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Can a family photoshoot really boost your child’s self esteem? – Surrey family photographer

by Jo on February 1, 2018

Being a Surrey family photographer, I have lots of stories about children in front of the camera, but this blog starts with a story that happened off camera…

Last week, I had a call from my best friend who needed some emergency cover for her 2 year old daughter Layla.

It was a very wet windy day, not conducive to a trip to the park! Layla and I started to chat about life (as you do with a two year old), and I explained that Henry (my youngest) had been given a lovely toy for this birthday. It was a dinosaur that he had to make and he was very proud of it, I offered to show her a picture, she was delighted!

Dinosaur made by my son henry

Layla asked to see more pictures of my boys, so we started to browse my iPhone. Every picture we looked at told a story and had a memory behind it. It brought me such joy retelling the stories and reliving all the wonderful times we’d had together as a family!

IPhone images of family photos

Layla was captivated and asked lots of different questions…

“What were the boys doing there?”

“Why were they in a pumpkin??”

“That’s Aunty Jo, Uncle Steve, William and Henry” she’d say.

Then we struck gold… ‘That’s Layla and Henry’, a huge grin came over her face!

Surrey Family Photographer

We continued looking through the pictures.  Layla was fascinated by all the different things we had got up to, but she was most interested in the images she was in.

Ok stay with me, I know we ALWAYS look for ourselves first in pictures; do I look good, how is my hair, do I have a double chin?? But through a 2 year olds’ eyes it wasn’t about what she looked like, this was about her experiences and her sense of self in the world around her.

The highlight, by far, were the pictures that included all of her family; Mummy, Daddy, David and Layla. Her face lit up, and her contentment and joy were clear to see. I realised the images were giving her a sense of belonging and being part of something wonderful.

Family of four having fun in Isabella Plantation Richmond

Two hours later (yes a two year old sat still for two whole hours!!), we had looked through my entire iPhone picture history.

Can family photography really help instill self-confidence and boost esteem?


A study was conducted in 1975 with a group of fourth graders at Mufreesboro City schools in Tennessee by Tulane University. Over a period of five weeks, the children took Polaroid photos of themselves in a variety of different poses and expressions. The children worked with the printed images of themselves and created scrapbooks once a week over those five weeks. Testing of the students at the conclusion of study revealed a significant increase of 37 percent in the students’ average self-esteem behaviours. This study shows evidence personal photography of children seen and enjoyed in a specific way can help boost a child’s self-esteem.

Family photography can help children identify self in amongst the increasing fast paced world around them. Physiologists have reported that putting a family portrait in a child’s bedroom can really boost self-esteem. Providing them a constant reminder that they are part of something significant and safe and boosting their sense of self worth. It really was a privilege to experience the impact of photography first hand with Layla that morning.

I’m now going to treat Layla and her brother to framed prints for their rooms.  Spending that time with Layla brought it home to me the emotional impact and joy seeing those images had on her, so I’m gifting this so they can enjoy these images everyday.

Make sure your children see your family photography everyday


Your smart phones hold a wealth of stories and memories.  Take time to look through them with your children and talk about all the special times and moments, you’ll be amazed at how much you all enjoy it. Even better get them printed in a photobook (try or get a special family image printed and framed and hang them so your children can enjoy them everyday.

It really is worth it!

Spring family photography offer - Esher, Hampton Court, Richmond, Kingston and Cobham



I’m not just a family photographer though. I’m unashamedly passionate. I’m thrilled that you’re here and honestly can’t wait to work with you to create something extra special.

Surrey Family Photographer