The simple act of placing family photographs around your home can have a profoundly positive effect on your children’s self-esteem. As humans we need to have a feeling of belonging, this gives us a sense of security, and this belonging is on display in family photographs.
Professor Geoff Beattie, Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester states: “We cannot underestimate the power of photographs to keep us feeling linked to others…the cement us into our networks. For children in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socialising process; learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying photographs of our children we are making a public statement that we are proud of them”
I fondly remember going through photo albums, often laughing at the horrendous clothing choices either my mother or myself made, and genuinely feeling happy in those moments. One of my all time favourites is a professional photograph with my two siblings. As the youngest in the photograph I look superbly angelic (I was about 2) with a great smile. As my mother and siblings like to remind me I was apparently absolutely horrendous that day and cried the whole time other than this one brief moment!! We all have a copy of this photograph and all still laugh about it.
A survey of 1000 families in the UK found that 78% kept a least one to fifteen pictures of their family around the home. These photographs in turn made children feel valued as a result. Given I have a family photo wall with about 30 images my daughter must feel pretty special!!
Certainly as a photographer it makes me feel good to know the artwork we are creating and having placed proudly on display in people’s homes is helping their family connect with each other on a daily basis.
Do you have a favourite family photograph and what does it mean to you?