A big birthday, a big anniversary, a christening, a retirement; these are all wonderful opportunities to gather family and friends around and to celebrate something special, something that’s a landmark event in someone’s life. A professional photographer especially one who specialises in photographing people, often large groups of people, knows how to quickly organise groups of people, how to put them all at ease in front of the camera and and how to create and capture those precious moments. A professional photographer will also know how to preserve those memories in a way that people can pass on from one generation to the next.

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Why it makes sense to hire a professional photographer to record those memories.
I’ve been photographing family parties and gatherings for the last eight years and have met many hundreds of people. As children grow up and leave home it becomes harder to get an entire family together on the same day, and family celebrations provide the perfect opportunity to do this. Often we’ll have four generations of a family, with some of them coming home from all over the world and although it’s rarely mentioned, everyone knows that there may not be another opportunity to do this. I recently photographed four generations of one family, with Great Grandma being 95 and her youngest great granddaughter being 7 months old. The framed photograph will become a family heirloom and when the youngest person. Imagine when the seven month old baby becomes a grandmother herself and her grandchildren ask her about the people in the photograph.

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Planning the photography
A few days before the party we’ll chat about the guest list and who they’d like to have photos of and who should be included in each photograph. We’ll also talk about the other photographs capturing the essence of the party . We usually start with family photographs before the party starts. Often we’ll have 15 to 20 people or sometimes more. So, we’ll have big family groups of three or four generations, then great grandparents with their children, each sibling with their partners and their children, groups of all the cousins, great grandparents with great grandchildren, grandparents with grandchildren, groups or grandchildren etc. The lists can be quite long but we can do these very quickly and being organised is the key to capturing everything whilst keeping everyone interested.

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At a ruby wedding recently we recreated a photograph from their wedding album with the couple, bridesmaids, best man and ushers. Often we’ll have groups of friends who are now in their seventies and eighties who’ve been friends since childhood.

Once we’ve taken the family portraits and the party is in full swing it’s time capture the action. These are much more casual and the goal is to capture the flavour of the party; the dancing, the food, the cake, the speeches, the groups of friends and relatives who haven’t seen each other for years.

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So, after the party what should you do with the photographs?
Many people think that just having a DVD will be fine. But most photographers and historians would disagree. And it’s not just because photographers are looking for a bigger sale. We all have thousands of photographs on our phones, on memory cards and CDs and most are no importance at all. But some of them are really important and need to be preserved for the future. The only way to do that is to print them. This article on my blog explains why.

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I recommend putting the most important family portraits in frames and these are usually designed and made for each client, with collections of photographs and individual photographs being made. We also design and produce story books and albums to display the photographs from the party and this is a great way to preserve the photographs for future generations.

Family-event-photography-warrington_0006Why it makes sense to hire a professional photographer to record those memories.

If you have a big birthday or anniversary coming up in your family and you’d like to have a chat about photographing the event please call us on 01925 471091 or send us a message through the contact page.