the find lab

Extended Family Photography and It's Importance | Admirals Cove Jupiter Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

Extended Family Photography and It's Importance | Admirals Cove Jupiter Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

Stop for a second and think about the last time you had your extended family all in one place. Think about the last time you had even your nuclear family in one place. As we get older it becomes harder to stop what we’re doing to visit our parents, children, or grandchildren. I never get to see my sister and niece as much as I would like. Every second that I get with my family is something that I truly cherish, especially after losing my grandfather and grandmother within a few months of each other. Life is so incredibly short and memories tend to fade the older we get. This is a huge reason why I photograph families. I have a deep love for documenting the relationships between them. Most families don’t get together unless there is a wedding or funeral; it’s the sad truth. That’s why I get so excited when people contact me about doing extended family sessions. Involving the grandparents makes for such a special session. It freezes time for everyone involved. It allows them to have memories long after their parents and grandparents are gone. When I was a little girl I don’t remember being in photos with my granddad. But, looking back at those photographs now I’m so lucky to have those. I might not remember the event or circumstance, but I remember how my granddad always made me feel. I couldn’t imagine not having those photographs.

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Why I love in-home lifestyle sessions for newborns | Amelia Island Newborn Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

Why I love in-home lifestyle sessions for newborns | Amelia Island Newborn Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

While there are so many places that you can take family photographs, a newborn session has a few more elements to consider. I always urge my clients to do them in their own home, even if we only have one room that has great light. We can always move furniture around, put neutral linens on the bed, etc. (Of course we do this leading up to baby and not after. There is already enough going on that we don’t want to add that to the list and stress the new parent(s) out.) Keep reading to find out reasons why I love in-home lifestyle sessions for newborns.

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San Francisco Documentary Family Session | San Francisco Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

San Francisco Documentary Family Session | San Francisco Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

Sometimes you get families who just get it. They understand that while an hour family session is wonderful, it’s not really what a day in their lives looks like. This family wanted to spend a few hours just documenting what life is really like when you have a small child. Jessica is a destination photographer and ends up taking her family with her some of the time. This is what life looks like for a lot of traveling photographers. It’s not always glamorous or easy, but there is beauty in it. When you’re gone a lot and constantly busy, sometimes you just have to bring the whole family!

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Boudoir Sessions Serve a Greater Purpose | West Palm Beach Boudoir Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

Boudoir Sessions Serve a Greater Purpose | West Palm Beach Boudoir Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

I still get people who don’t understand boudoir. They think it’s purely sexual, vain, or pointless. I can keep putting up blog posts that explain why they are so much more than that. I can try to explain it in my own words (which I’ve done several times). But, what I think speaks the loudest are words from other women who have been photographed by me.

This one hits way too close to home for me. M (we’ll call her) isn’t sharing the photographs with the public because of her job. I reached out to her and asked if she would be willing to share her story, though. I told her that her words might really need to be read by someone who is in the depths of hell. I wish that more women had talked about their struggles when I was in my marriage. There were so many times I felt shameful and alone. E is allowing me to share one photo and her words.

I want to point out that not every woman that I photograph is “broken” or going through hard times. I photograph women who are engaged, married, divorced, have kids, can’t have kids, don’t want kids, have done boudoir sessions before, have never done boudoir sessions before, and so on. But, this is E’s story and it’s a pretty damn powerful one.

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In-Home Family Session | Boynton Beach Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

In-Home Family Session | Boynton Beach Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

I can not emphasize enough how important it is to work with a photographer who will get you family heirlooms for your home. What I mean by this is someone who will take the time to sit with you, go over the photographs with you, look at your home, decide if an album is better, decide if a framed gallery wall is better, decide if you’re someone who really is better suited for digital files, etc. I am 100% of the mind that photographs should get off of your computer and onto your walls. I also work with my clients to make sure that’s what’s going to be the best fit for them.

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