Once. One lousy time! At a friend's birthday party, so not even our initiative. It was a black tie affair (that's British for "fancy") and although my parents looked very dapper, I was going through a gothic phase and was dressed like a zombie and my sister was wearing a bracelet with studs on. Rebellious teenagers. That is our ONE professional family portrait! No, I'm not posting it. I would actually, but it's hanging on the wall in my parents' house in England.
So, despite the ridiculous outfits my sister and I are sporting, we're all REALLY glad we have that professional quality picture of all four of us together because it's one of the few pictures of our WHOLE family! In all our other pictures, one of us is missing because we're behind the camera.
Now that I have my own family, I am making up for lost pictures! It took me a while to realize that I need to hire a professional for this task. Actually, it wasn't until I became a professional myself that I realized WHY even pros themselves use OTHER professional photographers to take their family portraits.
I tried the stranger at the bus stop approach... out of focus. The stranger didn't understand the camera. And I look as tense as a lion about to pounce, ready to catch my expensive camera if the stranger drops it! And we are wearing anoraks and silly hats. And the backdrop is a bus stop.
Finally, at an important meet-up of a group of my family that has not been together for a few years, I knew I MUST book a photographer to capture the occasion.
I spent weeks trawling through websites and finally found someone whose work I LOVE. He is Peter Russell, from Cape Town, South Africa.
This is a quick picture I took of him at the end of the day, inspired by his creativity and the awesome time we all had together.
And here's one of my own candid pictures from the same visit.
My advice to anyone who loves photographs and wants to have a record of the whole family at important times during your lives? Hire a pro! Pick a photographer whose portfolio inspires you and let them work their magic for your family. You won't regret it!