Two years have passed since our last round of family pictures, and we’ve added another little nugget to the mix, so it was time for another go. I’m always a little surprised at how stressful it is to get things in order for family pictures—choosing colors that will flatter everyone and complement our house colors, finding individual pieces for everyone’s outfits that are a good mix of colors/pattern/texture (without spending a fortune to pull them together), trying to get naptimes planned out exaaaaactly right so everyone will be well-rested and happy for picture time (which never works, by the way—someone is always grouchy during picture time, and I’m beginning to think it is simply a law of nature/God’s will), praying that no one wakes up with a Vesuvius zit pulsing on the tip of their nose, praying to the hair and makeup gods that everything will look top-notch on this Very Important Day.
We headed to the American Fork amphitheater for our pictures, taken by our good friend Erica (Erica Jessop Photography). We became friends when our husbands were going through chiropractic school at the same time, and we took advantage of their recent trip down to Utah to get some family photos taken. She’s always taken our family pictures for us, so it’s nice to keep the tradition going. She has earned Exclusive Brown Family Photographer status (quite the coveted position) (because we are such a joy to work with).
A major perk of being friends with your photographer is feeling way less awkward about getting your pictures taken. I usually feel kind of weird and self-conscious about photos, thinking too hard about how I’m sitting or standing or how my face looks or is this a normal smile? It is not entirely unlike Liz Lemon shooting her Dealbreaker promo (<—that link will take you to THE worst quality video of all time, but I laughed anyway) (“Smile! With your mouth! Remember waving?!” Just call me Liz.)
But when the person behind the camera is a great, long-time friend who has seen you in every possible state of being and all sorts of ridiculous and for some reason decided she likes you anyway, I don’t worry as much about making a fool of myself. Thumbs up.
During our last round of family pictures, Forrest was an absolute mess. I swear to you, I remember nothing but whining and crying from him the entire time, but somehow we ended up with photo after photo of him looking sweet and happy anyway. I don’t know how Erica does it (my best guess: photoshopping frowns upside down to look like smiles), but one way or another, she makes grumpy children look pleasant. This time, it was Darcy’s turn to be miserable. She completely skipped her afternoon nap (why Darcy, WHYYYYYY on picture day OF ALL DAYS?!) and was none too pleased about being awake and out of the house for pictures.
She was NOT happy. But she looks like she was, so who cares. It is apparently an impossible dream to have all family members present and happy for pictures, so I guess I will gladly settle for the appearance of all family members being happy for pictures. No one has to know it is all a façade.
Forrest was, as usual, a goofy little ham. He seems to enjoy having his picture taken at the moment, which we absolutely exploited on picture day.
Just a little baffled by our instructions to put his hands in his pockets for this one. But hey, one out of two isn’t a terrible success rate.
He was definitely losing patience by the end of the night, but we got plenty of adorable shots of him, and I guess I can’t blame a 3-year old for growing weary of shot after shot after shot after shot after shot.
This romantic moment, by the way? Unstaged. No one told him to kiss me. This child’s cheese factor is through the roof. He knows veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrry well by now exactly what people will laugh at and think is adorable and hilarious, and he fancies himself quite the entertainer. I kind of worry a little about how he’ll act in school when the time comes. His teachers are in for quite a treat. I’d better start saving my pennies for really good teacher appreciation gifts for those poor souls.
And while we’re on the topic of people growing weary of photo night, shall we talk uncooperative husbands?
Jeff hates family picture day. Hates it. There is so much whining and complaining in the weeks leading up to it, but here’s a Pro Tip for you: dissuade husbands from future complaints on photo day by breaking down in tears during a family photo session. He complained so much about my insistence on getting pictures done a few years ago that I started crying (either on our way to get the pictures done or during the shoot, I can’t remember now). He claims to have no recollection of this and insists it never happened, but either way, he has toned down the whining since that little incident. Really, I ought to start a marriage advice column. Send your questions for my guaranteed successful answers! (Spoiler alert: almost every answer is bound to involve crying.) (It works.) Just look at that guy. So happy. So in love. So easily persuaded by hormonal and dramatic female tears. (I solemnly swear to use my power only for good.)
All right, that’s enough, I suppose. You’re probably sick to death of looking at our faces. Thank you to Erica for our beautiful pictures (for which we paid, by the way, this is not in any way sponsored, but I do love her lots).
In case anyone’s interested, here are our outfit details:
Dress: Downeast // Necklace: ebay // Shoes: c/o Sole Society
Shirt: Gordmans // Pants: Burlington Coat Factory // Shoes: Walmart
Sweater and Pants: H&M // Shoes: Payless // Belt: Burlington Coat Factory
Pants: Old Navy // Shirt: Kid to Kid (Osh Kosh) // Headband: made by me // Bow: Kid to Kid // Sandals: thrifted