Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Say Cheese!

Last week my publisher asked me to send them a picture of myself, and one of me and the kids that they could use for marketing purposes. Since I'm the official Meehan family picture taker, there are very few pictures of me, so I made an appointment to have some professional shots taken.

ME: I'd like to make an appointment to have my picture taken. I need to have a picture of me and also one of me and my kids together.
HER: Sure. How many kids will be in the sitting?
ME: Six.
HER: How many?
ME: Six.
HER: Are you sure?
looking around, counting heads Umm yeah, I'm pretty sure.
HER: Are they all yours?
Now, I didn't make a conscious decision to mess with the person on the other end of the line, but somehow these words came out of my mouth... Is what mine?
HER: The kids. Are they all yours?
ME: What kids?
sounding a bit confused I'm sorry ma'am. I thought you said you wanted your picture taken with your kids?
ME: I don't have any kids.
HER: Ohhhh. thoroughly confused OK, so you just want to make an appointment to get your picture taken?
ME: No. I need to get a picture taken of me and my kids too.
wondering if she's losing her mind or if I'm crazy That's what I thought! OK, we have an opening for an appointment for you at 6:00 and then for you and your kids at 6:30. Does that work?
ME: Sure!
HER: Now what are the ages of your kids?
ME: What kids?
deciding that I'm obviously a mental patient, she asks... The kids in the picture! What are their ages so we can be prepared for them.
I contemplated, for a moment, telling her that she misunderstood me and that I don't have kids, but I do have cats and would like my picture taken with them, but I reconsidered and told her instead that my phone was breaking up and I was having a hard time hearing her. I think she bought it.

Yesterday morning, I called the studio and inquired, "Ummm, I have an appointment for tomorrow night and I was just wondering, umm do you guys retouch your pictures?
What do you mean?
Well, you see, I have a zit the size of Wyoming on my face and I'm overdue to get my hair colored. There's so much silver coming out of my scalp that it looks like a Brillo pad. And I should probably try to whiten my teeth too.
I think I scared the woman on the other end of the phone.
Anyway, Kelli, my most awesome, wonderful web designer assured me that she could fix the picture if the photographer didn't do a great job. She said she could erase wrinkles, take off ten years and ten pounds. How cool is that, right? But then I started thinking, hmmm maybe I should ask her to add some wrinkles, gray hair, ten years and ten pounds. That way when people see me in person they'll think, "Wow, you look great! Much better than your picture."

So anyway, we went for the pictures tonight. Do you know how hard it is to coordinate a picture with seven people? I have no idea how larger families do it. I guess they just pick the picture with the least amount of bunny ears, possessed looks, closed eyes, and fingers up noses.
Stop making bunny ears.
Look at the camera.
Stop looking at your sister.
Stop squatting down.
Smile!
Keep your hands to yourself.
Get your finger out of your nose.
Stop making stupid faces.
Oh great! You made her cry. Didn't I tell you to keep your hands to yourself.
The photo shoot is over!
I swear, in every picture, someone was looking away, or had their eyes crossed, or had a demonic look, or was busy scratching themselves. But this was the good part! At least when I got my picture taken with the kids, I was able to strategically place the kiddos around me to help hide my fatness. :D

Then my wonderful husband, who drove separately to this photo shoot fiasco extraordinaire, took the kids out for ice cream while I got my picture taken in peace. As much as I hate getting my picture taken, I discovered that's it's even worse trying to pick out the best picture of the bunch. After 2 1/2 hours of my indecisiveness, the kind lady at the studio, sensing that I could easily be there for another 4 hours before deciding, pointed to a picture and said, "I like that one! That's the best one."
Good enough for me! Thank you. Goodnight.

74 comments:

Stacey said...

Dawn, that was *too* funny! I often wish I had the nerve to mess with people who ask stupid questions! You're my hero! :-)

kimikki said...

Your adventures in the photo studio make me wonder if that's why my mom would take pictures of us in groups of two or three. I think I've only seen one picture of all of us kids in the same picture, and that was six years ago, on Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a photographer, and I must say, yours actually sounds like it went pretty well! I do make him take the weight/age/crumbs from the kids off me before final print. Can your photographer swap heads from one photo to another? We do it all the time to get one good picture of everyone.

