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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Love of Family Pictures...

Well now that Thanksgiving has come and gone life has settled down for about a second or two. Last week was crazier than normal I suppose, but I did accomplish the things I set out to, which is always a good thing since I'm easily distracted!

Christmas being around the corner that always means we must do Christmas pictures for our cards. This is something that at times drives me batty and this year of course was no different. Have you ever tried to take a decent looking shot of 7 children before without loosing patience? It's not an easy task, and while my nerves flared up once and a while through this process I did manage to accomplish the task at hand.

The shoot began with taking individual shots of the little guys, this in itself was challenging. Even though they are good in front of the camera, Christmas pictures always adds an extra element to the mix of having to sit still, look at the camera and smile. Now we have props to add to the feel and emotion of the images, which automatically means the children must play with them, move them, click the music button a hundred times while watching the little things dance about in joy. Of course this doesnt make for good looking pictures, so the session is always stopped as I explain for the hundreth time how they need to sit still and not touch until Mommy is done taking the picture. To a 4 yr old however this means "oh well we must touch them then" so the challenge begins!

Finally the little ones pictures are done and look decent enough to include on a card, and it only took about 1.5 hrs! That has to be a record LOL :) So, we move onto the entire family (yeah, real joyous fun) so the portable studio is situated once again. Backgrounds are moved higher because my oldest son doesnt know how to stop growing like a weed. A bench is now added for seating and grouping for 7 children to fit in the shot. It takes a whopping 45 minutes to find a grouping that I like, moving 7 children with 2 4yr old overly active boys is never easy, and trying to keep them happy and teaching patience is yet another challenge! All the while the oldest ones complain saying "why cant we just shoot the picture and be done, who cares how it looks" yeah that's really what a Mom and photographer wants to hear coming from her own children!

So, finally we figure out a grouping that looks good and we begin the shoot. Everyone is cooperative except the 4 yr olds! One is looking at the light while the other is frowning because I wont let him go play with his toys! It takes yet another hour to get a shot that everyone is looking at me and smiling. Smiling is another issue since my oldest son refuses to smile for a picture because he's got that "I wanna look tough" syndrome that I often wonder if it comes from his Dad whom never smiles because he's a "Marine". Men, sometimes ya just wanna smack them!

Anyway, so we finally get the family shot and I'm beginning to feel good about this and am now getting my second wind, so I decide I'd like to have a nice picture of the 3 oldest kids. Now, we have to deal with the whole "I dont wanna lean on him, he's gross" complaints from my oldest daughter because you know it's not cool to be that close to your brother. Or the complaints from the boy because his sisters get on his nerves and this is stupid you want a picture of just us Mom. UGH...what was I thinking? So I get my "mean Mom face" on and begin to threaten lives if they dont act right, finally after 3o minutes of complaints and threats I get the picture I want!

All I can say is this...thank goodness our Christmas pictures of the kids are done for the cards and while I always say "I'm never doing this again" yearly I suppose I should begin thinking up new game plans for next years pictures...thank goodness the majority of the recipients of these cards will never know the pains involved in getting good pictures of my children together!


Kelli said...

You are a saint! someone usually ends up crying when we do this, and most often it's me! Super cute kids and your little boys are adorable! Great job!