The Importance of Family Photos // San Diego Family Photographer Cindie Wolf

Do you really need to update your family pictures every year?

A lot of families ask me this questions and well, no you don’t, but you should for several reasons.


If you have kids they GROW SO FAST! It seems like yesterday my children were toddlers, but the reality is I now have three grandchildren that I adore and even they are growing too fast! Holding their snuggly newborn bodies, watching them learn to sit up, say their first words, take their first steps…. It all flies by, way too fast. They grow and change so quickly that I recommend getting family photographs and “spotlight” photos (of each child individually) every three to six months their first year and then once a year from ages one to five. After five, I suggest family photos every other year from then on. Losing the first tooth, hitting double digits on their birthday, the first year of being a “tween” (12), roaring into teenager status, sweet 16 and the big 18! These are all mile marker years and all of them should be celebrated and documented.


It’s not about creating an altar for each child throughout the house. You won’t really display every photo from every year, but we can create a long-term plan so that as you add legacy pieces to your home. You should enlarge one or two portraits from each session. I suggest my clients redisplay portraits around the house or even swap their enlargements seasonally. This way your home and your art will still hold that “put together” look and still belong together. Your newest enlargement should always be in the primary place in the home, over the fireplace or in your main room. With all the rest of your photos from your sessions, you may want to print some small gift prints like 5×7 and 8×10’s to put around the house or at the office or give as family gifts. I like to create coffee table books in those years when there isn’t the need to update the large family photograph. These are about 10×10 with 30 images inside; they are a great way to save your favorites and look back over time. Family and friends will surely go through these when they come to visit.

As the years’ pass, we will create over time a volume of albums to document your family’s story. If you stop and look you can see the perfect place for these albums to be stored on a bookshelf, or in another place of honor in your home. Imagine a shelf with 10 albums and on the spine it says Our Family 2016, Our Family 2018 and so on… no small moment will be forgotten.



Family photos aren’t all about matching white button downs with khaki cargo pants. A true San Diego family photographer should guide you through not only wardrobe, color themes, hair, and makeup but also through creating a vision for your session and home décor that is a true representation of your family. Fun, exciting with your fashion sense and memorable all while creating art you will always cherish.


So, what about CD’s? I hear this a lot these days and the funny thing is when I did offer these, I was told they sat in a drawer.  Technology is changing much too fast to rely on having a CD of images. Just today I heard that Best Buy will no longer be selling CD’s! Apple has already come out with the UCSB, a replacement for the USB. When I started in computers everything was on a 5″ floppy and those are relic’s now.

I offer a full studio experience,  with the best products on the market, not a CD of images. The products I offer are Legacy pieces, designed with your home in mind, and your legacy in mind.  I offer Italian leather fine art handmade heirloom albums, gallery wrap canvas, giclee acrylics, high-quality metals and fine art prints. These are chosen to be beautiful and to last.  Every time we meet to bounce ideas off each other on your next family session, we will discuss fun, innovative ways to photograph your family in a manner that will be creative and unique to you!  We will also determine which products should be considered for that session.

Images are meant to be printed and displayed. The goal of a true professional is to ensure you have art pieces that can be shared with your family.

When you look back over the years at your family’s art collection, do you think you would regret investing your time and money in creating and documenting these memories? I can honestly assure you, you won’t. Or you can look at it from another perspective – do you think you would regret looking back over the years and not having your children photographed at birth, or when they had their first birthday or when they turned five and lost their first tooth? I guarantee you would.


San Diego Family Photographer | San Diego Portrait Photographer | San Diego Children’s Photographer | San Diego Headshot Photographer | San Diego Glamour Photographer

You are never so beautiful as you are now

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While out walking my dogs yesterday, my neighbor stopped me on the street for a quick chat. As our conversation progressed, she asked me about photographing her 3 children. So I  asked her when her last portrait was done with her kids, I was surprised to hear her say what every young mom I come across says:  “I want the memories of my children and I’m not good in front of a camera, I don’t like how I look!” Now, she’s in her 30’s and amazingly beautiful; so imagine my surprise! Here is what I told her-

When my youngest daughter was getting married we went through crates of photographs to put together the story of her life for the wedding. As we went through these images and relived each day of every one of them, she looked at me and said: “Wow Mom, You did an amazing job of documenting our lives, but you’re not in any of the pictures!! She was right-I always thought that I would “lose 10 lbs first” or didn’t like whatever it was about myself and dodged the opportunity to be photographed with my children. But I was so wrong!

She then proceeded to scold me and let me know how her memories were of all of us and she wanted the images to go along with them! I can still hear her words: “Mom, do you see how selfish that was?” “We love you and want you as you are!” How could I argue with that? How could ANY MOM argue with that?!

There are 3 things I learned from my daughter because of this, that I want to share with you:

This is what I got from my daughters-I believe they speak on behalf of all daughters to their mothers!

1). You are never more beautiful than you are today. And today is really all you have. You are their mom, and they love you no matter what your ideals of yourself are.

2). Your family portrait is about your family. How your children adore you, how you look at each other, feel about each other, live and have fun together. It is also about how your children will remember their childhood. Eventually, they will tell their children (your grandchildren) about their memories, and if you’ve done your job well, they will have lot’s of photographs to show them.

3). How you feel about yourself will affect how they feel about themselves. If you are timid due to the way you look, they will become timid with the way they look. This point she made sure to let me know about!

I believe everyone should have an image of themselves that they love. One that captures the essence of who you are, looking your very best. I strive to provide everyone with this type of image.

Someday when you are older and your children are gone, you can sit and smile at the beautiful images that are hanging on the walls of your home that tell your family’s story. Then you’ll laugh and remember how wonderfully chaotic and completely filled up your life was when your children were growing up;  and all those photographs will show is your beautiful self, surrounded by your beautiful family!

Celebrate your life, celebrate the lives of your family, the love of your spouse and the love of your children. Get in front of the camera and keep your mind thinking about how much you love them while you are doing it. Because then, this is what the portrait will be about!

From my heart to yours,



Thought for the day:  “Sometimes life is completely complicated, but you decide to make it simple because you accept it to be beautiful and it means that your choice is to be happy” -Ky Vanchhay