This is a call to action. I won't pretend to label it any other way. This is me encouraging you to keep photographing your kiddos, keep hiring professional photographers to photograph your kiddos, even, or especially, as they navigate those crazy years between being a young child and a bonafide teenager.
It's pretty common these days to hire a pro photographer to document pregnancy, what a beautiful experience to capture, that time of waiting, of excitement, of change. We celebrate the arrival of our babies with a photoshoot, we set up a year in pictures to capture the first adorable year. We keep up the family photos as long as we keep having babies, and then, at some point, we just kind of stop.
Maybe it's because families get bigger and busier as the kids get older. Kids have school and homework, plays, music recitals, soccer practice, church functions, friends, sleepovers. They want to dress themselves, choose whether or not to comb their hair, wear two different socks and refuse to wear a coat when it's thirty degrees out. They still want to sleep with their lovey but would die of embarrassment if anyone knew. They get zits and braces. The term 'awkward' rears its ugly head.
We love those innocent, smiley adorably precious images of our little ones. It's how they really are: innocent, smiley and precious, and we want to capture those faces, that innocence, to treasure in years to come (maybe to remind us of how little and sweet they were, so we don't want to lock them in a room away from society as they navigate the years between ten and thirteen, between being a child dependent on parents for everything and beginning to understand themselves as individuals with their own opinions. It's hard! Maybe a photoshoot isn't top on your list, but here's why it should be!
Between the ages of ten and thirteen (often called Tweens) kids are doing a lot of thinking. They are internalizing the world around them; they are developing an awareness of themselves and their relationship to the world outside their homes and parents.
It's kind of a big deal.
And if it's precious memories you are after... There will never be another time in their lives where you will be able to look back and see hints of the baby who depended on you for everything at the same time that you can see glimpses of the independent, young adult they will become.
So, let's celebrate the experience, this time of excitement and change, where one minute they may feel confident and strong and the next frustrated and unsure.
Don't let the school pictures and a few family vacation photos be the only evidence you raised a pre-teen! And don't wait until your kiddo is a senior in high school to do a photoshoot just for them. At least once, between ten and thirteen, give them (and yourself) the gift of great photos.
As a parent to an under-photographed eleven-year-old (confession: my personal Instagram feed is full of sweet pics of my adorable seven-year-old) I am making it a personal goal to photograph him more and professionally over the next year. He'll be twelve next week, and while he may not be interested in dressing up in clothes I like for a family photo shoot, he will likely be open to me photographing him the way he sees himself, in clothes he chooses.
As a professional I'm making it my goal in 2017 to photograph as many tweens as will put themselves in front of my camera.
I have some personal projects in mind, some artsy ideas, as well as some simple set-ups and mini-sessions. I'll be discussing these more very soon, both on the blog and through social media.
In the meantime, if you have a tween (ages ten, eleven or twelve,) and you'd like to be personally notified of deals on photoshoots and/or personal projects, please use the contact form to send your name, email address and gender and age of your child. Also, please share this post with others you know who might be interested.