Why you should get your photo taken every year

Families are often associated with the “yearly family photo,” but yearly photos are something everyone should partake in. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married with a family; you should get your photo taken every year.

Every now and then, there are stories about people who took a photo of themselves for years. One of those stories was about Noah Kalina. For 12-and-a-half years, Kalina took a picture of himself every day, and in 2012, he posted a compilation of those photos as a YouTube video.

The video is striking and, a bit, eerie—due in part to the soundtrack that accompanies the video. It lets you view how this man, Kalina, lived his life for 12 years. You see how his appearance changes, and you view some of the different life stages he passes through as the background changes and he ages.

In another similar case, Zed Nelson, a photographer, documents the life of a family in his project, The Family. Nelson photographs a family on the same day for 24 years. It’s a lovely project that shows the way members of a family change over time.

Both projects act as a record of the lives of the people photographed, and they carry flavors of the yearly school pictures you took in school as a kid. At the moment, school pictures seem bothersome and annoying, but looking back at the school photos, it’s hard not to smile. Yearly photos—whether school-themed or not—are a fun and easy way to document the changes you go through as time passes.

Yearly photos have the obvious benefit of acting as a way to record memories, but there’s more. Have you ever looked at photos and felt nostalgic? According to John Tierney, a columnist at The New York Times, feelings of nostalgia have psychological benefits.

“Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer,” writes Tierney.

What about that bittersweet feeling you get when you hear an old song on the radio, and it reminds you of the good times you’ve had in the past? That feeling is also nostalgia, and you can get it by reminiscing over yearly photos of you and your pals. You could make it a tradition, like the five guys who took the same photo every year, for 30 years.

Taking your picture every year is the kind of thing that doesn’t seem useful until 20 or 50 years have passed. You’ll thank yourself for getting those pictures taken when years down the line you have plenty of photos to get nostalgic over. You’ll also get to see how you and your family have changed.

It’s not easy to see the use of this until years have passed. 20 or 50 years from now it will be nice to be able to look back at your life and reminisce about the changes you’ve experienced. You and your family will experience many positive changes, and it’ll be nice to look back and remember those times.

High School


I had so much fun with these high school girls. Beautiful from the inside out!

I was so impressed by their ability to work together and how they complimented each other's strengths.  It was such an amazing experience working with them all.

And their favorite teacher?  She was priceless.  It was so nice to see leadership like this.  ...of course fueled by the passion to make a difference.  

And the mother that helped transport them?  She was awesome in so many ways.  Loved her!

Thank you for all your hard work ladies! 


Studio Sessions

Studio sessions are versatile and useful in many ways.  

Some may say these types of images with simple back drops are traditionally seen in studios handling family photography, but there are a number of reasons and ways to justify a setting that does not have a busy background.  

1.      Okay, so we've already identified family photos with simple back drops.  Yes, especially when getting annuals, and printing them for display in homes, white, gray and even black backdrops may provide consistency through the years.  

2.      Senior portraits are often captured outdoors, although a high school student may prefer a studio setting over the natural light outdoors when given a choice.  Some photographers may offer packages that allow and provide both types of photography in celebrating this monumental occasion.

3.      Studio sessions are also great for headshots and images that will be used for LinkedIn, websites, and business cards.

4.      Additionally, dance and sports teams prefer to have packages with combinations of self portraits as well as team photos in their uniforms.

5.      Even more, studio sessions are great for product photography opportunities, which may or may not include a model's hand or leg, but primarily focus and hone in on the product or idea of a service being purchased and enjoyed.


A Child's First Year

Capturing Images of Your Child After The New Born Session

When a newborn first arrives into this world, there are a million new moments in their life that are milestones, not only in their progress, but in a parent’s as well, and these moments will no doubt want to be preserved by a professional photographer as much as possible.

There are many benefits for professionally capturing moments in a child’s life, and as discussed in 3 ways family photography can raise a child's self-esteem, professional photography gives children a sense of belonging, a sense of self, and shows they are loved and cared for.

Professional photographs within a child’s first year may vary in style, but often consist of the following:

Newborn Portraits - Although not a new occurrence, many popular styles of these types of photographs have emerged in the modern age of digital cameras, Photoshop, and social media. Such styles include portraits of the newborn in basic back, side, and tummy poses; photos of the tiny details such as their feet and hands; and photos with creative props such as wicker baskets and textured cloth.

