Don’t hide family photos in drawers or on your computer – exhibit them proudly on your walls… it will improve your child’s self-image!

It is a well-documented fact that putting family pictures out on display improves your child’s self-image!

We all do it – we take photos of  our family and our children on holiday, playing at the park, in the school play or when relatives are visiting and most of the time we keep them for ourselves on our computers, we don’t develop them we generally don’t display them on our walls/mantelpieces.

In fact, most of the time the pictures are of the child on his own, rather than with Mum and Dad.  In other words the major milestones of your child’s development ie when they start solids, when they start crawling, when they learn to walk, eating their first Birthday cake, playing with their friends etc are rarely displayed at home.

If you do it already, fantastic!  Your baby or child,  will  look at them and feel they belong to the family and without knowing it, will make your child grow up with confidence, a sense of belonging and a feeling of being loved.

Having pictures of every member of the family is very important  – so you child knows who he is, where he comes from and how he has developed throughout time. Also it greatly helps to teach them that there is sense of time. For toddlers for example, by looking at a photos of themselves in various situations and with various family and friends, they will associate that moment with a specific period of time so you can tell them that the event happened in the past and to help them remember these great memories forever.  Tell them a story about that day, tell them who is in the picture and how much he/she is loved by you and your partner.

Professor Geoff Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester says “When children grow up surrounded by photographs, it gives them a richer understanding of where they come from, which helps with confidence. By displaying photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a very public statement that we are proud of them.” “We cannot underestimate the power of photographs to keep us feeling linked to others and belongings. They cement us into our networks. For children in particular, looking at photographs is part of  the socialising process, learning who you are and where you fit into the family”

When I get called to do family photographs, it tends to be the case that Mum says: “I am always the one taking the photos, so I am never in any of the family pictures, so this is an opportunity for the whole family to be involved” ….This is great as families are realising that there is always a member of the family missing and by arranging an inclusive “family shoot” I make sure I capture the spirit of the entire family unit.

I capture the family doing what they like doing together.  Obviously, I also encourage the families to display the photos proudly on their walls –  helping their child’s development on the way!

When you decide to commission a photographer to capture those special moment in your families lives, you need to bear in mind the following:

  • Not only are you getting nice images for yourselves to keep but you can also send copies to relatives around the globe to keep them up to date with their grandchild or nephews/nieces development. You are capturing significant moments in their lives – so the more the merrier. These days digital photos can easily be converted into anything from mugs and T-shirts to professional canvasses and Xmas cards – a much more personal Gift than just another pair of socks!

  • Arrange the photo shoot in an space where your child feels comfortable and knows his surroundings! That will give him sense of belonging and will bring memories back, every time they look at the pictures – improving his self-esteem. Using your own home, your garden or a local park, where he feels comfortable will tell a better story than an artificial photographic studio.

  • As part of the shoot, make sure at some point you incorporate his clothes, soft toys and books your child likes.

  • Also incorporate games, songs or activities he likes to play with the family and make sure their spontaneous expressions are captured as part of your shoot. These are often the best kind and the most meaningful.

  • Finally do it as often as you can. Not only your child but you also change and nothing better than keep record of the development of the entire family. It doesn’t need to be a professional photographer ask a friend who is good with the camera.

I have a toddler myself and as family photographer I must admit, even for me it is tricky to get pictures of myself with my Husband and my daughter! But I do tend to put the pictures up on display and have done this even since she was born. (In fact we have a photo of Luna-Fiorella on our wall when she was just 2 minutes old!) I also often show her videos that we have taken of her, capturing good family times! I do this as much as possible, so I can to help her grow up knowing where she has come from and making sure she knows that we are very proud of her!

I hope you enjoy this article  and find it useful.

Carolina Middleton

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