Family Photo Session: Take Two

A couple of months ago, we had our first real family photo session. We’re not going to count that initial attempt, at a Target Portrait Studio. I don’t know if it was the pressure of the brief time allotment, the airbrushed background choices or the idea of creating a family milestone in the same place where I buy 24-packs of toilet paper, but even as we arrived for our appointment, I had a nagging feeling that this situation would not be a fit for us. You’d think that by the age of almost-40 I’d know to always, always pay attention to that nagging feeling.

The photographer was late, cutting into our 10-minute session. Not good when the goal is to make two unphotogenic adults and one teething toddler look good at the same time. She was crabby, too. Not ideal in any photo session, especially one involving kids. Lady took all of five family photos. Five.

At Target, directly after your session, they hand you off to a salesperson who shows you the photos on a little kiosk screen, then places your order that very moment. Sure, you can choose to think about it for a day, or even a few hours, but then the price will go up by a zillion percent. I’m certain the idea is that the pressure will cause you to order a shitload of photos because they are so inexpensive, comparatively, and also so. Darn. Cute.

This tactic did not work in our situation because in four out of the precious five photos, Clint looked greasy, heavy-lidded and slightly lecherous. Like Roy and I had spotted his late-model windowless van tailing us and decided, what the hell? Let’s see if that dude wants to join our little photo party!

So as Clint’s chasing Roy around, I’m settling into the photo pitch, and of course a little laugh sneaks out the moment this very sweet, upbeat salesperson pulls up the first family photo. It’s quite obvious why I am laughing, so she quickly moves on to the second, which happens to be worse than the first. And by “worse,” of course I mean “better at being awesomely terrible.” My little laugh blossoms. So she tries a third, which leaves me doubled over, tears streaming down my face, legs crossed to keep from peeing. “He just looks so creepy!” I muster. “Like some greasy, lurking stranger!”

You know what Sweet Salesperson did then? She suppressed her own little laugh and agreed with me. It was that bad.

I called over poor Clint—my truly handsome and totally not-sleazy husband—and he just rolled his eyes, clearly not expecting anything better. We left without placing an order. Part of me wishes we had. For the record, if I were the one with the serious case of photo-creepies, I likely would have.

Then, in a happy twist of fate, a fabulous photographer that my friends have used advertised a package special on Facebook. We jumped on it, and some of the results of our outdoor session with Yeng Lor are what you see above and after the break below.

Yeng was completely relaxed and professional, despite Roy’s nonstop toddler energy and excessive crankiness. She tailed us around a downtown Saint Paul park for much longer than she committed to.

She posed us some, but also just snapped away as we tried to cheer up poor Roy. (We actually ended up in the emergency room with him mere days later.)

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend Yeng. (“Like” her Facebook page to take advantage of last-minute specials, as we did.)

Look! We’re all smiling and grease-free! Even the dog. When I see this photo, I can’t help but think about how we’d just found out I was pregnant—and that next year’s family photo will capture a whole new level of beautiful chaos.

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  1. by anti jen

    On August 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Those are gorgeous, lady. And wow. Could Roy look any more like his papa?

  2. by Berit

    On August 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    yeah, it’s almost like Clint made him without me.

  3. by Eve

    On August 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

    There are very few things that make me return for a laugh. There is a picture of Jen Wilson’s neighbors brother that I revisit on facebook for a good chuckle. Another FB picture of a horrible Lord of the Rings cake that every once in a while provides me with a laugh.

    I had to come read this again today because your description is so funny. I’m glad we aren’t the only family with photographic issues.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  4. by Berit

    On August 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Eve, I’ll bet most families do. So glad we made you laugh! Hopefully not the last time…

  5. by Stefanie

    On August 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Oh goodness – the first time I saw this article I just looked at the photos – in which you all look amazing! I really wish you had kept those pictures – you can always use a good laugh – although I’m sure Clint is grateful to not look like a random trucker you picked up on the way…:)
    I remember family pictures like that one – mom threatening us to behave, poking each other to encourage trouble, or the elder sibling was particularly jealous about the younger sibling getting so much attention for being so cute (Tracie really is cute, even now:) And some how, we have some really nice pictures – but it is funny to think what was going on between shots!
    They are so good – she was amazing!

  6. by Tracy Grant

    On August 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    loved this!

  7. by Vivika Brasil

    On October 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    This is the reason why you don’t go to target or walmart to get your family pictures done.
    It would be great for everyone to have at least some funny family pictures, so when ever you needed a good laugh you can pull them out.