A Family Photo Session

Yesterday was family picture day. I’m not one of those good moms from Pinterest who does this on a bi-monthly basis. In fact, the last official picture my family did was a few months after my second child was born… he’s three now.  So it was time.

A friend of mine is a photographer and she’s talented and I know they will turn out amazing, but figuring out how to dress four of us in such a way as we don’t look overly staged or too clashy is a real challenge for me. I mean, somedays I feel like I can barely dress myself!ss-130715-awkward-vacation-Hawaii-Nine-O.today-ss-slide-desktop

So it was a busy day, and a hot one. My 3-year-old fell asleep after a visit to a friend’s house and by 6:00, when we needed to be eating and getting dressed, he was STILL zonked out in my bed – wearing only his underwear. I knew I needed to feed everyone dinner before we got dressed. I threw chicken nuggets (meal of champions) in the oven and then proceeded to weed through the many shirt and shorts options I had picked out. I spread everything out on the floor, sent pictures to my friend and my mom to see if I had any idea of what I was doing. Then my 7-year-old yelled from his room, “I spilled water in my bed!” and at that exact moment the oven timer went off and my phone started ringing. As I attended to the nuggets, the dog walked across the clothes I spread out, not once, but twice…. and this was the beginning of the end.

The phone call was my husband calling to tell me he was running late. I said, “ok” instead of “I will kill you” and commenced with ironing the now dog-hair-covered clothing options.

At some point I took a shower. In between each activity I attempted to wake up the three-year-old who only responded with a sound that is not of this world.

I get the 7-year-old set-up with some nuggets and commence with the ironing. This involved, first, finding a pair of shorts for my husband in the dirty laundry, smelling, them, eyeing them for obvious dirt, and then ironing away.

Thankfully my husband got home earlier than I thought, so he and I ate a quick salad and I tasked him with waking that 3-year-old creature sleeping in our bed.

awkward-family-photos3Then I announce, “ok everyone! time to get dressed and then NO MESSY SNACKS UNTIL AFTER PICTURES” (because, dude, I ironed). My husband gets dressed promptly and looks at me like, “proud of me?” while the now-awake-3-year-old has moved to the couch where he was growling and saying nonsensical 3-year-old things. My 7-year-old announces, “I don’t want to do pictures tonight.”

Oh, we’re doing pictures.

So I get the 7-year-old dressed and he promptly flops on the floor, rolling around, tugging at his waist screeching and flailing as if possessed by some wardrobe demon. He’s saying something like, “these don’t feel good! I can’t wear these” as he tugs at his shorts and proceeds to wrinkle the once-ironed shirt.

While I phone for an exorcist, my husband dresses the 3-year-old and I give him some chocolate milk because I’m thinking sugar will help perk him up a bit (yes, that was my thinking).

So I bring out 1,000 options for the 7-year-old because at this point I’m like, “whatever, just wear something!” He insists on grey shorts instead of khaki, which means the little one has to change from grey to khaki because, hello, have you looked at pinterest?! These things have to be coordinated! I’m furiously ironing because the way we fold laundry around here is, let it sit in the laundry basket for a week or two before stuffing it half-hazardly into a drawer. I think my husband was drinking a pina colada on the sun deck (ok, not really, but I don’t know what he was doing, probably trying to turn the 3-year-old back into a human).

So we are finally dressed and we’re off! My 7-year-old is insisting that he doesn’t want to go and will not smile and so we do the obligatory, “but if you’re good we’ll get fro-yo afterwards!”

The photo site is a 3.5 acre piece of property that we are going to build a house on soon. It is currently full of wildflowers and weeds and made the perfect backdrop for a photo session.

By the time we arrive I have a pounding headache and the humidity is so thick I’m thinking we should have brought our bathing suits. We get started and only run into the following problems along the way:

  • My 7-year-old found and then lost “the best stick ever” and we all had to pause to search for it.
  • We let the 7-year-old picks a spot and and had us safari-style hiking all around that weedy meadow (tick check, anyone?)
  • At one point the boys wanted to climb a tree, but there were seriously no branches low enough to climb. I’m not sure why they couldn’t get that through their heads?
  • The 7-year-old insisted on producing the shoot: ordering locations, poses, and arrangements.
  • I still had a headache.

But in the end, my friend is amazing and kept everyone smiling. She was incredibly patient with my bossy 7-year-old and thank god for a fast shutter speed.

Most importantly, when you see the end result, you’d never even know we’re as dysfunctional as we actually are!

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And if you’re in the Kalamazoo area, check out Jesmile Photography and give Jessica a call!

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