We do it once a year. It is kind of a tradition. Since the kids are not yet both in fulltime school, we figure it is rather needed, and while I dread it each December, it is a necessary evil. Yesterday, we did just that. Yes, it was time for the yearly children’s portrait session.
Over the years, I have tried my damnedest to find alternative ways around this. But, with such a large extensive family, if I even think to show up at holiday gatherings without new photo prints for the entire group of relatives, I should probably just not bother coming at all.
I have taken the kids to a professional photographer. I have shot the photos myself with a set up little staging area right here at home, but what seems to work best (though as I type the words I am even reconsidering that phrasing) is to take them to a generic photo studio. We’ve done Target twice and now Sears twice.
Here is my general overall impression: It matters not where you take your children, because no matter where they go, near or far, cheap or expensive, they are two tiny, independent, self-driven little maniacs. There is not a person in this universe that could get them to take a decent photo together, anywhere.
Alas, I continue to try. We spent a good two hours of our lives last night, near suicide, at the King of Prussia Mall. In a stuffy, tiny photo shoot room, we attempted, as three adults, their father, the photographer and myself, to get one 6-year-old and one 3-year-old to smile simultaneously, while god forbid looking into the lens of a camera.
To those without children, it may sound like a simple task. To those that have attempted, only you may possibly understand the exasperation felt for those long 120 minutes of pain. Two hours of our lives, 75 snaps of the camera and three exhausted adults later, we walked away with what I would call three acceptable poses worth purchasing and possibly reprinting to our family.
That’s right. After 75 attempts, there is one semi-useable photo of the children together, one of the 6-year-old son and one of the 3-year-old daughter. There are also 72 absolutely garbage photos in which one or both children are either talking, looking away, closing their eyes, making a weird face, straining to “smile” or otherwise ruining a perfectly decent photograph.
I cannot wait until the years where we can just snap a school photo, let some professional worry about how clear they are, and move on with it. Here’s your school picture, enjoy it family. The day of the portraits are hopefully ending soon.
Let’s not even talk about family sessions, in which we attempt to get four people to cooperate. That’s a total joke.
Until next year, we have three mediocre photos in which to distribute, which only a parent, grandparent or aunt/uncle could possibly love. Merry Christmas, family. I hope it was worth the 120 minutes of life, that none of us will ever get back. Enjoy your photos.