The Miles Family said...

I feel your pain... I only have 2 kids (ages 5 and 11 months) and it's hard to have a picture made... I wouldn't be able to keep it together long enough to have a photo made with 6 kids! You are amazing!

Deb in OPKS said...

You are so funny! I would have loved to have seen he look on that woman's face. Did it really matter who's kids they were? Even they weren't all yours, so what. Just take the stupid picture!

Christine said...

LOL! I can so relate! I have decided not to have professional pictures of my kids taken ever again! And I only have 3.

Jennifer Foster said...

Hi Dawn!

The studio scene you described is eerily familiar...but from the other side of the lens! My husband owns a photography business and is currently Governor Schwarzenegger's photographer...! We are no stranger to fun times like you had. Grin. Over a year ago Bill gave up shooting portraits for commercial work, but I can tell you that photoshop is an amazing tool for switching eyeballs, blurring unzipped zippers and erasing pimples! Yah, gotta love that.

Sleeping Mommy said...

My favorite part was when you messed with her head. Dude, why do people ask "Are they all yours?"

Why would it matter if they were or weren't?

Rebekah D. said...

Hahahahahahahaha! I can't stop laughing!
I've had a horrible night, but reading your blog makes me feel so much better, as usual! Thanks for the mental picture of your professional picture. I'm sure it turned out great.

JenB said...

That's hilarious! I would never have the guts to mess with people like that but I love it! Post a pic when you can!!!

Valerie said...

I bet they turned out great! A couple of summers ago we went for a "family pic" with my boyfriends whole family as a gift to his parents. All 23 of us. My son was about 3 weeks old at the time, and there were 3 other babies under 6 months. All together there were 11 children, all but 1 under 5 years old. Wow, now that was crazy. Especially the grandkids picture. Although I will have to say the babies were the easiest :)
You are a brave, brave woman. I applaud you!

plainprecious said...

Congrats on doing the pics. I use to go and get family pics every year at christmas. But as the kids got older I gave up. Now I just take pics of the kids here at home. Did they give you sample prints that you could take with you? It would be cool for us fans to see them!!!!!!!!!

Melissa said...

I can't imagine taking pictures with just one child much less 6. Can't wait to see the photos.

Angie said...

When choosing ANY photo we have the same philosoghy - WHICH IS THE LEAST OFFENSIVE? If both kids are facing forward, it is a winner. If one is not hitting the other, it is a winner. If at least one is not picking his nose - IT IS THE WINNER
KEEP BELIEVING

another mom said...

So, where are the pictures?!?

Franzi said...

lol, i can very much imagine your family in front of the camera. another option would have been to take a picture of each one separately and then put everyone together digitally. oh well, more fun this way!

wonder why hubby didn't get to be in the picture. do they want to portray you as a single mom or what? you are a family, he should be there as well!

jodi-mother of 6 said...

hope we get a preview!!

Heidi said...

LOL!! You are so funny!!

Anonymous said...

You know how they get you all to look good...PHOTOSHOP! We're only a family of 4 and we always have someone looking away, or looking constipated, or closing their eyes, so our photographer takes the best facial expressions from each of us and creates one photo from the best of each of us. I swear, you can't even tell! :)

Liz's Random Thoughts said...

I think you've given me a glance at what my mom went through to make sure that us 4 kids were all ready for getting our pictures taken, I mean she had to make sure we all looked nice. The my brothers were wearing nice clothes, that I had my hair bursh, and that we actually made it there on time. "Reminds self to thank mom" ...I think when I have kids I'll just beg my sister to take the pictures for me:)

Rick said...

I came from a family of six, so I know what you're talking about. There is one classic family photo where everyone else is being serious but I'm striking a pose and my Dad is looking at me out of the corner of his eye. I figured, that's what people are supose to do when they get their picture taken.

http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Sleeping Beauty said...

Wow! We only have three kids and it's a huge ordeal to get their picture made. I can't imagine doubling that!! Sounds like fun!! LOL

Kathi S. said...

I hope they can retouch the kids too. Maybe they can switch heads. LOL

Actually, maybe they can photoshop some of the pictures together to get everyone looking the same way, smiling, etc...

