A family photo-shoot should be a lot more than just taking a few pictures. Every family is unique and almost always has a story to tell.
When I meet with a family for photos it often just starts off as a simple photo session. But often there is more. Earlier this spring I photographed Lorrie and Dave and their daughter Jasmine. They were a great example of this.
When we had initially spoken on the phone Lorrie was really proud of her daughter Jasmine.
Jasmine had decided to cut her hair and donate it to an organization that makes wigs for people undergoing chemo treatment. I thought that was really special for a 12 year old.
We decided to meet at Barriefield Rock Gardens in Kingston. It was still early spring so the leaves were just starting to come out and the garden was just starting to come back to life.
Lorrie, Dave and Jasmine were waiting for me when I arrived.
As soon as I saw them I knew there was a lot more to this story.
Jasmine was born in China in 2006. Dave and Lorrie and 14 other families had travelled to China and all visited the same orphanage in Yangxi in 2007. The organization they had worked with is called “Children’s Bridge” in Ottawa. They adopted Jasmine on Aug 9, 2007.
They spent 3 weeks there and toured China with Jasmine and the other families.
One of the mothers in the adoption group has breast cancer and is undergoing treatment to battle it. Jasmine just came home one day last December and decided to cut her hair to show support for the mom and raise funds for cancer research. Some of her friends also decided to cut their hair to support a classmate fighting cancer.
Together they donated their hair to an organization called “Angel Hair” and makes wigs for children undergoing chemo treatment.
Every year around the adoption anniversary date in August, most of the group gets together for a weekend in Huntsville. Usually around 10 or 12 families come. They all look forward to it. They also celebrate a group birthday party in November since all of the girls were born within a few weeks around Nov 1.
International adoption is harder now and very expensive. China has closed its doors except for special needs children.
A few of the families are planning on returning next March to a China to show the girls where they came from. Lorrie and Dave and Jasmine are planning to go.
The mother Jasmine supported has undergone many chemo sessions and is doing better now. She will always have to visit the hospital regularly but the cancer has been significantly reduced.
It took us about an hour to finish up. By then I had plenty of photos. What was important to me was not so much the perfectly posed photo but more a set of photos that tells this family’s story.
A family photo-shoot should be much more than just lining up in front of the camera and having your photo taken. Every family is unique and their photo session should be as well.