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Importance of Including Grandparents in Portraits

I think it is very important to include grandparents in family portraits. It is even that much more precious to have them included for newborn sessions. These multi-generational images will have so much more meaning over time and it is something nobody will ever regret doing.

Portraits of grandmother with newborn granddaughter and her three year old grandson.

Portraits for a lifetime.

Do you have portraits with your grandparents? I know that for me, I think there is one formal portrait with my grandparents and my entire family, but none of just me with them. The rest are candid snapshots, which do have special meaning, but man, do I ever wish I had some professional portraits of my grandparents now that they are passed.

Children have such a special relationship with their grandparents. Most of the time, they are the fun ones who let you get away with a bit more. They give wise and loving advice. They adore their grandchildren like no other.

In the images above, I can see and feel the love emitted from this grandmother as she holds her granddaughter, looks upon her grandson and embraces her daughter. There is so much history here already. Stories unfolding in front of my camera.

It is surreal being a parent and I can only imagine how surreal it is to see your baby having their own babies.

These images are for the generations now and those to come.

The portraits are for those living now and for those who will be coming in the future. They will always have special meaning, but even more so as time goes by. It is a way to keep our legacy alive. I am sure that these grandchildren will look at the images of them with their grandmother and study them closely. That sparkle in her eyes. The way she looked at them with such pride and love. How her hands protected them when they were little. The ease she had with them.

When these little ones have families of their own, I am sure they will pull out these pictures and be rushed back to a simpler time. Memories will flood back of their relationship with their grandmother and with each other as a family unit. They will have such stories to tell to their own children and someday, their own grandchildren. These portraits will be studied for little clues and with much wonder.

portraits of a six month old newborn in St. Louis

Best time for grandparents to come to session.

Usually, when doing portrait sessions that include grandparents, we will do images with them at the very beginning and/or the end of the family’s session. For newborn sessions, I aim to get all portraits with the grandparents done first so that they can relax afterwards and/or lend a helping hand to the new parents if needed. Many times, if there are older siblings, the grandparents will take them out for a special treat or outing. This can be super helpful at a newborn session with older siblings since they can sometimes feel a bit left out and will want some one-on-one attention without their new sibling around.

portraits of a three year old with his newborn baby sister in St. Louis
One month old infant portraits in St. Louis.
Family newborn portraits taken at family home in Frontenac.

Grandparents are ALWAYS welcome in portraits!

I am often asked if grandparents can be a part of a family portrait session and the answer is ALWAYS, “YES!!!!” I strongly believe in capturing the relationships and bonds of all family members. Grandparents have such a special place in families and I absolutely love it when they are included in portraits. Someday, these images will be some of the most important and prized portraits you own. True family heirlooms.

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