Posts Tagged ‘ family portraits ’

Decent Family Pictures With My Toddler Are Rare

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

16 months.

Good family pictures are hard to come by; whether self-taken snapshots or professional portraits taken in a studio.

And with a toddler, well… you don’t need me telling how difficult and frustrating it can be to try to get a toddler to cooperate with that.

There are very few pictures of our family including all three of us. In the ones that do exist, my son usually isn’t looking in the same direction as us.

But we’ll settle for those ones as long as his head isn’t turned facing the complete opposite direction; as the majority of them are.

It’s either my wife or myself taking the pictures most of the time, so often the picture ends up being of just one of us parents with our son.

I always thought it was weird how we’re supposed to smile in these pictures where we break the 4th wall.

It’s like, “Oh, you just happened to catch all of us when we were having a family moment; all smiling.” Yeah right.

A realistic family picture for us, at best, would probably be like the one featured on the right:

I am attempting to take a picture of any potentially photogenic moment of my son and wife. So to capture a true image of my family, it would include me with the camera.

The last time my sister visited us in Nashville, she took a lot of pictures of my wife and I interacting with our son. She explained:

“There are a lot of them the way you like; where no one is actually looking at the camera.”

I laughed because she was right; yet at that point I had never really thought about it before:

When I share a picture with anyone, I like for it to be as natural and “in the moment” as possible.

Sure, we do smile a lot. We have a lot to be thankful for.

But to assume those smiles are always real for each person in the picture; well, at least speaking for myself, what I am really thinking most of the time when having to pose for a picture is, “Hurry up and take the picture already!”

When I take pictures of my family, I just want to capture that real life moment, when possible; whether it’s an official portrait or a very amateur snapshot on a lazy Saturday morning when I’m wearing a $9 Muppets t-shirt from Target.

So while I’ll always accept a random stranger’s offer to take a picture of my family and hope it turns out halfway decent, my main concern in regards to taking pictures of my son and wife is not that I am in the picture too.

Because honestly, the image of the three of us is always in my heart and mind. I don’t need too many physical reminders of that.

Here’s a real, legitimate portrait of my family for Christmas 1986; back when my sister was a toddler and I was a Kindergartner. This is definitely “in the moment.”



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Send Me Your Family’s Holiday Cards for My Fridge

Monday, November 21st, 2011

One year.

Let’s get something straight: Right now I want you put me on your list of people who you will be mailing your family’s holiday cards to. Bonus points if you’re all wearing sweaters in the picture!

It can be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; even just a basic “Happy Holidays” card. If it’s got a picture of your family on it, wishing me happiness this holiday season, I want it.

Fine, I’ll even accept a family snapshot you printed off from your computer on a piece of regular printer paper. Emailed cards won’t work for this, though; it has to already be printed out when I receive it.

You see, it’s not fair; this whole Dadabase thing. You are able to see pictures of my family everyday and read our stories, yet I never see you. That sort of makes you a stalker.

I don’t want this to be a one way street. I want to meet you, readers.

So I’m going to make this thing interesting. As your family holiday cards start rolling in, I will be sticking them on my fridge and regularly taking pictures of the growing collection.

That’s right; you’ll see your own family here on The Dadabase. (As you can see, currently there are zero cards on my fridge- just some of Jack’s artwork.)

Plus, by mailing your card to me, you will be entering yourself for my upcoming book giveaways. I usually give the featured book to the first commenter. Well, that’s not how it will work for the next little while.

Each time there’s a post where I am giving a way a new book (or prize of any kind) I will toss all the card entries into a hat. Then, Jack will draw a winner. If he picks your family’s holiday card, I’ll look to see your address from the card and have the prize sent to you.

Sound like fun? That’s because it is. So right now add me to your list of people who will receive your family’s holiday card. Here’s the address, which is not where I actually live:

Nick Shell c/o The Dadabase

300 Seaboard Lane #5

Franklin, TN 37067

Seriously, stop stalking me and make this a mutual thing. I already know enough creepy people in my life.

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Our First Professional Family Portrait Session

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Week 18 (4 months).

It’s funny how despite the hundreds of pictures we have taken of Jack each month since he was born in November, there are hardly any that include him with my wife and I together; in other words, no family portraits.  On top of the practicality issue, there’s also the fact that we are very particulate about our pictures not looking cheesy.  The best photographer in the world is Joe Hendricks Photography, who did our “pregnancy pics” which are featured in virtually every episode of Season One of “dad from day one” (1-36).  He also took the picture of Jack asleep on Thanksgiving Day, the one that you see featured at the top of this website as my banner.  Joe Hendricks is always my first choice.

However, I will also give “mad props” (that’s my salute to the year 2003) to JC Penney.  They have this program called “Portrait Perks” and it is definitely worth being a part of.  My wife took Jack to get his pictures taken back in December for our Christmas cards/birth announcements and we were very pleased with the results. Then over this past weekend we went back to JC Penney to get our first professional family portraits taken and to use our soon-to-expire $50 store credit we earned from our “Portrait Perks” program.  We were in and out in about an hour and 15 minutes, and after using our $50 credit, our bill was only $4.95.

Granted, we only bought about five of the 30 shots and we don’t own the copyrights to the pictures, but still I can legally share them with you today if you click on the link at the very end of this entry.  I should note that neither Joe Hendricks or JC Penney is paying me to say good things about them.  It’s just that I’m a firm believer that when someone does something right, you should say something.  Because sometimes it’s too easy to listen to negativity.  I don’t want to add to the noise.

If you’ve been keeping up with the last two “special episodes” of  ”dad from day one”, you know that Monday, March 27th is the long awaited for, miraculously conceived big day, when I start my new job.  Thank God!  Infinite times!  For me, these family portraits I am sharing with you today represent the happy ending to nearly four dramatic months and the winter season, as well as the new beginning (symbolized by the color green) of our life here in Alabama.  A life that, thanks to God’s miraculous providence and not some major coincidence, is feeling pretty good right about now.

Okay, click here to see the pictures I’m referring to.

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