It’s that time of year. The time of year when my husband says, “Are we going to take a family photo this year?” I think he really enjoys family photos. Actually, I think he simply realizes the many pluses the family portrait offers:
- makes for an easy Christmas gift
- grandparents love them
- lots of bang for your buck – one photo shoot covers gifts for multiple people and an hour or so of your time equals many.many.many little wallet size photos
- makes for nice framed displays on ones work desk [ie showing off your kids]
- they provide something to laugh at, years from now [I’m picturing the circa 1977 photo including my dad and mom in polyester and my sister and I in matching dresses]
|How about this pose? [*note: this is NOT my family]|
|Perhaps these outfits?|
|You must be photographed on a cruise, or they won’t let you eat in the dining room.|
What to wear? That’s really the biggest concern, once schedules are worked out and the appointment is made. Working with a musical high schooler’s schedule is not easy. Especially when he is auditioning, performing, and practicing for [it seems] every musical event except the Super Bowl half time show. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I’m excited about all the opportunities he has. It’s just not easy to find time for extra events. Then there’s work schedules, finding a time when the middle schooler is available and in a good mood, and trying to time the appointment two weeks after haircuts. [Isn’t that when one’s hair is supposed to look the best?] Oh, and I checked the Packer’s schedule to make sure we weren’t conflicting with a game.
Back to what to wear. My husband would like the four of us to don our Green Bay Packer clothing. My daughter doesn’t agree. I’ve noticed many families like the white shirt/jeans look. We don’t all have white shirts. Unless we allow the men to wear undershirts, which is of course, out of the question. My son has voiced his desire for a cardigan. It’s on his Christmas list, but alas, he doesn’t own one today. I’m considering having us wear earth tones. We generally all look good in earth tones. My daughter has also suggested her dad wear a suit – his only suit, and the suit he purchased sometime in the early 90s. He refuses to wear the suit. Unless he can wear a Packer’s jersey as the shirt underneath the coat. [Not going to happen]
We will have to come to a firm decision on our attire by at least 10 a.m. on Sunday. The appointment is at noon. Which is two hours before the middle schooler has to report for her Operation Christmas Child project, and 5.5 hours before the high schooler meets a study group. [I explained above about scheduling issues.]
Inevitably, when we go to the photo studio, a family consisting of an infant, toddler and perhaps a couple older children is scheduled ahead of us. While I’ve been a parent of an infant and toddler, I find I have much less patience than I did back then. I want to yell at the parents, “Just get the basic package! You don’t need 475 photos, even if they’re different shots and outfits. Pay your fifteen dollars and get out. Please!” Suffering through listening to a mother and father debate whether picture A or B features a better smile on their oh.so.sweet two year old can be trying.
I’ve been a parent for nearly 17 years. Aside from school pictures, nearly every sports team offers an individual and team shot of your child. If your child is in band, they’ll get photographed in uniform. There are also homeroom class pictures. And of course, the random shots taken by the novice, but oh.so.faithful to The Pioneer Woman’s blog photo section moms who love to pass out their prints while proudly displaying a toothy grin. I’m never sure if these ladies want a small stipend to cover printing costs, or they’re simply showing off their expertise. [Yes, it’s kind of them to offer their services.] Since nearly every child age 11 and up now has a cell phone complete with camera, I’m speculating every kid in this country is photographed on the average of once per hour.
Therefore, there is no need to purchase anything aside from the $15 package offered at the studio. Your children and mine will be photographed again, most likely before the sun sets.
Since our high schooler will be a senior next year, we’ll probably invest in the senior portrait scenario. So, this could be the last year of the family portrait. At least the last year that when I call to schedule the appointment and am asked how many adults and how many children, I answer, “Two adults, two kids.” The next time around it might be, “Ah, I suppose it will be four adults.” That will probably be the time I have to come up with a different Christmas gift for the grandparents.