Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you’ll be leaving for your kids? For their kids? For the generations that come after you? Our legacy is what the people we love most and who love us most will remember us by when we’re gone - and legacy is what makes anniversary photos so important.
We all leave behind a little piece of our legacy every day in the way we talk, in how we act, and in how we choose to love the people around us. Those memories are stored in the minds and hearts of current and future generations – but so are the images they carry of us. They say that “a photo is worth a thousand words,” and that statement rings true even more so when someone is gone.
I’ve always seen photos as stakes in the ground, reminding us how where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. These “stakes” of sorts are what hang in our homes, decorate our coffee tables, and remind us of the good times and not so great times.
Take our first wedding anniversary photos, for instance. These photos are so precious to me for a multitude of reasons:
- We had them taken at one of our favorite places
- I wore won of my favorite dresses
- We took them during a time of rest
- They capture our joy at that time in our lives
- They show so many elements of who we are as a couple
ALL of those attributes point to a little piece of who Nick and I were at the time we took the photos, at that specific time in our lives. And now, we get to carry a little piece of that with us for the rest of our lives. Jenna and Nick in one of their favorite places, Jenna wearing that dress she loved, and both of them looking full present and joyful with each other.
Not only that, but we’ve changed SO MUCH since our first day of marriage. The way we interact together has changed. The way we move together has changed. What we wear has changed. And in a couple of years, all of that will probably change again. We’ll have grown physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually – and we want to remember that. And someday, when we’re gone, we want other people to remember that, too.
I've had a few couples over the years who have graciously trusted me to photograph them after a number of years of marriage. And let me tell you - those sessions are always some of my FAVORITES! Married people who are still in love are always so easy to photograph. So, because I had so much fun with these people, I reached out to a couple of them to see exactly why they decided to have their anniversary photos taken. And I loved their answers:
"We decided to get anniversary pictures because we think they are a great way to celebrate your years of marriage, regardless of how long you've been married, and reflect on how far you've come as a couple! Your understanding and love for each other grows so much deeper over time. Your wedding photos will always be so special, but there is something even more sweet about having that time together as a couple without the business of a wedding surrounding it. You can just be with each other and focus on how much your love has grown over the years. " - Kim C. (See her and her husband's anniversary photos here!)
"We had not invested in photos of ourselves since our wedding day SIX years ago. Our treasured engagement and wedding photos hang all over our home. The only problem is that six years ago we were 22 and 23 year olds just out of college. And it shows. We look SO young! But I kept putting off having updated photos done because I believed it was only something to do for the HUGE milestones in life: Marriage and babies. But then I realized that was silly, and our life now is worth documenting. So Naz agreed and we began the process of locking down all of the logistics to making these anniversary photos happen (shout out to Jenna who made the process a blast!).
Initially it seemed to us like a frivolous investment - which is why we kept putting it off. But that notion could not be further from the truth! It turns out, it was an incredible investment - not only into our home decor of updated, beautiful photos, but also into our marriage! It is so awesome to look at our updated photos and see how we’ve changed, not only in how we look, but in our interactions with one another. We are different people than we were even one year ago, and it's fun to see photos of ourselves in this season of life. Truly, they make us SO happy and we are so glad we decided to make this investment! When we see our gallery of images, we can't stop smiling. We see two people who are more in love than ever after six years of sharing life through the ups and downs, and growing stronger in the process!
A side note: It ends up being a BLAST of a date night. You get to get all dressed up and run around snuggling the love of your life. It's worth it to plan dinner or something else fun afterwards :) " - Elisabeth D. (Check out her and her husband's anniversary photo session here!)
So, why are anniversary photos so important? Because they are your physical legacy. They show how you’ve grown as a couple – and that’s something so precious worth remembering.