Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Favorite Family Photo

Every year around this time, I try to get a picture of the kids to use for our holiday cards.  I usually have already picked out our card design on Shutterfly since I like Shutterfly's selection for our Christmas cards and I am if not anything else, a creature of habit (or as I like to say a person who just likes traditions).  On my side of the family, someone usually gets some kind of photo gifts also and Shutterfly has a large selection of items that would appeal to any grandparent or aunt or uncle.  One year I got a photo jigsaw puzzle for my grandfather and magnets for other family members.

This is usually the best I can do:

After trying for a few days (never in a row since I would go crazier than I already am),  I usually admit defeat and we find ourselves sitting in some studio somewhere waiting amid other families in their holiday best to get their family portraits done.  My attempts in recent years to just get the girls' pictures turns into a family portrait by then.

This summer after finding out that an acquaintance who I got to know through our local mom's group (before her family moved to Florida) was coming up and doing mini photo sessions, I immediately booked a mini session.  She is immensely talented and her photos are stunning.  She is the owner of Maria Felton Photography.  I was hoping and praying that Ryan would have arrived by then (it was about two weeks before I was due) but alas he didn't arrive until almost a week after he was due (of course). 

 (I need a new frame that doesn't cut off so much of my husband's head!)

One thing I learned on this day was that the best picture isn't always the one where everyone is looking at the camera and sitting perfectly still.  This picture totally captured Maddie's personality and Emmy's silly smile which is why we fell in love with it and why it is now on our mantel. Madison has a thing for monkeys which isn't a surprise to anyone who sees this photo since she is practically upside down. 

This photo session was also fun since it was about capturing our family naturally outside.  We were in the alley behind the Crayola Factory (one of the girls' favorite places) in Easton where The Purple Cow Creamery is located.  Music was playing from the School of Rock on the corner and amazingly, there were no tears for once.  It seems someone always has a meltdown when we get our pictures done in a studio.  Emily also loved that Maria had her singing and being silly (which she is quite good at)! They were also able to move around instead of being cooped up inside.  It probably didn't hurt that we bribed the kids with ice cream from the Creamery afterwards either.  

What is your favorite family photo?

This month Shutterfly is planning "Family Photo Days" to help families capture the perfect holiday picture to use in creating their holiday cards.  It is also to help make consumers aware of Shutterfly's line of holiday cards.  Some of the activities they have planned include helping people host Family Photo Days, a downloadable toolkit with lots of creative tips on capturing the perfect holiday picture, and you can even enter their Holiday Photo Contest and receive 5 free cards just for entering (if you win you get a year's worth of free cards).

This week I am going to try again using some of the tips Shutterfly provided in their toolbox to try to get a holiday card worthy picture all on my own.  I even bought Santa hats for all three kids and I am going to try to take a pinwheel shot with all three kids lying down and looking up outside since it is so warm out this week.  Hopefully, I'll be able to have the patience to try to get the perfect shot.

Have you started your holiday cards yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?

I was compensated with 50 cards from Shutterfly for participating in their "Family Photo Days" promotion.  All opinions are my own.


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I really love your family photos. They are filled with such joy.

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