Leigh is a town in what used to be South Lancashire (now Greater Manchester), and many people still see it as a Lancashire town. In its heyday Leigh was famous for coal, cotton, cables and tractors. My family are from Leigh and its always nice to go back to Leigh from time to time. Every once in a while I do a family portrait session there as I did for this family.
Why generational family portraits matter
Three generations of the same family arranged around a couple of garden chairs. Some people will look at this photograph and think, so what. Others will look at it and get the idea completely. This kind of photograph is what every grandparent asks me for. It’s a record of their family, three or more generations, all together in one photograph. As people get older material stuff becomes much less important as gifts.
So, older people become much harder to buy gifts for. But a family portrait, of their children and grandchildren all together becomes a much more important, sought after thing and in many ways is the perfect gift.
There are two parts to this and this and this is why a three generation family portraits make such great gifts. The obvious part is the picture itself. And this is something that grandparents always love to have and show off to their friends. The other bit is that it means getting all the family together in one place for a hours. Many families are spread across the country, or across continents. So this can take a bit of planning but it’s always a great occasion because some of the siblings might not have seen each other for a while.
Something for all parts of the family
As well as the full family group, we also have the opportunity to take portraits of all the grandchildren, the smaller sub-divisions of the family such was a son, his partner and kids or their daughter with her partner and children and so one. These smaller groups often mack great presents for grandparents to give to their children and are often ordered secretly.
Cousins living far apart and might not know each other very well and get the chance to reconnect and renew friendships. I remember one family portrait session taken to mark a golden wedding. Their son lived in Japan and spoke fluent Japanese. His wife was Japanese and the main language at their home was Japanese so their young children didn’t speak much English. If you’ve ever watched a bunch of two, three and four year olds playing together you’ll have noticed that the can communicate really well without speaking much. Watching all these young children playing together as I photographed them was pure magic.