How to Take Rockin’ Family Photos

Oct 18 2011

I give good Peek-a-Boo.  All the kids say so.

And you only think that’s not an important life skill if you’ve never had to make a kid smile for a camera.  Can I get an “amen” from all the rockin’ peek-a-booers out there?  AMEN!

(It’s probably bad form to give my own rockin’ self an “amen,” but you know what? Some days, backing ourselves up is all we’ve got, ladies. I’m gonna start a trend. That way, I won’t be the only mama walking around the grocery store, mumbling to myself, and following up periodically with a hearty, “AMEN!” Join me, won’t you?)

Sure, I might take the peek-a-booing a little too far.  Like, in my little kids heyday, I made more than one unsuspecting photographer jump.  What can I say?  The depth of my Peek is only matched by the breadth of my Boo.  But I sacrifice. For the children.

There’s that one time, in 2001, when I made Peek-a-Boo into a marching song.  There might or might not have been some dance choreography involved, but, either way, the lyrics were very, very strong.

Peek-a-boo
Peek-peek-a-boo-a-boo
Oh, peek! A-boo!
Peek-peek-a-boo-a-boo

Yep; I’m no stranger to selling my dignity for a smile.  Besides, I’m not the one who ends up on film.  At the end of the day, the only thing on the permanent record is my kid grinning like a loon.  I guess that makes me an “end justifies the means” kind of a girl.

Saturday was my boys’ birthday.  So, of COURSE, we subjected them to an impromptu photo shoot.

The role of photographer was played by yours truly.  Which is just part of the ongoing mom strategy to not have to look through 200 photos later and say, “Does my butt really look like that?” and have the kids say, “No way, Mom! That Picture Butt looks way smaller than your Giant Real Butt.”  In short, staying behind the camera is a good strategy that serves me well.

The role of super-expensive, high-end camera was played by my phone.

But even with my phone’s crazy-good method-acting skills, I had a hard time getting the birthday smiles on record. Especially both boys at once.

Maybe I shouldn’t have let that alien eat Cael’s face during cake time.  (Psst… check out our friend Kate at The Boringest Birthday Party of All Time… teehee!  This picture?  TOTALLY worth it.)

Maybe my boys were just distracted by pretty girls.

“Hey, there.  Come here often?  You know, they call me Superman.  Just sayin’ there’s prob’ly a reason, that’s all.”

Maybe my boys just had enough of their mama interrupting their quality breathing-on-pretty-girls time.

“Geez, Mom! Lay off the photos, would ya?”

My bad, Cai.  I didn’t mean to get in the way.

But, really.  All a mama of twins wants on the anniversary of the day she birthed them is one smiling pic.  Just ONE!

Or TWO.

Ah ha!  I’ve got ’em now!

Clickety clickety.  Click click click.

I was shooting away, greedily capturing every single backlit smile I could get.  And the smiles went on and on ’til I was curious.  SO curious.  ‘Cause I hadn’t busted out the peek-a-boo moves even one single time.  What was making them smile like loons?

Then I heard the shuffling behind me.  And I knew my dad had jumped in to get me that photo.  He was quietly being a total dork, an utter goof… and he was being sneaky so I wouldn’t know, ’cause that made my boys laugh even harder.

And do you know how to properly repay kindness like that?

You hit that little button on your phone that lets you turn the camera around to face YOU. But you do it silently, furtively, stealthily.  And then you pretend you’re still taking pictures of your boys, when, in fact, you’re taking pics pointing backwards, like this:

Hehehehe.

Have you ever met Ernie?

Yeah.  I’m laughing like him right this second.

Thanks, Dad.  With or without the peek-a-boo song, you’re the best.

………

P.S.  Speaking of pictures, you know how you beg to be in just one photo with your birthday boys and some of their cousins, and then you make sure you’re sitting down so your butt doesn’t accidentally leap into the frame along with, oh, a double chin or two… only to have the boys you birthed refuse to smile?

Yep.  Me, too.

And then you know how you look at that picture, and you suddenly don’t care that they’re not smiling because that dark t-shirt TOTALLY hid your extra around-the-middle roll, so you’re just ecstatic and, even though you’re in your jammies without make-up, it’s the best picture EVER?

Yep.  Me, too.

That is all.