The Pain of Family Photos

If you ask my kids, they'd tell you that formal photos are the worst things they'll ever be subjected to. I find this highly amusing, because I love the informal. A photo where each kid can be themselves is the best. I don't pose much more than can you stand there? Like this one:

I asked the kids to stand on the bench, and they did their own thing from there. Mostly, that was looking as grumpy as they could. They were not happy to comply that day. You know, like any other day that I ask for compliance.

There was this day, too.

While the general mood was a bit happier, there is still the "do we have to" just under the surface. Still, a rather good picture. I'm kinda fond of it.

But to point out a theme, I'll show you this as well.

While this picture had the potential to be awesome, it's just not. The busyness of it makes my eyes bleed. Mental note: pictures in the woods in the fall aren't the best. But I'm sure anyone with any kind of observant eye will notice who the most uncooperative one is in all the above photos. Micah has that firmly in his corner. We have learned a long time ago that if 3 of the 4 kids are kinda looking at the camera, it's as good as it's going to get. And if Micah is looking, it's probably not a good thing.

So imagine my over the top kind of excitement when mom announced she wanted family pictures in honor of the fact that my brother is visiting in his once-per-decade trip. Plus, it takes the full month of November to coordinate a time that suits everyone for Thanksgiving dinner. How on earth would we get together for pictures?

So here's how things went down. My dad is out of town on a missions trip this week, so he's already asked to be Photoshopped in. Except that he doesn't know what Photoshop means, he just said cut and paste. And he meant literally, because he's so old-school he's somewhere in the 1972 era of computers and has no idea that it's a real can-do kind of feature. I told him that it was.

Sam is working daylight this week, and my brother-in-law is working mids. This means that one is leaving for work as the other is getting home, so one of them just won't be in the picture. Two of the family are already out, and we haven't even tried sitting for a photo shoot yet. Things are going swimmingly, no?

So after Thanksgiving dinner, we all rolled into the living room and arranged ourselves so that we'd fit in a viewfinder from across the room. There were 4 cameras involved, and self timers, and a lot of praying that the entire family was actually in the picture. And because that wasn't already fun enough, Micah decided he wanted nothing to do with it. He stood back and laughed at us, in his head.

My camera cut off one side, then the other. It seems that my only brother and I cannot be seen in the same photo together. Micah tried taking the picture instead of allowing it to just take care of things itself, but since he generally gets ceiling fan blades in most of his shots, we figured he wouldn't get many of the family included. Halfway through, he chose to join us, but his poses were all his own creating. He's Micah, what else would you expect?

In the end, we decided to share photos between the 4 of us, because surely someone could photoshop things together to get all the family in one place at one time.

(This awesome photo? Not only are dad and the BIL missing, but Micah was making fun of us somewhere near the camera, and Sam and I apparently weren't cool enough to be in that particular shot.)

I'd like to think we'll have better luck with a family photo the next time my brother is in, but in another decade, we'll have kids in college. Or married.


I think I'll go curl up in a corner and cry for a while.

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