Are you ready for the snow tomorrow? Here in the metro Detroit area, we are supposed to get 6-10 inches. We have a "heavy snow warning" for our area. Time to stock up on milk and stuff so i don't have to go out tomorrow. Pray for a snow day!!!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

You need to ducttape their hands together behind their backs....there's no way to keep their heads still, though....

And you should have told the woman you were leaving the other 6 at home....

Robin said...

You must be exhausted! Every year my sister and I try to get our kids pics taken together and there are only 4 of them...you'd think there were 14!! So....I totally feel for you! = )

JujuBoo said...

I don't know how you managed to get them all to even stand there let alone smile (well some of them). When mine were toddlers, for 3 years in a row, one of my 2 daughters would decide as they were getting posed that the camera was going to cause them some sort of bodily harm and bolt out of the room. I have a few pictures of them with looks of sheer terror on their faces.

I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out!!

Brenda said...

lol. Since we are just a few of your close and personal friends. Can we see the unretouched and the touched so we can see the difference? Come on. Pretty please.

Bobbie said...

I think being the family picture taker is listed somewhere in the Mom job description. There are TONS of pictures of my kids..... not so many of me. When the occasional picture of me does get taken, I quickly remember why I like the other end of the camera! I have been trying to get better since someone once said something like this to me:

If something ever happened to you, your kids are going to want pictures of you. They aren't going to be looking at them to see how fat you were, how bad your hair looked, or how many wrinkles are on your face. They will just want to be able to keep the memories that go along with them.

Swallowing your pride for your kids.... I think that is another duty listed in the job description!

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I hope you included your husband in a few photos - it would be nice to have some family photos for later in life - that include everyone!!!!! We take professional photos each year of our son, but every other year, it is also a family shoot - with us in it also!

I can't wait to see your book - and your beautiful photo!
Pam (Seattle)

Anonymous said...

This weekend someone asked me if the horde of kids surrounding me were all mine.

I told her yes and then she wanted to know if they were mine all the time. I was seriously tempted to mess with her at that point. Like tell her no, I only rent them part-time and then I have to return them or there is a late charge. I resisted but I know how you feel, though. Sometimes it is just too much fun to mess with people when they ask those kinds of questions.

My Kids' Mom said...

We finally did a family photo shoot (and I only have two boys, 3&6) and it was just as hard. After agonizing over the faces, grimaces, closed eyes and fake smiles and picking out the best-ish one, they enlarge it on a screen for me to see it 8x10, and my little one is holding his crotch. I had them crop it. We sent it as a Christmas card and all our family has it in their homes and I will always know it as the Crotch Shot.

A Mom's Life said...

Please remember this experience when you have grandchildren. For some reason everytime my grandparents want a picture with my kiddos they can't understand why 4 kids can't look and smile and sit for 4,000 shots because you know back in their day their kids did nothing wrong and were proper and never yelled or ran around any place other than a park and when they did it was only on Sundays after church, lunch, and their 2 hour nap!!!

Valarie said...

I have found that it is easier to just have everyone make a funny face and call it a day.

miriamp said...

Tell me about it! I think my BIL took a family picture of us several months ago... they were editing out the 4 year old from the best picture of the rest of us (2 parents, 8 kids) and then sticking him back in not making a strange face from one of the other seventeen million, eight hundred and forty-two shots he took trying to get 1 good one. I should bug him for the picture, because I really want a family shot before the baby (9 mo) gets enough older that we need to do it again!

I_Am_Who_I_Am said...

Having 9 kids of my own, I feel your pain! Having family picture taken is a nightmare! I'm just happy if they are all facing the camera.

Hannah said...