Holiday Photos - These are a staple amongst parents with newborns, as what can be cuter than a baby surrounded by small Halloween pumpkins, them in an oversized Thanksgiving Turkey hat, or nestled in a Christmas stocking? These types of photos become excellent holiday gifts and are often used in cards sent to family and friends and also signify the inclusion of a new member into family traditions and celebrations.

1st Birthday -A child’s first year is a moment to celebrate indeed, as it’s a culmination of a parent’s hard work, determination, and care for their child in a very important time in their life; and it signifies the beginning of a string of milestones the child will pass and celebrate themselves each coming year. Photographs taken during a child’s 1st birthday capture images such as the child’s messy eating of the cake, opening of presents, and popular these days, their holding or standing next to a number or announcement of their age.

A professional photographer can ensure that as a parent, you can be a part of your child’s extraordinary beginning in life, every step of the way, and not have to worry about the details of recording and archiving the wonderment of your child’s first steps in life. As a parent you can include yourself with your child in front of the camera and capture the genuine essence of your family and the joy brought forth with the new edition to the world. 



Why One Should Get Annual Photos Even If They’re Single

Annual photo sessions are traditionally associated with family portraits including married couples and children. They are a tradition dating back over 150 years to the onset of photography and have served purposes of recording family history, pride, and at times prominence, especially in its earliest forms when the process was time consuming and expensive.

As a single person people will probably tell you, unless required for professional purposes, an annual photo may seem unnecessary and downright silly. There tends to be a stigma surrounding an individual, especially a single one, having their portrait taken: a stigma similar to eating dinner by one’s self or screening a movie alone. As in these cases, such apprehension towards having one’s portrait taken on an annual basis is nonsense, and when overcome can provide a sense of freedom and confidence in one’s self and position in life, while serving as a valuable asset and keepsake.

If there is uncertainty in having annual portraits taken, consider these reasons why it is beneficial to do so despite uncertainty, embarrassment, or stigmas:

1.      Portraits taken annually can be used to keep professional and social media profiles fresh and updated. Unlike others who keep the same photo year upon year, be the individual who takes pride in their image and others will notice.

2.      Updated annual portraits can provide the individual, their family, and friends a record of life. Just because one is single doesn’t mean the progression of their lives is unworthy of capture in a portrait. Give yourself and others in the future a record of your strength and happiness in the life you lead.

3.      Annual photos for the individual can be used in much the same as others for holiday cards and messages. They are guaranteed to raise a smile and show your love towards your family, friends, and co-workers.

4.      Photos can be taken with a close friend or even a beloved pet. Such relationships are important in many people’s lives and are just as worthy of being documented.

5.      The photo session itself can be a fun, exciting, and empowering experience, inclusive of whatever you want it to be. Enjoy the time with the photographer whose focus and intent will be to make you feel and look good. Who doesn’t enjoy that?

Most people have taken part at some point in their lives in traditional family photos: those taken by a professional studio photographer, utilized to preserve memories and project a presence in life. As outlined above, such use of annual photos need not only be exclusive to individual’s belonging to a group or relationship, and they can have valuable significance and benefits even for the single person. So do a little research, maybe ask friends for a recommendation, and find that photographer you can enjoy working with to capture the best and present you. 

Nice to Meet You

Tammy, owner and photographer at tak-ful.com, has been traveling the world photographing people for over 15 years.  She is from a small Mennonite town, called Hartville, Ohio, where she recalls a horse and buggy tying up to the local bank while watching the fireworks when she was young.  She has lived in London, England, Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Lausanne, Switzerland and Houston, Texas.  And because of her experience living and traveling to so many different cities, she also dabbles in French and German. 

She enjoys the outdoors and likes to stay active.  She can be found bike riding on long paths, walking in parks, sailing in Newport, and even swinging from a trapeze in Colorado.

But Portraits and Photo Journalism always remain the highlight of her travels including Europe, Central America, Canada, the Virgin Islands, Australia, and the Middle East.  What’s next?  Most likely the Mediterranean, Africa and possibly Asia.

Tammy's favorite shoots include classic carssailboats, and underwater portraits.  You may connect with the photographer by kindly filling out the 'Schedule' form on the Connect page at:  www.tak-ful.com, or Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.