Central West End Photographer

Once upon a time, I made scrapbooks for my children. Each page was filled with pretty photos and hand-written memories. I enjoyed using my creativity that way, but more than that I treasured the idea that one day my children would look through these books. The memories of their childhoods would be preserved forever on those pages. But as I look through those pages now, I see one thing is consistently missing…

Photos of me.

Being the “camera person” in our family, it’s rare that I’m on the other end of the lens. It’s not that I hate having my picture taken. Not at all! It’s just that, I am the one doing the storytelling. But recently the realization came to me: I am as much a part of my children’s stories as anyone or anything else. If I’m trying to document their childhoods, their milestones, their most important memories, then I should be a part of that too!

Earlier this year, I came to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri for a trip and my good friend Danielle contacted me about a Lifestyle Photoshoot. I was THRILLED! Danielle is a photographer too, so she knows the importance of documenting her family’s stories.

I have blogged before about what goes on at a Lifestyle Session but I often have people ask me, “What would we do for a Lifestyle shoot?” Really, I tell clients to just be themselves and do something you already know you like to do. The photos I capture preserve special memories, whether those moments are big milestones or little everyday details. Those simple moments are oftentimes overlooked as boring or ordinary and they end up being the things that remain with us for a lifetime. The nighttime ritual of getting ready for bed… the pile of shoes by the back door… the youngest sibling spilling her water glass at dinner AGAIN… That’s worth preserving.

Here are some ideas of things you can do for a Lifestyle shoot at your home:

  • bake cookies
  • play a board game
  • read a book on the bed, then have a pillow fight
  • plant or harvest your garden
  • prepare and eat a meal together
  • do simple chores together (feed the cat, wash dishes, etc.)
  • homeschooling
  • camp in your back yard

Here are some ideas of things you can do for a Lifestyle shoot away from your home:

  • walk your dog
  • go to an apple orchard/berry patch/pumpkin field/Christmas tree farm
  • visit a waterpark
  • take a trip to the laundromat
  • take a hike together
  • have a special “Mom and son” or “Dad and daughter” date
  • ride on public transportation
  • eat at an ice cream parlor

Danielle knew an ice cream parlor would be an awesome location for her Lifestyle Shoot with her two sons. It was a really special day together for them and I’m glad I was able to capture their memories.

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Gretchen Willis is a family photographer for Lifestyle Shoots in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and the surrounding area including Portage, Baraboo, Montello, Westfield, Poynette, and Reedsburg. Please like the Gretchen Willis Photography facebook page to hear about all the latest news and offers! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @GretchenWillisPhoto