Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sometimes Pictures are Deceiving

There are a few things that really freak Simon out:
  1. Change
  2. New People
  3. Getting his picture taken
(There's also pooping in the potty, childcare, mommy leaving, doctor appointments, and many more, but those aren't so relevant to this post.)

So, we knew Saturday would be a rough day. It was, after all, the day we would move the furniture around so that new people could come into our house and take our family photos.

Knowing that picture-taking of my family requires a brilliant professional, I emailed our friends David & Shannon at Locke Innovations for help. I like their work, and I know they have two kids, so I figured they'd extend some grace as we worked through this traumatic experience.

I am a huge fan of Bravo's reality competitions like Top Design, Top Chef, Project Runway, where people of varying professions are presented with challenges to test their skills in their respective fields. If there was a Top Photographer show, I'm pretty sure my family would be presented as the final challenge. As my wedding photos attest, it is difficult taking pictures of two people with such drastic differences in skin tones. Either Ben disappears into the background, and all you can see are his teeth, or he looks like he's got his arm around the glaring morning sun and you have to shield your eyes to protect yourself from blindness.

Then, throw in my panicky three-year-old and my 5 1/2 month old baby girl and you've got yourself a challenge.

But, Dave & Shannon came to our house, helped us find the perfect "backdrop", and then sat patiently threw a chorus of "I am NOT getting my picture taken!", "I am NOT doing ANYTHING!", and "Put that couch BACK! It goes HERE!", interspersed with a series of time-outs, disciplinary hearings, and quick nursing sessions to ensure Taly stayed milk-drunk and happy.

I am proud of myself, because not once did I start crying.

And, you know what? This is the magic of Shannon and why you should call her the next time you need your pictures taken:

I can promise you that these photos are NOT how I remember the morning going. In fact, I don't remember Simon smiling at all. And I don't remember looking at ease. And I don't remember Ben keeping his cool so completely or Talya ever taking her thumb out of her mouth.

But, because I have these pictures, someday I will believe that this was my family:
These pictures will erase the memories of screaming, cajoling, consoling, bribing, threatening, restraining, nursing, burping, wiping spit-up, reminding myself that none of it mattered anyway.

When I first contact David and Shannon, this is the email I sent:
Do you do family shots? How much do you charge? And can you make us look like the perfect happy family that we so obviously are? Just kidding on that one, but if you can make me look skinny and get the kids both looking in the general direction of the camera, that’s certainly a plus.

Mission Accomplished! Thank you Shannon & David!

P.S. She even got my entire family of 12!


Shiny said...

Ha! It really wasn't as bad as Susie remembers. I think most all 3 year old boys go through the same thing!
I was so glad we were at your house where everyone was the most comfortable - Your walls are PERFECT for backgrounds!

Let me know when you want to do it again! =o)

Kristin said...

Susie, I think you have been to our family picture sessions...I can't even get a pic in front of the tree :)

I love you small family picture as well as the "whole" family one!

Christina Marie said...

I just commented about the same thing on the family blog. The pictures came out so nice!

Anonymous said...

adorable!!!!! i love it!