Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Didn't Know We Needed a Portrait

Stanton Photography in Anchorage, AlaskaOne of my sad little secrets is that I hate getting my children's pictures taken. Sure I take snapshots of them all the time but getting them bathed, dressed and marched down to the portrait studio at the mall just so I can pay Hannah Montana behind the camera beaucoup bucks to capture them grimacing in unison hasn't been high on my priorities list.

Inevitably we get there and one of the kids has dried gum on their lips, has forgot their tie or has decorated their neck with temporary tattoos the night before. Oh, and there was the time that Spencer wanted to see what would happen if he stuck the tube from the central vacuum to his cheek while it was sucking. Three words: world's largest hickey.

It just seemed to tempt fate whenever a picture was scheduled--and don't get me started on school photos, I didn't even order them this year.

So a family picture? Never. We've had casual shots taken of all of us together but we've never gone to a studio for the real thing. Would you hate me if I confessed that I'd have probably gone my entire life without having a family portrait taken and never cared?

But we happen to have a friend who is amazing with a camera who owns Stanton Photography here in Anchorage. He's taken pictures of most of my extended family and done a terrific job so I thought that maybe--just maybe--it would be a good thing for us too. You know, nice for the grandparents and all that. If anyone could could catch us with all of our eyes open at the same time he could.

On the day of the sitting I was busy talking with one of the adults in the room in between groupings when I happened to look up while he was shooting Grace and Lillian together. All at once I had a mushy Mom Moment where I saw my two sweet little girls in that beautiful lighting looking so pretty and I got a little tear in my eye. Yes, a bona fide tear.

So this proves, after all, that I do not have a heart of stone (it also probably proves that real photographers make all the difference). I just love how the pictures turned out, they're beautiful. Maybe there's something to having a family portrait after all.

***

Thanks to all who entered the Saucy Frocks giveaway this weekend--my but the aprons were popular! I had people offering me cookies and all sorts of affection should I pick their name but Heather of Fort Mill, South Carolina had the good luck to win this time. But don't worry, I've already got great gear lined up to give away all through the next month!

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59 comments:

John & Laura said...

The photos are beautiful! I almost got a tear in my eye looking at the picture of your girls, too!

There's something about professional pictures that a regular camera can't achieve. That said, our best wedding picture was taken with my in-laws 35mm camera, but that's definitely the exception...

Kati said...

Great photos. We've passed onthe portrait thing too, for most of the same reasons. Now you've got me thinking.

Loralee Choate said...

I love the way that the photos turned out! That photo of your girls is adorable. I am dying over the little one and her total resemblance to "Madeline" with that hair cut and bow! Too cute! (Except her book would have to start out, "In a recently remodeled house in Alaska that was covered with snow..." (Hee)

Robin said...

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family.

Jeana said...

Beautiful!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Oh, dear, now I'm feeling guilty again. The last picture of all the kids we had taken was...let's see...2 kids ago. Sad.

Chris said...

You guys look beautiful!

Whenever it's picture taking time, the day before my girl is sure to fall on her face, get attacked by black flies or scratched by the cat. It's Murphy's law.

Lilibeth said...

You were certainly right to take these pictures. Now you have a treasure moment captured. They are beautiful. These kinds of pictures are for you to remember, but also for generations to come.

Bunny B said...

WOW! What a gorgeous family photo!! You have such beautiful girls :)

girlymama said...

Those pictures are amazing!!! I think you'll treasure those for years!

My family hated portraits as well. But we had one taken just before my wedding. One month later, my dad passed away -- and now we all treasure that portrait like you wouldn't believe! My mom says it was one of the best decisions she ever made! (Otherwise our last family picture would have been when I was 13. Not a good memory for me to display on the wall!)

Amber M. said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Darling! You'll be so glad you did these. The one of Grace and Lily is perfect.

Stacy said...

Great photos. I really need to get a family picture taken. It's been about 4 years since I did.

melanie said...