Hah! Sounds like fun! Several years back, my family had a reunion picture done at Sears. What a disater! It took forever for the people to get their equipment set up; and they had us in a tiny room with no air vent, so it was sweltering. There are six kids in my family, all girls, of which I am the eldest. Along with my parents, we had the Grandparents there, my uncle, his wife, and two grown kids, my other unmarried uncle, and an uncle with his wife and two little girls. Plus, my fiance and my sister's fiance were to be in the picture, too. So, there were 21 of us. Disaster waiting to happen.
When the younger kids weren't making faces, the older ones were jostling each other. Then, one of the young ones started to cry (my youngest sister). Another kid started crying sympathy tears. Her sister started crying because, well, her baby sister was crying! Then my second to last sister passed out. Whew! THEN my uncle passed out. Boy, it was getting hot in there!
Finally, everyone was roused, kids were placated, everyone got situated--with smiles on most faces, the camera got fixed or whatever, and we got our picture taken.
This whole thing lasted for at least 2 hours. It was aweful. But it sure makes for a great family reunion story: "Do you remember that time wehen..."

Mabunny said...

I'm sure the pics will be beautiful.
Look in your mail in the next day or so , I finally sent you the postcard and a little historical booklet about our town of Lancaster, Texas. Keep the laughs coming!!

MaBunny

Rhonda said...

The fact that you got to your appointment on the first try is remarkable! I have three boys (5, 3 and 8 months) and we had to cancel and reschedule three times due to a ball-to-the-face-black-eye, a massive thunderstorm causing freakouts of major proportions (it would have been a picture of everyone crying -- my kids hate thunder!), and a case of family flu. Finally when we had our sitting, my 3 year old was NOT a willing participant and I told my husband on the way out that we weren't returning for a new portrait until everyone was age 8 or older! :)

We'll miss these crazy, hectic days some day! Thanks for your blog, Dawn! Love it!
Rhonda in WI

Toni said...

At Thanksgiving we had pictures taken of my husband's entire family, grandchildren and all. There were 24, including three toddlers. After an hour of saying cheese, at least 50 pictures later, and there was ONE decent picture!

And you are a rascal! Now I understand why your kids adventures are so entertaining. They get it from you.

Tammy said...

I swear, that is the same thing I went through at Christmas, trying to get a picture of my 2 kids (4 and 2) standing in front of our tree or sitting on our fireplace hearth. I finally gave up and just kept snapping pictures to stick on my blog of the kids doing sommersaults and making hilarious faces. I was able to use one picture where Little Boy wasn't lookind directly at the camera. After all that, I looked at the pics and realized the brass fireplace surround and the glass doors were completely covered with fingerprints. Ugh.

Sarah R said...

Can't wait to see the end results!

Cynthia said...

That is too funny!!
We have an appointment for family pictures tomorrow. It should be real fun, my 4 yr old is terrified of people my 1 yr old is terrified of cameras and my 10 yr old refuses to sit still. Add to that the hubby refuses to smile. But I am very determined to have 1 picture with all of us in it.

Faith said...

I'm quite sure that I can imagine! The day my sister took our annual Christmas picture my two-year-old son had gotten a new matchbox car for sleeping in his own bed all week and all he wanted to do was play with it. He cried everytime we made him sit down. Thank God we got one decent shot out of three or four dozen. Of course the car is in the picture too! I'm sure they turned out great! Or at least memorable!

fawndear said...

Dawn,
I think we were twins seperated at birth, but you got the funny bone though. I'm also a mom to three boys and three girls and have only attempted one professional family picture, with of course mixed results. I instead have friends take tons of candids. I don't think it's possible to take a picture with six kids and have everyone be perfect. The odds would have to be a billion to one.

Lisa M said...

I say, the crazier the kids look the better! Why fight nature?! I'm sure your pics will turn out great.

AlaneM said...

Oh you naughty girl!! That lady must have thought she was loosing her mind...HA!
Love those portrait sessions - NOT!

Roslynn said...

I love to go places with my friends 3 kids as well as my own 6 (and my ever expanding pregnant belly now) and then when they say "Are they all yours?" I can follow up with "No" pause for a second and then right after their sigh of relief say "Only six of them are mine!" The look is always priceless. Oh! And I just got back from the Kalahari Resort in Ohio with my crew. If you ever want to go someplace nice for vacation and not have people ask you stupid questions this is the PLACE! It was just me and the kids and next time I go hopefully DH can take time off and come with us. Such a blast!

becky said...

You're going to keep us in suspense! I thought at the bottom of the post, we could see the pics, but no...AHHHH!!!!

Kresta S. said...

