Oh. Hi. I recognize you. I’ve seen your holiday card. Hair, perfect. Children, pristine. Spouse, not at all annoyed. In your matching pajamas and your $6,000 Invisalign smile positioned above your charming holiday greeting. Good for you.
When we attempt a family photo we always have at least one of the following: a constipated one, a sleepy one, a grumpster and a look-away. And if we do manage to get a halfway decent shot— guarantee someone’s finger was on the lens. No surprise I have never sent out holiday cards.
Until this year. This year I wanted real holiday cards. I wanted holiday cards like yours.
I happened to have a gift certificate for a free photo session with Classic Kids Photography. Perfect timing.
We loved our photographer Krista and her assistant Samantha. They made us feel very comfortable and aimed to please. “Give me something that really captures our essence.” I said, gesticulating like Norma Desmond. I went on to say the perfect photo should also conceal such things as my husband’s irritation with me for scheduling this shoot during the playoffs and the perma-layer of grime on my children’s faces. It should also give the illusion that I am incredibly photogenic and require no retouching. Yes, a tall order.
We watched in awe as Krista and Samantha pulled genuine laughter from our girls. How did they do it, you ask? And I answer: Poop. That’s right. Krista asked the girls to whisper the funniest scenarios they could think of into Samantha’s ear who would then act out their fantasies. It started with “a giraffe pooping diarrhea on Krista’s head” and only became more and more colorful.
“Look at the ducky” does not work with my children.
But when you see the pictures, you don’t see giraffe diarrhea. You don’t hear fart noises. You don’t see potty-mouthed children and grown women desperately imitating jungle animals with the runs. You see angelic moon faces smiling, happy to be alive. You see obedient, clean children, lovers of peace and quiet and all that is good-natured. You see what really matters.
Wrangling the entire family for the foursome shot was challenging after all that belly laughter. Krista quickly snapped a few shots and I worried that we wouldn’t have what we needed. “Don’t worry, we got it” she assured me.
She was right. When I returned for the viewing session I saw that we got some great shots. Everyone looking at the camera. Everyone happy to be there. No grumpsters. But as I sifted through it became very clear to me that none of the perfect ones were really us. None of them captured our essence. And then I saw this one. I smiled. Yes, this one would be our first family holiday card.
And it required absolutely no retouching!
Happy New Year, Friends. Here’s to a picture perfect 2014.