Hi,
Okay, I swear I'm NOT just sayin' this to make your day...but Scribbit, you're stunning! (And hubby's no slouch either.)
Being a mom of four as well, I sure can relate to the whole 'professional photography thingy'. Good job though. They're lovely, and so is that family of yours.

A faithful reader from Northern California,
Melanie Glenn

Lissete said...

The photos are beautiful! We never had a family portrait done. Not one. We always talked about it. And we really had good intentions but never got around to it.

Mayberry said...

Those are gorgeous. I agree, the one of the girls is just wonderful!

imadramamama said...

Those turned out really, REALLY well!!!

angie said...

The portraits are amazing!

laughing mommy said...

Lovely! I'm inspired to get a family portrait done.

Tamara said...

What a beautiful family picture. I love family portraits. Not the taking part, just the results. What a wonderful memory you have now!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Fabulous photos! We really need to get a family photo done ... sometime in the next couple of years :) !!

The picture of your two little girls is overly preciuos!

Wild Squirrel said...

Nice photography and beautiful family! So nice, in fact, I had to visit the photographer's site and spent the next half-hour looking at more beautiful photos and wishing I lived in Alaska so I could make an appointment. Oh, and the background music on the site wasn't bad either!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Those are gorgeous photos! We've usually been good about getting them done, but I'm way late with spring photos this year. Mainly because Becca had an all out panic attack the last time I tried taking her in a studio, so I'm hesitant to even try again. At least until she's older. :)

Suzanne said...

The photos are really lovely. My kids are grown now and I can remember that photo taking day, it was horrible!

You know what? When I look back at all of our family photos which mean tons of pics, I don't even like the studio shots. The ones I really love are the candid shots of my kids blowing bubbles or with hand crafted disguises (grocery bags with eye holes cut out).... just the everyday stuff of life.

Love your blog.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

allrileyedup said...

Beautiful photos!

BlapherMJ said...

What beautiful photos! You have a beautiful family. I used to have my children's portraits done every year at Christmas, but we haven't quite made it for the past couple... It was just put back on the Must-Do List! Thanks!

Richelle said...

Those photos are beautiful! I bet you are glad you got them taken. :)

Lisa Milton said...

My sister has been on me to do it up right.

Maybe I'll make an appointment.

(Lovely shot.)

Lisa said...

Love the family photos! I haven't had a family portrait in a long time. I only have two kids, but getting nice semi-go together clothing and taking the time to go to the studio is like a trip to the dentist and I just don't want to do it!!! I keep thinking I'll get it together and go. Maybe I will after looking at your girls. They are beautiful!

Scribbit said...

Chris--you made me chuckle because funny enough the week Andrew and I were scheduled for our engagement photo I had a mountain biking accident and smashed up my face. Stitches, broken cheek, the whole thing so you're pretty much right about Murphy's Law.

Cagey said...

I hate professional photo taking, too. Every single time has been such a stressful time and ultimately, disappointing. I much prefer the random photos in our yard or the ones of them in their pajamas.

That said, there is a need for "nice" photos to send to relatives and such. Your photos came out BEAUTIFUL. This inspires much hope in me. :-)

Krista said...

That's funny-I was just on his website last night. We are coming up this summer and I wanted to get our family picture taken while we were there. Your pictures are beautiful. I hope ours turn out as well.

Magpie said...

Hmm. I've never had the urge to do that. Ever. But...

dcrmom said...

GORGEOUS photos! We need to do that.

karen said...

Both pictures are wonderful but the one of your girls almost breaks my heart - they both look so content, as if everything in the world is just right.

miriama said...

I did NOT want to have my picture taken. I truly take horrible pictures. Fact of life. But for my family's sake I gulped down my terror and did it a couple of years ago. Not bad. Then horrors I had to do it for an HGTV/Terminex photo shoot. I won 25 grand so who was I to say no? LMBO Two great pictures and my girls really love them. But no more. Really.

planetnomad said...

Those photos are great!

