The Anatomy Of A Photo Shoot With My Kids

In case you thought my blog was in danger of turning into just pretty pictures and lifestyle crap, I present the anatomy of a photo shoot with my kids.

The plan: A relaxing afternoon of hiking and playing at a local state beach, followed by a few shots of the kids being adorable together as the sun sets.

The reality: Leave the house at 5 pm as the sun is already setting. Forget memory card. Find 4 GB memory card in side pocket of camera bag. Unbuckle Caroline to discover she found part of a cookie in her car seat and is COVERED in red frosting. Clean up Caroline, get kids out of car, shout at them to stop running away stop running away STOP YOU JUST RAN THROUGH A PARKING LOT GOD HELP ME.

kids at bluff point

The plan: Beautiful shots in the golden light on an abandoned beach.

The reality: Turns out I’m not the only genius who likes the beach at sunset, so there are people all over the place.

kids at bluff point

You do not belong on my living room wall, lady smoking on the rocks.

The plan: Smiling children.

The reality: Evan, look at me. Evan. Evan. Evan. EVAN. Smile. SMILE. Look at me WITH YOUR EYES.

kids at bluff point

The plan: Reflection shots right at the edge of the water.

The reality: No Caroline, don’t get wet. No, honey, it’s all muddy, stay away from the edge. It’s muddy! Caroline. Caroline. CAROLINE.

kids at bluff point

The plan: Photo of the kids standing on the path.

The reality: Hey, kids, the path is kind of rocky, why don’t you slow down. Kids. Guys. GUYS STOP RUNNING IT’S DANGEROUS COME BACK HERE.

kids at bluff point

The plan: Photos of the kids throwing rocks, something they had been doing for 10 minutes.

The reality: Guys, stop picking up the seaweed. Guys, no, stop playing with the seaweed. Look at all the rocks, throw the rocks! GUYS.

kids at bluff point

No, seriously, GUYS. It’s just drifting back to shore, there’s no point. It’s wet and dirty. Stop.

kids at bluff point

EVAN AND CAROLINE. STOP. THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL. Ok, fine, whatever, I’m not responsi-

kids at bluff point


The plan: One shot of the kids standing next to each other, looking at the camera.


kids at bluff point

kids at bluff point

kids at bluff point

kids at bluff point

Alright, if you’re not going to listen I guess hugging is OK.

The plan: It’s only going to be 30 minutes, how dirty can they get?

The reality: Filthy, filthy children.

kids at bluff point

Wrap up: 400 photos taken in 30 minutes. 50 deleted on the camera, 50 more deleted at home once I see how out of focus they are. 200 like the ones above, another 60 that are OK but not worth it. 40 left to resize and edit, 20 of those are worth putting on Facebook, 10 are nice enough for the blog.

Total time invested: 4 hours.

Total energy invested: ALL OF IT.

Total sanity invested: Ask me after I finish this bottle of wine.

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26 Responses to “The Anatomy Of A Photo Shoot With My Kids”

  1. HAHAHA LOVE IT! The hugging photo really makes it all worth it though!

  2. raincheckmom says:

    Well, I’m heading off to work with a chuckle and huge smile on my face. The picture of Evan trying to smile…priceless!

  3. Shari says:

    Oh, but how ADORABLE is that picture of them hugging?!

  4. Haha. ha. ha ha.

    I can only say this because my kids are basically the same ages. Even the professional photographers could hardly get pictures of my kids not moving. (At least David. Libbie thinks she’s a model.)

  5. Erin says:

    Too cute! When you take pictures of other people’s kids they usually listen to you better than your own kids do. And their mom is there to do all the wrangling. You just get to do the clicking.

  6. MommaExpat says:

    Honestly I giggled at one point and the next photo was of poor Caroline! Bwah ha, loved this post… so real…. Photos of HJ are a lot of me saying his name over, and over, and over….

  7. Michelle says:

    Trying to get pictures of multiple kids facing the camera at the same time is like trying to get a photo of Bigfoot.

  8. That hugging photo is amazing. :) I love this post. definitely pinning.

  9. Love the pics. Candid REAL photos are so important!

  10. LOVE this post! Just goes to show that for every picture of beautiful, smiling, angelic looking children you see on blogs, it took 200 rejected photos to get to that moment.

    Thanks for the laugh and making us mortals feel better about our own missed photo opps!

  11. barbra says:

    Thanks for the giggle this morning! So funny! Love the one of drenched Caroline. I had Knox’s photos taken yesterday and it didn’t go well. While he didn’t cry, he was scowling and would not stop moving. He single handedly dismantled the photographers set in two seconds and only smiled or giggled when something was falling or being thrown or when he attacked the really expensive camera stand set up thingy. After all that, I did end up with one amazing shot of him kissing my cheek and everything was totally worth it.

  12. Audrey says:

    OMG, ain’t that the truth!

  13. Lashawn says:

    Lol!!!! This is me when trying to get good photos of my son! Love the last one of them hugging.

  14. Vivien says:

    Oh my, they are too cute!!! And I just laughed really hard at the picture of your daughter all wet :-)

  15. Jessica says:

    I smiled all the way through this because this is SO my life. We always have a grand plan and it never works. We spent this past weekend on Lake Michigan and the first night we were there we rolled up the kids pantlegs and tried to get some shots of them on the shore. My son decided to hold his pants up even more so he looked like Ed Grimley wearing knickers. Not cute.

  16. Veronica says:

    Hahah loved this post. Shared it but your tweet button didnt @ you. Youll find in about six months that you take a lot less shots each time : ) I love the pictures. These memories kick ass. Oh and the hugging. Oh kids hugging gets me every time.

    (OH! I read something about never delete pictures in camera something about the memory card but i dont know how true that is but it scared me butim afraid of everything, even worms)

  17. Mommy Boots says:

    Okay. I’m sorry. This made me laugh my ass off.

  18. Elaine A. says:

    Yep, yep and yep. I have been contemplating this elaborate photo shoot for K’s 3rd birthday this week but I think it would be much better if I just took my camera with us while we are out somewhere and without any expectations.

    This post is great because it’s REAL and because we all know how this goes!! Ha ha! And the pics are extremely cute! Great job, Momma! ;D

  19. This MIGHT be my most favorite post that you have ever done. I love the photo of Caroline soaking wet, she looks MAD! :) But still SO cute. It’s definitely not easy getting the kids to look/cooperate/BE at the same time. Love this.

  20. Satakieli says:

    Oh my goodness you have the most adorable children!

    Actually laughing out loud at the “I told you so” photo.

  21. So I just laughed out loud. Your commentary is hilarious. As is the photo of drenched, pissed Caroline. LOVE THIS.

  22. jen_schoeph says:

    these are the memories you want. this is your everyday. it will mean so much more to you later and when e & c look at these pictures. and when they have kids they will know that all those stories you & e tell won’t be just exaggerated! i do understand wanting a posed picture but keep clickin’ and you’ll get it when you least expect it. and you won’t even realize you got it until you see it later when going through all that you have.

  23. Dorothy M says:

    Ahh Haaaaa!!!!! I LOVE this post! I go through this all of the time, I can’t imagine doing it with two kids.

  24. Alena says:

    Laughing so hard ther is no noise at the picture of Caroline with the wet head. HA HA HA HA HA. I LOVE HER SO HARD.

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