Teens: Why You Should Absolutely Let Your Parents Document Your Last Summer at Home

Two teen siblings and their mom play Just Dance on the Switch during their documentary family photo session with Paula Gerein
Two teen siblings and their mom play Just Dance on the Switch during their documentary family photo session with Paula Gerein

Teens: Why You Should Absolutely Let Your Parents Document Your Last Summer at Home (With Plenty of Eye-Rolling Allowed)

Hey there, future university student! Ready to escape to your new life of freedom and independence? Not so fast. Before you pack your bags and say goodbye to home-cooked meals, there’s one last thing on your parents’ wish list: a documentary family photo session.


Yes, I can hear your groans from here, but bear with me. Trust me, it’s not as painful as it sounds. In fact, it might even be (dare I say) fun.



Introduction: The Ultimate Teen Groan-Worthy Request


Let’s face it: the idea of spending a couple of hours posing for family photos is probably not high on your to-do list. You’ve got friends to hang out with, TikToks to make, and a whole world to conquer once you leave for university. But hear me out—this photo session isn’t just for your parents. It’s a chance to capture this crazy, transitional time in your life. Plus, if you play along, you might even score some major brownie points (and maybe an extra bit of cash for your dorm room setup).

  1. The Value of Documentary Family Photography (For Real)


Okay, so your parents are obsessed with documenting everything. But documentary family photography isn’t about cheesy poses and fake smiles. It’s about capturing real, unscripted moments. You know, the ones where you’re actually being yourself.


  • Authenticity: These photos show the real you, not the staged version. Think of it as your own personal reality show, minus the drama (hopefully).
  • Storytelling: Each photo tells a story—your story. It’s like a visual diary of your last year at home.
  • Timelessness: Unlike your latest Snapchat streak, these photos will last forever. And who knows, you might even appreciate them someday (shocking, I know).
Teen siblings sit together - from an Edmonton Family Photographer
  1. Capturing the Transition: From Teen to Young Adult (Cringe)


You’re at a pivotal point in your life. You’re on the brink of adulthood, ready to explore the world and live your best life. Capturing this transition is a way to celebrate how far you’ve come and where you’re headed.


  • Personal Growth: These photos will show how you’ve evolved from that awkward pre-teen phase to the adult you are now.
  • Family Bonds: Even though you won’t admit it, your family has played a huge role in shaping who you are. These photos highlight that.
  • Everyday Moments: Documenting your daily life—whether it’s arguing over the remote or bonding over a favourite TV show—captures what makes your family unique.
  1. Celebrating Family Dynamics (Yes, Including the Embarrassing Bits)


Family dynamics are… interesting, to say the least. A documentary photo session captures all the quirks, the inside jokes, and yes, even the embarrassing moments that make your family yours.


  • Parental Relationships: Showcasing the (sometimes annoying) but always supportive relationship with your parents.
  • Sibling Bonds: Whether it’s play-fighting or conspiring against your parents, these moments are gold.
  • Family Traditions: From Taco Tuesdays to Saturday morning pancake breakfasts, these traditions are part of your family’s fabric.
A day laughs with his teen children at the table during their documentary family photo session
  1. Why a Photo Session Before University Actually Matters


Before you roll your eyes into oblivion, think about this: a photo session before university is a way to mark a significant change in your life. It’s like a time capsule that you’ll appreciate more than you think.


  • Preserving Memories: These photos will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane when you’re knee-deep in exams and ramen noodles.
  • Celebrating Achievements: You’ve worked hard to get here. These photos celebrate your journey and accomplishments.
  • Strengthening Bonds: Believe it or not, this session can be a bonding experience (and a great opportunity for some last-minute parental advice).
  1. Photos Your Parents Will Treasure (Because, Duh, They Love You)


Your parents are your biggest fans. They want to remember this time just as much as you do (or will eventually). Here are some photos they’ll absolutely treasure:


  • Candid Family Moments: Natural interactions, whether it’s a family dinner or a backyard barbecue, capture the essence of your family life.
  • Milestone Celebrations: Graduation, sports achievements, or even just hanging out together—these are the moments that matter.
  • Emotional Portraits: Close-up shots that capture the real emotions of this transitional time. Yes, even the tearful goodbyes.
  1. Photos You’ll Secretly Love (But Never Admit)


You might groan now, but trust me, there are photos you’ll actually appreciate:


  • Personal Interests: Whether it’s playing guitar, coding, or painting, photos of you doing what you love are pretty cool.
  • Friendship Moments: Get your friends in on the action. These photos will be great memories of your high school squad.
  • Casual Portraits: Relaxed, natural shots that show off your personality. Think more “chill” and less “forced smile.”
A teen girl sits on the couch looking out the window. Portrait created during her family's documentary photo session with Paula Gerein Photography.
  1. Tips for Surviving a Documentary Family Photo Session


To get through this with minimal eye-rolling, here are some survival tips:


  • Be Natural: Just be yourself. No need for awkward poses or forced smiles.
  • Choose Fun Locations: Pick places you actually like—your favourite park, your room, or even the local café.
  • Include Activities: Do things you enjoy together. It’ll make the session feel less like a chore and more like a fun family day.
  • Relax and Have Fun: Seriously, just go with the flow. You might even (gasp) enjoy it.

Conclusion: Cherish the Journey (Even If It’s Cringe)


This journey from childhood to adulthood is full of moments worth capturing. A documentary family photo session might sound cringe now, but it’s a beautiful way to remember this time. Plus, think of all the future Instagram #TBTs you’ll have.


Book the Darn Session Already


Ready to get this over with? Schedule your documentary family photo session today and give your parents the gift of memories (and a little peace of mind).


Let’s create some awesome, authentic photos that you’ll actually like looking back on.

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Boy makes a silly face - from an Edmonton Family Photographer

Paula Gerein Photography

Documentary photography for families and businesses of Edmonton and Central Alberta, Canada. Available for travel.


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