A year ago, we scheduled a little family session with Todd, the wonderful photographer who took our wedding pictures. I had searched high and low for light-colored neutral sweaters for us to wear. We donned our new outfits that would call no attention to themselves and went to his studio. At almost eight months of age, Q was fairly patient, given my love of pictures, but the new environment with noisy next-door construction was distracting.
The result? Several hundred well-lit, beautifully composed photographs of a frowning baby.
Todd also captured one entirely angelic image (above) of the Q that was worth the whole shoot, and at least a dozen others that we loved, including one we selected for our Christmas card (below). But it was pretty funny, paging through the increasingly grumpy expressions in 394 other pictures.
This year, we are parents of a mobile toddler. We were not optimistic that we'd be able to get a photo with all three of us in the frame, but we had the good fortune to join forces with CY, our talented photographer friend from Mommy Group. She would take pictures of us, and then I would take pictures of CY, husband, and daughter Fi in her home studio.
Sometimes, it's a real relief to be hanging out with parents who have kids the same age. You don't feel badly when your attention completely wanders away from the conversation in order to pounce on an alphabet magnet about to be ingested. CY sent an excellent note a few days before, saying that she was "Looking forward to the fiasco, oops, I mean fun!"
In what might seem to be a minor, unrelated development to our story, her friend had brought a little housekeeping set for Fi. Mini ironing board and iron, tiny mop, child size broom. Drumroll, please.
Yes, you read that correctly, there were brooms to be had. Our fate was sealed at that moment. The boy loves brooms, and as soon as he saw the mop and broom, he lunged at them and held on with all his might. My friends, this year, we have hundreds of photographs of Q clutching a pair of toy brooms.
Instead of a Christmas card, I'm thinking of doing a montage. We'd start with a picture of the parents valiantly trying to part him from the brooms. Horrible grimaces. Pouty faces. Next, pictures showing acknowledgement that brooms and child are going to stay together. Various attempts to pose with the brooms. Father, mother, child, brooms.
I'm not even going to get into the part where Q was momentarily distracted by a guitar and CY seized the moment to hide the brooms behind the photo backdrop, only to have Q chase the cat around all the furniture until they both stumbled upon the stash.
In the end, he chippered up enough to smile happily at the camera, once we realized we just needed to be graceful with the brooms. It will be a reminder of exactly what our life was like at this point. CY is a major miracle worker – she got a whole set of good shots.
Her daughter is a real pro, so the shoot of their family went much more smoothly, and it was fun to pretend to be a real photographer. Hopefully, at least one of the pictures turned out for them!
P.S. We're still choosing between pictures of the brooms (and us, the minor players), so you'll have to imagine. Stiff bristled broom? Long handled broom? Whisk broom? What suspense!