Sometimes you know what you don't want, but not really what you do want. Like, when you are new to coffee and you know you can't handle espresso but you're not quite sure what you would like. Sometimes you figure it out by eliminating all the things you definitely don't want from their menu. It's the same thing with family photos...sometimes you just don't know what you don't know. Here, I'm breaking it down for you with why exactly you would NOT want to hire me as your family photographer.

young girl playing laughing running indoors with balloon and parents
young girl leaning over table playing Pass the Pigs. Look of concentration on her face.
Family of three using pencil on wall to track their daughters growth.
Mother whispering to daughter as young daughter looks to the viewer and smiles.

1.You are trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Y'all of course we have all been there. It happens to the best of us, but if this is your regular mode of operanda, you will not want to hire me. If that feels like you, you might try looking for a studio photographer or a fashion photographer or maybe a brand photographer. If this does not feel like you at all, and you are more comfortable with being your own nerdy selves, you should totally hire me. If you've got more of the Schitts Creek watching, craft beer loving, knitting in public, baby wearing, coffee drinking, work out junkie, nerdy vibes then we would make a great match. You are probably someone who attempts to use positive discipline with your kids and know that even though you fail often, it's all part of the process. Your family has lots of routines, family traditions and are often super silly with each other. If you are not to be bothered with the Joneses, then I am your kind of family photographer.

Mother reaches with cloth to wipe young boy's face off.
Mother sits on top of child's bunk bed while young son climbs up the ladder looking at something the mother holds.
Mom and son snuggle on the bed and laugh.
Young boy riding scooter moving fast past neighborhood houses.

2. You only want to remember happy emotions from everyone.

You grew up cheesing for the camera, so isn't that the best way to capture each other together? You probably beg to differ. Of course you love an image full of joy, yet you also want to remember everything about your children in this phase of life. If you are someone avoiding toxic positivity and you are often preemptively sentimental and nostalgic, I am the family photographer for you. That means you kind of love documenting little tantrums, pouty lips, and stomping feet. Maybe you have been experiencing a challenging postpartum phase and feeding has been extremely difficulut. Instead of only preserving memories of success and smiles, you don't mind also documenting yourself with tears in your eyes and baby wailing in between attempts because you want the record to show both of your strength and perseverance. You want to memorialize not just the sweet sleepy baby moments, but also the journey of your own becoming. Becoming a parent. Becoming a mother or a father. You want to remember your oldest child becoming a big sibling even if they ignored the baby for the first month or were even angry about baby changing their life. You are the type of parent that wants to remember the piles of laundry and the stickers stuck to the windows and the crayon on the walls.

A family of six talking and eating in their kitchen. Toddlers sit in high chairs, two sisters sit at the kitchen island.
three kids and a dog play on their own in a living room. One with ball, one digging in a plant, one on a slide.
Kids playing in a family playroom. Indoor jungle gym in view.
family of six plays a charades game in their living room, laughing.

3.You just want to get your mother in law off your back.

Your mother in law or your parents or your Great Great Aunt Susie keep bugging you for photos of your family all together. They want to see you...all of you. And that is totally awesome. How sweet of you to think of your Great Great Aunt Susie and want to take more than just a selfie. If this is you, I am not the family photographer for you. Yet, if this is only one tiny reason out of a bunch more deeper motivators for you, than perhaps I am the family photographer for you. Yes, it's ok to be selfish with your photography desires! Because really, when it comes down to it, photos and prints are the best gift you can give your future self. They are the best gift to your kids as they grow and maybe even their own kids may love them too someday because not only will they get to see you all together, but they will get to learn the stories of what life was like back then.

A family of four visits grandma's kitchen in an every day way.
Parents full of joy as two boys run away playfully in the kitchen.
Brothers playing outside in backyard. One plays at the playhouse, the other plays with a nerf gun.
A family of four sit together on the couch laughing and watching tv.

4.You already have so many great photos of your kids on your phone.

Here's the thing. In today's day and age this just isn't an excuse any more. You want to hire me as your family photographer especially if you love taking photos of your kids all day every day. Your iphone is probably a total work horse. You will hire me because you want someone to elevate the photos of your kids and you want to be able to get in the frame in ways other than a selfie. You want someone to truly see you and your love for each other with fresh eyes. I might notice little details of life that your kids will likely outgrow soon that you don't even notice because you are living it day to day. You want someone to tell your stories honestly, vulnerably, and respectfully. You want someone who knows how to use their camera in ways that even the fanciest iphone can't convey (sorry portrait mode!).

Parents watching young siblings play on the indoor climbing ladder and slide.
Young siblings eating donuts in their backyard with the dog watching.
Baby and big sister playing on a Nugget pillow.
A mother lifts baby out of the crib. View of them is from the mirror, which hangs over the changing table.

Who Is the Family Photographer for You?

If my above reasons didn't make it clear enough already, let me break it down for you one last time. You want a great family photographer that:

-makes a photo session easy going, relaxed, and NO stress.

-doesn't make you fuss with your kids about style and wardrobe too much.

-sees how hard you work to build a strong family culture with lots of traditions and family adventures and can document some of them for you.

-understands child development and honors all emotions during a session.

-helps you memorialize the mundane and boring stuff that is shifts and goes away as your children enter new phases.

-will allow you to get in the photos too.

-will allow you dedicated time to just relax and have fun all together.

-services the Seattle/King County Puget Sound Area.

I'd be more than happy to show you my take on Family Photography with this Seattle area family Real Life session and with a variety of family Real Life sessions. I hope you have found these four signs helpful in determining if I am the right family photographer for you or not.