The Agony and Ecstasy of Family Pictures

This is me circa 1982.

My mom loved getting family pictures.  I’m not really sure how often we had them done, but it felt like we were getting them all the time.  And on these frequent visits to the photographer, we all had to wear matching outfits.  Shopping for the correct attire was always a big ordeal as we had to find something the girls could wear and then find the corresponding outfits for the boys.  If you browse my parent’s home, you can see the progression of time in color – green shirts with jeans, blue shirts with black pants, red shirts with jeans all juxtaposed on a stark white background.  Of course the majority of my childhood was in the 1980s, so the hair just gets increasingly embarrassing.  Getting these photos done was always a pain in the rear as we were all stressed out to look good and get to the photographer’s studio on time.  Half of the time, we were all pissed at each other before we had to sit down together and smile.   We still give my mom a hard time about these experiences and tease each other about how cheesy we look.

Reflecting back, I understand her desire to capture those precious moments that pass us by all too quickly.  But, I haven’t been very proactive in getting professional photos of my family.  I wanted to take the month to month progression of my babies, but I was in residency (AKA poor and busy) with Grace.   I was increasingly overwhelmed when Cate and Patrick were born and felt like it would be wrong to do it with them when Grace didn’t have her pictures.  Therefore, I have very few professional pictures of my kids when they were infants.  Last year, I decided we were going to get some new pictures done.  It had been about 2 years and we were in desperate need of some updated photos of the kids.  I was just about to schedule them when Grace couldn’t get a tiara out of her hair and decided to cut it out.  Yes, my seven year old now had a chunk of bangs about one inch in length.  Photos were delayed for a year.

Last month, Matt and I attended the American Association of Orthodontists Annual Session in Honolulu.  We decided we would take the kids and make it a business trip and family vacation.  I’m not sure what inspired the thought, but I looked into getting pictures done while we were there.  Nothing could beat that scenery.  I looked online and booked a session.  We just got the photos back and couldn’t be more thrilled.  An interesting thought crossed my mind as I looked at them.  What if we schedule family photos when we are on vacation?  We could have a variety of beautiful backgrounds we don’t have access to here in Arizona.  We would be relaxed.  We would experience different photographers and their associated styles.  Not a bad idea.

I can picture my future now.  My kids are going to tease me incessantly about how every family vacation they had to waste a day getting ready and having pictures done.  And look what I made them wear – what was I thinking?  But when they’re gone, I can stroll around in my house and relive my kids growing up and all the wonderful places we visited.  Check out some of the pictures from Hawaii.  Yes, I know. We kind of match…





7 Responses to “The Agony and Ecstasy of Family Pictures”

  1. Karen McCasland says:

    I love all of the pictures but the last one is beautiful. I think its one of the best photos I have seen of all of you.

  2. Melissa says:

    The picture are awesome…looks like the kids enjoyed the photo shoot.

  3. Jo says:

    Awesome idea and the photos are beautiful. Couldn’t beat a more perfect background than the beach. Love the one of the kids holding hands by the water.

  4. Megan says:

    Fabulous photos and what a great idea to do them when you are vacationing!! I think I will give that a try in August!

  5. Danielle says:

    Love the photos. I think I have more adult photos of myself than childhood shots. I know you are not surprised.

  6. I love the pictures of you guys on the beach! EVERYONE is happy on vacations so its a great idea to do family pictures then!
    Plus, as a photographer is makes for a great creative backdrop! I can’t wait to get over to California and photograph our clients on the beach this summer!

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