What is an Heirloom Session?

What is an heirloom session? Heirloom portrait sessions have recently become an important milestone moment for many of my clients. While the tradition never really stopped, we have seen a significant increase in requests for these traditional portraits.

Preserving memories is a timeless desire we’ve seen throughout our history. We all want to capture the essence, the emotions, and the connections that define our lives. And when it comes to keeping those memories alive for generations to come, there’s something truly special about heirloom portrait sessions.

In this blog, we explore what an heirloom session is, why heirloom portrait sessions are the ultimate keepsake, and how they go beyond just a photograph. They produce more than just pictures of your child, they create a tangible link to the past, allowing future generations to connect with their ancestors and understand their heritage. Whether displayed in a family home, passed down as a treasured gift, or part of a legacy collection, these portraits ignite emotions and preserve memories in a way that nothing else can.

Join us as we delve into the significance and power of heirloom portrait sessions and discover why they are a must-have for anyone seeking to capture and treasure their memories for generations to come.

What is an heirloom session?

Heirloom portrait sessions are not your average photo sessions. They are meticulously executed to create timeless, artistic portraits that will be cherished for generations. The goal is to create a portrait that tells a story, evokes emotions, and becomes a treasured heirloom. The image itself is edited to provide timeless heirloom vignette portraits of your child to become stunning artwork for displaying in your home. Some clients will create a whole new tradition for their family by doing an heirloom session. Others plan to continue the tradition that was already started many generations ago.

Types of portraits captured during an heirloom session

We always start with the traditional heirloom portraits where I will capture your child in many different ways and expressions. All of these images will have a traditional heirloom edit with a white vignette. I will also capture lifestyle portraits of your child as they play with our wooden toys, twirl in their dress, or snuggle together with their siblings on our heirloom-style furniture.

Why an heirloom session is the ultimate keepsake

Heirloom portrait sessions offer something that traditional photographs cannot – a connection to the past and a way to preserve memories in a tangible and meaningful way.

When future generations look at heirloom portraits, they are transported to a different time and place. They can see their ancestors as they were, and through these portraits, they can gain a deeper understanding of their own heritage and family history through not only the images but through the stories that are told along with the portrait. Heirloom portraits become a bridge between the past and the present, allowing families to pass down their stories and traditions to future generations.

The emotional value of an heirloom session

Heirloom portraits hold immense emotional value for both your child and the viewers. For children, these sessions provide an opportunity to celebrate them and their milestones.

For families, heirloom portraits evoke emotions and create a sense of nostalgia. They remind us of the people we love, the memories we cherish, and the fleeting nature of time. Heirloom portraits have the power to bring comfort, happiness, and a sense of belonging to those who view them.

How to choose a photographer for your heirloom session

Choosing the right photographer for your heirloom portrait session is crucial to ensure that the final result meets your expectations and captures the essence of your child. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a photographer:

1. Style and Aesthetic: Look for a photographer whose style aligns with your vision. Do you prefer classic and timeless portraits or more artistic and creative compositions? Browse through a photographer’s portfolio to get a sense of their style and see if it resonates with you.

2. Experience and Expertise: Choose a photographer who specializes in heirloom portrait sessions and has a proven track record of delivering high-quality images. Check their reviews and ask for referrals to ensure their expertise in capturing the emotional depth and storytelling elements that heirloom portraits require.

3. Connection and Comfort: It’s essential to feel comfortable and at ease with your chosen photographer. Schedule a phone consultation or meet in person to see if you click and feel confident in their ability to capture your unique story. My clients will often schedule a phone consultation to ensure I can capture their vision as well as answer any questions they have about my process.

Displaying and preserving your heirloom portraits

Once you have your heirloom portraits, it’s essential to display and preserve them properly to ensure their longevity. Here are some suggestions:

1. Choose Quality Frames and Mats: Invest in high-quality frames and mats that will protect the portraits from dust, moisture, and fading. Opt for archival materials that are acid-free and UV-resistant to ensure the longevity of the prints.

2. Consider Professional Framing: If you want to ensure the highest level of preservation, consider professional framing. Professional framing will include conservation techniques and materials to protect the portraits and enhance their overall appearance.

3. Rotate Displays: To keep the portraits fresh and engaging, consider rotating them throughout your home. This allows you to enjoy different portraits in different rooms and prevents any one portrait from becoming overlooked or forgotten.

Alternative ways to preserve memories

While heirloom portrait sessions provide an exceptional way to preserve memories, there are also alternative methods to consider:

1. Digital Preservation: In addition to physical prints, consider creating digital copies of your heirloom portraits. Store them on multiple devices and in cloud-based platforms to ensure their accessibility and protection.

2. Legacy Albums: Compile your heirloom portraits into a beautifully designed matted heirloom album that we call a Legacy Album. This album can serve as a comprehensive record of your family’s history, showcasing the portraits and providing context for stories that future generations can cherish.

3. Pass Down Stories: Alongside your portraits, pass down the stories and traditions about your loved ones. Share the memories and emotions that the portraits evoke, ensuring that future generations understand the significance and meaning behind the portraits.

Conclusion: The Lasting Legacy of Heirloom Sessions

Heirloom portrait sessions are more than just a photograph. They are a tangible link to the past and a means of preserving memories for generations to come. By investing in heirloom portrait sessions, families can create cherished keepsakes that tell their stories, celebrate their heritage, and ignite emotions in those who view them. These portraits become lasting legacies that connect us to our ancestors and future generations. So, find a skilled photographer and embark on a journey to preserve your memories through heirloom portrait sessions.

Are you looking for a St Louis Heirloom Session Photographer? Our studio offers Heirloom Sessions on four specific dates throughout the year, which we call Heirloom Session Days. Join the Heirloom Session waitlist and get first access when booking is released. These highly sought-after sessions are offered 4x per year and sell out quickly.


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A rating of 5 is not high enough for Kelly!! Kelly is an amazing photographer, was absolutely wonderful to work with, and was quick to reply to emails. Shes an upbeat and positive person, which made out photo sessions comfortable and fun!! Kelly is professional in more ways than one and I highly recommend her to anyone in the St. Louis area wanting some maternity and/or family photos taken!

Angela, Family session

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