Personality Portraits: Creating Confidence

Mar 27, 2023

We offer timeless portraits, it’s what we’re known for. So, to add a new session type, Personality Portraits, means it must be amazing. But we’re hoping these new sessions mean just a little bit more, we believe our Personality Portraits will create confidence.

Personality Portrait of a child during her photo mini session at a Philadelphia area photo studio having fun and feeling confident. The photographer captures a kid's genuine self during these photo shoots.

In the Blink of an Eye, They Change

You hear us say, in the blink of an eye. It’s because kids literally grow that fast at every stage. Personality Portraits showcase kiddos face and capture their current stage and personality because they WILL change, and quickly.

Imagine going back and comparing these portraits each year, seeing your toddler turn into a little kid, into a big kid, and then a teen. The retrospective illuminates the little things you may have taken for granted at the time. Changes that are so gradual and yet happen in the blink of an eye!

Creating Confidence through Celebrating their Personality

If you know me, you know creating confidence is one of my core values and that of the studio. It comes from this drive to create a safe space for kids to be celebrated for being themselves. Our Personality Portraits create confidence by creating a space and an environment where kids feel totally comfortable being their whole selves. They can be serious. They can be silly. They can be fun. They can be pouty. They can be introverted. They can be extroverted.

Personality Portrait of a child during his photo mini session at a Philadelphia area photo studio having fun and feeling confident. The photographer captures a kid's genuine self during these photo shoots.

It’s about creating a safe space to help them find themselves. And to celebrate what makes them truly unique! Check out additional ways to build self confidence.

The opportunity for you to define how they see themselves

Ok, so I’ve put it out there, the importance of building a kid’s confidence. Cool, but what does that possibly have to do with a portrait studio? This world is telling kids to experience the world through pictures and posts. This world is telling kids to use filters. This world is telling kids that to be popular you have to look like someone else. This world is telling kids not to love themselves. But we as parents, as a community, as your village are telling kids we love you exactly as you are.

There is only one you, and you are simply amazing.

Personality Portrait of a child during her photo mini session at a Philadelphia area photo studio having fun and feeling confident. The photographer captures a kid's genuine self during these photo shoots.

All the things that make you different, make you special, make you unique that’s what makes you amazing!

Capturing these images and letting them hear how much you love them being their whole self, not a curated version, not the buttoned-up holiday card. But you, their parents, their biggest fans, celebrating their uniqueness gives them the confidence to keep it!

Every Kid Is Unique. Encourage it!

Every kid is unique. Every kid is special. Every kid is amazing. Every kid needs to feel that, like really feel that to their core!  When you celebrate what makes them different. What makes them unique.  When you celebrate their superpower, they feel it and they carry that feeling with them for their entire life.

We hear a lot, this is my tough kid.

We all have them, it’s usually number 2 😉 . We like to call them the spirited kids and shhh, don’t tell, but they’re our favorite! They show all the emotions, bigger than life. They are so much fun to photograph!

How Lara Celebrates

So my ladies come into the studio all the time and have for years. Sometimes it’s for fun, like petting puppies all day during our PSPCA Charity Event. Or it’s to hand out (or should I say drink) hot coco at the Newtown Holiday Parade. A lot of the time it’s to model for us. It’s a great way for us to test new looks or get images to share our new looks. But when they are modeling for us (yup, they get paid in ice cream) they have to wear things that fit our vibe. To be honest, they do get choices and are always true to themselves, but they choose between items I’ve curated.

But once a year they get a birthday shoot, it’s just for them. They wear anything they want. They get to direct the shoot any way they want (they typically work with Kaeleigh in advance sending ideas – this has happened since Lorelai was 5 and sending Lego suggestions). Letting them make their own choices is a big piece of building confidence, it helps them make big decisions later in life, more here from Today’s Parent.

BLOG UPDATE: I just recently renovated my house and put up 30×40 personality portraits of my ladies in the living room. Lorelai had a party with about 9 friends this past weekend and I heard one of them say, ‘Oh look Lorelai it’s you, how cool!’ So I wanted to do a little digging to see how my ladies felt about their images being displayed.