I have to admit that I am guilty of doing what one of the commenters said - I've cropped a good smile of one of my kids onto the group photo where the other two were actually smiling great. It was our Christmas card last year and I swear after asking the 3 of them to sit nicely in front of the Christmas tree for what seemed like hours, I finally just decided that technology would have to step in because we were all at our wits end. Amazingly, it worked well and no one knew the difference. It was actually quite funny when they did say how cool it was that I got all 3 to smile at the same time. "Yes, I did. Thank you very much." :D

Sarah said...

Dawn, your blog always cheers me up : ) I love that you messed with the lady for asking silly questions not pertinent to the call : )

My sister was in town for only a day with my 10-month-old niece this past weekend, and I made an appointment to get photos of the baby done with my two girls (three and two). My sister then changed her mind, pleading that it would be too much of a hassle. I had to offer to pick up my niece and take them myself to get her to agree. Then I found out my husband would be working all day on Saturday, which never, ever happens. So I called my sister to let her know we were on our way, got my girls ready and brought an extra pair of shoes and an extra shirt (because you never know what can happen on a 5 minute car ride when it comes to my youngest...) and arrived in plenty of time to get my niece and make it to the appointment. But my sister hadn't gotten my niece dressed. I waited ten minutes in the car with my now cranky girls, ended up having to go in and bring my niece out since my sister wouldn't put shoes on, and that baby was wearing a stained white sweatshirt and the ugliest non-shoes I have ever seen. I closed my eyes and said a silent thank-you to God for the extra shirt and shoes I had with me... So my niece ended up wearing slightly too big shoes, and I let my sister keep the shirt. It was too much trouble to re-dress the baby again! Compared to the preparation, the shoot was easy, even with the non-smiling baby and my cranky two-year-old. My three-year-old surprised the heck out of me though. She did everything right, posed beautifully, and smiled perfectly in every shot! It really made up for the chaos : ) And about my sister's "one-day-visit"... She's still in town. Yeah. I just have to chuckle... to keep from strangling her...

Anonymous said...

So are you going to let your husband post the annotated version of how ice cream with six kids went after the photo shoot? I'd love to hear how clean the "picture clothes" stayed when allowed near dessert!

Thanks so much for reminding me that picture sessions with two boys really aren't as bad as I think they are! You truly make my day every morning!

ALF said...

I found your site from Melissa over at Hope for the Hopeless - just stopped by to say hi!

Love the phone conversation...

korkie said...

SHAME ON YOU .... Ms Dawn... Making that poor woman think she was losing her last marble; making her think she may have had one too many cocktails at lunch.

You better have get a second opinion on which is the best photo.
The nice lady probably suggested the worst one of the lot.

May I borrow your friend Kelli? I have a side of beef I'd like her to erase from my thighs.

Jess said...

H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!!!

Angie said...

ROFL! I love it! I only have 3 cats... err, kids to photograph with me and I don't even want to go through it! But i will, ONLY for DH's sake... cuz he's in Korea and needs to see us to remember how much he loves us... or loves being away from us. Whichever!

Kate said...

Dawn, should you ever decide to do more photos....take a gander at my friends tips culled from modeling for a magazine cover. OR, you can use these tips too in family photo ops and look 10lbs lighter without a bit of dieting *grin* It's the Nov 18th entry at http://befabulo.us/

Sherry said...

LOL! Snort.... you crack me up. I usually think of saying those kinds of things but not until about half an hour after I had the opportunity. I wish I could be quicker like that, but then I might feel guilty if I got away with it. You are too funny. My youngest is afraid of strangers (still is) so I've been taking her pictures myself since she was 9 months old since those ended up with tears in her eyes. My middle child was very photogenic until he got old enough to think he needed to pose. Now it is hard to get that ridiculous look off his face unless I say something like "Did you toot?" to make him laugh and then snap it right away. :)

HisWifeTheirMom said...

I can only imagine! By the time our shoot was done with only 2 kids I had sweat beading on my forehead. Post the picture when you get it.

I'm a regular reader...keep it up!

Manic Mom said...

I kinda feel bad they didn't want Joe included in the mayhem of the photo shoot; after all aren't husbands more than just a sperm donor?

