Every year, the Turner family likes to get a family photograph. This year for Mother's Day, Ben and I promised Mom we would arrange the photo shoot and buy her one 8 x 10 sometime when Stephen, Kim, and Emma were in town. Due to various scheduling things, today became the day and we fit the photo session into the only two-hour window of opportunity we could find. I was a bit worried we would have trouble getting everyone there and having Emma cooperate since Kim was doubtful the nap schedule would work out; but at 12:00 today we all got to the studio in coordinating colors and with Emma fresh from a nice long sleep.
Family pictures are a deceptively complicated process. For one thing, there's always the matter of getting the baby to smile. Emma is very adorable when she smiles and the lady taking the picture saw her smile: which then made it a matter of personal conviction on her part to get a good smile out of Emma in the group picture. We were all in agreement with this...except that it required considerable strain on the part of all our smile muscles as we had to remain facing the camera and smiling while the lady worked on getting Emma to smile. It's always kind of strange to smile until you get a cramp in your cheeks.
After some trial and error, we finally got a good group picture that included Emma staring seriously at the camera. She reminded me strongly of my sister Leah at a similar family event eighteen years ago during which the camera man all but stood on his head to get her to crack a smile and she ignored him with great dignity.
The other factor going on at the same time is the necessity to squash as closely together as possible so we can all get in the picture. Thankfully, even those of us who are new family are still family and squishing together is no problem. On the other hand, the combined body temperature rises pretty rapidly and I notice we were all a little pink by the time we got our good photo.
All this background is to set up why we were all disbanding with a sigh of relief after our group photo...only to find out that the photo studio was required to do ten poses before they would sell us our picture.
This is very effective marketing, by the way. We were there to buy one 8 x 10 family photo. When you do that many poses, though, you're almost guaranteed to buy more than one photo unless you have a very strong resistance to beautiful professional shots of your family.
"You HAVE to do ten poses?" we inquired dubiously.
"Yes," the lady said. "I really have to."
"Okay, quick," Mom said. "Let's do them as quick as we can."
So in rapid succession, we rotated each other in and out of the studio. If we'd all known we were doing separate photo shoots, I think we would've been a bit more uptight about it, but because we weren't planning on it we did it off the cuff and ended up all getting portraits done that would've been a whole lot more time consuming and expensive if we'd gone in separately. Jenny and Ken, for instance, got an engagement picture; Kim and Stephen got separate portraits of each of them with Emma. Mom and Dad did an anniversary picture. Ben and I got one with Grandma Lila.
By the time we were done, we had quite an order. If we'd described to everyone what we were going to do, it would've sounded like a huge project; but it turns out that unexpected photo shoots can go very well: and now the family photos are all taken care of for 2012. Which is an important year to have documented, because it's not every year a family nearly doubles in size as the Turner family has done this year. Counting our baby - who is just becoming visible now - there are four new members in a clan that only numbered six last year. That's what, a 60% increase?
We'd all have to be really on our toes to top that next year.
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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