Never underestimate the power of a family portrait. Growing up, my family had a painted portrait of my older sister and I hanging above the fireplace. At the time, we hated the idea of going and getting our picture taken. To say we were a nervous wreck would be an understatement. My mother fussed over what we were going to wear and my dad simply didn't want to go. None of us liked the way we looked in photographs. It was not the best memory from my childhood. But now, when I think back on the home I grew up in, the first place my mind goes to is that portrait, hanging over the fireplace mantle. And now, it always bring a smile to my face because it makes me think of the memories we made surrounding that portrait. The family gatherings, fun times with our friends, the laughs with our grandparents, the warm scent of our living room. The fonder memories in that home.


Often times when we have a family portrait taken, or any pictures for that matter, our main concern is how we look we don't too often think beyond Facebook and Instagram and we don't think about tomorrow. We don't think of the legacy that we are leaving behind for our children. The memories it will create. The feelings it will bring up. We don't think about the reminder of those who have passed on, are somehow still with us. We don't think of the power of the presence in the portrait for your future. So, when you have a family portrait taken, don't do it for the now.  Don't do it for how you look. But do it for tomorrow. Because life can change so quickly.


Jodi Elizabeth Jacobs is the owner and photographer of J. Elizabeth Portraiture. She has an extensive background in film production and directing. Her love of photography is grounded in storytelling, which hails from her studies at the University of Southern California's intense producing and directing program. At USC Jodi learned the art of cinematography and storytelling, enabling her to combine the two, bringing your unique story to picture where photography is just the beginning. While she will pose you to appear natural, she has a knack for emphasizing candid moments. Jodi is also the in-house photographer for the distinguished Jonathan Club.