I’m going to be real honest here for a second -- and this isn’t something I’m necessarily proud of but hey, you live and you learn..right?

CONFESSION: when I first started wedding photography I honestly didn't realize how important and special the family portrait portion of a wedding day was.

It wasn’t until I lost a family member close to me which led to flipping through her old photos. Her wedding album was filled with beautiful family portraits. Some posed, some candid. There were people in the photos that I was related to but I didn’t know who they were. Had it not been for her wedding day, I would have never seen these people’s faces.

It was in that moment that I realized what a true “Family Heirloom” your wedding photos are. 

That single realization made me grow so much as a photographer. 

I remember when I first started photographing weddings I would get so frustrated during the family portrait portion of the day and just chalk it up as a lost cause. It was ALWAYS a mess trying to gather all the specific people for a photo, once we did round them up they would just crowd together and smile painfully. Not to mention someone is always grumpy about having to have their photo taken and meanwhile Uncle Bob is asking me every camera setting I dial in and snapping all the same shots over my shoulder.

I knew I wanted MORE than that for my clients… I just didn't know how to ask for it.  

I wanted something more curated and beautiful. I began to realize that if I would get out of my comfort zone and take control of these situations my brides would no doubt thank me later…

And again, my eyes were opened to just how precious and important these photos are.

I needed to make images that made feelings of my couples day surface years and years later…

It became my goal to dissect and master family portraits and to truly turn these moments into forever family heirlooms. 

I gave my brides a checklist prior to their wedding day to give me a better idea of who all they wanted photos with.

I designated a helpful family member (or my second shooter) to run the checklist.

I communicated better with my clients and their families about where to be for family photos.

I took the location into better consideration.

I directed and posed with confidence.

and after I started to apply these small, but mindful changes my brides started to comment on how much they loved their family photos.

I've even had several say that their family photos were their favorite part of their gallery and now its one of the most relaxing and fun parts of the wedding day for me.

The past 6 years of photographing and videographing weddings has only made me realize more how important it is to document the people most important to you at your wedding. Our loved ones don't live forever guys. Your wedding day is such a unique time..

When will you have all of your loved ones together again? And on top of that they are celebrating YOU. Take the extra minute and take the photo.

I always say the only photo you regret is the one you didnt take.

Cheers to growth and family photos, babes! 💍😘