Did you know that the tween to teen years are the least professionally photographed stage of your child's life? When they are newborns and toddlers, they grow so fast that you want to document all of the stages and changes. As they get older, you are busy... they are busy and before you know it you are booking their High School Senior Session and they are off to college. I'm here to tell you why you shouldn't forget to photograph the tween to teen years. I'm talking about the ages of 9-18, more specifically ages 12-16. Yes, you will have loads of selfies, sports and school photos, but do you have photos who capture who they truly are in a way that empowers them to embrace their uniqueness? I specialize in this age range for many reasons of which I will share with you now!
1. Give your Tween a Voice!
Photography is a very powerful way to give your t(w)een a voice. At this stage in their lives they are becoming. No longer children, not yet an adult, this stage is all about figuring out who they are and what they love to do! When I began to photograph dance, I quickly realized that this age group loves to be photographed doing what they love to do. There is no better way to let your tween know... "hey, I hear you... I see what's important to you and I think it's amazing. Let's capture that."
2. Photography Empowers your T(w)een!
At this stage in their lives, they are super self conscious and easily influenced. I have two children in this stage, right now and I know how hyper self aware they are. Does this outfit look ok? Is my hair just right? I also know that this is the period in their lives when they are consciously questioning who they are and what they value. By photographing them in a way that shows them just how incredibly beautiful/handsome/unique they are just the way they are, it empowers them and boosts their self confidence. Building their confidence helps them to embrace who they are and to be strong in the face of all sorts of peer pressure. I think that's quite a game changer in the life of a tween/teen!
3. Finding their Tribe!
One of the most exciting sessions that I offer are best friend sessions. I decided to offer these sessions because I know that your t(w)een's circle is incredibly important to them. I also firmly believe that when they find their tribe, they help each other to be strong together. When you surround yourself with people who love and support you for who you are, you feel less pressure to be someone you're not. Your teen's friends are important to their lives and their development into adulthood. Best friend sessions have been known to strengthen that bond and to let your teen know that you love and support that they have found their tribe!
4. Social Media
Need I even say anymore? Like it or not, social media is here to stay and it does play a big part in your teen's life. I always tell my kids that it is what you make it. It can be a negative or a positive, make it a positive for you and for others. Giving them photos that they are proud of to share on social media can help to make it a more positive experience for them. If your teen embraces their natural beauty, talents and authentic sense of self, he or she will inspire others to do the same! This is all about building each other up!
5. Family... Their Soft Place to Fall
It has been a while since you captured your family together with your older kids. This goes back to this time in your life being the least photographed stage. It has actually been studied that kids who see their photos throughout their home with their family experience a boost in self esteem. By displaying photographs of your family together, you are letting them know how important they are to you. At this stage of separation, yet still needing that soft place to fall, it's incredibly important for them to see and feel that.
David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”
So whether it be to capture your tween or teen doing what they love, being who they are or if it's with their friends or your family together... I know first hand what's important to them. I also know how to capture them in a way that will make them feel empowered and valued. I offer individual portrait sessions, best friend sessions and family sessions for your tween/teen. Sessions can also be tailored to what you specifically need. Contact me here to talk about your needs and get scheduled! Trust me... time passes too quickly. Don't miss capturing this pivotal stage in your child's life!