I am real tree girl through and through. I have always grown up with real Christmas trees, usually something like a Douglas Fir. The smells and the tradition of cutting down a fir tree have a special place in my heart and in my childhood memories.
Last year, we had a tough time finding a tree, it was expensive, the u-cut trees were sold out early, and our tree lost a lot of needles early on. My husband has been begging me to get an artificial tree for years, and so after Christmas last year, I caved. We bought a beautiful artificial tree, and this year we used it for the first time. And I don't hate it. In fact, I bought a second one for the family room. And some pine scented spray to make it seem somewhat real.
I still wanted the tree farm experience (and photos ;) ), so we loaded up the kids the weekend after we had our third baby and headed to the tree farm. We had the whole tree farm to ourselves, and the owners were gracious enough to just let us play among the trees. It's one of my favorite Christmas memories we've made with the kids. We played hide-and-seek, my oldest made me take a photo of her with every tree that was her height, and we started the tradition of buying a potted pine tree to put outside and to plant in our yard after Christmas.
I'm a stickler for traditions, but sometimes when old traditions are broken, beautiful new traditions are made.
I've always wanted family photos in a field of tall grass, and we finally made it happen. In our own backyard. This year we decided not to have the farmers plant corn or soybeans and just let it go, plowing a path and planting grass along it. I can't wait to add some wildflowers next year.
One of the problems with being a photographer is that I always want to take our own photos because my style is most like what I would want and have a vision in my head of what it should be, but it is near impossible to take self portraits and get the kids to look at the camera, let alone smile, while running back and forth between family and tripod, or pressing the shutter without looking like you're pressing the shutter. I knew I wanted maternity photos, but I am to the point in my pregnancy where I really, REALLY don't want my photo taken. I feel so blessed to have yet another opportunity to carry another beautiful life in my body, but I'm also getting a lot of comments like "How far along are you?" and when I say "7 weeks," they say "oooooohhhh!" as though they thought I was delivering the baby tomorrow.
But I bit the bullet, coordinated outfits, raced to get everyone ready, set up the shot and had my sister....who is a lifesaver, by the way....press the shutter, in addition to helping corral my kids, entertain them, soothe them, even dress them.
My point is, moms generally want photos of their family, and they of course want to be in the photos, but many times they have all kinds of excuses for putting it off. I'll do it when I'm thinner. I'll do it next year. I'll do it when we're not so busy or when Junior's braces come off. Trust me, that day never comes or you forget, and you instead regret not capturing that time with your family because it's too late and your kids are grown. And your kids want photos with you in them, just as they remember you.
So just do it. Although I don't love how big I look, I am absolutely in love with these shots and am so glad we did them. It was no easy feat. My oldest had a major meltdown just 20 minutes before, refusing to put clothes on and screaming, crying, and yelling, all while the sun was setting quickly. I did not think it would happen. I was stressed. I know how you feel when your kids don't cooperate, really I do. You feel like you're unsure if we got even one good shot. And I as your photographer can assure you that there have been only 1 or 2 times ever when I felt like we didn't get a good shot. Trust me, we got the shot you wanted.
So do it. Just book those photos, deal with the madness of breakdowns from your kids who don't want to wear "that outfit," or a husband who hates having his photo taken, and bask in not regretting another year without family photos.
Kelly, my superstar sister!
You guys, we have been planning this photo for over a year, so I know how hard it is to get family photos, but it is soooo worth it.
I am the oldest of 8 kids ages 14-34 years old, and with families of our own, crazy schedules all on different shifts and different days, it is not easy to coordinate a photo shoot for 25 people. But we did it. Some of my siblings managed to ask off work. It was my brother and sister-in-law's anniversary, so they postponed their anniversary plans until after the shoot. There was a lot of rearranging, but I am so grateful everyone made it work. My brother lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada, and will be a missionary in South Africa, so I was dead set that this was happening, even though baby (well, her face anyway) isn't in the photo. And I'm so grateful to my sister-in-law's generous parents who took time to show up and make the kids laugh and press the shutter so I could be in the pic too. I will treasure these forever. ♥
Epic grandkid photo fail, but honestly I love it. Ha ha!
Yes, my children do look like Civil War soldiers in posed photographs.
My nephew might need a redo. It was not his day. ;)
Wife, Mommy, Vintage Lover, Coffee Addict, Photography Junkie