Yesterday was family photo day.
Now, setting aside that I myself don’t like being photographed, it’s been a while since we’ve done the family photo thing, so when the wife found a deal through one of those “deal of the day” sites, I relented.
Obviously, there are challenges with getting family photos. First… the baby does not have the greatest attention span. What sixteen-month-old does? And we were doing this at a semi-public park, where there would be a lot of distractions that would further pull him away from concentrating on the camera. (And yes, once I come up with a better nickname for ‘the baby’, we’ll start calling him something else here, since he’s really not a “baby” anymore.)
And of course, there’s the issue of the Monster being able to focus for long periods of time, with many of the same issues of having multiple distractions with being outdoors.
We arrived at Sherwood Gardens (which is gorgeous, for anyone in our area who’s never been) on time, and managed to find the photographer and her assistant after a little bit to get ourselves started. And indeed, the kids were very good at first – the Monster does, genuinely, love having his picture taken, and the baby was good and going along with it.
By the time we were about 45 minutes through the hour, they were already starting to show the limits of how long they’d follow – it was getting increasingly hard to get the Monster to smile at the camera, and the baby was far more interested in graham crackers and his juice than even in looking at the flowers. On the other hand, we think that we got at least some usable photographs that’ll be a good update to what we’ve done previously, and it’s the start at least of making sure that we at least do an annual photo. (Plus, one benefit of digital photography is that they can snap and snap and snap, and if it uses a few hundred shots to get a few dozen good ones… it’s not extra cost.)
One lesson we learned, for next year, is probably to change when we start to introduce the rewards for going along with things. We did bring the iPad along to keep the Monster calm, but since we’d let him have it in the car on the way down, he was really reluctant to let go of it for us to do photos… so when it was reintroduced, he wasn’t willing to give it up again. We also need to make sure the kids are fed – fully – before we go, so that we don’t have to introduce snacks until after we’re done…