This weekend it was sunny for the first time in days, so our family went out to search for a good outdoor place to take pictures of the kids.  I love it when people have outdoor photos for their Christmas cards and we had not had a good photo shoot of the kids in months.  My husband grabbed his camera, I dressed the kids, did both of their hair, my husband restyled my son’s hair, I grabbed an extra set of clothes and a blanket, was armed with snacks and juice boxes and ran out the door.  I had a place close to home in mind but my husband had a place further away in mind, so we went to his location after all he was the one driving.

We drove down a dirt road, found the right place, unloaded the kids next to the corn field and instantly the little guy decided he wanted to be whiny.  He didn’t want his coat taken off, the tears came on, so I put his coat back on him but he was still worked up and whiny.  My daughter was ready to take pictures but she hates smiling right now.  She has created this fake smile where she completely closes her eyes and holds her mouth in a smile that looks like she is trying to pee.   My husband snapped pictures while I wrangled the kids and tried to make them both smile while looking towards the camera.  If someone was listening to us you would have heard, “Smile Please! Look at Daddy! No a real smile! Open your eyes! Sit down! Look over here!  Singing If your happy and you know it! Gross, Don’t pick that up! Please walk, OK fine, I will carry you.”

I realized that I have not had a good picture of both kids looking at the camera at the same time in months.    One will be looking at the dog while the other will have a great smile.  Then one will have a great smile and the other one will be smiling or will turn their head.   Trying to get them both focused is enough to work up a sweat, now add walking to try to find the perfect location to the mix, and you will need a nap when you are done!

After one hour of hiking down the dirt path, and taking hundreds of pictures we ended up with about five decent shots of the kids together, none that we are ready to create a Christmas card out o,f but at least decent.   Last night I was trying to retrain my daughter who has a normally beautiful smile until the camera comes out, how to smile again.     “Please don’t close your eyes, Please smile like you are saying cheese, You can keep your head upright, Look at the camera, right here.”  Someday I am sure she will smile for the camera again,  of course by that time, her little brother will probably decide he prefers a fake smile.    Maybe I should just become a Photoshop pro, take a head from one pic and a head from another and create a perfect perfect picture, until then, our Christmas card may show two kids looking in opposite directions.  Good luck with your family photos.