Ways to Make Your Photographs Meaningful

I think we can all agree that how your photographs look is important.  But even more important, I think, is how you feel when you look at your photographs.  

I love making a family or senior photo shoot as meaningful as possible, and if you do, too, here are five ideas to get you started.

1) Choose a special location

Fields and parks are beautiful.  We have so many beautiful natural and urban locations for family or senior photography in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and I always enjoy shooting pictures at them.  But it can also be neat to head somewhere that holds a special place in your family's story.  The bridge where you and your husband got engaged, for example, the college campus where you met, or where you used to go out on dates, before children.

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2) Wear a family heirloom

Grandpa's stetson or the knit cap your mother made for your dad when you were a child, the necklace you got for your high school graduation, Grandma's earrings... 

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3) Your child's lovey

Incorporate your toddler's stuffed animal or blanket - even if it is natty and ripped and stained.   Right now you may feel you don't want to see that in your family photo...but, believe me, ten years from now, you will want to!

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4) A special blanket or quilt

Sit on the blanket you had a picnic on during your first date, or use one that a family member made as a backdrop.  Think how fun it will be to tell the kids about it as they get older and look at the photographs of themselves.  "See that blanket?  Your Aunt Nancy made that when your dad was a little boy, and we had a picnic with it on our first date at Minnehaha Falls in 1992."

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5) Use a toy from your own childhood

Just like the hat or quilt ideas above, imagine seeing your own child sitting in the wagon you used on your paper route when you were twelve.  Or playing with the Tonka truck you saved.

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Now that you know some of the stories associated with these pictures, doesn't it feel even more special when you view them?  Now imagine how special it can be to add this kind of meaning to your own photographs!  

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