The Dreaded Family Photo Shoot

Those of you with little ones will feel my pain.  I dread the holiday season every year, knowing we will have to get a reasonable photo to send out to all those that never see us, so they think we are the perfect family!  Seriously, who came up with this hair brained idea?  The last time we were in a photo studio was when Ava was round 18 months old.  Trying to get 3 small children to look at the camera, not upset each other, and smile, all at the same time is nearly impossible.  Then add the pressure of onlookers, an amateur camera person at the studio and a time limit, and you have me….about to blow a gasket!  For the past two years we decided it would just be easier to stay at home and take our own photos.  It is much less stressful and a WHOLE lot cheaper than the studio.  We have a 20 x 30 family photo hanging in our living room that we paid $10 for at Sam’s Club.  It is the one we took ourselves in front of my parents fireplace at Thanksgiving last year.Family Photo Thanksgivng 2008

This year I really wanted to take a nice fall colors photo.  But of course, one thing leads to another and all the beautiful fall colors are gone.  On to plan B…what is plan B you ask?  My answer would be…huh?  Plan B?  What Plan B?  So… needless to say I have been scurrying around trying to come up with something.  I tried a lighted tree at the mall but that was too commercial.  I did not want to do the fireplace again.  Then last week I took the kids to visit Santa at the mall.  Looking at all the holiday decorations got me thinking….what about large, fake, shiny presents under a tree for our photo this year?  I posed the question to my photo bug friend, Shana.  She thought it was a good idea, and so did my husband.  A few computer and shipping boxes, and a package of shiny foil wrapping paper later, and we have the props for our pictures! 🙂   Add in Santa hats and a stuffed lovey “Frosty” the snowman for Ava and you have a happy bunch of kids.  Or so I thought!

We tested out the shot and had to move it due to shadows from the first bit of sun we have seen in like 2 weeks!  Then we brought the kids out in the front yard to frame the shot.  The only way cranky Ava would come was if we bribed her with a cookie.  After setting up, we all had to go in and get our “photo” clothes on.  (Anal Mommy likes to be color coordinated you know!)  About 15 minutes and maybe 30 shots later we were done!  After some of Jayden running around in the shots, Ava whining,  and Joey telling me my boobs were saying “hello” in the picture!  I will showcase some of the contenders for you and then you can let me know what you think!  Mind you, the ladies are properly subdued under the sweater for these lovely photos!  Ahhhhh, breathe a sigh of relief as family photos are done for yet another year!