Easter Outtakes

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:

spelling words and sentences for blog post

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!

Kennedy and Gaby photo fail UTO

Right before we got into the car I managed to get a marginally better shot of the girls in their dresses:

Gaby and Kennedy not so bad UTO

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!




I’m Audrey, the voice behind Barking Mad, a freelance writer and photographer, and owner of Barking Mad Media, LLC. In another life, my “voice” (they call it “air talent” nowadays) could be heard on Clear Channel and Entercom ( KISW, KJR, KHMX, WCOL, WNCI, and several other large-market commercial radio stations) radio stations around the country. I'm married to my lifelong British pen-pal, and have 4 beautiful children. I hope you’ll join me as I embark on a poignant personal journey to lose 225lbs and in the process, gain my life back. I also write about surviving the loss of my 2-year-old son, Joshua, coping with the subsequent depression, and morbid obesity.

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  1. I have a 2 year old, i totally get it. But all the portraits are perfect and the unsmiling ones are the best.

  2. I Love these pictures, they are darling. Outtakes are my favorite pics, they always tell their own story LOL

    • Toni,

      I love the outtakes too! Kennedy is going to look back on these photos and laugh. I just sent the first outtake off to have it blown up and put on an 11×13 canvas. I can’t wait to hang it!

  3. Haha well it definitely isn’t easy to take photos of kids- but at least even the outtakes are adorable! Oh & I totally choked on the water I was drinking when I read about the tampon flowers- that’s ridiculously hilarious.

    • Shell,

      I feel like I owe you a fresh glass of water. *lol* I still can’t look at a box of tampons without thinking of flowers now.

  4. Lol, how adorable! They look precious.

  5. Now this is a classic example of why digital photography took over film photography! But seriously, the mess-ups are almost as fun.

    • Liz,

      I have never ever had the inclination to even attempt to try film development. I’d probably end up blowing up my house with all those chemicals. And yeah, I think the photos that often don’t make the final cut, are sometimes the best. When I’m processing images for a client, I’ll ask them beforehand of they want a CD with the “outtakes” as well, and the answer is almost always a resounding, “YES!” Those can be a goldmine!

  6. Your girls look beautiful in their Easter dresses! Glad you were able to step away and take some time for you.

    • Tiff,

      Thanks so much for the compliments.

      “Me time” is so horribly underrated and especially for us moms, so terribly underused! It’s nice to step back and take a deep breath, from time to time.

  7. Wow, really nice pics. I enjoyed this post.

  8. You ended up with some great photos and sweet memories! I love their dresses from both days.

    • Robyn,

      I definitely got lucky, that’s for sure. And yep, the best memories. There’s nothing like little kids and holidays. I LOVED watching Kennedy’s expression as she found her Easter eggs, and even better, the morning after she set out carrots for EB, she looked out the window and the expression on her face when she realized the carrots were gone? ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!

  9. Love the outtakes but it looks like you got some great shots too!

    • Beth,

      I did get some great shots, and just as soon as I can get around to it, I’m going to have a few put onto canvas.

  10. Ah, how sweet. I can’t wait until my new granddaughter is old enough to enjoy Easter’s like this.

    • Awwww Digna, I didn’t know you had a granddaughter! Congrats. I know that I complain a lot about being too young to have a g…gr…well a nonnykind (I can’t say the G word), but she’s a huge blessing and keeps me on my toes. I’m lucky that we were able to have six months with her and help her mommy out at the same time.

  11. The girls are so cute. My Mom loves sailor outfits, she’d love those dresses.
    The tampon story, I am sorry but that made me laugh right out loud.

    • Val,

      I adore sailor dresses and looked for a long time to find something that both Auntie and her niece could wear. Yeah, I wanted memorable photos, but oh well. I got the dresses and I’m thankful for that. I just think they’re so clean looking, sharp. I love the dark and light. And the tampon thing? I had to leave the room and bury my face in a pillow when she first did it. I laughed so hard. Of course, I couldn’t let her see that – otherwise I’d have to keep my girly products under lock and key!

  12. My children are the reason I like to take pictures of food. 😉

    • OMG Jenn, that made me literally laugh out loud!

      For what it’s worth, I loathe food photography. Staging it, making sure it presents like it does, and everything associated with producing clean, bright, clear photographs of food, just makes me ten different kinds of nutso. I give major snaps to those who have the patience for it.

  13. LMAO, what kid wouldn’t want to “watch the flowers bloom?” Your girls are gorgeous, so glad you have been able to spend extra time with them!

    • Kathleen,

      I had never thought of tampons as “flowers blooming” before . . . I think of lots of things when it comes to those but flowers and blooming aren’t among the adjectives. *lol* But now that Kennedy has done it, there is a certain connection. *lol*

  14. Such beautiful girls! I loathe trying to get shots of the kids sometimes. My teen is the WORSE she is a pro at hiding from the camera.

    • Chelle,

      Bribery . . . I’m not above that. Try it with your teen – you just never know. *lol*

      Thanks for the compliments, I’m sort of biased, but I think they’re pretty beautiful as well.

  15. I love your outtakes and real life photos… I think those make some of the best memories. Okay, maybe not Hallmark ready, but neither is my life. I have a 7, 5 and 10 month old. I live in crazy town.

    • Andrea,

      I’m seriously thinking about having “Outtake #1” blown up and put on canvas. I really do love it.

  16. LOL!! I totally get the “Patiently suffering for my mother’s need to capture one million images of me in a single afternoon.“ and the toddler thing. I don’t know how some people do it with 5 kids at home.

    • Jennifer,

      I have a feeling it won’t be the last of the “Patiently suffering for my mother’s need . . . ” shots I’ll capture. She’s usually the one that comes out with me when I’m scouting locations and I use her with my light meter. She’s used to it, but when it comes to her being the focus, she reaches her limit pretty quickly. *lol*

      And yeah, I know for a fact I couldn’t do it with 5 small kids at home. It was hard enough when my twins were little and Zach was a newborn. I can’t imagine having anything else on my plate, let alone more kiddos. I give MAJOR props to moms who have big happy families and can manage the chaos, and the crazy!

  17. Such beautiful photos. I’m so glad you got to spend some time with them and take them before they leave.

    • Michelle,

      Thanks so much. We’re grateful for all the time we’ve been able to spend with Kennedy. At least they’re coming back home to the states and will only be a ten hour drive away, vs. an entire ocean.

      Oh and Gaby stays put. She’s my youngest. No leaving the nest anytime soon for her! 😉

  18. Shari dally Ulrich says:

    This is a very funny blog post! It’s a good thing God made little girls to look sweet while they’re acting crazy! What a blessed time you’ve had with your precious granddaughter. I feel sort of broken hearted that this time with you is coming to an end. Thanks for sharing the experience with us!

    • Shari,

      We have been very blessed to have Kennedy here for the past several months. We’re going to miss her. However, Gaby stays put. She’s my youngest, and last in the nest! Not letting her go anywhere at all, for as long as possible! *lol*