Hi, my name is Jamie, and I’ve never taken a professional family picture of my own, complete family of five. *hangs head in shame*

Okay, this is only half true - I did manage to wrangle four of us together for a pregnancy announcement photo - but while that was cute and casual, and had the typical chalkboard with a “+1” stating the “Ah HA!” moment, I likely wouldn’t frame and hang it on the wall. It was good enough for Facebook, and I may print it to place into a scrapbook at some point, but in the meantime, my walls don’t have a single image of all five of us.

Fast forward to 2016, my pregnant belly is now a feisty three year old boy, and my daughter’s teacher is requesting (it may have been the second email with a gentle reminder) a recent family picture, so here we are. A bit embarrassing, yes. I mean, this is my THING. I do have an impressive number of individual and group shots of my kids, but myself and my husband are MIA.

It’s Sunday morning, and I am armed with my best tricks, my best tripod, and coordinating-but-not-matchy outfits for everyone. I am not one for props, so I only use a simple, unfinished apple box as a seat. I pose my family with my typical emphasis on connection and love, do my magical photographer routine for genuine expressions, throw myself in, and bam.

My favorite faces! <3

My favorite faces! <3

As soon as I uploaded these pictures to my computer, I immediately cheered, “Woohoo, only one head swap needed!” (my fellow photographers will appreciate that) - but really, I was about ready to KICK MYSELF for not doing this consistently over the past few years. My daughter is sitting on my lap, and while she does resemble my husband, I now see a bit of myself in her features. My oldest son is looking SO TALL when I see him in front of my husband, and where did his chubby baby cheeks go?? My youngest, with his huge eyes, is a preschooler now, and actually looks like one (I’m in denial, he’s still my baby, but look at him!).

Looking back, I realized that I never made time for myself to do this. I LOVE helping my clients create their ideal family picture - whether it’s:

  • Help choosing coordinating clothing, and recommending vendors for certain styles;
  • Explaining “photo-ready makeup” - especially for moms and high school seniors - or arranging for a hair and makeup artist prior to the shoot;
  • Figuring out if urban downtown Charleston, small town Summerville, or rural sessions are the best setting (we can also meet at your home and come up with gorgeous pictures - check this blog post - or do lovely lifestyle shots!);
  • Taking pictures of the walls in their homes to help them decide on wall arrangements;
  • Framing and even hanging up the pictures in their homes, because I am all about perfectly placed family pictures;

But, I’m awful at doing it for myself, for the exact same reasons my clients don’t do it for themselves: I found myself too busy with my family and business obligations, and quickly became overwhelmed with the list above. Put it off long enough, and you may find yourself scrambling for a family picture and using a selfie stick to fit everyone in.

Just do it. Email me, call me, text me, send up a smoke signal - but get it done. I can always quote, “They won’t be little forever” but I don’t need to, because you already know that. Don’t miss out on the dimples, the little curls that you are certain will go straight after the first haircut, the little rings around chubby wrists, or the super long eyelashes that are practically exclusive to children:

Get ready to swoon, people <3

Get ready to swoon, people <3

Don’t be intimidated by the “little things” - let me handle those for you, from planning to finished artwork on your walls. I hope to hear from you soon!

In the meantime, you can find me here:

facebook.com/jamiestefankophotography 

twitter.com/jamie_stefanko

instagram jamiestefanko

pinterest.com/jamiestefanko

www.jamiestefanko.com