The Family Photo Fiasco

Every year, as the summer gives way to fall, I start getting a little anxious thinking about our Christmas cards. I know, it’s a really stupid thing to fret about, but I can’t help it. I enjoy sending cards out. Plus, for the friends and family who don’t have Facebook or regular access to my blog, it just might be the only update or piece of correspondence they receive from us during the year.

As much I love writing letters and keeping up with the people I love, let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day and with two very active kids, a husband, a dog, a full-time job, a couple of unfinished writing projects, I’m pretty much tapped out when it comes to sitting down and writing letters. Hell, even my epic emails have fallen by the wayside in recent years.

I have several local photographer friends who take really beautiful photos, the type I would definitely love to see hanging on my wall. But here’s the thing, I hate having my photo taken…like, seriously hate it. And besides that, I guess I must like torturing myself and my family as I default to setting my camera on a tripod and trying to take our own family photos because, let’s face it, what’s more fun than trying to herd your hyper husband, silly daughter, teething infant, and food-whoring hound all together long enough to shoot enough photos where you can work your Photoshop magic to swap out the strange expressions and closed eyes and cobble together something to throw on a Christmas card.

We lucked out the year Cadence was born. We’d run up to Phoenix to scout out a location where I was going to shoot another family’s photos and decided to just haul Electra along and make a day of it. We found a bench to sit on. I put the camera on a tripod and set the timer (this was before I bought a wireless remote). Then I ran back over to grab a seat next to Stevie and situate Cadence in my lap.

By some strange luck, a freakin’ peacock suddenly meandered by, just behind my camera, which made Electra sit straight up and take notice. The shutter clicked a split second before she started pulling on her collar and trying to give chase.

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And that photo was our only real family photo right up until last Christmas.

Sure we had a couple other cute shots, just Stevie and Cadence and me. But Electra…she just wouldn’t cooperate.

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Oh we tried several times over the years to get all of us in another photo. My favorite was the time we tried to get a quick shot (not even anything real formal) out on the porch swing. This time, I was sure it was going to work. It was a beautiful spring day. I’d just gotten the new wireless remote, which would completely eliminate me having to run back and forth between my camera and my family. All was going well, we were smiling and I was just beginning to press down on the remote button when a rabbit suddenly tore out of the bushes behind us and Electra made a wild leap and tried to jump right over my head while Stevie flashed a classic Stevie grin at the camera and Cadence stared at our howling hound with a look of horror on her face.

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Yeah, that one ended up on our Christmas card that year. I mean, come on, nothing says The Romanos like a crazy photo on a card.

Last year, we had fun using our Christmas cards to announce Henry’s impending arrival…

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And this year, well this year I really wanted to get a new photo taken, and even tried to find a little space in the calendar to reach out to one of my photog-a-friends and see if we just might be able to work in time for a session.

No such luck.

And so, down to the wire and wanting to get something in the mail this year, we turned to the old tripod and remote once again and gave it our best shot. We crowded in the family room since our trusty ol’ Nebraska weather finally decided to dump a whole mess of winter on us. Forty minutes, three dozen tries, two Photoshop head swaps, and one wheezing hound dog later and we managed to get something for the Christmas card.

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Oh, but the outtakes are too much fun…

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365 Project – Day 291 – Shameless Plug

Yeah, I said it. I had an amazing engagement and family session on Sunday and just posted a few photos on my StoriTyme Photos Blog. So, click the link or the photo below to head on over, and leave me some love it you want. Here is just one of my favorites…

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to happily ever afters.

365 Project – Day 290 – A Few of My Favorite Things…

Every time I go out on a photo shoot, I am reminded again how lucky I am to be doing something that I love so much. The only way it really gets better is when I get to spend a day photographing people that I love.

Tonight, Scott, Tammy, Katie and I headed out to shoot some family photos, and to finish up Round 2 of Katie’s senior photos. I did a sneak peek of these photos on my StoriTyme Photos Facebook page, but wanted to post them here because, well, Facebook has a way of making even the best photos look iffy.

So, tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to three of my most favorite people in the entire world. I can’t even think of a better way to spend a chilly October afternoon.

365 Project – Day 223 – We Are Family

Is it just me, or do these two look guilty?

I wish I had some funny story about how I caught them in the middle of some shenanigans, but I don’t. In all honesty, they’re just watching me set up the camera and wondering what the hell I’m doing jumping off to the side and out of the shot at the last minute.

You’d figure by now they would be used to my bizarre photography-related acrobatics.

Tonight’s mission was nothing special. I ordered a wireless remote for my camera for those situations when I want to eliminate all camera shake or perhaps even give myself the opportunity to actually be in the photo without having to sprint back and forth from the camera to the shot and risk falling on my face or  in between.  I figured tonight was as good of a time as any to test out my new toy.

So, I set up the camera on the tripod and convinced Steven and Cadence to play along. Electra was having none of it. We tried enticing her with promises of cookies and treats, but the fresh scent of a rabbit won out in the end. We managed to get some fun shots though, in spite of her absence. Here are a few of my favorites…

Today’s 365 Project is dedicated to my adorable little family, and their indulgence of my picture-taking obsession. I’m taking advantage of it as long as it lasts!