Why Family Portraits Matter

There are a lot of snapshots from my childhood. Photos of me and my brothers and sister at the beach, at holidays, playing together in our backyard. There are even some shots of us with my dad, but looking through our family photos it’s almost impossible to find a photo of my mom. There’s the one of her pregnant with my twin brothers, and the one of her at Easter with an amazing perm. And there are no portraits of my whole family all together. No portraits showing me what we looked like all together as we grew through the years.

There’s a saying I love, “The days are long but the years are short,” that reminds us that the time we have with our kids at any age is fleeting. Sometimes it may seem like otherwise, when they are painting the wall with mac and cheese or when they are singing ‘Let It Go’ for the thirty-fourth time today. But then it seems like all you do is blink and your baby is in high school.

With your precious family time flying by so quickly, family portraits matter. Recording memories matters. Setting aside just a few hours every year to capture your family’s love and unique relationship truly has the biggest return on investment of anything your family will do together. These will be images that your daughter collects when she makes a slideshow for her wedding or the images that your grandchildren pore over to see what their dad used to look like.

I believe that annual family portraits are more precious than anything else you could buy. These are the things that childhood memories are made up of. These are the moments that your kids will be looking for in twenty years.

Most of all, I believe that Mom needs to get in front of the camera, instead of always behind. Don’t make your kids have to search for the one moment that you were all in a photo together. Think about how much your own mom was part of your childhood, and how much you wish you could see that when you look at your family photos. You are the most important person in your child’s life, make sure you exist in photos for them.

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Bagley Family at UCLA

I have been wanting to photograph a family at UCLA for quite awhile! I loved attending my undergrad years here, and I think the campus is just gorgeous.

The Bagley family also has ties to this university — dad attended film school here — so we spent a gorgeous fall afternoon capturing holiday photos in a location that is truly personal.

Fall family portraits at UCLA by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer UCLA fall family portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Playful little girl, modern children's portraits in Los Angeles by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer

This little one was just all over the place! She found the flowers, ran in the grass and we had so much fun together!

Modern children's photography by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Candid dad and daughter portrait by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Candid mom and daughter portrait by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer

Aren’t these just the sweetest Mama and daughter photos you have ever seen? Such an amazing girl!

Loving mom and daughter portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Relaxed family portraits at UCLA by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Adorable children's photography at UCLA by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Playful little girl portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer

UCLA has some incredible architecture that work perfectly for family photos. I would be happy shooting here all the time, so definitely let me know if you went there too when you book your session!

Modern family photography with UCLA architecture by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Modern family holiday portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Playful family holiday portrait by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Smelling the flowers during family portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Holiday portraits in Southern California by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Romantic fall portraits at UCLA by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer

Selfies. Obviously.

Fun selfies during holiday family portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer UCLA family holiday portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer UCLA family holiday portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer

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Walley Family Fall Portraits at Home

I love this family. I just love them and seeing them every year is always such a treat! Hayden and Taylor are getting so big from the first time I saw them!

This year we started at home and walked down their street in their beautiful, tree-lined Pasadena neighborhood.

Pasadena family photography in the neighborhood by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Casual family portraits in Pasadena neighborhood by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Silly family photography outdoors by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer

Taylor and Hayden are just the sweetest with each other! Silly and loving and so clearly best friends. Photographing this relationship is one of the privileges of my job.

Sweet, candid sibling portrait photography in Pasadena neighborhood by Just Maggie Photography -- Los Angeles Family Photographer Relaxed Mom and Dad portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Pasadena Family Photographer Modern children's portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Pasadena Family Photographer Modern children's portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Pasadena Family Photographer Modern family portrait photography in Pasadena neighborhood by Just Maggie Photography -- Pasadena Family Photographer

Isn’t this street just breathtaking?! I was so excited to see how beautiful it was (and free of parked cars) when I drove down it on my way to their house!

Relaxed outdoor family photography by Just Maggie Photography -- Pasadena Family Photographer

The extended family also dropped by for a couple quick shots of the whole family against this beautiful backdrop.

Natural extended family portraits by Just Maggie Photography -- Pasadena Family Photographer

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