What are extended family sessions? What does it take to plan an extended family session? These are probably some of the first thoughts you have when you see images of big families as grandparents and great grandparents. The idea seems beautiful but the task of actually making it happen probably seems overwhelming. I can promise you that the effort to plan these elusive sessions is one million precent worth the effort.
Extended family sessions are when you have generations of one family at a session. The session involves group images of everyone as well as combinations of all of the families. Most importantly it includes family moments and memories; granddaughters dancing with their grandfathers and grandsons getting tickled and rolling in the grass. The beauty and gift of life captured to relive and remember.
This extended family session took place in Abingdon Virginia at Walnut hills lavender and herb farm. Some of this family traveled up to five hours to be a part of this session that had been planned several months in advance.
As I photographed these 4 generations I kept getting tears in my eyes. I watched the little girl twirl on her great grandfathers fingers and I imagined those sweet moments and memories with my grandfathers who passed before both of my children were born. There is nothing more precious than memories with your family. These children danced and played with their grandparents and were blissfully unaware of the rare and beautiful moment of time they were experiencing.
So what are some tips for keeping your sanity before and during the session? First off open with your family about what you want to achieve. Not everyone loves having their photo taken (me included!) but these session are about a generational legacy. With more family that also means the session tome goes by quickly because the focus shifts between the families. To be honest an hour goes by in a blink. Most parents worry that their kids won’t last for an hour but the food thing is that they don’t have to. I set the paced based on house the kids are doing and will quickly shift focus to allow them time to play and get their wiggles out. The advantage of an extended family session is that there are lots of hands to help hold and entertain.
Time passes quickly during extended family session and even faster in life. Days quickly fade into years and you will find yourself wondering where all the time went. Making the time for a generation session is one things I recommend to all of my clients.
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