Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trials and Tribulations of Picture Taking

Anyone who is a parent to more than one child knows how difficult it is to capture that perfect picture. Of all of them. Together. One on their own is hard enough, but when you throw three of them into the mix, well - one will blink, two will smile, one will move, one will crack up, the other two won't smile, one will look in the opposite direction, two will look in separate directions, all three will be looking at anything other than the camera - you get my point. Or need I say more?

First there are the test shots of the test shots. Aaaannd...she's looking at the wrong camera.

(photo by Dorothy Z. and her Nikon D40)

Here Boy-Child#1 cooperates while his brother and sister are too busy watching their crazy mother try to coax an authentic smile from them. [we won't say the mother's name out loud but it rhymes with footsie] All parents know that at some point in your career raising small children you will be required to act a fool IN PUBLIC on more than one occasion. And the antics are limitless. And while Girl-Child thinks her mother is a riot; it's clear that Boy-Child#2 thinks she's ridiculous and should knock it off.

(photo by Dorothy Z.)

Sigh. Girl-Child just can't let it go.

(photo by Dorothy Z.)

Even though I really love how Boy-Child#2 is looking at his sister, he's not - ya know - looking at the camera.

(photo by Dorothy Z.)

Here someone was caught in a blink and someone else wants you all to know that she lost a tooth.

(photo by Dorothy Z.)

Better. A little oddly spaced and a My Little Pony happy meal toy has been smuggled in, but anytime all three sets of eyes are looking in the same direction and everyone is smiling it's a possibility.

(photo by Dorothy Z.)

Clearly they weren't ready. Boy-Child#1 ponders the meaning of life. Girl-Child looks like she just heard a Werewolf howl and might have to pee a little bit, and Boy-Child#2 does look a little constipated. But happy about it.

(photo by Mr. Farklepants)

Boys? You're great! Girl? WTH? And is it just me or has Boy-Child#2 nailed the Sears Catalog pose? Again, too far apart but at this point we'd been at it a while.

(photo by Mr. Farklepants and his Canon EOS 40D)

We have a winner! Smiles? Check. Looking at camera? Check. Proper subject placement? Good enough check. No one fell in the water? Check. [No, seriously, we put them right on the edge. On a downward slope. Cause we're smart like that. And when I say we I mean: Mr. Farklepants]

(photo by Dorothy Z.)


There were over one hundred shots and trust me, although there were a few to choose from, this was the best one. Join us again [date to be determined] for another installment of the Nikon v Canon wars. Where there is always bloodshed. And tears. And hurled insults. And memory card theft.

P.s. Yes, Jason, we were in your neighborhood and you'll be happy to know that it is a very popular location for picture taking. We like totally had to wait our turn. And about the parking...

42 comments:

OHmommy said...

Her smile is sooooo sweat. I can't wait for my son to lose his teeth. Im going to take a gazillion pictures.

Karen said...

We just did the same thing on Sunday, but since my husband wants it to be a shot of the whole family, we have to involve my parents in the pain of taking photos of small children.
So there we are outside in the cold without coats (am I a genius or what?!)so we can get a family shot in front of our large pine tree.
The good news is that the cold temp (25 degrees) was a good motivator. "Kids, please look at Grandpa & give him a nice smile so that Mommy will let you go back inside the house!"

calicobebop said...

Props for even trying to get them all posing at the same time. I'd have given up and gone for drinks. The photos are great!

LuckyMe said...

You nailed it! Thank God for digital so we can take a hundred pictures. I like the story that emerges from the miscellaneous shots, though.

Jen on the Edge said...

All that effort was worth it, because the final photo is just fabulous!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

If you think it's hard now, just wait 5 years. Boy Child #1 will just get in the car and drive away. No joke.

MamaMo said...

It appears ALL the effort was worth it - gorgeous photo!

hokgardner said...

Those pictures are great. We're about to go through the same process, but with four kids. The 8-year-old has one very loose tooth hanging down in the middle of her mouth and looks like a pirate. The 6-year-old can only smile with her eyes closed, and the two-year-old has a huge bruise right in the middle of his forehead. The 9-week-old is likely to be the only one who cooperates, and that's because she'll sleep the whole time.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Last weekend, I took about 120 pics of my girls (4 & almost 3) with my new nephew (9 weeks). Not one even close to being good.

Damn kids.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's good to know that it's not just my family who has "issues" with good photos. And close proximity to water for said photos. And smuggled in toys.

Stephanie said...

Very cute pictures! And don't worry, I was in the middle of a CROWDED studio shaking my butt to make my two kids laugh. I had never been more humiliated. It might have been worth it if they had actually smiled, but they just looked at me like I was an idiot. KIDS!

Burgh Baby said...

Reason #8121 to stop at one kid--family photos are challenging enough now with the grumpy husband, child who only looks at a camera after 30 minutes of trickery and tom-foolery, and the two whackjob dogs.

derfina said...

Boychild #2 may have a career in modeling! They are all adorable!

Lisa..... said...

And throw in two of three wearing glasses...even when you get a great shot the reflection of the sun on the glasses can ruin it. I did that a few weeks back and it happened to be when SoCal was on fire. It was not a happy day.

Lisa Milton said...

It is such a pain, I know. And then my mom wants a great picture of everyone for her picture.

Yes, all my family and my sister's and my great-Grandma.

It's the seventh circle of hell, I tell you.

Ack.

This Mom said...

Okay seriously if you think 3 is hard just try FIVE.

