Sunday, July 13, 2008

The epitome of elusive: the perfect holiday photo

Julie's Criteria for THE Perfect Holiday Photo

  • Photo must include all offspring and disclude random unsupervised child.
  • Offspring must be looking in general direction of the camera.
  • Offspring must look happy, amused, even pensive. Tongues, tears, and vomit are strictly prohibited. (Vomit can be interpreted literally or metaphorically)
  • Offspring must be wearing Gap dresses in complimenting and timeless color schemes.
  • Offspring's hair should be freshly washed, combed and styled in a manner that in no way reflects typical everyday chaos.
  • Offspring's teeth should be thoroughly polished, (preferably by a professional) leaving no indication of skipped brushings or the consumption of Apple Jacks.
  • Background of photograph should be absolutely picturesque...... unlittered countryside or a pristine shabby chic blanket are acceptable backdrops. The bra-laced rocking chair, poker chip covered floor, and "textured" booger wall, however, should not be even remotely visible.
  • In addition to offspring angelically gazing in the direction of the photographer, a certain amount of sibling affection should be captured in the photo by means of arm or hand placement. Headlocks and booty smacks do not convey the desired camaraderie. 
OK, so perhaps my standards are too high. But with the exception of one or two years, countless December hours spent on "photo shoots" have eventually produced that one photo. That ever so elusive Christmas card worthy photo. 

Ella, doing her best to look pensive at one month old.

I'm sure no one even noticed Addie's toothpaste streaked sleeve.

Gwen looks more constipated than pensive, but the adorable "hands on cheeks" pose demonstrated by her sisters overruled her "poopy face."

Last year unfortunately was a photoless year, and though I probably could have used this.... failed to meet the criteria of my final Christmas card rule. The one that says the perfect picture must be captured between the dates of November 15th and January 2nd so as to provide accurate and up-to-date growth and haircut information. I know, I know, you don't have to tell me....I already know!

So last week I decided to play Fun Mommy, and neglecting all the bills to be paid and wet towels about to go moldy, I packed up the girls and a "half picnic" (you know....the kind you pack when you are out of bread....the fruit, drinks, carrot sticks....everything but the $.99 Wendy's chicken nuggets so conveniently located along your route) and headed to our favorite rock beach. Little did I know, I was about to break not one, but four self-imposed rules, and still come away with an unexpectedly priceless Christmas-card worthy photo.

I won't tell you that it was about 20 degrees cooler by the lake, which forced us to dig around the floor of our crusty mini-van, finding dirty towels and jackets to keep from freezing.
I won't tell you that we left the house so spontaneously that I'm quite sure only one child actually brushed her teeth.

I'm sure you won't notice, what with the wind practically knocking them over, that not one head of hair was styled, much less combed.

I'm  sure you won't notice that Josie is wrapped in a towel from the 80s and that Addie spilled honey mustard sauce all over her Walmart dress.

I'm sure you wouldn't suspect that I resorted to bribery, telling the girls if they smiled nicely and let me take just 4 pictures I would give them a cookie.

I absolutely LOVE this picture, captured in a mere minute, painless and unplanned, a reminder of a cold and windy 47 minutes spent at the beach with Fun Mommy. 


Sabrina said...

I love that picture too! It's very serendipitous! I still however, can't believe you have 4 little girls! I remember when the big hoopla was when you were having Addie!
I so wish i could've seen you this weekend... and the wedding was at Northland Country Club i believe? Anyway... Next time, i will for sure stop in!

The Three 22nds said...

Great photo! Amazingly, no one is whacking at each other! Or is that only boys?

I think the sisterly affection in the picture makes up for all of the other rule breaks.

The Three 22nds said...

Nice pic, good post.

The header-pic on our page is just one of 96 shots I took last year in a December shoot trying to get "the perfect" christmas card pic.

(Thank goodness for digital [delete])


Nikki said...

Very cute! I too struggle with getting that perfect shot. I can't seem to get a decent picture of more than one child...three seems impossible...I'm sure four is worse.

Kim said...


Shoot. I just realized that I never sent Christmas cards and pics last year. Oops.