Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Truth About Family Pictures

We skipped family pictures altogether last year 'cause I just didn't have it in me. The stress of clearing the whole family's calendar for an afternoon, picking out clothing (only to discovering we have nothing that coordinates and realizing just how much the boys actually trash their clothes), choosing a location (and having no idea if the lighting on the set day will be right), and dragging out the whole group out (who obviously are not thrilled)... was just not appealing.

Jon and I try to make family pictures palatable. We pep-talk, we bribe, and when it's all over we do something fun as a family.

But it's still hard. Everyone feels like it's something to be endured.

We've never hired a photographer. Nope, it's just me with a tripod and a small, finicky remote. If I'm in the picture, the kids take turns trying to follow my directions. Sometimes I think a professional photographer would be really nice. Maybe bad attitudes would be more successfully suppressed. Surely a photog would be more successful at considering light and angles, coaxing authentic smiles, and reminding the grown ups to stand straight and suck in!

We managed again this year, though, and when it's all said and done, at least we have a dozen or so shots that are acceptable. I know they will only increase in value to us as the years go by.

It's been over a month now, and I'm still slowly sorting through our images. For today, I thought it would be fun to post the outtakes-- the real life, behind-the-scenes reality of our family pictures!

The props I was hoping to have fell through, so an hour or so before our appointed time I had to come up with new ones. Fortunately, the idea came to use the various trunks we have in our house and garage.

Setting up and the boredom was already evident...

Trying to get everyone focused and playing along is always a challenge. Here I had 1 out of 4 on board...

The boys... oh, the boys.
What? Is there something in both his ear? And where did the stick come from?

Family pics are a form of torture for Michael...

Then Jon and I take a turn. We are so incredibly awkward... especially Jon!! :)
And the kids LOVE to make fun of us and laugh at their dad! I think I was making fun of him in this shot, too!

The awkwardness is real, at least for pictures! (No awkwardness at all otherwise!!)

I'm happy to see some genuine laughs in the midst of it all...

Oh, this is so typical of Michael..! We were all loaded up ready to leave when he realized he needed socks. He grabbed a couple from the laundry (maybe dirty?) and figured they would be hidden beneath his pants. And now we have this...

Being both the photographer and subject, I spent much of my time walking/running the length of the bridge. It only made sense to kick off my heels...

Jon, trying so hard... It didn't help that the kids were doing everything they could to make the situation more funny (and more desperate in terms of getting decent images)!

Jon complaining of modeling-induced neck ache!

Walking the road in such characteristic ways...

  The lines divide my kids in perfect categories: The two on the left are compliant rule-followers, and the two on the right are more free-spirited types who wear their feelings for all to see! 

We do our best on this road called life. I am certain our best hope for good relationships will always be humility, which mostly means repentance and forgiveness of one another.

It's a wonderful reminder today, as once again there have been offenses that require humility, to remember the grandest of all examples of humility is the Lord Jesus Christ. 

His humility has lead us to reconciliation and relationship with Him!



  1. Katherine, these are great. Jon and Will are a lot alike when it comes to picture taking :) Your children are beautiful and growing. And you my friend are a gorgeous mama!

    1. Thank you, sweet lady! Merry Christmas to you and your family! xox

  2. I love this post for so many reasons. 1)Even your "out takes" are great - especially your family photo at the end - LOVE it! 2.) I can so relate - my kids sort of put up with the request for family photos. They are good sports, but definitely not their favorite thing to. As for the clothes... oh MY goodness! We never seem to have anything stylish and in season or even slightly coordinating. And Michael's socks - YES, that would be one of mine! 3.) You are beautiful and together with Jon you make such a lovely couple, but it's not just your outward appearances. It is evident that Christ front and center!

    - Carol

    1. Thank you, Carol! I always love your comments. The pictures are worth the effort, right? Our kids will be grateful some day!

      Merry Christmas to you are yours!


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