Awkward Family Photos, A Prequel

November 9, 2011

in How to be a Housewife, Mommy-ville Detour

I grew up in an Olan Mills.

Ok, not literally, but large chunks of the admittedly limited number of memories I have of my childhood involve being in an Olan Mills studio.  Mostly the waiting room of the studio, with a few brief flashes of being in the actual studio.  One bright light and I’m back there faster than you can shake a polaroid, sweating through my polyester dresses while wearing pantyhose so tight around the waist they curled a little more with every breath.  Oh and hairspray.  Lots and Lots of hairspray.

Which may explain why my childhood memories are so patchy at the ripe old age of 28…

Needless to say, I was determined to avoid this at all costs for my own children.  My own version of giving them a better life than I had.

Being a white, middle-class, college-educated chick from suburbia handicaps me in the whole “Make your kid’s life better” arena.  I’m dealing with it one day at a time though.

And for 23 months, I have successfully kept my children safe from those blinding umbrella lights and tacky backgrounds.  Last year’s family Christmas card featured the Big Man, Little Man, and I casually arranged in an ACTUAL pumpkin patch.  Or at least a patch of ground some migrant workers had lugged actual pumpkins to and put up a sign calling it a pumpkin patch.  Regardless, it was not in a studio and the only blinding light came from the sun reflecting off my tan-less skin.

It was perfect.  Casual, semi-candid, and I looked amazing.  Which are really the only requirements I have for a photo I’m going to be sharing with 107 of my closest friends and family.

Why would anyone ever go into an Olan Mills studio voluntarily, unless they were looking for headshots to submit to the talent scouts over at TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras?  Surely we can all manage one casually candid group photo a year, right?

I know.  I might as well have NOOB tattooed on my forehead right now.

Because right now?  The only group shots I have from this year are either before the Little Miss’s arrival, in which case our family consists of the Big Man, the Little Man, Myself, and the Basketball I was smuggling into the country under my shirt, or they are from the midst of our marathon have-a-baby-then-move-cross-country-in-two-weeks summer.  In either case, I?  Do not look amazing.   Probably because I’d yet to unpack my hairdryer, mascara, or under eye concealer.

Which leaves us photo-less.  With just two weeks until I’m expected to mail out proof that we are a fully functioning family unit to all of our friends and family.

So I did what anyone would do.  I panicked.

And in the midst of my panic, I booked us at least one session with the largest set of camera flashes I could find in town.  For Saturday.  THIS Saturday.

Which leaves me exactly 3 days to come up with the perfect look for our professional family portrait.  Casual and coordinated, but without being too matchy.


nsc November 12, 2011 at 2:19 am

Plaid is always a winner. I approve!

It always amazes me how you can find matching shirts in the same pattern. Not having done that, I must give you major props, since it seems like that would be a very difficult thing to accomplish.

Megan (Best of Fates) November 9, 2011 at 10:28 am

Hey, at least everyone will know you’re alive! Good luck!

Domesticated Gal November 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

Alive and in matching plaid, yes?

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