Yep let me say that again FIVE. THat is why we are not taking a picture this year. Baby is only 11 months so I am waiting til she is a little bigger to try to get a photo of all of them.

Yours turned out great this year.

Anonymous said...

Wait. What? It doesn't get easier as they get older???!!!??? This is not good news to hear. My kids are 7, 5, and 3 and we didn't attempt it this year. Luckily for us, we have a professional photog in the family who did a session for us back in the summer. There was a head-shots only pic of the 3 kids, that we turned into black/white to use for the Christmas card. Oy! I thought it would get easier once the youngest is past age 5...

Manic Mommy said...

Forget Canon vs. Nikon, just thank God for digital so you can just take a million and hope one is print-worthy.

That last one is so good.

I totally wimped out and used three different pictures from summer vacation.

kellyg said...

We inflicted our picture pain on the lovely people at Sears. My 3.5 yo was NOT happy at all. One of my favorite pictures from the sitting is her screaming, me with a totally fed up look on my face, my husband looking very resigned and my 6 yo son actually following directions with a big smile on his face. It wasn't the one I picked for the holiday cards, however.

Bunny Bunster said...

As the youngest of four, I have to admit that there are NO baby pictures of me anywhere to be found. Seriously!! Now I know why!!

Martha said...

Nice pictures, beautiful family and Thanks for the Smile!
Did your kids have to kneel in the Coot poop or have they all been ah, ahem, Exterminated by the righteous homeowner's association?

Kathy P said...

I think you'd have better luck if you coordinated their clothing - and their clothes are too big for them and that is making them look messy!

More, More, More said...

OMG I so feel your pain - my step daughter was in from CA over the summer so the pressure was on. I took 50 photos and I tossed out all but one of them! I got one good one - but I guess that's all I needed! Your kids are cute - I like what you ended up with!

dorothy said...

The CLOTHES and COLORS were perfect! Wtf?

Jennifer H said...

Cracked up at the werewolf, might have to pee, shot.

We have a lovely waterfall thingie in our neighborhood where you can find people dressed in jeans and matching black or white shirts every single weekend during November and December.

Karen said...

I had so many lovely ones to choose from I put a whole slide show of them on my blog. And I only have 2 kids! At least it makes for funny posts and lots of empathetic comments, right?

Baby Favorite said...

I have found that bribing them with toys ("FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I will give you a Bratz doll if you JUST SMILE!" -- said in my best Bree VanDeKamp voice), they seem to cooperate beautifully.

I have also found that the Olan Mills folks give me strange looks when I shriek at my children with those types of bribes.

To that I say: What-EVA. At least we get beautiful portraits.

Yeah, yeah... I know; the kids probably suffer some type of psychological damage. But the pictures? DUDE. They totally rock.

Jaci said...

Ha! I love the smuggled My Little Pony Happy Meal toy.

Dude, how come the Happy Meal toys now are awesome? I feel bad throwing them out. (Yeah, I throw them in the trash on my monthly Grand Cleaning day. Can't stand little bits of junk.) When I was little, all I got was something really stupid like a jacked up paper doll. Now they hand out My Little Ponies like nothing.

Undomestic Diva said...

CANON. The line has been drawn in the virtual sand.

JoeinVegas said...

Ah, they all look good. Do a montage.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

That's why I had my photographer friend come to my house and take my boyz outside for Christmas pictures while I waited inside with a glass of wine.

Kimmylyn said...

I took my kids pictures this weekend.. I literally took about 432 pictures and ended up with ONE semi decent one..

Love her little smile with the missing tooth!

georgie said...

Those pix are PRECIOUS!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oh, how Tootsie makes me smile. Even with my nearly missing toe. But I do run on about that, don't I?

Anyway, I have three kids too. Girls. I do not have even ONE photo, not one, in all these years of all three together that is decent. And usually? One of them has red eyes. Not from the flash. From crying. 'Cause I was yelling at her.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oh Frick.

I just read Jenn's comment.

Yes, that totally happens when they're old enough to drive.

Totally.

Mr. Farklepants said...

Canon = Slightly higher picture quality (less sensor noise) at a similar price level.

Nikon = Much more user friendly, easy to use, and easy to take decent photos without fiddling with a bunch of confusing settings.

Result: $400 Nikon D40 results in pictures subjectively equal to or better than $1500 Canon 40D. The difference you see in our photos is the difference in how we process them in Photoshop (dorth likes contrast obviously).

If I wanted to buy a camera right now just to be able to be able to easily take high quality family photos I must admit I would buy Nikon D40 or D60. I have seen incredible photos come out of those cameras.

I do love my Canon and it has some clear advantages over the less expensive Nikon, but none of them come into play during a family photo shoot such as this.

Mrs. G. said...

Your kids are gorgeous!

JCK said...

I gave up this year. I used a Halloween picture and an individual picture of each. I think it works...

Serial Mommy said...

i completely understand about all of that!! i raise your three kids by adding a 4th, one of which is TWO and hates being told to SIT still for any amount of time, an almost 10 year old boy who thinks he knows all and HATES to be told to sit nicely with his SCREAMING younger brother, a 6 year old girl who can't smile nice if her life depended on it, and an 11 year old girl with a SERIOUS case of the giggles...yeah...you tend to go with "the best of the bunch" and leave it at that...hehe...

MJ said...

I personally think that children attend seminars while outside of parents' presence on how to thwart us on each and every attempt in photography, dinner table manners, etc. There's just too much commonality to it all. Happy belated Christmas!

just jamie said...

Dude (I can call you "dude" right?) -- you nailed it!

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