The Family Photo Shoot

Last month we had a family photo shoot. 

This is a HUGE deal, considering that we have not had family portraits made since Garrett was one year old, and now he’s five. Garrett and I had our picture snapped together for Valentine’s Day, but J wasn’t included.  Even on special occasions, we are not great at jumping in front of any lenses together.   There have been many holidays where we forget to take a family picture of the three of us together and then I scan my facebook page later that night and kick myself for not remembering to pose for a picture with my husband and my son when everyone else in the world seems to remember.  I think one of the reasons for this is that I prefer to stay behind the camera a lot, and it’s taken me years to talk J into looking directly at a camera and smiling like he likes it.   Garrett tolerates my snapping but that’s just because it’s all he’s ever known.  


So, when I booked a mini-session with my friend Lori at Shooting Star Photography for all of us to come together for a thirty minute picture session, I admit that I was a lil bit nervous about how they would turn out.  But, I picked out our outfits and flossed extra well so Lori wouldn’t have to photoshop my teeth too much and put on my new necklace and went with it.  I even got my hair blown out just for the occasion.  Because with photoshoots, you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.  This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo. 

Sorry, my inner Eminem came out there for a sec. 

family photo

That whole “picking out our outfits” thing turned out to be a huge waste of time, since the trendy new skinny jeans I bought for Garrett turned out to be a little too skinny and the cute non-skull covered plaid shirt I bought for him was huge and didn’t fit him at all even though it was his size (thanks, Old Navy).  So, at the last second I threw him in a mini-me Polo button down to match his daddy and we ran out the door.  The shirt was totally too short for his long body and would not stay tucked into his pants. I swear I ironed, too, even though you’d never know it by these pics. Eh well.  He’s still cute! And this is more my Garrett than a skinny jean wearing hipster with a normal tucked in shirt. 


Now I am SO thankful that we did this.  Look at the amazing results she produced for us!  All three of us smiling and looking straight into the camera?   WHAT?  Unbelievable.


And this is by far the best picture that my husband and I have taken together since the obligatory “kiss under the veil” picture from our wedding.  


I even got a nice new head shot for my blog out of the deal! 

beth bryan; unskinny boppy

I’ve gotta give a shout out to my girl Lucy of LucysInspired for letting us use her fairytale yard at the Hansel and Gretel house as the backdrop for these photos. Perfect location.  Stepping into her yard is like a scene from Epic.  GREEN.

 family portraits

Now for the truly amazing part… my parents and niece came along for the second leg of the mini-session!  Aside from my wedding, I haven’t had a professional family portrait made with my mom since the laser light beam Olin Mills days.  But we got this.

  mother and daughter

And then we got this.


And this.


And even at the end of an hour long portait session when G was DONE with everything… she captured this. 

the lip

How special is this?  My son and my Daddy, his namesake…  that is priceless stuff right there.

One of the main people I should thank for inspiring this event is this photographer, who wrote an article called “So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed?” I shared it on my facebook page, and it inspired me to step out from behind the camera and document our family RIGHT NOW, no matter my size.  No matter how I look.  These years while Garrett are still small are flying by and we can never get them back, so after reading this article I just knew it was time. And my mom did, too. 

I’m so proud of us for making this happen!  Families needs to be documented.  For as much instagramming and facebooking and blogging that goes on in this world today, how many of us actually go pose for portraits for a professional photographer together anymore?  I know we don’t.  Not if we haven’t made it a priority in four years.    Mothers need to be in pictures with their kids.  Grandparents need to have their pictures made with their grandbabies.  These photos are already priceless even now, just a month after they were made, because they are hard copy proof of a life well lived and a family that loves each other. 


Since it was reading a blog that inspired me to get these gorgeous shots taken, I hope that some of you will be inspired by these pictures and go document your family right now, before your babies get any older.  Because for better or for worse, for skinny or for unskinny, you should go have your picture made with your children!  You will not regret it.

If you live in the Birmingham, Alabama area and would like some beautiful photography, Lori is awesome

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Speak Your Mind



  1. Beth – your family photos are AMAZING and you are gorgeous! I need to schedule another session for our family – even if I’m feeling a little “fluffy” right now. Thanks for sharing a little glimpse of your family and your heart 🙂

  2. Wow! Great shoot, great post! Your pics turned out fantastic, the one of you and your husband is really, really, really good. And I love the grandparents with grandkids- Those ones just melt your heart! Makes me feel like scheduling some pics too.

  3. I smiled all the way till the photos with the grandparents, then I got all teary eyed. Those are true heirlooms.

    I read that article a while back, and forwarded it to a couple of BFF’s. You were a wise woman to take it to heart, and your heart shows in the beautiful photos.

  4. Funny how photos of people I don’t even know can bring such a smile to my face! Lovely pictures, lovely family! I think a lot of spirit has been captured here…

  5. Okay, the pictures are really….really good and the one of you is exceptional. I always think it’s lucky if you can find a photographer that makes you feel relaxed and the photos show it!

  6. Gorgeous pictures!! I love how they captured your son’s personality…just adorable. And the kids with grandparents, you will treasure those forever. You have inspired me to get some professional shots done.

  7. You have a beautiful family. Great photos to have, and I love that one of your dad and your boy! So precious!

  8. LOVE these photos!!! I do have a huge issue with getting my picture made because of my weigh.! I definitely need to get better at including myself!

