children in the home”.

- Deanna Giordano

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