In Pursuit of a Family Photo by Sharon O’Donnell
In a house with four males, it is challenging to get photos taken of them or of the family as a whole. My guys get very impatient with picture-taking, while I always tried to make it a priority until I finally gave up as they got older. It used to be when they were younger, I’d make it a point to at least get us all to the church every few years for the church member directory of family photos; without that, we’d probably never get one done. But with the advent of digital photography, the church directory photo-taking experience changed. It wasn’t a big deal anymore that people planned for, and the church actually sent out a note that many families were opting to do their own photos and email them to the church for inclusion in the directory. But I’m not that industrious. I would be, if my family members didn’t detest having their photos taken and always complain, making it an unpleasant task. Thus, over the years, we haven’t had a lot of family photos taken. There was one at the entrance to Disney World two years ago that wasn’t half bad, but other than that I think the last family photo we had done was when Jason was 4, and he is now 12. So it’s been a while.
At my niece’s wedding two years ago, I made a point of asking the photographer to take one of my family and one of my sons, but when the photos came back from the photographer, there were no such pictures. Pretty sure I didn’t dream it, but somehow the photos weren’t there. So when one of my nephews got married last month, I told my guys ahead of time that I would having the professional photographer take a photo of our family at the wedding — a forewarning of sorts. All of us would be there, all the guys would be dressed up and would have shaved, so it would be a rare opportunity.
A couple of hours before we were to leave for the wedding, my husband Kevin told our youngest, Jason to go store the tent he’d taken on a Scout camping trip. Just before that, I had told Jason to go get dressed in his suit and tie, so I wasn’t pleased to hear this command to Jason about putting up the tent. I did indeed want the tent to be stored because the thing had been draped over chairs on the front porch for the past two weeks. Yes, it’d been two weeks since the camping trip — so my point was — why all of a sudden make Jason put up the tent NOW of all times when we were trying to get ready to go to a wedding as stress-free as possible? Why not demand he do it on last weekend or yesterday instead of two hours before the wedding when he should be getting dressed to go? Just let it wait another day, please. This is the kind of male logic from my husband that I’ve endured for 25 years. Then Jason came to me as I was trying to pull on hose and find high heeled shoes that didn’t hurt my feet, complaining that he couldn’t find the bag to put the tent in and that his dad was mad with him about it. Again, why now? Long story short, an argument ensued and it was not a stress-free drive to the wedding, which we got to only five minutes ahead of time and had to split up because there weren’t enough seats for us all to sit together. Then right as the ceremony started, Jason had to go to the restroom. “Seriously?” I asked him. His wide eyes told me yep, he was serious. “Go but don’t come back,” I told him because I didn’t want him distracting people twice or crawling all over people to get back to his seat.
So there we were finally at the reception, sitting at the table together when I remembered the photo. I summoned the photographer, and she took two quick pictures before moving on. Now that whole time during the reception, all of my guys had I-phones (which I do not) and I never once thought about them taking photos with those really good cameras built into the I-phones. I’m still just not in the modern technological world. Just didn’t occur to me. The same thing happened with my sister (mother of the groom): our sons all had I-phones and yet we were so caught up in watching the first dances and the cake cutting and talking to people at the wedding, that we never took advantage of having everyone together with all those Iphones. We didn’t take ANY candid photos at the wedding. I still can’t explain why we didn’t think about it. The next day we were kicking ourselves that we hadn’t taken photos that we could immediately post and share.
But we finally saw all the professional photos last week, and there were some wonderful shots of the bride and groom of course and of other family members, including a great photo of our extended family with my parents, siblings, and all their kids and a couple of grandchildren too. And yes, finally, there was a family photo of the five of us. Good of the guys, okay of my husband, not so good of me (what happened to my eye make-up?? I know I put some on before I left the house!) — but it was a family photo at last. Whew!
Do you think we could just photo-shop our dog in here so that we could use it as our Christmas card photo?