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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Duprey

Your Kids Deserve Photos with their Grandparents | Generational Portraits with a Delaware Documentary Family Photographer

Updated: Jan 31

How many photographs do you have of yourself with your grandparents? Photos that show something you used to do together? Photos that show the fun you used to have and your special connection?

I have one of my pop cradling me as a newborn. He is wearing a t-shirt that is now one of my favorites to wear around the house-- navy blue, printed with a 10-point trophy buck in silhouette against a full moon. My pop was there in the hospital room the day I was born-- he watched me take my first breaths and was one of the first people to hold me. In this photo, he has got me in his arms-- a tiny pink bundle-- and he looks so damn proud. He might even be crying. Looking at that image now, as a grown woman with children of my own, whom he was never able to meet, I can feel the love he had for me-- his first granddaughter.

Images are POWERFUL. They can help us feel loved even when our loved ones are no longer with us.

What a beautiful gift!

This is why I believe that your children, my children, ALL children deserve photographs with their grandparents if it is at all possible.

As soon as our children are born, they become the center of our lives-- and the main subjects of our camera roll. There is nothing wrong with this (I have obsessively taken many thousands of photos of my own kids over the last 12 years and will continue to do so for as long as they will let me), but I would like you to pause for just a moment, and think of all the people who play important roles in your child's life.  How many photographs have you taken of them with their grandparents? How about their great-grandparents if they are still alive? 

a grandmother squeezes her granddaughter in a warm embrace during an in-home generational portrait session in Chester County PA
I love to show people who much they are loved in photographs. My hope is that years from now, when this little girl is grown, she will look at this picture and feel her grandmother's hug!

My Nan knows that when I come to visit, I always bring my "big camera" along and will inevitably ask to take her portrait at some point over the course of the weekend. I usually keep my camera ready on the piano so that it is easy to pick up when the perfect moment presents itself. I insist on taking pictures of my Nan, because every time I visit, the creases on her face and hands have deepened and she moves a little slower. 

A great-grandmother cuddles her great-grand baby during an in-home documentary generational portrait session.
My Nan and her newest great-grand baby.

Nan doesn’t particularly like having her picture taken-- she says that photographs remind her of how old she is getting and that the old woman in the photograph doesn't look like her; but she understands that these pictures are important to me and will someday be important to her other grandchildren and their children as well.

I have found that when she is sitting with a great-grand baby in her lap, she is happy and preoccupied and a much more willing subject. My suggestion to you, especially if your children's grandparents and great-grandparents are not keen on being photographed like my Nan, is that you wait to take pictures for the next time you are sharing stories around the kitchen island, playing cards, or hanging out in the front porch swing. These times when they are busy and engaged is the perfect time to pull your phone out and snap a quick picture. 

A 94 year old grandmother plays with a balloon and her great-grandson during a generational photoshoot in Middletown Delaware with Alexandra Duprey.
Activities take the pressure off. A game of keepy-uppy with this little boys 94 year old great-grandmother did the trick. 

I am the family historian and I take this role seriously. I listen closely to the stories that have been passed down-- even the ones I find hard to believe-- so that I will someday be able to share in that oral tradition with grandchildren of my own. I sleuth around in my Nan's old photo albums, asking her to kindly identify the people and places from her stories. I also passionately document my own family life, to help keep the record going. The stories and photographs in my family archive are a cherished part of the legacy I hope to pass along to the next generation.


This is your cue to photograph your child with their grandparents the next time you get together! Wait to take your picture at a time when they are sharing a moment with one another-- playing a game, blowing raspberries, holding hands, reading a book. Someday your child will thank you for preserving the memory.

A boy and his great-grandmother play with bubbles during an in-home documentary family photo session in middletown, Delaware

A grandmother blows raspberries on her grandson's foot during an in-home family photo session in Dover, Delaware

Grandparent's read to their grandchildren in an in-home family photo session in Middletown, Delaware.

Are you interested in having photographs taken of your children with their grandparents, but not confident in your camera skills? I love to make generational portraits at my family sessions! You can learn more about my offerings HERE.

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