When kids grow up, they desperately want to see pictures of the family as a whole, the way in which they lived, their stories. They want to know individual stories and would like to know how their parents looked and behaved. Seeing family pictures forges a strong sense of connection and belonging in children. It inculcates a sense of pride and togetherness. One of my favourite activities as a child (and even now) is to sit with my grandparents with old photo albums, go over them, and have them tell me the stories behind the photos. That sense of inter-generational bonding is invaluable and absolutely critical. Kids growing up in the iPad Age need this more than ever to keep themselves rooted in their community.

Studies show that children who grow up seeing family pictures on the wall are less likely to get alienated from their families. Every parent acknowledges the importance of documenting and preserving key moments and phases of their family history, which is why they take the pains, often, to just do it themselves! That way, however, they’re excluding a very important part of their family history – themselves.

Many families see one or may be two people who usually volunteer (or are requested) to take a few pictures for a family function. It’s popular for Dads to double as photographers for their kids’ birthday parties. These are the people who end up NOT being in their own family albums because they’re out photographing.

Additionally, when family members take on this duty, they’re oftentimes not involved in the actual event/party/moment but are stuck trying to get the best shots or any shot at all. Not only do they miss being a part of their own family history, but they also actually alienate themselves from the moment that they’re in. It’s a pity if while that first birthday cake is being cut, the kid’s Dad is taking a photo rather than holding the little one’s hand and guiding him/her through this process.

Some people just don’t like having their photos taken and run away the minute any one approaches with a camera. This is usually because in their experience “their photos don’t turn out well”. It’s a valid reason and NOBODY likes seeing unflattering images of themselves. It’s not only upsetting but also has a deep psychological impact on self image and self esteem. However, excluding oneself from their own family history is not the solution – at all. It has the reverse effect. When asked, every person would LIKE to be a part of their own family album/history. Each person loves having a sense of belonging. In this scenario, it’s best to work with someone who they trust to take a decent picture of them. It is not difficult. Taking a good picture of someone comes with talent and experience. Trust a professional who specialises in portrait photography. They are the ones who’s JOB it is to know how to take flattering and aesthetic images of their subjects. Find one, and it’s usually good for life.