Well, that was torture...

What a night.
Tonight was the big night.
It was our once-every-three-years family portrait night at church.
Fun. Fun. Fun.

I freely admit to an attitude problem regarding formal family portraits.
I am not a fan of over-priced-stuffy-unrealistic-impersonal family portraits.
Yeah. Yeah.
I know. It's like a family tradition thing.
I still hate 'em.

Do you know how many times we are all clean, happy, smiling, scar-free, clean-shaven, with hair appropriately arranged and willing to be *that* close without somebody threatening bodily harm while all dressed in unrumpled clean pressed complimentary-colored shirts in one year?

Exactly twice.
In a good year.

Give me a roll of film shot in the backyard on a pretty day any day!

So yeah, we did it to be included in the church directory.
Olan Mills.
Free 8x10.
Free directory.

I goofed off and waited almost too late to make our appointment and we ended up with the very last appointment on the very last day of portraits...9 pm tonight.

Joal pressed the boys matching stiped shirts (yes, the man irons better than me) and we dragged our crew down to Franklin for our 9PM appointment. The boys did ok thru the six minute stash-n-shoot session with the camera guy who looked suspiciously like that guy thatused to be Conan O'Brien's sidekick...can't remember his name...


Joal took the boys to wander the halls of the church while I waited to view, select and possibly purchase, even tho this over-priced-stuffy-unrealistic-impersonal photo shoot/cattle call that looks like it took exactly 6 minutes to produce goes against every fiber of my scrapbooker being...

So the salesman guy comes to get us...he calls our name and I stand up. He asks where everyone went. I tell him Dad is entertaining the boys while I make our selections.

"I need everyone in the photo present for the showing." he announces.

At first, I thought he was joking. I laughed. He didn't. Apparently he wasn't joking.

"Where are they?" he asks again.

I realize I'm going to have to be firm. "I'm the moma and I will be making this decision." I say. "You can trust me. You don't want them all in this little room."

Reluctantly, he agreed. Which was a very wise choice on his part.

Seriously. It's after 9pm and I have 2 sons who are amped up because it is way past their bedtime and a husband who has been on his feet since 5 am and we are 30 minutes from home. I can assure you that if they are forced to join us in that little bitty room, you will not be making any commission on my photos tonight! Do I need to show my "Scrapbooker Expert" card, so you'll know I am qualified to make this choice?

Fifteen minutes and a small order of maybe-decent photos later, I was on my way. The photos...I guess they'll do. The directory shot was acceptable. The grandparents will like it. The only shot I asked to have taken--the one of Joal and I--was of course, the one I was most disapointed in. The photographer had Joal seated and me sort of mushed up against his shoulder. My shirt was rumpled and it just looked awkward. No like us...

There were 2 shots of the brothers together. There faces and smiles looked good in the shots but they were arranged poorly. They were too far apart. I do realize it's difficult to arrange Julian...he can't be completely still. Grey did well but there was too much height difference to get a good photo. It could have been done better, but no in the 6 minute window.

I'm glad the night is done.
We are home and safely tucked into bed.
All is quiet.

Maybe we'll do it again in 3 years.
Or not.


noell said...

I am so with you on this one! What is it with photographers making everyone look so stiff? And I don't associate family memories with stuffy formal poses.

My father-in-law is an amatuer photographer and he always takes our family portraits. I tell him I want a casual outdoor shot and he insists that we first need to take an indoor one. Then we run out of time and just can't get to that outdoor one.

The last time I allowed this I put us all in jeans and sweaterss and told him that if we were going to be indoors, I at least wanted us barefoot so it looked casual. When I saw the proofs I found he took every shot from the waist up so it still ended up looking formal.

I finally convinced him to go out to the mountains with us and I put a couch up on a hill and we all snuggled up on that couch with the desert all around us. It was a cool idea; totally us. But one year later, he still hasn't printed them up for us.

Oh well.

Tonia said...

Oh Sarah, I feel your pain. The last church directory picture we had made was nearly 8 years ago. The entire process just wears on my nerves and I'm never happy with the results. Like you, I cherish the photos of our everyday lives (backyard in play clothes and "not so perfect" hair).
By the way, Conan's sidekick's name is/was Andy Richter.
Have a great weekend.

Sarah said...

That's it. Andy Richter. Thanks.

Michele said...

Totally hilarious - I almost laughed out loud at work reading this. That is such an accurate description. Excellent blog!