Episode 006: Self-esteem, Photography & your children


Self Esteem, Photography & Your children

In today’s episode, we discuss self-esteem, photography, and your children.

One of my mentor’s once said “Children who grow up in a house with photos grew up with higher self-esteem”

And this fascinated me, so I did some research …

Portrait of Essex Baby photographer Sue Kennedy
Sue Kennedy

About Your Podcast Host – Sue Kennedy of Sue Kennedy Photography

Sue is a professional portrait photographer based in Harlow, Essex and she specialises in baby, child and family portraiture. Being a parent, she understands just how special your child is to you and her aim is to produce a collection of images that are natural and meaningful to your family. No two moments are ever the same and she wants to perfectly capture those early precious memories and the natural character of your child.

For more information please call 01279 433392, or visit the Sue Kennedy Photography website.

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Episode Transcription

Sue (00:04):

Hello and welcome to the Photographs in a Shoe Box podcast with me, Sue Kennedy. This podcast is all about helping and inspiring you to tell your family story in pictures. Today we are talking about self-esteem, photography, and your children.

Sue (00:24):

So a couple of years ago, one of my mentors once said to me that children who grow up in a house with photos, grew up with higher self-esteem. And this fascinated me, I kind of knew this was the case, because I’ve have clients in over the years where they’ve made comments about the reason for the photo shoot was because their little one had pointed to their wedding photos, or to other photographs around the house actually, and said, “Where am I?” And the parents were conscious that maybe the child didn’t feel part of the family. Although I don’t think they thought about it at that level, but it certainly motivated them to book a photo shoot. So it was interesting to research some articles on this whole topic of self-esteem photography and children.

Sue (01:16):

So I found something written by professor Geoff Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester. And he said, “We cannot underestimate the power of photographs to keep us feeling linked to others and belonging. They cement us in our networks. For children in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socialising process, learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a very public statement that we are proud of them.”

Sue (01:55):

So I think I’d agree with that statement. There’s another lady, Judy Weiser, who’s a psychologist, art therapist, and author based in Vancouver. And she says, “It lets children learn who they are and where they fit.” And I’d agree with that because I know my own daughter looks around the house and well, there’s always been photographs up of her, let’s be fair. That’s the joy of being a photographer’s daughter, isn’t it? But she values that. And as much as she was embarrassed when I would take photographs at school events like sports day, she did kind of just secretly like me to do that because she enjoys looking back at old photographs as much as I do.

Sue (02:46):

So there’s another article that I found in My Child magazine. And this says, and I quote from the article, “Family portraits can help them recognise the important values they need to cherish in life, such as kindness, love, and respect. Children need to be reminded about the important values in life once in a while, and their family portraits could help them make good choices as they grow older.” Well, I certainly hope so. I’ll come back to you on that one, she’s only 12 at the moment.

Sue (03:22):

So according to research, 58% of people with a favourite photo said it was taken with a family member or another loved one. And I think this just goes to prove the point that the photographs capture the family bond. If you like. And children can look back on that and remember when that photograph was taken, the happy memories associated with it. And I think today, sometimes, although in one sense, while I suppose lockdown has slightly squiffed things, but it’s given us quality family time, although we weren’t expecting it. And it might have been stressful, because homeschooling had its moments, for me anyway. But I think the thing about the photographs when they’re the family photographs, they help your child to remember the positive emotions that they felt when it was being taken.

Sue (04:24):

So I just think it’s very interesting area, and I’m not sure that anybody that books a photo shoot necessarily thinks it’s going to improve their child’s self esteem, but I think it’s a happy side-effect shall we say?

Sue (04:41):

So let me just summarise. I think for me, it’s having photographs around the home is about showing your child that you’re proud of them rather than telling them. I think for them seeing themselves in photographs boost their self-esteem. I don’t think it’s a conscious thing, but I think it does. It gives them a sense of belonging and reassurance. And that family bond is important, and them being part of the photographs is important. And that includes yourself. There’s no point, the parents being invisible in the photographs, the children need to see you in them as well. I don’t think it’s about bragging about your family. It’s just saying to your child that they are important in this family too just by having those memories around the home.

Sue (05:41):

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this too. So do feel free to get in touch and share your comments and thoughts too. Right, that’s it for this week. Thank you for joining me today, and don’t forget to subscribe wherever you are listening so you never miss an episode. Until next week, bye for now.

portrait of sue kennedy photographer

I'm Sue

and I am dedicated to helping you share your family’s story through beautiful natural photographs.



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