In life, we hear often “it’s quality over quantity!” Quality is certainly subjective, it boils down to simply what we value in life, whether it’s a handbag or photography sessions, it will vary person to person.
I am a Quality over Quantity type person, always have been, always will be. However, I must make an argument for Quantity in this particular instance, simply because I believe in it so much.
The most common thing I hear when I ask a client what their goals for their session is: “I just need that ONE shot of all the kids together!” and my response is always “WHY?”
I get it. I really do. That ONE shot with our kids together, smiling, that we can use as a holiday card shot, or a canvas to hang on our wall. I know the answer, I swear, because I’m guilty of wanting the same thing. But I’m here to tell you that we have got it ALL WRONG.
This is the one and only time I am going to make an argument for quantity in this case. Instead of that one shot of all of them together, it’s the individual shots of each of our children are what’s most important to me. And I seek those out on each and every session that I do. Do I get the family shots? Sure I do. Do I get them all together smiling, aka “the money shot”? Of course I do. Making my clients happy is my priority. However, I am here to show you, why we need to change our thinking.
It’s about being selfish. I am being selfish for your children. Our kids are asked to share every single day, whether it’s a toy or mom and dad’s attention. I even ask them to share when I take their portraits together, because I know that’s what my parents want. I get what you want. And then I get what I want for your children. A chance to show us what spectacular and unique individuals they are. A chance to share with us their inner beauty, without having to share that frame with anyone else. It’s not being selfish, it’s nurturing their independence and self worth. We must learn to love ourselves before we can love others. I had to learn that as an adult and I don’t want that for our kids. The time is now, to instill this in our children.
It may seem silly to you. “It’s just a picture”, you may be thinking. Let me tell you how valuable that picture will be when you look back on it, and it could be two years or ten years from now. There is that moment, you can literally see it in their faces, there is a shift, a small glimpse of who they are now, and who they will come to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Family shots are important. Sibling shots are important. But in this case, Quantity wins out for me. I want more shots of each of your children, because that is what they deserve. They are your Quality, not that “one” shot. I will say this until that day comes along and I ask the question “what are your goals for our session?” and I get the response “I just want shots of each of my kids by themselves. That’s most important to me.” Then I will know I have succeeded.