Tuesday, 8 November 2011

On traditions and memories.

Ever since the birth of the Princess we have been taking family photos every year - in her first year we had two sessions, mainly because I won the second one. I like to use a different photographer every year for variation. I do not have the details of the older years, but our last two years were done by Jeanette Verster - stunning photos and my favorite family shot ever (2010). Sadly, this year I have made a bit of a boo-boo with this all.

It has been a tough year for us, both in terms of time and emotional stuff, but also on the business front, where we have felt the pinch of the global economic crunch for the first time. So, clever I tried to save costs and when the photographer at the Princess' school (and a well known children's photographer) offered to take sibling pictures too, I saw the chance to have at least nice shots of the kids and be done for the year. And what a mess that was - gosh, I was so upset. She asked us to be at the school hall at 1:30 and she was available up to 3pm. We were there at 1:20 - to be faced with a queue of 7 families before us (and another 4 after us). The photographer had her second shoot doing individuals and she doing the groups. She was taking up to 10 to 20 minutes per sibling set - the wait was long and hot. So not what  a SID kid need in his life. She the second shoot started with the boys she gave up in 5 minutes - L was just out of it. The flashing lights, loud kids etc, just got to him. Adding to that they gave him a toolbox with talking tools to hold - of course, taking his full attention and resulting on him looking down all the time. She made a snide little remark to the main photographer that "this boy is impossible to work with" The main girl assured me that it will be fine. Another 15 minute wait while she was photographing the school secretaries' grandchildren, she informed me that we will have to come back on Monday as she had someone waiting for her for 15 minutes already. It was 2:45! To say I nearly freaked out with all this is enough said - I merely said: "oh, but it's not 3 yet! I think she saw the anger on my face because she quickly re-phrased that she said that to get the kids moving! So NOT on, because then the Princess was all nervy and C nearly freaked out. Total waste of time - I saw the pictures today and yes - total crap. The other families before us - lovely pictures. The ones she took of the Princess in the morning are lovely and I will certainly buy them, but none from that afternoon. I do hope their school ones are ok - the girl they use there is ok, but not great.

So, now I am without the potos I use every year for our calenders and although I have lovely shots I have taken of the kids through the year, there are few featuring all 3 and 1 of us all together. I also use them for the covers and first and last page of our yearly photo books. So in a whim of time on Saturday I saw a Groupon offer coming through and bought it - we shall see what it brings, but let's hope for the best. If not great, it's no big money loss and it's close to home.If I get one great family one and one of the kids together I will be happy. Next year, we will do it "properly" again.

So do you take family pictures every year? And have your read "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin - if you have, you will understand - all about being the keeper of memories for the family which does indeed contribute a lot to my happiness.


  1. we don't take 'official' photo's every year, personally i find it's a bit much.

    But I do insist on doing a family photo shoot every year (by me) for the christmas cards that I make.

    But i hear you. Hope the special offer shoot is a wonderful success

  2. ag no!! what a terrible disappointment and waste of time!

  3. That is very dissapointing considering the long wait :( I'm sorry!

    I agree with you, photo's are so important. I hope you get some great shots with the Groupon photographer.

  4. Nope we don't take official photos - I wish we did to be honest but I just cant always justify the cost - even though I KNOW it is worth it.

    And I can honestly say that I have yet to get a really great pic from a school photographer - in the 7 years Cameron has been at school we have had "nice" ones but nothing ever WOW :-/

  5. Awesome idea to do photos every year. I have never done it! o.O

    You MUST try Natasha though she is brilliant! (as is Jenty!)www.natashawhiteley.co.za/

  6. Ever thought of setting up the tripod and doing it in the comfort of your own home or backyard. Your photos are very good and I am pretty sure you will get some stunning shots....with the children at ease because they are home.

  7. I would have slapped her if she said that about my son. I am trying to do the photo's once year - Jeanette takes all our photo's she is super amazing!

  8. @Lynette - on the first level, great idea. In practice - nope! I could not even get the three of them together with the jacarandas. They are just way to used to mommy taking photos.

  9. Oh dear, I feel your pain. You know I do.

    I love that 2008 pic! All the kids are so little and kissable :)

    When is the Groupon shoot happening?

    Yes, I will definitely insist on a shoot every year. However, I may just move to mini shoots now as I'm also finding it difficult to keep justifying not only the cost but the energy and time to D :)

  10. Over the years I have learned with photography...you get what you pay for! Too bad the good one are so pricey. I guess they know their worth!

    By the way, loved ALL the pics in this post.

  11. Great idea of having two photo shoots a year!
    Luckily we've got a photographer as a friend...

    I love your photos!!

  12. Sorry to hear that you did not have such a nice experience this year with the family photos.
    We also do this yearly but with our own camera. Meaning, we as a family pose for the photo, while another family member take the photos.
    Love your family photos.

  13. We have done family photos most years - but not sure if we'll end up having time for them this year. Maybe after the New Year, when we have Adam's 3 year pictures taken?? We'll see. I always love them though - such a special capture of life as they all grow.

  14. I'd really like to get into the habit of doing at least one shoot e year with Nicola. We did one new born one with Jeanette when she was just born, and we did one this year with my brother's girlfriend's sister. Both were gifts and we loved it!

    Maybe from next year we'll build it into the budget. ;-)

  15. This is something we don't actually do. Between Child 1's corkiness and child 2's whinyness I'm just too scared. But, I am going to make a start. Was going to schedule a family shoot now in December (actually got a date) but am postponing because we got a place for our camping trip (which wasn't actually planned - we only made the decision last week). I think I am going to build this into our budget as an annual event.

  16. We are going for one this year and will certainly continue the tradition for years to come (your photos are inspiration and motivation enough :))


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