Friday, July 5, 2013

The perfect family photo

Have you ever wondered why people look like this in old photographs?

Like they don't even care that they're getting their picture taken? Now, I know those old-fashioned cameras took a while to capture an image, but is that really a good excuse to look like this?

That mom looks miserable. Totally feel her.

But you know what? At least those peeps in these perfect family photos were keepin' it real. Just look at those black and white expressions. They're like, 'get me out of here so I can get back to the office/butter-churning/knitting.' These days, we've gone to the opposite end of the whole picture taking spectrum.

Just google "cute family photo ideas." Seriously. If you believe what you see you will believe that the majority of families in this world spend their days playing around in whimsical carnivals or frolicking through sunny meadows, that they often enjoy quality family time while posing two feet from the ocean, and like to strut hand-in-hand through deserted industrial settings in casually coordinated outifts.

In an effort to capture perfect memories, we are capturing things that never really happened in the first place! I can imagine these people 30 years from now, scratching their heads and asking each other, "Now, where was that? I don't remember that meadow..."

But the funniest thing is that not only are the situations contrived, the actual experience of capturing these fun family moments is often in complete contrast to the image they give. They're stressful and unenjoyable.

And people, I am not judging anyone because we do the exact same thing. So this is me coming clean about any cute family pictures anyone might have seen involving me, my husband and our baby.

Here's one:

Awww, look at us in our casually coordinated outfits. Just havin' one of our many totally candid mother-daughter moments in front of a cozy fire. Rigghhht.

This is what you would have seen moments before that lucky shot was snapped:

She kicked off her shoe in anger. It's right there on the floor.

Yep, still there.

Oh, ok. Greg must have moved the shoe for this one, but it's alright. A barefoot baby gave the photo a nice, casual, "we don't take ourselves too seriously vibe."

Here's another nice shot:

Such a perfect Easter family photo ... taken after hours of church ... with an 11 month old ... and we're all starving ... and Darby wants a nap ... actually we all want a nap ... and this is how things really looked:

Darbs is having a meltdown and Greg still hasn't gotten his act together. Probably because he had ten seconds to get into a totally natural, family-man pose beside us after starting the timer and running across the room.

Then there's this one:

I love that Greg is being ridiculous in this perfect family photo, Darby is not even looking at the camera, and yet I'm still in Stepford Wife mode.

That should probably tell me something, right?

Do you have any thoughts on this issue? Perhaps some hilarious family photo stories of your own!


  1. Love this. We're usually the ones taking the crazy family photos...and I must say, ALL of the kids are crying...always. The parents always stress out about not getting the perfect picture and we say these exact words to them "no one will even know that this was a miserable experience." It's true. No one ever sees the outtakes, we have TONS!

  2. Yes! There we have it, folks. Straight from the professional. Too bad you can't start a top secret, anonymous, hilarious photo outtake blog ... because I would love it.

  3. Good candid shots are always nice. You don't want only posed smiles. Just wait till you have another one and try to get them BOTH in the shot and not crying, or putting their fingers in their mouths, or pulling up their dress and showing the world what's underneath . . .