If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. “My fiance/husband/boyfriend/whatever hates pictures.” It’s given to me as a warning – a heads up that this one is going to be a challenge.
My response is usually something along the lines of this: “Oh, that’s totally normal. A lot of men are like that, but we’ll loosen him up and it’ll be great!” And honestly, it usually is. The gentleman in question comes to realize that I’m a human being who truly wants this torturous photo session to be as enjoyable as possible.
But guys, can I ask a favor of you? Can you please stop complaining to your significant other about how much you hate pictures? Could you, instead, put a smile on your face and make some effort to match her enthusiasm for documenting your life together?
I’m convinced that part of the reason that women are more gung-ho about photos than men is because women are usually the ones behind the camera. Whether it’s an iPhone camera, a point and shoot or a DSLR, girlfriend is usually in charge of it. She’s doing the documenting. And do you know what that means? It means that she’s rarely actually in the photos.
I’m an extreme case here, because, HI, I’m a photographer, but there are significantly more photos of my husband and son than there are of my son and me. And photos of all three of us? Well, there are less of those than I care to admit.
My husband is really great about snapping a photo when I ask him, and he’s also usually very willing to flash a smile for a family photo. But when you’re the husband of a photographer, there are just some expectations there that don’t even have to be discussed.
So maybe I’m biased, but I’d venture to say he probably has a leg up on most of you guys. Even so, he would crush me, hands down, if we were to tally up the number of pictures of each of us with Beckett against one another.
As someone who values photography and the significance of photographs, having family photos taken on a regular basis is incredibly important to me. I can take pictures of my son or my son and my husband all day long, but I can’t capture myself in those photos.
I certainly don’t want to look back in twenty years and realize that the only photos I was in were the selfies I forced my kids to take with me or the very few iPhone photos we get of the whole family.
And my guess is that your girlfriend, fiance, wife, etc. feels the same way. She wants this stage of your life together to be beautifully documented. She wants to see your true personalities oozing out of the photographs. She wants to see the unique parts of your relationship. And she doesn’t just want them so she can decorate the walls of your home or spam you with Facebook notifications that you’ve been tagged.
She wants them because she knows that life will not always be like this. Moments are fleeting. Vows will be said, bellies will grow, children will be born and those children will grow. Quickly. And many times the only way to tell your story in its most true form for generations to come is through photos.
The fact of the matter is that these photos that you’re dreading are going to become a family heirloom. You’re going to pass them down to your children, and they’ll pass them down to your grandchildren and so on and so forth. These photos are going to tell a story. These photos are your legacy. So turn your frown upside down, gentlemen, and soak in the reality of what’s happening. You’re recording a moment in your family’s history.