It's fall and that means get ready for Christmas cards and the holidays!
Recently I did one our second professional family photo shoots. I have boys and trying to get the two of them to sit still is next to impossible but when a friend of mine expressed interest in photographing us I thought, why not. It couldn't be any worse than our last Christmas photo shoot when everyone had the flu and had to take breaks to vomit!
So I booked it and the morning came where we hustle and bustle. Trying to get myself, my home, husband and kids ready to look our best and project an image of a healthy happy family enjoying the fall and getting ready for the holidays that come with it. I laid out their clothes, ran around picking up toys, and basically bossing my husband around to wrangle the children. Soon enough that bossing led to my husband now clearly upset and unwilling to do the shoot because well, he's worn out, I'm basically pushing through the morning . I think we both felt, as a lot of parents with toddlers do, "Who are we kidding?" As I started to feel as though I should just give up the photographer arrived. I put on my smile face and greeted her as if we were ready although inside I was feeling far from it. Interestingly enough the photographer wanted to catch me and my husband "in love". I almost started laughing because the two of us that day barely felt like hugging each other.
All positioned in front of our fireplace my husband begrudgingly smiling as we force/hold our kids in position to get even just a few shots. I felt my eyes tear up because the entire experience that i set up in my mind did not go the way I had planned.. at all. Frustrated I just made it work. We got through the shoot. Actually I think my husband ended up leaving it early and the kids and I took a few shots alone together and some by myself.
A few days later Jennifer (the photographer) sent me a link to view the photos. I had already set in my mind that probably none of them turned out as that day was just not us at our best. I then begrudgingly clicked the link. Only to to see picture after picture of us. A true capture of what our family is. They were beautiful. In all of the rambunctiousness of the boys and frustration between my husband and I she was able to slice through it and show us the beauty in our little family.
I should know better. I am a wedding planner that knows no matter how much you want it to be perfect... it never is. No wedding day, no meeting, no family photo, and no family is perfect or the same. So remember when you look at so many holiday cards or other people's family pictures (wedding or not) and posts to Facebook Or Insta of a happy "perfect" family. No one is.
My lesson in all of this is just let the family do what they do and the photographer will adjust accordingly... when you choose the right one for your family dynamic. You see, this photographer was already prepared and knew when stepping in that her opportunity ot make us shine was showing how crazy and silly life with kids can be. Your love for eachother will come through somehow.