Any parent will tell you, it’s a pretty tricky situation getting family portraits completed. We had our first official family portrait when my son was 11 days old and it went pretty flawlessly. Of course he was much too young to smile, but he also didn’t cry. I think he was still a little shell-shocked from being emptied out of the womb and into this crazy world.
Our second go at professional pictures occurred when my son was 4 weeks old, and we quickly found that there was a window of opportunity that we had. This window lasted approximately 15 minutes and the portraits turned out pretty well. He was much too young to actually smile at that point, too, but he did have a personality more so than at the 11 day old portrait.
Today, we decided to have another shot at a family portrait. Davey now smiles, most often in the morning hours. I can only assume that in the late afternoon or evenings he’s pretty tired and frustrated with the events of his today. So, when I scheduled the time I shot for early afternoon in the hopes that he would be pretty laid back, but still offering up a smile. What I didn’t plan for was him deciding to take a nap a half hour before we needed to leave, which resulted in me waking my child to put his adorable little Christmas suit on him. From that point forward, it was game on in the crying baby arena.
He slept in the car and in the stroller as we walked around the studio. Once the photographer was ready, we woke him yet again and our luck ran out. Not even the photographer, who seemed to degrade my son by whistling to him as if he were a dog, could coax out a smile. What should have been a 15-20 minute photo session quickly evolved into a 45 minute fiasco as we not only had to deal with a crying baby, but also one that we had to feed and one that wanted to spit back up his milk almost as quickly as he ate it. Thankfully in this day and age photographers can edit a lot and make pictures more presentable. I can only imagine what my parents had to go through each time they wanted to do portraits of me and my brother.
Now, here’s the real kicker…as soon as the photo session was over, my son decided to crank out that smile. It started out shy as he tried to duck his head back in his shell, before moving to an all out giggle. What a little devil! He played us and boy did he play us well. It’s almost as if he knew how important it was for us to have these pictures, and he wanted nothing more than to have a little fun at our expense.
Fortunately, the pictures turned out well and I’m more than thoroughly pleased with our Christmas cards. Let’s just hope that next time we have professional portraits done, Davey will actually not take a page out of his mother’s book and be stubborn and hard-headed.