It is infinitely harder (for me, at least) to take good family pictures of my own family than it is to take good family pictures of someone else. (Did you get all that?)
First, I make the huge mistake of building this perfect, beautiful image in my mind, prompting me to exhibit incredible crankiness as I dress the kids before we go--already buckling under the pressure I've put on myself.
Second, I almost never choose the right outfit for myself. Sure, my children might look darling, Phill might look dashing as ever, but me? I forget all the things I like about great photography, and I wear something that almost inevitably reads horribly on camera. And third.....
....third. Once everyone else is positioned and ready, and my finger has irrevocably hit the shutter button--it happens: I do something weird. Or dumb. Or awkward. Like.....oh, draping my arm over Phill's front, making it look as though my limb is as big as my head. Or smiling so hard that my cheeks look like they're full of a squirrel's winter supply. Or completely block out another person's head with my needs-to-be-thinned Hermione-big hair. OR jumping into the weirdest spot as if I have no time before the picture is taken, then freeze, not knowing how to change my position, even when I have a leisurely ten seconds still left. It's quite frustrating.
I don't know why I forget that it sometimes (often, Rae, OFTEN) takes more than one attempt when we're doing our pictures ourselves. I like taking them myself, because I love doing photography, and because when they turn out well, I'm very proud of my work....(go ahead and say it, I'm proud)....but then I give myself the burden of trying to be not only a good photographer, but also a good subject. And unfortunately, the good subject part eludes me until somewhere around Attempt III, and sometimes the good photographer part just doesn't kick in. Add to that difficulty my desire for family portraits that are colorful, demonstrative of our personalities, and maybe even a little imaginative, and that's one big job.
I'm posting this here so that I can look back and remember, when I'm annoyed, yet again, that I'm attempting to do something that may take some time.
Do all good things take time?!
It ought to comfort you to see just how normal we really are, should you subscribe to delusions that we are pristine and perpetually positive. (I don't intend to paint that false picture.) Savvy demolished the bow I had in her hair. DEMOLISHED it. I mean--took off the metal barrette part, pulled apart the ribbon--DEMOLISHED to the point that it wasn't wearable. (Take that, Mom! I'll show you to girly me up!)
When I did manage to do something halfway normal, I blocked out Reed's head a little or had to pretend it wasn't hard to keep squirming Savanna in my arms. :) Would you like to see some of our hilarious results of today? Actually, the ones of the kids were pretty cute, if I do say so. (And I do.) Used some of Pioneer Woman's *FREE* actions, which are WONDERFUL! Enjoy the blooper reel, first off.
Ah, well. I can't look at those smiles and feel that I didn't get something good out of our first attempt tonight.