Oh, never mind. I think I just answered my own question! : )

Dawn said...

Don't worry Manic, we'll get a family picture with ALL of us soon. Last night I didn't buy A picture printed out. I bought the rights to use the picture and it was not cheap. We'll go to another studio and get a good family shot. :)

Melissa said...

So????? When do WE, you're loyal readers, get to see these shots? Will they give you the proofs of all the pictures? I sure would like to see all the fun :)

weakwearymom said...

Ah, the family photo. My standards have gone wayyyy down; if we're all looking vaguely in the same direction, it's great. Smiles and non-crazy expressions are optional.
-- Georgetta

The Boyds Family said...

HA! HA! Congrats on living through the photo shoot. I have two and know how difficult it can be to get a good shot; I can not even imagine how hard it would be for six. WOW! You're amazing!

VanDerHoekArt said...

Too Funny Dawn!

I am take forever picking photos too. The picture person is never any help either.

Kim H. said...

Okay - from girl to girl - here's a hair tip. CVS or your area Walgreen's has this cool, waxy stick you dab on your roots to cover your gray. It's like $2.98 and comes in handy when you just don't get around to getting your color done.

Congrats on the photo shoot. Can't wait to read that book!

Anonymous said...

Glad I read the comments before posting . . . . I was going to ask if you remembered to get a copyright release!

Since you have the copyright release, why isn't the picture posted for us to see?

Thanks for the smiles, laughs, even the headaches from laughing so hard!

Lori

roseys madhouse said...

We had a professional photo taken last year and that was so stress full I cant beleive the photos came out so well. I am hopeing that this year it will be easier as the kids are all a year older and maybe the threat of my strangling them if they play up will scare them more???? lol who am I kidding the little buggers know I couldnt do it ( not in front of anyone anyway )

Kilian said...

I think you should use the photo you have shown us on your blog - you know, the one with all the big hair.

Sara said...

OMG... it's 2:30am...couldn't sleep so here I am laughing like a mad woman! WE too did a group shot-as a gift for my in-laws this past holiday season. YUP-11 of us! 4 adults and 7 kiddos (kids ranging in ages of 22 years all the way down to 18 months-oh and twin toddlers in there somewhere). Wow-that was an adventure. It too took us more time to pick out the best shot then it did to TAKE the photo. Hats off Dawn! I'm a first time writer and long time reader. YOU are so real! My little group of friends can NOT wait for this long overdue book on the TRUENESS of parenthood!

Heather said...

That is sooo funny!!! I feel your pain...and I only have 4 kids. When my twins were little people would ask if they were twins. I would tell them nope...it was a buy one get one free day at the hospital. I LOVE MESSING WITH PEOPLE!!! I hope you post them so we can see them...

FD in NY said...

Yup, that studio session sure sounds familiar! I have a large family, and so do my parents, and so do my siblings. My brother got married this past summer, and boy were those pictures fun!!!

Jill said...

So, ARE they all yours? ;0)

Lately, DH has been pushing to have a family photo taken. Apparently he does not remember the last time we tried this. It was 7 years ago, and we wanted a nice photo for our Christmas card.
I had to get 3 kids AND myself ready, and all DH had to do was comb his hair and put on a nice shirt.
The studio we went to was walk in only, and by the time we got there, it would have been over a 2 hour wait. (I know we should have made an appointment somewhere else.......) We ended up taking a photo in our living room with the timer on our camera.
Our neighbors have 6 kids, and they had everyone's photo taken individually, and put together "Brady Bunch" style. It's really cute.
When I was a about 20, I decided to have my picture taken with the family dog. I was really annoyed that the studio charged me an extra 15.00 for a "pet clean up fee".
As it turned out, I got my money's worth from the fee.
Jill

JaneB1961 said...

Several years, we attended a family reunion at the Columbus Zoo with over a hundred people we had never seen before and probably won't see again in this lifetime. Anyway, they put my then 7-yr. old daughter in the front row. Bad idea. Out of all those 100 + people, she's the only one with her mouth wide open & her tongue hanging out.

Kathy said...

That is too funny, that poor woman probably thought she was losing her mind!

www.kathy-iamwhoiam.blogspot.com

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