The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

Casting spells, traveling at “warp speed” and exploring uncharted corners of the universe. We now have a couple generations who have been born and grew up in a much different world than all of those prior to the digital age. Both children and now adults have grown up exposed to new possibilities, hyper imaginations, and the ability to experience those fantasies (which are becoming quick realities) in video games, TV, and film. It’s a really fun period in time, and even more interesting because these (relatively newer) experiences are now being passed-on and shared with their children.  “Back in the day,” when it came to spending time with friends and family, you pretty much only had a choice of what shape of ball you were going to use, and whether a corresponding hoop, goal, or net was going to be involved; or you had a sparse selection of board and card games. With electronics dominating, well pretty much everything, the human experience landscape and how we interact and create those experiences together is shifting.

I love fun families who embrace who they are and what they enjoy doing in life. It is extra awesome when they walk in my door and ask me to capture them doing exactly that. Meeting with Tressa, Joel, and son Elias, I had the pleasure of learning they are big nerds (I say that lovingly, as I too am a big nerd). We’re talking fantasy, sci-fi, gaming, heavy science topics, etc. It is evident these topics have become a growing part of pop culture, just look at the sheer number of films that fall within these genres that have been released the last couple years. The ratio of super hero/fantasy films to standard dramas/comedies has had an impressive shift the last few years. Let’s face it – it’s hip to be nerdy, and even more hip to embrace it. In fact, I’m surprise hipsters haven’t traded in their mustaches, flannel and tight pants for full-on spandex super hero suits…

I believe it is so important for loved ones to participate in activities together. Sadly, I don’t think you see a ton of this any more. Status quo any more are people’s noses being buried in their phones, all living some kind of awkward, lonely, non-real, virtual shadow of themselves. So, it was refreshing to see this family so engaged in shared interest together, and you can see how activities like these are strong bonding elements in their relationship. And really, whether it is a sport, a hobby, a gaming genre… the important thing is the quality time and experiences they are sharing and building together! I had a great time making these photos with the family as we laughed shooting each scene.

First up, the video game scene.



We then setup a Magic cards scene. This was a great setup, allowing us to play-out different emotions and actions in a mock game.



Mom and Dad are all business when it comes to playing this game! Here they are doing their best mean-mugs/intimidation looks.



And then there is Elias… just happy to be there! He was a big fan of the dice rolling and card throwing.


See what I mean? Pure joy on this kid’s face in the card chaos.


Now, you can’t label anyone a proper nerd without a little sci-fi action, so we busted out my lightsabers.




Our last and final scene was the bedtime-reading-a-book-in-a-sheet-fort concept. I absolutely love this first photo. Mom and Dad all dressed up in their capes, and then then Elias is doing this perfect look up for the light to catch his face just right. Love it.




What a fun family, right?! I’m so glad the Shafer’s came in and made these photos with me. We live in an interesting transitional time, a generation of people who are now adults and having children, the first exposed to video games and the boom of the digital age. It was never a very common thing for parents before their time to take a shared interest in video games and other activities born in the 80’s. Now with this generation having kids, there is a much greater chance for shared interest, where fun and memories can be had together. And for sure Elias has two parents who will be ready to, if not encouraging, him to all have a fun family night of nerdiness.