Aileen Britt Photography – 80th Birthday Brunch!
Updated: Jun 10
I am a portrait photographer in NJ. I photograph families, children, newborns… you get the idea. Mostly people who have hired me to capture some moment in time that their family can look back on with fond memories. Maybe they want to hang a beautiful framed photograph on their walls to show off their lovely family, or a nice canvas with the image of their miracle baby in the nursery.
I am not an event photographer, but every once in a while I receive an inquiry about a baptism, sweet 16, even small weddings. I almost always turn them down. Even though I feel confident I can successfully capture these times for a client, it’s not as relaxed and free as a family portrait session. I have much more control over a portrait session, from choosing location, time of day and even poses and what my methods will be to get those cranky 2 year olds to smile. Plus, events are usually very long, and when I go long times on my feet without eating I get hangry. Ask my kids.
So, I usually thank the potential client for their compliments on my work and respectfully decline, while offering them referrals to other photographers I may know who could meet their needs. Except for some reason, when I received an inquiry for an 80th birthday party, I allowed myself to be hired. I’m not even sure what happened. It was mostly an “I’m sorry, I don’t offer event photography.” and a “That’s such a shame, your work is beautiful and I would like nothing more than to work with you as a surprise for my mom. She hates that everyone always takes cell phone pictures and never has beautiful professional photos taken anymore. I’d love to give her an album as a gift.” For some reason it reeled me in. Maybe because I felt the happiness she wanted to give her mother by offering such a gift, and I could be the one to provide it. Perhaps I imagined my mom at 80, surrounded by her family and friends, and thought of what it would mean to her to receive that same gift. I don’t know, but I found myself telling the client I would take the job and next thing I knew we were confirming details and exchanging ideas.
80 looks GREAT on her!
Let me just say… I am SO glad I accepted this job. Sure, I was outside my comfort zone, but it allowed me to learn and grow in ways I might not have otherwise. It also allowed me to capture memories for this family that they will be able to hold onto far into the future. There was so much love in this family, it’s visible in every image recorded.
They were a family of girls, just like my family is. 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters, and my mom has 1 daughter and 4 granddaughters. I hope when my mom is 80, we can celebrate the same way… overlooking the Hudson River on a beautiful summer day, while enjoying some mimosas and a wonderful buffet, surrounded by people who love us and make us laugh.
I really enjoyed working outside my box, and am grateful I took this opportunity to learn and to be able to provide this family with the gift of memories. I know that they will cherish them forever.