Monday, January 08, 2007

The art of expression

A couple of months ago we had family pictures made. Although I knew what I was getting into at the time I felt like it was necessary. I mean, after all, Mr. B was 16 months old and we didn‘t even have a family picture of us.

Now, first let me explain that I go a little crazy with pictures. When Miss L was born I had her picture professionally taken once a month for the first year and five of those months I had it taken twice. I is a sickness.

Our first family picture taken after her birth was when she was 3 weeks old.

Our second family picture taken after her birth was when she was 6 months old.

After Mr. B came along, I scheduled an appointment bought everyone coordinating outfits and off we went to the photo shoot.

As we all know, in this digital age there is instant “gratification“ when viewing photos. Upload to a computer and viola! The images come to life before your eyes.

However, these images were horrible. Rather my image was horrible. I couldn‘t look at that picture of me......NOPE, we didn‘t buy any of those and thus returned to the ranks of having not one family picture of the four of us. That was over a year ago.

So in October, the scars of the previous pictures had worn off and I was willing to submit myself to that torture ALL over again. I must have been crazy.

I decided that I was going to scale down.

We were going to wear things we already had.

I was going to be “ok” with me and the way I looked and do it for the good of our children. They will want something to remember us by..... Right?

So we went and we did. This time, we had to wait for the images to be uploaded to the internet and it was a month later before we could view them. My resolve had weakened in this amount of time....and even with 100+ photos to view, there wasn’t one that I liked of us all. There were several that were good of Miss L and her daddy, there were a couple that were decent of me, but there were even fewer that were good of Mr. B.

As we found out two days later....he had pneumonia. Apparently that hinders ones ability to smile and say...”cheese!”

After a month a person begins to wonder if it is worth the $85 sitting fee or the outrageous prices for the prints. You begin to question yourself. “Will my kids really care what their parents looked like? Will they care enough to spend $30 for a 5 x 7?” I don’t think so.

But here I was. I bit the bullet, paid the $85 dollars and purchased a few....and I mean a few.. pictures. And even worse, I "took one for the team" and chose the pose that collectively was the best and unfortunately that one wasn't the best of me. Ahhhh, the perils of being a mother. Once the check was written, it only took a couple of days to get over the sting of a big check and a bad picture.

But last week, that all changed. The sting came back.

I was at home cleaning out my junk drawer when I came across items that hadn't been seen since April.

Our family had indeed had a family portrait made and me with my feeble memory had forgotten, and apparently it took me shelling out the big bucks for a medicore picture to realize how great these pictures were.

Why did I not notice this before? Did I not think that this “artist” was noteworthy enough? Was I being snooty because these pictures just cost a few coin?

I think that this was a great lesson in life and expectations. Looking back I think these pictures were so great because they captured our family having fun....being carefree.... and celebrating life. I didn’t worry about outfits. I didn’t worry about my hair and makeup. And we didn’t all have to be smiling serenely into the camera. Nope. We just all had to be having fun.

And as I flipped through these pictures I noted that not only did I have a family picture,

but I also had a picture of my sister and I....

and a picture of me and my handsome hubby.

Consider the lesson learned. Next time we need to have a family picture made, instead of spending my money on a sitting fee and high priced prints, I will just spend my money on pizza and tokens and we will eat, drink and be merry.....and let Chuck E. Cheese draw our picture before we head out the door.


Pendullum said...

Those are beautiful fun shots that capture a moment...and a few heart strings!!!

The Medium Swede said...

Those really are great pictures. Your husband is the Marlboro Man. That is how I would prefer you refer to him from now on.

Oh, The Joys said...

Those are great shots! I'm off to Chuck-E-Cheese. (Though I usually just go to J.C. Penney cause I'm cheap *ss like that.)

The Sour Kraut said...

I agree! Great pictures!!

You and your family are gorgeous! I especially love the one of you and Marlboro Man on the bottom.

Our last family portrait was when our younger son was one. He is now seven.

At my nieces wedding, we all wore coordinated outfits and planned on getting our family photo taken there. We got caught up in all the fun and at 11:30 pm, our 7-year-old had reached his limit. We decided on a portrait just before leaving. I'll post the picture on my blog. It's hilariously awful.