As any photographer will tell you, photographing one’s own children can be the most challenging task we face. Not only do I have to take care of all my photography equipment and the finer points of the shoot, I also have to think about location, clothing, the inevitability of my children arguing with one another and/or with me. It is the ultimate in stress as a photographer, which is why I generally put it off!
This year, though, I added a new twist to the story; I decided my husband and I would be IN the photos. As is true for most moms (we are the family chroniclers after all) I rarely appear in photographs, especially with my family. Also as a control-freak photographer, my presence in photographs about as common as Haley’s Comet.
Nevertheless, I knew it was time to practice what I preach to my clients: kids need pictures of and with their parents. I can’t tell you how many times clients tell me, “Oh, just take pictures of the kids; I don’t want any of me.” The thing is, the KIDS want photos of us parents, and they will want them even more 20, 30, 40 years from now.
We chose Gallery 202 (www.gallery202art.com) for our location. It was decorated beautifully for Christmas, and I absolutely love the owner, Kelly Harwood, and manager Jim McReynolds. They were more than happy to accommodate us and gave us full access to the outside of their lovely gallery.
Sooo….then things got interesting. I had to set up the light, set up the tripod and camera, set the timer, pose the fam, then jog (in cowboy boots) down the sidewalk to get set before the shutter clicked 10 seconds later! (Whew! Makes me exhausted just recounting all that!) All of that considered, I am VERY happy with the results and I created in less than 12 hours what has become my favorite Boulay family Christmas card ever. And you know why? Because for the first time, it is actually a FAMILY Christmas card.
This is one of my favorites, and it almost made it to the front of the card, but it was a little TOO perfect…
As you will see below, the first pic in this series became our cover. Our resident goofball daughter decided to make some funny faces in our pictures, much to my initial chagrin when I discovered what she was doing. Upon reviewing the images, though, I decided the top picture more aptly captured our family.
In the above shots, my daughter was helping me set up the picture below while I set up the camera for my son to take the photo. I couldn’t, however, resist snapping these precious shots of my husband and daughter.
My 14-year-old son took this shot of us. I think he did a fabulous job!
The signs you see in these photos are all from our house. I had thought about writing a Christmas message on a blackboard, but bringing the signs made our images personal as well as unique. They also help “tell the story”, which is always my goal in my photo sessions.
The guys, of course, couldn’t resist having a little fun! Love these two!
The series above cracks me up! I think my little one may be up for an Oscar someday! She can switch up her expressions (including a very realistic fake cry) in the blink of an eye. The other two just couldn’t keep straight faces throughout her gamut of emotions.
These two are cut from the same cloth as you can tell.
My kids showing their more serious side…
Mission accomplished!! I am so thankful I took the time and energy to capture these images of my family. I know we will always look back fondly on this shoot and it serves as a reminder to me that I need to MAKE the time not only for my clients, but for my family as well.
Here is the resulting Christmas card: