Family Photo {shoot them}

{Warning:  Some families are very, very careful about only using
nice words with each other…mine is not.  Proceed at your own risk. :0}

It started out as a good plan.
“Let’s take our Christmas card photos today, beloved family,” said Mom.
Things went downhill from there.

You’d think my family would appreciate doing this in September,
instead of the frigid November temperatures they endured last year.
But, I guess 85 degrees and dripping humid
isn’t much better than 15 degrees, and freezing cold.
Pick your torture.

I envisioned just the kind of photos I wanted.
I had my newly painted kitchen chairs, just begging to be used.
The recent rain we’d gotten had made our pasture nice and green.
These were going to be our
Best.Photos.Ever…(dream on, mother)

Everybody get your blue jeans on….
Come on…this will be fun……
…or not.

We might look like a happy, well-adjusted, loving family
(or not),
but that’s because you can’t hear…

“Will you just shut up and smile?!!” 
(said by me to the boy who kept making
everyone else look away from the camera with his blabbering)

“If you don’t stop acting stupid, I’ll elbow you in the face.” 
(said by sweet, loving sister to her little brother)

“Why does this have to be torture every year?”
(said by big brother who wasn’t helping the situation)

“You’ve got a stupid look on your face.”
(did I really say that?!!)

“Dang it, someone remind me to take my glasses off!”
(yes, that would be me again)

(said by my husband when I climbed on his lap for a “cozy” photo)

The only other comment my husband made was
something to the effect of,
“Why do you have to get so grumpy?”
(“You haven’t begun to see grumpy, dear.“)

In addition to my family being difficult, there was another problem.

Earlier in the day, I had middle son take all the chairs to the pasture.
I got my tripod out, charged my camera battery,
decided at the last moment to quickly make a banner with our name on it.

I went down to the pasture,
picked the perfect spot, arranged the chairs and hung the banner.
Everything was ready for this fun, family activity.

What I didn’t consider, is that the sun would be setting
directly behind where I’d placed the chairs.

Once we got down there, I was so busy yelling,
“Shut up and smile”, I wasn’t even paying attention to the
fact that the sun was RIGHT behind us.

I shot like 20 photos, then asked my daughter
to take a few of my husband and I.
She took several, then said,
Hey, Mom…the sun is really bright behind you.
(I’m sure you all have noticed that little detail by now.)

See that look of, …*&^%@#*… on my husband’s face?
He knew that meant the last 20 minutes were a complete waste,
the “fun” needed to start all over again,
and my weight was cutting off his breathing.

As if we weren’t all having enough fun,
now we had to move the chairs and try to get
more photos before we lost any decent light.

Oops…gotta take another one – I forgot about my glasses again.
After those 2 photos, my husband said the kids had suffered enough
and I should let them do some fun photos.
FUN???  After all they’d put me through?
And, wait…we forgot to hold the banner for that photo!
He declared he was DONE…D.O.N.E.
So…the delinquents children had their fun.
 Kinda reminds me of The Sound of Music.
…So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu….
Did I really raise these creatures?
The big boys thought leap frog sounded fun.
It’s all fun and games…
Until big brother jumps over your back so hard
 your head hits the ground.
Without some serious photo editing, I have
a feeling we’ll be repeating this performance
in November,
               in the bitter cold,
                                         WITH my banner and chairs! 🙂

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  1. Beautiful family, Angie.

  2. I love them….I am still trying to get A family photo….we need serious help!

  3. What a fun post Angie. Loved seeing all the pictures of your beautiful family. At least you were able to get them to agree to it….that’s one thing I’d have a problem with:-)

  4. You have a beautiful family.
    …and now, You have some great pictures to hang for Fall!

    Love the playful photos of your hubby and you…and the ones of the kids!
    ScrapBOOK ‘EM, DANO….Pat

  5. Angie, these are so great!! I like these kind best, that really show the family personality. You all are a great looking bunch! And I can so relate!!

  6. I think they are perfect just as they are!! This post could have been written about our family’s yearly Christmas photo fiasco. And that was before digital cameras. Something tells me you’ve been there, too.

    You’ll look back at these photos and smile for years to come. You have a beautiful family.

  7. Omigosh! My stomach is hurting from laughing so hard… what a hilarious adventure! Love the look of *horror* on your husband’s face as you plopped yourself in his lap!!

    But in all seriousness, you have a gorgeous family, and the love you have for each other is evident in the pics, even the backlit-by-the-sun ones! Just my opinion, of course, but I think that the third Sound of Music one is The One! (Even the one above it, which is slightly, er, askew, would be perfect, too!!)

    Thanks for making my day!


  8. too funny! i tho’t only littles acted like this! 🙂 what is it about picture sessions that drives the beast!? 🙂 lovely family!