Lorelai let me know that it’s her favorite image, ever because she’s doing her signature pose. To be fair, she also has a signature style (leather jacket) and signature hair cut (a french bob), so this fits.

When I asked Caitie about her personality portraits, she mentioned the time she got to wear her nirvana t-shirt and new glasses and how cool that was.

What’s interesting to me, is for Lorelai it’s about the portrait hanging in our home. For Caitie it’s about the experience we had together. And that in a nutshell is my ladies’ personalities and how they are so great together.

For me, with the ladies so close in age, I wanted to be sure they got one-on-one time. Growing up as one of 4 girls, I cherished time when it was just me and my mom. So our special day typically starts with brunch just the two of us. Then onto mani/ pedis and a photo shoot (girly, I know). It typically, ends with Ice Cream or Starbucks, depending on the weather! These sessions are so much fun because it isn’t about who we are as a family, it’s about who they are as individuals.

The Birth of Personality Portraits

With this in mind, we’re launching our Limited Edition, Personality Portraits. These are mini sessions totally stripped down. It’s just the kids on white, no distractions. It’s time for them, just them. These sessions are super cute for toddlers and littles because they are just so cute at that age. But it’s also perfect for pre-teens and teens who are developing a sense of themselves. Plus let’s be honest, it can be an awkward stage for kids, this is exactly when you shouldn’t skip the shoot, you should lean into and celebrate who they are becoming.

Our Limited Edition: Personality Portraits are mini sessions focused on kids’ big feelings.
Designed to create confidence, they capture a kid’s genuine self.

Our kid-led philosophy starts when they are newborns and is present in every session. We’re here to capture who they really are, their genuine self. We don’t use filters, we don’t over-edit, we don’t create some unrealistic set, we don’t get glammed up, we don’t do any of those things. We do use natural light, and natural backgrounds so kids feel comfortable.

Cementing Confidence into their DNA

Once the fun is over, they get to see the images. It’s not the same as looking into the mirror. When you look in the mirror you see all the flaws. When you look at a portrait you get to see all the things that make you unique. That make you original. It’s genuinely them because it’s showing all of the emotions they feel. In a really beautiful way. The Bump discusses how confidence starts at a young age, discover more.

They get to have these images, save these images. When they know, when they hear how amazing you think they are – as people – that gives them the confidence to be true to themselves, your values and make good decisions.

The Real Scoop on Personality Portraits

Ok so let’s be real, do I think they are going to not succumb to peer pressure because they got personality portraits done in 2023. No, but do I think it is one piece of the puzzle. Absolutely, yes. Because these pictures aren’t about how beautiful they are (but let’s be honest, they will be beautiful and they will get to see that too) but it’s because they will get to SEE how they feel.

I say to my ladies all the time, ‘I love to watch your brain’. I love having the privilege of seeing how they think about the world. This is the opportunity for them to see themselves and all their feelings! Lorelai especially wears her heart on her sleeve. She loves to see her personality portraits, which creates confidence for her to be her genuine self.

My job as a mom is help them be the best version of themselves.

– Lara

My hope for Caitie and Lorelai is simply that they are happy in this life. I truly believe being true to themselves will allow them to be happy in all they do!

About the Author

Lara Aman Mattey

Founder I Owner I Ivory Tree

Lara is the coolest person alive, according to her husband, Nick, & two little ladies, Caitie & Lorelai. But she thinks her time is limited on that statement as they continue to grow older. Lara comes from a large family, with whom she is still very close with & you’ll often see shared through the blog and on social media. She went to Penn State (We Are…) where she met Nick.

Ivory Tree's very own photographer, Marcy shot her newborn photography sessions & Lara was hooked! Lara is not a photographer, super weird, we know. But lives for the experience, creative direction, and meeting all the cool folks who come through the Ivory Tree Portraits studio!

In addition to studio awards, Lara was also recognized at a Women of Influence on the Main Line in 2023.

Follow along as she shares studio antics, personal antidotes, & fun stuff going on in the community.

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