We don't do family photos either. You see, my husband IS a photographer, thereby proving the old adage that cobblers' children go barefoot and dr's kids are always sick and mechanics drive old beaters that constantly break down...

Marketing Mama said...

The pictures are gorgeous - and your kids will love looking back on it when they are older! :)

I just went through the same thing this week with my kiddos. It was really hard work getting them to look like the little cherubs they are (but usually with spit up and stained clothes).

Stephanie said...

Simply lovely Michelle!

Stephanie said...

Lovely photos! You have a beautiful family!

GreenishLady said...

What a beautiful family you have. It's true - a good photographer makes quite a difference in these things.

The Source said...

Your family portrait is wonderful. You have such a photogenic family.

The portrait of your girls...so sweet! There's just something about little Lillian's grin. You can tell she has a special spark to her personality. And Grace is a beautiful young lady.

Janet said...

What a beautiful family! I got a little tear myself over the two girls together. We did a family portrait just over 2 years ago when DeBoy was about 4 months old, but I haven't had decent hair since then, so I've stuck with just their birthday portraits.

wheresthebox said...

What a handsome family, and the picture of the girls together really look wonderful! We are seeing our friend who is a photographer this weekend and having our Little Guy's picture taken - it is so nice to have someone who you know is good behind the camera.

Christine said...

You truly have a beautiful family, Michelle. And the photo of your girls is not only lovely, but precious. A photo they will be sure to treasure.

Shalee said...

Girl, you have one beautiful family! And we don't have a family picture either. I really need to get to work on that some time soon... not to mention more candid shots.

The Estrogen Files said...

Me and family portraits just don't get along that well...

Your family is beautiful! We did have one taken last spring and after the little one arrives in July we may go for another one.

Maybe.

Someday.

Chief Family Officer said...

Wow, those are amazing photos - you all look so wonderful!

Funny, my parents are big believers in formal portraits but my husband and I think they're boring. Not to mention the near impossibility of getting a preschooler and a toddler to sit still, let alone smile, for a photography session. But I do sign the kids up for Picture Day at daycare (I buy just one package and have them photographed together) and it's always worth it - especially since I'm not the one who has to keep them happy and still!

I have to say, though, that your family's photos have got me wanting some of my own family. Maybe when the kids are a little bit older (and my youngest can be bribed with a reward to sit & smile).

kailani said...

What a beautiful family! If our photos came out that nice, we'd probably take them more often. ;-)

somsak said...

Beautiful pictures.

McNuggets said...

Very nice photos! You all look so relaxed and I love the colors you dressed everyone in. :-)

Enzie Shahmiri said...

The photos are beautiful and you have a real good looking family there!

I have started work on the painting and you can follow the progress here

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Is this the first Andrew picture? Looks good...

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

We've never done the portrait thing, either, but that picture of your beautiful family makes it tempting!

fullheartandhands mama said...

Those are such wonderful pictures.

I'm the same way about potraits. We've had them done before, but I've never framed them or put them in scrapbooks. I guess that tells you how good they were.

SabineM said...

It is funny I feel the same. I take thousands and thousands of candid photos of my kids......but I hate the sit down portraits. To me they always seem to fake and somber. WE only have two done in 14 years. I should do another one. I want to do it myself outdoors. I know exactly the look that I want. I am going to try it on my own first.
Having said all that, I do love your family portraits!
Gorgeous family!

Beck said...

Gorgeous photos! I have a friend who is a wonderful photographer - I should REALLy schedule a family photo SOON.

laughingatchaos said...

Oh Michelle! These are lovely! You've inspired me to get another family portrait done. We go every so often...the last one J was barely walking and now you can't keep up with him so I'm thinking it's probably time. I think for a change of pace we'll do an outdoor shot with the mountains in the background...as soon as my money tree blooms. ;)

page2 said...

Your family portrait turned out beautiful! I've seen other portraits by Stanton and he really does a great job. He did a portrait of my parents that I love.

Melissa Markham said...

What lovely pictures! And the photographer makes all the difference!