I'm the mom in this family portrait . . . and I have a lot to share . . .
If you’ve ever hesitated to schedule a family portrait session because you just can’t deal with the pressure and the stress of making everyone look perfect, you aren't alone!
Maybe you see these perfectly polished families on social media. Their clothes are coordinated. Their hair is smooth and tangle-free. Everyone is looking at the camera and smiling in a way that says, “We have it allllll together!”
And then maybe you look at your own family. Messy hair. Still wearing stained pajamas at 10am. Running in circles around you. There’s so much chaos in your home that you can’t even snap a quick iPhone photo… How on earth anyone expects you to get them dressed, at a set location on time and with no stains on their clothes and crumbs on their faces to take a family photo?
It’s not just me is it?
All of these things were running through my mind when I finally scheduled my family portrait session with Castelo Portrait Art.
I have two super silly and amazing young girls in my family. In one moment I can’t even with their cuteness--of COURSE I want to capture it and put it on my wall forever. And then I remember, like all kids, they are impossibly cute and impossibly wiggly and impatient and sometimes not very cooperative.
Then there’s me: A busy, working mom with tired eyes and grey roots for days because I don't get enough sleep and never have time or energy to fix myself up so the way I'd like to.
And our family is BUSY! What if I do the legwork to schedule a session into our busy day, only to be very disappointed that no one would cooperate, everyone looks like a mess, and it ends up being an experience I’d really rather forget.
It could have been that way.
We showed up for our portrait session a few minutes late. (You try being on time after battling a toddler and then rush hour traffic!) It was 40 degrees outside. We were all shivering. Oh, and my 3-year-old, whose lacy, sleeveless dress was crumpled from the car seat, had a giant brownish blue bruise on her cheek. Typical.
This is why working with a seasoned portrait artist makes all the difference. When we got there, Maria already had her lights and camera set up at juuuuust the right spot. She had sent us a picture from a place she drove past with her phone telling me it was the colors I wanted! I didn't think the iphone picture of the location was impressive but trusted her judgement ..... WOW did it turn our gorgeous! Its wonderful that an artist can send you a location just based on colors you like and tell you exactly how to pick your clothing colors. I even sent her pictures a few days before to make sure the clothing I selected would work! Talk about making things easy. We stood out in the cold for about 10 minutes because Maria worked so quickly, intently focused on getting that one perfect image. And just like that we were done!
I’ve worked with Maria for a while and even though I’ve never seen one image that’s less than jaw-dropping in her portfolio, even I had my doubts we’d end up with a family portrait I’d be proud of.
She had her work cut out for her with my crew, but the final image is so much more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. I’m surrounded by my favorite people in my favorite city, Charleston, SC. The next time the governor of our great state tells us to pack up and evacuate because there’s another hurricane coming our way (again!), I will take this beauty off my wall and put it in my car alongside my family. It means that much to me.
All of this is to say, when you’re ready to plan your next family photo session, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Save yourself the hassle and the worry of not getting an image you love by working with a true professional artist from the start. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll never regret that decision. It’s worth every dime of the investment and then some. And for goodness sake's don't wait.... the 5 lbs you plan to loose does not matter, you're busy? That will never change.... what WILL change is your children. Life is a precious hot mess minute and putting anything this important off is a risk I am not willing to take!
Erica Rodefer Winters is a Charleston area blogger, copywriter, and content marketer, who also happens to be a yoga teacher. Read more about her on her blog SpoiledYogi.com.
From the artist . . .
As an artist and a person who loves family above all else, I have heard it all!
I will get a family portrait when . . . you name it. The 5 lbs do not matter, your children love you now - exactly the way you are. The crazy schedules? Yes they will always be there. The day before we always get calls! Runny noses, bruises, a wife who is asking, "how do I get my husband to want to do this?" - you are not alone BUT we promise you that we make it as easy as possible!
When a person calls to schedule a family portrait we always want to know a lot of things.... we want to know about your family, your children. How many people will be in the portrait? Is this being created for a more specific reason? Are there colors, locations or a "feel" that you love? And then.... we give you many ideas - even on locations and clothing. We want your portraits to be unique just like your family!
After hearing from a client and what they love we send them pictures of locations and give them options based on what they told us! We send them ideas on clothing choices and in many instances have shopped for children's clothing! A family portrait is a celebration! It should be a GREAT memory and fill you with love every time you think about it - as the years pass it will make you smile and stare in disbelief that your babies and family have grown so much! :)
My name is Maria Sampaio - I own Castelo Portrait Art and trust me when I tell you.... the days are long but the years are short. I have a 17 and 20 year old and I seriously do not know how that happened!