Once the wedding is over, life kinda takes off at full speed. If you’re not careful, pretty soon a decade has gone by and you realize the last great photos you had of the two of you were… from your wedding. Enter anniversary photo sessions!
If you have had children in that time, it’s only worse. Take a look through all your photos and notice how many don’t have mom in them. This has been been proven to be a problem that started in the Victorian age and continues to this day. (Read here. It’s also a great reason to make sure you’re getting regular family portrait sessions.)
But back to you as a couple. Even if you have children and you get regular family photos, those are vastly different from photos that capture and highlight your relationship.
Why you should get regular anniversary photo sessions
To mark the passage of time
Of course. But to do so in a conscious way. To set aside some time and say that it matters to notice where you are together and how things have changed.
Most anniversary celebrations include, what? A gift and maybe a special dinner? If it’s a significant anniversary maybe a vow renewal or a party. But what of all those “little” years? Not 10 or 20 or 30 but all the ones in between. Think about how much you can change in 12 months. And think about what a gift it is for you to be able to look back later and take a journey through all those memories.
I think, as we get older, things like this start to matter a lot more. Really, I don’t want to get to be 70 and wish I had been marking time with my spouse all along. And certainly, I don’t want to feel like I missed the opportunity to preserve our memories.
To exchange new vows
As time goes by in a marriage, our ideas of our relationship evolve. Things happen between us and to us that we couldn’t have imagined as we were getting married. All of this is a reason to revisit our vows, to recommit to each other but on a deeper level.
Imagine taking some time every anniversary to write some new vows or to rewrite some of your old ones? Imagine capturing this in photos.
To focus on the two of you
Whether or not you’ve started to bring children into your relationship since the wedding, again, life takes over. It’s easy to get into routines, even ruts. It’s easy to lose sight of each other if our days are filled with jobs and appointments and planning what we eat and pets and problems with the house and just all the every day things of living.
An anniversary photo session can remind you that the intimate relationship between the two of you is the center.
Create a dream date
You can turn this anniversary photo session into quite the date. Besides creating a memorable moment to photograph (see the tips for your session below), you can make sure to not just rush home and back into day to day life afterwards.
Make the photo shoot just a part of your day or part of a long weekend together. Create a dream date/day/weekend around the shoot. If you’re all dressed up, why not take advantage of that?
Tips and ideas for anniversary photo sessions
Make it an adventure!
What do you love to do together? Do you share a passion for being outdoors or going to art museums or dancing? Take that into consideration when you’re thinking about locations and themes for your session. This will also help you to decide on the age old photo session question: what will we wear!?
Recreate your wedding
In a smaller way, of course, with just the two of you. You could wear your wedding dress or you could get it re-tailored or dyed. Get the same flowers you had. Maybe find a similar sort of location — or something completely different. This should be fun!
Go full out with a vow renewal
You might recall that we had a 10 year vow renewal and photo shoot ourselves and we couldn’t have been happier. Would we recommend that you wait for ten years? No. Do it more! And you can keep it pretty simple. (No need to fly to California like we did. HA. Unless you want to and we’d be glad to come along…)
Bring the past to life
Where was your first date? Where did the proposal happen? And where has anything of great significance to the two of you happened? Go back in time… maybe even do some retro clothing choices to match the time when it all occurred.
Consider the season
What time of year did you get married? Consider the themes of that season and bring them into your anniversary photo session.
Look close to home
Maybe it’s your home that means the absolute most to you. Or your gardens. Whatever it is, if you have kids and pets, maybe see if someone else can take them for the day. Again, make this totally about the two of you.
Consider the time of day
What might a photo session during the sunrise on Presque Isle be like? Or reverse that: a photo session during the sunset with pictures under the night sky to follow.
We can never say this enough: the only thing that really matters is what matters to the two of you. What would bring you joy? What do you want to have memories of later?
And don’t forget to date your photos and leave little notes tucked inside the frames. Don’t let those stories be lost.