Sunday, October 26, 2014

How Family Pictures REALLY Go

It’s fall y’all! Well, actually, it’s been fall for a while now and it just dawned on me that we should probably get our family pictures taken so we have something to slap on a Christmas card in about a month or so. In the back of my mind, I knew I should get a session on the calendar, but I have been dragging my feet. For one, I HATE getting family pictures taken and for two, I have been selfishly wanting to lose the last few pounds of baby weight before I send out pictures to about 100 of our closest friends and family. I am just being honest (and self conscious) here.

I figured we should get this over with, so I called our friend Kari to see if she could take our pictures yesterday. I asked her maybe two days in advance and luckily, she had an opening! Fall for photographers is like tax season for accountants, so I said I would edit them if she spent an hour with us taking them.

Family pictures are kind of funny to me. Like I said, I hate taking them, but I love getting them back. Everyone looks so happy and the kiddos look so sweet. Well, let me tell you, that was NOT what was going on during our family photo sesh. Here is a quick recap of how it really goes – at least for us…

First off, I always fuss way too much trying to color coordinate and figure out what everyone is wearing. It usually consists of a last minute run to Target or Old Navy because we never seem to have anything cute. Then, we strategically plan out when we need to get everyone showered/bathed, dressed, and fed/nursed so we can to get to the session on time. Right before we left, Lennon had a blow out. Logan changed him and put him in a new (unfussed about) outfit. We then got everyone in the car and we were on our way! Half way there Ellis says, “Oh no! Look at Lennon!” from the backseat. I unbuckled my seatbelt and looked back and he had spit up all over his 'plan B' outfit. I swore under my breath, sat back down, buckled up, and hoped it dried by the time we get there. We got to the park and it was beautiful out and actually pretty warm. (Yay! One thing went our way!) We then gathered up the kids and a cute antique quilt that I love and followed Kari to the spot to take our pictures. So far, so good I thought. We were finally all set up and Kari was ready to take our pictures when Ellis decided to grow horns and become a devil child. So, the rest of the hour went pretty much like this – the wind was blowing my hair in my face and Lennon’s hat off his head, Ellis was chewing on her scarf, both kids were sneezing and had boogers everywhere, Logan and I were arguing b/c we both thought the other one should've grabbed the diaper bag from the car, Ellis wouldn't stand still or look at the camera and from time to time decided to sit in the dirt (in her fussed about outfit), throw rocks and take off her shoes. Poor Kari was standing there trying her best to get a good shot while, I assume, secretly wondered if I was going to throw my two year old in the bush next to us.

Can anyone relate? Are we the only completely dysfunctional family when it comes to family pictures?! Is there such thing as a two year old that stands still, smiles and looks cute for the camera?! I asked Kari at what age kids get better with the picture taking and she said about six years old. Well, I guess our next family photo session will be in 2020 when Lennon is six!!! ;)

Anyways, out of the 196 frames, we got about seven good pictures that didn’t require major editing and head swapping. We look so happy, huh? It’s all lies I tell you, lies! Lol

Here is what about 95% of them looked like:

And now on to the fun and EASY part --- picking your family Christmas card design! There are tons if companies to go to for your printed family photo card, but Minted is my absolute favorite! Their designs are very much my style and because I am 100% a paper snob, I love that they print their cards on beautiful, thick paper. I was just looking over their site and found these adorable holiday ornament cards! What a great idea! If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that we are a rather thrifty family – and by thrifty, I mean cheap. I know several families that have done away with the whole holiday card tradition because it actually costs quite a bit of money. There is the cost of the photographer, new clothes if you choose to purchase them, the printing of the cards and then the cost of mailing them out to all of your friends and family. Even though it is pricey to keep up with this tradition, it is one I refuse to let go. I LOVE getting eveyones holiday cards in the mail. The entire month of December, I cannot wait to get our mail! I also always keep one of our own cards every year and it is so fun to look back at them throughout the years. We have been sending them out since we got married in 2008. What I love about the holiday ornament cards is that people will probably hang them on their trees and keep them for years to come, instead of just pitching them once the season is over. I dont know about you, but it makes me feel just a little better about spending all that money. Here are a few of my favorite designs from Minted: