Suburban Snapshots

The 5 Stages of a Family
Photo Shoot

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Twice a year I go from being a laid-back mom with a sink full of dishes and a duvet full of socks to an all-out, Type-A, this shit is B-A-N-A-N-A-S Stepford Wife; those two times are on Anna's birthday and at Christmas.

I photograph and design Anna's party invites and our holiday card. I don't do themes, but there are special outfits and picturesque locations and the expectation that my family will humor me for just half a bleeping hour so I can get this thing shot. Sometimes I include our dogs because apparently I hate myself.

So off to my mom's we went. She's got a huge, pretty yard with acres all dressed up for fall in New England. The drive up was the last part of my plan that went smoothly.

Anna hadn't napped. We'd been running around most of the day so that by the time I'd bribed pleaded threatened convinced her to put on her picture outfit she was despondent about wearing The Godforsaken Hat. I forgot to pack my own make up and had to make do with my mom's -- she still uses the kind of eyeliner you have to soften with a match. While I was busy trying not to set my face on fire, Anna found a bag of Cheetos. When Steve pointed out that she'd caked her fingers in dayglo-orange dust, she did what any other 4 year old would do and wiped them on her new, cream colored, cable knit dress.

Once he got her cleaned up and I called MENSA to see about preschool enrollment, I handed the camera to my mom and we headed outside. I anticipated a quick, reasonable session. Here instead are the 5 Stages of a Family Photo Shoot:

Stage 1: Vogueing

Stage 2: Godforsaken Hat tossing

Stage 3: Impromptu choreography

Stage 4: Resignation

Stage 5: Amazement that something this beautiful could possibly be mine

But shit you guys, I've got a long night of Photoshop ahead of me.

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