Sunday, August 29, 2010

Before I Was a Mom: Picture this

Before I had kids, I was pretty sure I knew everything. I was quick to judge and sure I had it all figured out. But when I gave birth to my first, I also gave birth to a revelation: I'm pretty sure I don't know anything at all. Join me as I discover weekly in my Revelation posts how much of what I thought I already knew was actually wrong. Very, very wrong. I suppose having a baby barrel down your birth canal can really put a new twist on reality.

Pictures mean oh-so-much to me.

And I will go to great lengths to get the perfect shot.

I always have.

I was the girl who would drag her college roommates to a busy, touristy, scenic road and direct them into Abercrombie and Fitch {remember that store?} esque poses in the name of keepsake pictures and rockin', frameable Christmas gifts.

I was also the editor who would send the photographers for her college newspaper back to an event to capture a few more "artsy" shots for the front-page feature photo when she didn't like one of the 50 other choices.

Oh, and also the one who insisted everyone in her wedding party pose for just one more picture {after, only, you know, 200} in 100-degree heat in the middle of a flower garden because one of her bridesmaids was holding her flowers in the opposite direction as the others.

Because I've always been in pursuit of the perfect photograph in most situations, I'd always be a little haughty when we recieved holiday cards featuring awkward family shots where the kids, hair tousled and faces completely red, looked like they just dragged through the house kicking and screaming in order to take that picture.

I swore, yes SWORE, I'd never have those kinds of pictures on my holiday cards simply because I'd never subject my sweet angels to the kind of torture that is forced pictures.

My photos would have depth and soul and feature perfectly captured, authentic moments of children sporting genuine smiles caught brilliantly by my {unprofessional} photographing husband or self or relative.

But upon birthing super-cute little models {not biased at all}, I've found that I just cannot resist trying to capture the perfect moments on camera.

This is somewhat akin, though, when you have two young boys, to herding cats {thanks, Sarah. What a perfect description!}


In the rain.

While blindfolded.

Take the boys' birthday party, for example. I really just wanted to get a few great shots of them together and a few with us and other family members.

So I attempted to lure my oldest away from his tractors.

"Oh, look at how much fun, G.! Let's take a few pictures."

{G. pretty much ignores me, playing with his new mini tractors.}

"Your brother is sitting so nicely for the pictures. Mommy loves that.

{Fail for the peer pressure, as he continues zooming his tractors around the floor.}

"G., if you sit next to your brother and smile, mommy will give you a cookie."

{I'm no longer above bribery, apparently. And, it, apparently, has no affect on my boy who is still driving his tractors along the carpet.}

"G., if you don't sit next to your brother and smile for a picture, I'm going to take the tractors away ... for good."

{GROAN. Did I really just play that card in the name of a decent picture? Because I know now that I've resorted to threats the pictures are going to be absolutely terrible and frustrating and not at all how imagined.}

If nothing else, at least I have photographic documentation that we did, indeed, throw them a birthday shindig to prove I wasn't a horrible mother in spite of the forced pictures.


  1. "I suppose having a baby barrel down your birth canal can really put a new twist on reality" Haha!! That line absolutely cracked me up! And yes, I guess it, and everything that comes after, definitely changes things up a bit!

    I've only got the one boy and rounding him up for the "perfect" shot is next to impossible--I cannot even fathom trying to do it with two!! Now it's definitely about embracing the spontaneity of the moment and imperfections of whatever the camera does happen to capture.

  2. I have found some of my favorite shots are of the kids running away from the camera. And they are SO like herding cats.


  3. Been there, done that. I now require all pictures to be taken before they get to open any gifts. This works for Christmas and birthdays and they usually cooperate because well ya know- those gifts are waiting!

  4. Haha... I completely hear ya on this post LOL ~ I have SUCH A HARD TIME getting my kids to pose together for the camera... and it kills me!

  5. I'm not sure I've had a non-blurry photo in months! I feel your pain!

  6. I can am able to capture other people's memories with vary little trouble, but when it comes to my boys, forget it! We wanted the perfect shot last year for christmas and had to end up making a collage of individual shots, no family, lol! Boys, the just don't want to sit still!

  7. My kids finally sit for a picture at gift giving time. My daughter though will go all diva sometimes. It's a challenge!

  8. That is the perfect description "herding cats" oh. my. God!

  9. I am so with you on the photos. I am not a fan of posey posey pics but photojournalism is beyond most people's grasp and so when it comes time for photos of ourselves (meaning when I'm not holding the camera), people only recognize that we're ready when we stand and stare back at them through the lens. Ugh.

    I also realize now why we have so few pictures of us as a family and as a couple. Sigh.


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