I’ve taken some time away from the blog over the last three weeks in order to focus on family and on clients that aren’t related to social media, and while I’ve missed slapping stuff up out here and the conversations that happen from time to time in this space, I have not missed the pressure to produce in a certain time frame. Having a toddler in the house, especially a toddler who needs two eyes on her at all times, precludes me from blogging as much as I thought I should be, and ya know? That’s OK. That’s the way it should be. I have a lot of friends who are blogging machines and have toddlers as well as school-aged kids, and I honestly don’t know how they do it . . . producing blog post after blog post, day in and day out, both organic content and sponsored posts as well, filled with photos.
I’m not someone who is coordinated enough to sit with a laptop perched on one knee while the 8 year old sits at the table and does her homework and the 2 year old tosses Legos at her, all the while filling my blog with beautiful photos of perfectly dressed kids doing adorable things. The laptop would end up on the floor in two, if not more, pieces. The toddler would be standing in the kitchen sink squirting dish soap all over the blinds, and the 8 year old would be creating sentences with her spelling words that chronicle the utter chaos in her house:
Even when it comes to taking day-to-day photographs of the girls for something like a visit to the Easter Bunny, or photos on Easter itself, it never goes as planned. A long time ago, when I first started the whole photography “thing” and began earning money, I swore I would never ever ever, no not ever, take pictures of kids or animals. “They breath! They move around. They’re unpredictable!” I said. While portrait photography makes up only a scant amount of the pittance I earn from my photography, I long ago broke that promise, and after this weekend, I’m reminded of why I made it in the first place.
Saturday we took the girls to see the Easter Bunny. Of course I wanted to get a couple of photos of them before we dragged them to the mall because I knew that by that time, the brand new bright white tights and white patent leather shoes would already have dark marks and scuffs. I had the best of intentions. I told the girls that I just wanted a few snapshots before we got into the car. It was breezy and the sun was inevitably in their eyes and Kennedy was far too excited about a visit with the Great Jelly-Bean-Pooper, so getting her to cooperate was, well, yeah – what I said about the best of intentions.
What I said to Kennedy was, “Can you please stand next to Auntie Gaby so Nonny can take a really quick picture?” The two-year-old will swear she heard me say, “Now Kennedy, I want you to run around and do the exact opposite of everything I say!” The entire time, the eight-year-old stands there with a pained expression on her face that says, “Can this just please be OVER already? Two year olds are so annoying!”
Right before we got into the car I managed to get a marginally better shot of the girls in their dresses:
Everyone woke up Easter Sunday in a good mood, so once the kids had scavenged for eggs and after the sugar rushes had worn off, right before church that evening I decided to get some really nice Easter portraits. Oh Audrey, you silly woman! You will never learn.
Audrey, you really should have kept that promise you made all those years ago, especially when it comes to children who are your genetic spawn, or even the spawn of your spawn!
Official 2014 Easter Portrait, take 1:
Official Easter 2014 Portrait, take 2:
Official Easter Portrait, take 3:
(Gareth offered me a shot of Belvedere at this point, after noticing the serious twitch I’d developed in my right eye)
Official Easter Portrait, take . . . um, I’ve lost count:
(Gaby had taken off after noticing a box of sidewalk chalk on the back porch steps and I just assumed I’d grab her for a solo shot if I ever managed to get a decent image of Kennedy, alone.
While I know one might think Kennedy was the one downing shots of Belvedere, she wasn’t. She just thought it was more fun to act like the world was tilting which gave her an excuse to fall over, repeatedly!)
At this point, I was audibly praying to God, The Universe, the Powers That Be, even the Easter Bunny himself, to just let me get one shot of this Itty Bitty girl, one decent photograph for her mommy who couldn’t be with her this Easter (or Christmas or New Years, Thanksgiving, or Halloween) because she’s serving her country in the US Air Force, PLEASE! Someone was listening. I managed to capture Kennedy for a split second while she was still, without a protruding tongue or the appearance of toddler inebriation:
And then the angels sang, unicorns flew overhead (do they fly? I don’t know, and I don’t care!) and farted rainbows, birds tweeted in perfect harmony, and for one more magical moment, Kennedy turned to look at me, the planets aligned and I hit the button at the absolute perfect time!
I even managed a “bonus” shot of sorts, captured as the sun was just beginning to set – that absolute divine moment when everything is golden and beautiful and magical (I could swear there were more unicorns and possibly a faerie or two flitting around) and the light is absolutely perfect!
Oh darling Itty Bitty girl, Nonny is going to miss you. Your mommy comes home this Friday and will scoop you up and take you home to your new base, but at least I have precious photos, protruding tongue and all, of your time spent with us in a home that was often too small, too chaotic, but never short on love, laughter and fun.
I got a few great shots of Gaby as well. Being an old hand at this, she makes it easy!
My “baby” girl is growing up far too fast. I’d like time to stop, for just a while. Please and thank you.
Then we come to that point, after the camera has been aimed at her long enough, she tires of hearing the constant click of the shutter, and her expression let’s me know she’s had enough!
I like to call this one, “Patiently suffering for my mother’s need to capture one million images of me in a single afternoon.“
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I attempted to get one more photo of the girls together. As you can tell by looking at their fingertips, both girls had spent considerable time with the sidewalk chalk and were clearly demonstrative of how they felt about having any more photos taken!