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How Family Portraits Can Support Children’s Self Esteem

We all know that portraits help to preserve memories and mark special occasions in our lives – particularly as children grow and our families change. Well, did you also know scientists have proven that photography can reinforce a child’s sense of belonging and boost their self-esteem? Self-esteem directly links to the feelings a child has about themselves. Children with good self-esteem know they are treasured, believe in themselves, and are able to visualise their place in the world. 

Knowing they are cherished

According to psychologists, it’s a good idea to display two types of portraits in the home for your children. The first should show the child participating in their favourite activity or hobby – whether that means being pictured in their sport uniform, dance costume, or with a chosen musical instrument. This photo can serve as a reminder to your child that they’re capable of learning new skills and achieving great things.

The second should be a family portrait, either with the child’s immediate or extended circle. Seeing this picture every day helps to subconsciously emphasise a sense of belonging, togetherness, and security for your child. Your child will be able to understand their place and value within the family unit – however your unique family tree may look! 

Understanding their story

Family portraits also help to connect your child with their broader history and identity. Whether that means seeing photos of themselves as infants, having portraits alongside their siblings, or having pictures taken with their grandparents to learn about each generation. There’s a reason why children are often curious to look through old photo albums!  

Today, digital photos tend to stay on phones or computers, but a quality portrait will have timeless value. Displaying family portraits throughout your home is also likely to leave a stronger, more long-lasting impression with your child. Sensory learning is a very important part of a child’s development, so being able to see, touch and even hold a family portrait can offer a greater level of comfort and reassurance, especially in times of change. 

Making the most of family portraits

The emotional value of a family portrait cannot be understated, especially as your children grow up. To make the most of your session and reduce any stress in the lead-up, we have a few tips for families: 

1. Set expectations early

Book your portrait session during a calmer time for your family (if that exists in your household!) Let your child know in advance that their picture will be taken. Get kids involved in the preparation, such as choosing a special outfit or meaningful prop. Make sure everyone in the family has had a filling meal beforehand, and have some water and non-spillable snacks on hand, just in case.

2. Choose the right location

Secondly, we recommend choosing a location and backdrop that will suit your family’s personalities, so everyone can shine. For example, photos taken in a natural setting offer a more organic aesthetic. However, a studio can offer the chance for the focus of the photo to be solely on the family or the child. It’s photographer’s job is to make your family feel at ease, so you get a fantastic end result!

Ultimately, portraits are a visual representation of our enduring bonds. Family portraits can help children to clearly recognise their place in the world, while highlighting a sense of safety and attachment. Click here to find out more about our Family Portraits at Timeless Images.