When we were younger, family pictures were casual shots in living rooms and backyards, but I also remember those posed affairs at mall portrait studios, all of us in complementary matching clothing (I do remember one family picture in particular where the theme was denim. It was the 90's, that's all I can say!) Hair brushed just right, shirts tucked in, our best smiles. Looking into the camera, to be immortalized in print for eternity.
As we've grown up, our family photos have changed a bit... impromptu group shots at every family get-together, birthday, holiday: all of us squeezing into the frame in the kitchen or out in the yard (where we will always remember and miss the picture tree) so that we can remember what it was like when we were all there together except for one, when the tiny redhead was 2 and Tom and I were both training for a marathon and my brother's sweet girlfriend had long dark hair. To remember us when... later on, down the road. Comfortable group shots in bars and baseball stadiums and museums and at weddings, where we danced all night. All of us there, together.
As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that every photo is important, every memory a gift. I am lucky to have a smart phone with a really good camera and ample storage on the cloud for all of my pictures. I also know the value in putting my phone down and just being and I try very hard to maintain a good balance. Still, being someone who loves to document, who loves to remember and reflect, I'll always keep taking photos. And who knows... maybe someday, my many beloved family members and I can get together and coordinate our shirts and smile in a portrait studio, for sweet nostalgia's sake.