When I get an idea in my head, I can't let it go. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's just one of my things. Awhile back I noticed a cute little canopy while shopping in Target. I thought it would make a cute photo prop but kept walking because I definitely didn't need any more props. In fact, I'm trying to get rid of all my props! But gosh darn it, I couldn't get that silly canopy out of my head. I should have just bought it that day because it just meant another trip to Target where I probably bought other stuff that I didn't need on top of the canopy.
I casually showed it to my husband when I got home and mentioned a photoshoot. I'm sure behind his smiling face he was cringing a little because he knows my ideas are never easy, even though I make them sound that way. A few days passed and the weekend arrived and I told him we needed to go do that photoshoot with the canopy. I'm pretty sure he openly cringed that time. "Oh, that's happening today?" he said. I threw some things together, picked out clothes for everyone and said "It will be easy. Once we get set up it will only take a few minutes." I think I really thought that's how it would go down, but boy was I wrong.
When we got to the location, it didn't look quite how I had imagined it in my head. The first tree we chose was too high so the canopy didn't touch the ground. Not only that, it was a little breezy and the canopy was blowing everywhere. I found a lower tree, fished out a big rock from the reservoir, wrapped it in a diaper so it wouldn't get the white canopy muddy and used it to keep the canopy in place. Once everything was in place, it looked pretty cute. I plopped Mav down and asked Laken to go sit with him. That's when my positive spirit started to falter. Laken was in a mood and not the best one. Getting the two of them to cooperate at the same time took some quick clicking and threats from me and some encouragement from Rob (who was staying positive), but I managed to capture some adorably sweet moments of my children.
The last time I photographed my kiddos (outside of our home), I told Rob I wished I would have asked him to take some of me with them too. Thankfully he knows how to use my camera and is a great photographer, so I wasn't going to let the moment pass again. I changed into my dress and grabbed my kids thinking we were about to make some sweet moments. That's about when it all went downhill. Mav was pulling my hair and trying to nurse, Laken was making silly faces or refusing to smile, Mav started to cry and then Laken pulled out my earring. I think at one point I glared at Rob and asked why he was taking so many obviously bad photos. Now I'm using them in this blog! LOL! Anyway, I was frustrated and said, "Forget it. I can't deal. Let's just go home." Rob, who was the real rock that day, refused to leave and said, "We are here. This is happening. Stay positive."
A little backstory here, he is usually the one who throws little philosophical fits when the tiniest of things go wrong (sorry honey) and I have to talk him down. On this day we switched roles and his words hit home. When he told me to stay positive I thought, "My kids are watching me and my reactions and feeding off my energy. How can I ask them to have fun if I'm not having fun?" So I took some of my own advice. When Laken, my threenager, has a tantrum, I tell her to turn it around and to do it quickly. I put a smile on my face and marched forward with my idea. Rob ended up getting some photographs I just love and we all held it together long enough to get some silly ones with Rob and even a blurry but cute family photograph. They are far from perfect, but they are real and that's even better! (I actually love some of the outtakes just as much as the others!)
So why am I sharing this (and some of the bad photos) with all of you? So you know you're not alone. I know family photoshoots can be stressful, I know they take time and money and planning, I know kids (and sometimes parents) don't always behave, but I also know despite what happens, you will get some incredible photographs and make some awesome memories. Don't let your kids grow up without being photographed with them because it's "too hard". Get the idea in your head and don't let it go.
Lots of love,
P.S. Don't forget there's usually a story behind what you see on Facebook and if you get the right right photographer (that's me!), they will capture the great moments in between the not so perfect ones. ;)