  9. Love your family photos! These may not be the ones you send out on a Christmas card, but I’ll bet you’ll look at them and smile for years and years to come!

  10. Sounds like my family!

  11. Those are great photos, no need to make new ones!!

  12. I was grinning from ear to ear, reading this post, and seeing all your great pictures! I say use the pictures. Isn’t au naturale all the better?!

  13. I am so glad someone else has issues with getting the right shot. I always take a “Thanksgiving Day” family pic….and you should see the looks I get when I bring out the camera.
    Loved all your pics….you did a great job!!! 🙂

  14. What a fun and enjoyable post. Reminded me of a family photo of all the girls in our gigantic photo… taken of our be-hinds.

  15. They are all great photos … I am so jealous of your green, green grass. At least no one is squinting from looking into the sun.

  16. Love, love the photo shoot! So natural. Totally lovable! Great personality shots!

  17. I have to say I like the kids photos best. Maybe, it’s because they are actually smiling. I’ve done lots of photo shoots for my blog, sure I had it nailed, and missed some glaring thing that made them all useless. I fee you pain (and your family’s)! ~ Maureen

  18. I love these photos–I am sure you can fix one into being perfect! My kids think I turn into the devil when taking family photos. They hate it. Your family looked like you were having at least a little fun 🙂

  19. Angie, this is a great post. I can see post card collage done with several of these pictures, so all is not lost!

  20. Angie, I have lived through these kinds of photos and you sounded just like me. And the kids, yep they are all the same when it comes to family pictures. I love the pictures of all the kids together, and when they look at that picture, they will remember how that day was and most likely it will bring a smile to their faces, because their mom cared enough to want these family photos.

  21. Ah ha ha ha ha ha…… laughed and smiled through the whole narration. Too darn funny. Especially sitting on your husbands lap. Ah ha ha ha ha ha. I want you to have to do it again just for the laugh I’ll get out of it. And if it makes you feel better ours always goes something like that but by the end someone is swearing and it is often me.

    The family looks wonderful by the way, bet they are even better looking with purple lips and rosy cheeks.

  22. Great post. Really funny.

  23. That was fun just watching you and remembering my own ‘fun’ sessions. We’re supposed to be grown up now we do ‘real’ portraits with a photographer and the grandchildren.

  24. I think you have some great pictures ! And a few memories to go with then !

  25. What a funny story Angie! And you have a beautiful family!


  26. You have my complete sympathy and understanding. There is nothing quite as trying as a family photo shoot. The more kids the harder it is too. Love your shots though! They are adorable and your idea for the chairs and the banner and everything was fabulous! One day those outtakes will be priceless!

  27. Fun pos, you have some wonderful pictures here 🙂

  28. I think you have some awesome shots here and you have a lovely family.
    It definitely isn’t easy to shoot family pics. I have three daughters two of who really like to get their pictures taken and one who hates it. I would love to take their picture!!!
    Great post – really made me laugh :))

  29. Just do a collage of the FUN ones. They’re great!

  30. Oh this was so much fun!!! What great memories.

  31. that was a fun post and i really enjoyed your photos!

  32. Thanks for the laugh! I think you did get some good shots in there! 🙂

  33. This is the best post I have read all week. LOVE IT…your family is adorable. Calling from Rural Thursdays.
    Laurie @ Pride in Photos

  34. What a delightful series!

  35. Delightful post and great photos of a happy family ~ think you got a Xmas card there ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  36. Gotta admit the “fun” photos I like the best.

    Popped in from Rural Thursday.

  37. This was so much fun — the “outtakes” are actually better than the posed shots, in my opinion. Thanks so much for sharing at Rural Thursdays, Angie.

  38. pretty funny! 🙂
    handsome family, and great ideas for poses! i’m jealous that not only did you think about your xmas photos in september, but actually got everyone to at least show up. my crew resists me all the way!
    patty @

  39. Well those pics turned out nice- even with all the to-do! I don’t even try…from the little ones hollering and squirming to the older ones fussing under their breath…

  40. I think they’re great! Love the ones with the kids! I gave up trying to do a staged shoot years ago…

  41. This had me laughing out loud, reminds me so so much of my family and my five children and the same interactions/comments for sure. Fun, fun…you’ll laugh about it for years to come.

  42. Oh, my gosh, I think you are really missing the boat here. You should have sent out the one where everyone has zoned out. If I received that photo in the mail at Christmas, I would keep it on the refrigerator all year. That is outrageously funny.

  43. Angie, you have a beautiful family and a wonderful gift for telling the story. I rarely leave a comment but never miss a post. Thank you for all your advice and ideas over the years. I am still laughing. Merry Christmas!


  1. […] Our 2012 Christmas photo ordeal is chronicled here. […]

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