Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blessing #15- Christmas Photocards

I love getting Christmas photo cards. I count them as a blessing. I get excited every time I get one. I save them every year to see how a family is growing. It’s like getting a small little gift. Although I love photo cards, I do know how stressful getting the right picture can be. This week I decided to get Christmas pictures of the boys, so pictures are on my mind. I’m not a photographer, but I would like to share with you lessons I have learned about taking pictures of kids.

A Mother’s Guide to Taking Family Pictures Without Losing Your Mind

Lesson #1- Your child will fall and get a pop knot the day before you take pictures. Don’t worry it adds character (and also makes you look suspicious).

Lesson #2- Your picture will never be perfect. When you have pictures of children, something will always be off, a pants leg that got pulled up, drool coming out of their mouth, or a messed up pose. In this picture, Collin is looking at the camera, but seems to be slightly frightened while B holds him. That’s okay, it adds character.

Lesson #3- Master the art of the back picture. Will your children not smile? Just take a picture of their backs. This shows where you were, what was going on, and it looks artful and inspiring. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy, so I have many pictures of Brandon’s back.

Lesson #4- What annoys you now, may be cute years from now. Up until last year, Brandon thought smiling was closing your eyes really tight. It drove me crazy. I would go to take a picture and yell, “Smile! B, open your eyes. Smile…. No open your eyes!…. Say cheese…You CAN open your eyes.“ Now he’s learned how to smile the right way, and those pictures are a priceless reminder of that particular quirk. However, I have no idea what his eyes looked like from one to three years old.

Lesson #5- If you want to get your child to look at you don’t do this. “Look here Brandon. Brandon. BRANDON!” That’s just white noise to a kid. Instead, say, “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrAyyyyaaaaaa,” like a canteen dancer. I’m not making a joke here. I really do this. It may embarrass them, but you’ll get a good picture.

Lesson #6- Just keep snapping pictures! This is probably the most important lessons. Don’t do the 1..2..3. If you have a trouble maker, they will make a funny face right at the last second. Just keep snapping. You never know the picture you might get. I am a firm believer in this. For every good picture I have, I have 20 bad pictures.

Lesson #7 - As a mother, you must master the art of face freezing. Your child could be looking right at the camera and smiling like an angel, but if you are not good at face freezing you could mess the picture up by moving. Pick your expression; maybe practice it in the mirror. When the pictures start snapping you freeze into your expression, no matter what your child is doing. We have gotten some really cute pictures this way. If you are a face freezing master you can even talk through your teeth in this frozen position, and say things like, “Brandon, if you don’t look at the camera, you don’t get any presents on Christmas.” (still smiling)
I have mastered face freezing. Notice the technique in theses two pictures.

Just follow these rules and you will have family pictures without losing your mind. Your pictures will be fill with lots of character, but you'll have your sanity.


  1. Great information! But I can see where they get it from. MiMi

  2. What did you have to tell Shad to get the picture right? HaHa

  3. I know! I almost said something about that.