The New Family Portrait

The Importance of Tangible Memories

Faith, Family, and...Photography?

Faith, Family, and… Photography?

I've decided to begin this post with a confession. Blogging has been a struggle for me. It’s been challenging to think of content that is honest, helpful, and consistent with the direction the Lord is leading my family.

My heart is to write content that is inspiring and helpful to believers and their families as we are all growing in the Lord and living out the salvation we have. I also find so much joy in capturing those same families and believers in photographs that embody their emotions and personality during those seasons of growth.

Oh the dilemma! How does one create consistency with two seemingly unrelated interests? Faith and family and... photography?

Well, to solve the problem, let’s talk about a completely unrelated subject…

In the Eyes of a Toddler

My 3-year-old daughter has been learning to wield a pen on paper (previously she had been mastering crayon on wall…I’m glad that phase has passed!) She’s been drawing things from submarines, letters, and dinosaurs to figures that seem to resemble humans. She recently drew a picture that melted my heart. The one at the top of the post, to be exact! She drew herself with mommy, daddy, her little brothers, and her “grandmugger.” She even took the time to draw a beard on daddy!

My heart swelled up with pride as I gave her a big hug and placed the photo in the place of honor on our refrigerator. But as I was looking at it there on the fridge, the thought struck me that it should be framed and placed on our wall to be seen everyday.

Just like a family portrait.

What's in a Picture, Anyway?

Now my little girl is about to turn four. As I was looking at her drawing one evening, I thought it would be fitting to photograph her holding the precious piece of art. As I was thinking about her “birthday session,” I thought about how she had been growing over the years and the things that my husband and I long to teach her, the things we have already taught her, and the areas in which we’ve fallen very short. And then it dawned on me, this is the point of photography!

I’ve already understood that we take photographs to capture moments in our lives that we can look back on and learn from, but it really clicked as I was looking at my own toddler’s artwork. God can use the pieces with which we surround ourselves to motivate, inspire, remind, convict, and teach.

This family portrait, though not the classic photograph, holds a significant place in my heart. It causes me to consider my mission as a believer, a wife, and a mother. It will also become a fun reminder of this time in our lives. A time where there were three kids under the age of a three and a time when my little girl learned how to express her creativity with a pen. It will become a piece that we can laugh about, bond over, and reminisces on lessons learned as our kids grow up. And it's just a toddlers doodle! 

Consider This

What do you have around your home that spurs your heart to conjure up long past emotions?

If a simple photograph can cause you to reflect, consider, and dream, what might happen if you began planning to photograph certain outings or daily moments to print and frame? And what if you could go a step further and begin adding Scripture around your home that has significance to your family?

Family, faith, and photography can go hand in hand. God created us to see and enjoy the beauty he created (think Romans chapter 1). He used visual cues with his people in the Old Testament to help them remember important events and promises and to remind them of his holiness and mercy and of their sinfulness.

Maybe it’s time to dust off your camera and begin capturing your children or those who impact your life significantly in the daily routines? And maybe even give your kiddos an opportunity to draw your family as they see it from three feet off the ground! Let's take photography to a new level. Let's step away from the "selfie" world and into a place of intentional memory making and purposeful visual teaching. 

Stay tuned for tips on how to begin photographing your family and ideas for passing on your faith! 

Until next time,

Em Rae

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