Celebrate Them

There are an abundance of portrait packages out there designed for birth/newborn, infant milestones, and early childhood (think themed mini sessions). The next significant genre of professional photos are senior portraits. Engagement and wedding portraiture are typically next and make up a huge portion of this industry! Then comes the maternity sessions that bring us back to birth and newborns. Somewhere in there, children between the ages of 9 or 10 and 17 are relegated to school yearbook photos and yearly family portraits for the holiday card. During these years when so many changes in bodies, emotions, and maturity occur it can seem like there is not much to celebrate. The Celebrate Them session is a tangible way for parents to communicate otherwise to their tween or teen.

Celebrate Them can be described best as a “gift session”. It is unique from traditional portrait sessions in that the tangible images are not the end, but the means to an end. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes. One wardrobe change is permitted if time allows. Sessions can take place either as an in-home lifestyle session or at a location that reflects the client’s personality…just like senior pictures. Parents will select from one of five packages offering products such as fine art & metal prints, collages, or books. A la carte items are available as add-ons to these packages.

Before the session, parents are given a questionnaire to answer about their child. Questions such as:

  • When do you have the most fun with your child?
  • What positive quality does your child have? Tell a story illustrating how he displays this quality.
  • What is one way your child has gifted you by simply being who she is?

Parents are encouraged to consider asking a grandparent, teacher, coach, or other mentor to share one thing they appreciate or admire about their child. During the gallery reveal, these responses are shared with the tween/teen among their images and may even be incorporated into the tangible photo product included in their package on which they can look back.

As I close, I’d like to share one mom’s reflections on this session a year following the one purchased for her daughter:

Tween…Teen…Not a little kid, but not grown-up yet either. Some navigate this stage with poise and confidence and some struggle. Most, I think, find themselves fluxuating between the two. These years can seem to many like “no man’s land”…even in regards to photos.  

“My daughter has some self-esteem issues and I wanted her to see how beautiful she is. I wanted images that reflected both her natural beauty and her personality in a relaxed setting. Robin made the session very comfortable for Joy; helping bring her out of her shell. The images were exactly what I wanted! They are a true snapshot of my daughter. A year later, I look back at those pictures and I am thankful. Joy still struggles with self-esteem, but her favorite images and the words of encouragement make her feel good about herself. She loves to read through her book. The images reflect her real beauty and I treasure each one.”