  9. These are GORGEOUS, Beth! I have been more intentional lately about actually being in some of the photos that go on around here. When you’re the mom and chief photographer, it’s easy to be left out of the pictures. And when you aren’t exactly excited about how you might look in those pictures, you might not try too hard to jump in. Great job!

  10. Allison says:

    Aww….should’ve read this BEFORE makeup! #cry I love you guys and these pictures. They capture all of you SO well, your beauty, love and happiness just SHINES.

  11. Beautiful! I’m always that one that is missing in photos because I’m unhappy with the way I look. Thank you for your post … I will now be making an appointment to have family pictures taken so I will have photos of me with my children and grandchildren.

  12. Wonderful writeup, incredible photos. Just wow! What a beautiful family! And I’m taking notes… I need to do this too. I think the last decent photo I am in with my son is when he was in kindergarten! (he’s now 14… whoops!)

  13. What a beautiful family! I adore the Grand shots…and loved your comments that they Are getting so big. D is the same age as your little one. I think it’s time to get out from behind the camera! I always hate my pictures though. Now to find someone local in Greenville:) Thank you so much for sharing, Kris

  14. Beautiful! (Your lashes…wow!) I was just talking about this with friends today. My daughter wanted a photo of me to put in her heart locket necklace….and I couldn’t find one of me that wasn’t YEARS old. And we haven’t had a family portrait done since my oldest – now 14 1/2 – was 2. Sadly, I recently divorced so my 2 younger kids will NEVER have a family photo of us when we were married. 🙁 No more letting these moments slip by!

  15. Jenna @ The Pink Lantern says:

    Thank you for this post, I feel like you are speaking to my heart! Although we don’t have any children yet I hardly have any photos of my husband & myself (post-wedding of course). I definitely want to work on getting over my camera-phobia and document our life together. Your pictures are amazing and you look lovely. 🙂

  16. Seriously Gorgeous! The photo with your Dad and son brought a little tear to my eye. This makes me so inspired to get more “real” pictures taken. By the way Beth, you are BEAUTIFUL!

  17. Beautiful post and beautiful portraits Beth! You have the prettiest eyes-I love your new headshot! We finally got new family pics done last fall and I’m so thankful for them…I’m thinking of having the kids have a mini session soon since they are growing so quickly lately!

  18. Loved this post Beth! The pictures are awesome! I agree it is easy to avoid the camera when we don’t feel our best (when do we ever). I was looking at lots of photos when my Dad passed away last Fall. There is a gap after my girls got to middle school when they hated getting their pictures taken. But I treasure the professional photos we had made as a family and with my parents for their milestone birthdays several years ago. It was all they really wanted…proof of their big happy family.

  19. You and your family are just beautiful!!!!

  20. These are truly heirlooms. Something to be treasured and handed down. My family sits for a photo every Christmas but they are far from professional. This makes me want to do it “right.” Thank you so much for sharing this story. When we bare our souls I know it can be nerve-wracking! Well done girl.

  21. Those photos turned out KILLER! WOW! Your whole family is gorgeous. High fives for stepping out and getting these taken! You’ll always be so thankful for capturing this time in your lives. Love!

  22. Awww…Beth, these are simply beautiful. Very touching and you make me want to go out and do this right now!

  23. Well, I’m inspired! We have a photo session booked for just the grandparents and the grandkids coming up this Fall, but I think I’ll be booking another one for just our little family soon afterward. It’s been about 4 years for us too. And by the way, you two have made pretty much the cutest little boy ever to exist.

  24. Well I am so glad you stepped out from behind to camera and documented you and your family together…it is priceless and you are beautiful as is your family!! Great pictures…

  25. Camille says:

    I love ’em all!! Well done, girl. 🙂

  26. Your post brought a tear to my eye. Your family is wonderful.

  27. Beth, these photos are stunningly beautiful. Your son is so darned cute that I could just reach right through the computer and give him a squeeze!

  28. Great pictures!!! I love the one of your son and you dad, it’s priceless. I also LOVE your new “headshot”, it’s perfect!!!


  29. Beautiful photos of a beautiful family! We have been going to get our pictures taken every other year in November, to put in Christmas cards, and to give to the grandparents. Every year is a little more money than I want to spend… but at least every other year we go stand in a studio and smile as a family. 😀

  30. Mary Hall says:

    I just have to say, what great pics. The ones of the grandparent/grandkids are absolutely ADORABLE! When I see these pics, I don’t see “fat people”–I see smiles and laughter and the love everyone has for the other.

  31. Shannon Shurtleff says:

    Oh honey, they are beautiful! You are a lovely couple, and your little one is adorable! I am digging the extended family ones as well! I shy away from the camera lately, as I just don’t feel I look my best…but I read that article as well. I know I need to get some portraits taken.

  32. What a fantastic post Beth! Thanks for allowing us to come out of our ‘we have to be the perfect size and look perfect’ mindset for capturing photos of our family! You are right – time to just do it! You have a very beautiful family!!

  33. Farrah M. Knight says:


  34. You had me at Olin Mills! Ha ha! Love it! You are georgeous!

  35. Your family photos are simply amazing! They capture every bit of the love that is there and then some. I need to read your article about wanting to stay behind the lens, I’ve lived my life this way and I can see in my personal photos that no matter my size I have never felt worthy of being photographed and “seen”, something you should never worry about. You are stunning and your portraits show your love of life. I’ve just found your website so I’m still enjoying browsing everywhere. Thank you for taking the time to share so much of your life and your own journey. I really felt the connection with you. Best of luck in whatever 2015 has in store for all of you.



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