Beautiful on the Outside,Parenting

Family Photos

Ok, let’s be honest.  How many of us really like the family photo experience?  It’s almost comical when I arrive for a family photo shoot.  Without fail, at least one of the kids is upset and the parents are stressed.  I put on my smile and begin to capture “beautiful moments.” Ha!  And you know what?  My own kids pull the same thing on me when I’m trying to take a photo of them.  If you asked my husband and boys what hell is like, they would definitely say: a family photo shoot that goes on for eternity.  I, for one, enjoy photographing other families, but taking photos of my own family is another story… especially when I have to set up the shot behind the camera, set the camera timer and then run to my position in the shot!  ARRGGHH!!!  I wish I had a video camera recording us during these “precious” moments of family time.  

In 17 years of practicing photography I’ve rarely had a family, infant or kid portrait go smoothly.  It’s completely normal to have someone or something not cooperate.  In fact, one of my very best photo shoots ever involved a family of 8 boys.  I had mentally prepared myself for one or two tantrums, but everyone, down to the infant and toddlers, were totally on board the entire time.  It was amazing!  It’s a photographer’s dream come true when everyone follows direction and poses perfectly!

So, let’s chat about my Mother’s Day family photo shoot, shall we?!

Meet my happy family.

There’s Nate, my hubby, Stinker # 1 on the right (Sam) and Stinker # 2 on the left (Gabe).  These boys, that I love with all my heart, love to do the exact opposite of what I ask them to do when we’re taking photos, as you can plainly see.  How I love them so!  😉  The last time I photographed our family was about 5 years ago, so it was time!  We’re always on the go (there is NEVER enough time on Saturday to accomplish everything on our to-do list), and by the time we got home from a full day, we only had about an hour of daylight left.  So, I quickly pulled some outfits together and away we went to a field near our home.  I told the boys, “This will go quickly if you cooperate and listen to my instructions.”  After asking nicely the first 6 or 7 times, the drill sergeant in me emerged and I started barking orders.  I mean, none of us wanted to do this again the following day.  We really had to kick it into high gear to get a good shot before the sun went down.

So, when counting down to when the timer would go off and take the shot, I’d tell the boys, “Okay! No blinks, please.”  Which meant that they were going to blink for sure.

Enjoy a blink from Stinker # 1.

…and a blink from Stinker # 2.

They think they are soooo funny…  One would almost think that they were doing it on purpose…  I love my boys!

By this time, the mosquitoes had emerged and Sam was close to having a meltdown.

Oops! Just barely made it into this shot in time, so I appear a bit blurry.  The boys were all VERY entertained with mom running to and from the camera.  I should have worn my running shoes!

“Please give me a nice smile for the camera.”  SHEESH!!!

The sun was almost down… “SAM! PLEASE!  JUST LOOK AT THE CAMERA!” (The profanity from the previous sentence was removed, as not to offend our readers.)

Glory be!  It’s a miracle!  I got a shot!  Good enough!

How do you feel about family photo shoots?  Do your kids handle them better than mine do?  I’d love to hear your stories.

Have a wonderful weekend!






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  • Allison T.
    May 19, 2017 at 6:14 am

    You made my morning with this post! I really miss you guys! The boys are growing up so fast and look so handsome and You and Nate look amazing! You have a beautiful family!

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 6:39 am

      Thanks Allison! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and the story behind them.

  • Lisa T.
    May 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Yes! My family gives me a really hard time too. It’s pandemonium! Lots of tears and bribes.

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Oh yes, the bribes!

  • Heather
    May 19, 2017 at 7:27 am

    When my family was younger taking photos was like a form of torture for them. Now that they’ve grown up more it’s not quite as bad.

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 7:30 am

      I can’t wait for that day!

  • Beth
    May 19, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Oh yes! I’ve been there too! Thanks for sharing, very funny. 😂

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 7:30 am

      I’m glad I’m not alone in this experience.

  • Lillian
    May 19, 2017 at 8:26 am

    You know all about the struggle to keep positive and peppy with my kids. And the dog doesn’t help! 😃

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Oh yes! Animals in family photos are another element of fun!

  • Anonymous
    May 19, 2017 at 8:37 am

    OH….I hear you and family photos. This year before everyone split ways we went OUTSIDE in FRIGID temperatures to take the photos. The temps were in the negatives, and there we were all outside smiling for a camera. In all the pictures my nose is red. Towards the end when all of us were icicles my eyes and the kids were tearing, because we were all so cold. So we put on sunglasses, and wouldn’t you know it, that is the one we like best. Can’t see if anyone is blinking. LOL

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 8:49 am

      I love that! So funny. Taking a photo in the dead of winter in not fun. I’ve done a handful of photoshoots during that time and no body is happy. I’ll have to remember sunglasses! Thanks for sharing!

  • janahogan
    May 19, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I was so poorly behaved during my wedding photos! I had no kids to blame it on. I was a total stress case, and then I’d “smile big!”

    • Melessa
      May 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Love it! It’s a busy stressful day too.

  • ph7482641
    May 21, 2017 at 10:52 am

    My sister’s daughter’s two and a half year old son so darn cute. He is very active. I got one shot and called it good. I’ll have to wait till the net time I see them.

    • Melessa
      May 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      Good for you! One shot is all that you need!

  • Amy
    June 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

    The light is so perfect in those photos!

    • Melessa
      June 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Amy! I was lucky, and glad my flash was working too!

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