I photograph a disproportionate number of small humans.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it.
They are wild and free and usually a bit weird, which is a delight. Three year olds might be my favourite.
Lately, however, I’ve wondered why we don’t make a priority of photographing older children.
Maybe it’s because teens don’t change as quickly as they once did. Or that they are more resistant to having their photo made. And let’s face it, between the extra curriculars and part-time jobs, everyone is busy.
With all of these obstacles, it’s no wonder that family sessions fall by the wayside year after year when kids are older.
But let me plead the case for the importance of photographing older kids in just four quick points.
1. Remembering who they are in this life stage. Although they seem grown now, someday they’ll have changed enough that they look little or young in these images.
2. You’re documenting them now for their future selves. Teens are notoriously short sighted; they don’t know what might be important to them in a week, let alone twenty years from now. As parents, we have enough experience to know what investments might appreciate in time, and photographs often top that list.
3. Sibling relationships are so beautiful at this stage in life. Yes, they can fight like cats and dogs one minute and be best friends the next. But it’s in the tween and teen years that siblings go from playmates to dear friends.
4. Someday, not far from now, they won’t belong to you and won’t it be nice to remember what it looked like when they were fully yours?
Older kids are some of my favourite to photograph. They take direction, bring their own sense of style to the session and I rarely have to edit boogers from their faces in Photoshop.