Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Family Pics

We have been wanting to get an updated family picture for our adoption profile since Clara is changing so much these days.  So this past Sunday my sister Jessica graciously agreed to take photos for us, which is no small thing considering the fact that both Paul and I consider ourselves to be slightly better than average photographers, we aren't the most photogenic people (other than Clara), and we have a toddler to work with on this photo shoot.  After every few frames Paul or I would want to look at the images Jessica was capturing and we would coach her on adjustments like "fill the frame more" or "don't cut off the feet" or "we need to move to a shadier location for better lighting", etc.  Obnoxious, I know, but she was great about it and best of all, she was free. 

We drove to a nearby historic house in Saratoga that is some kind of museum or something that is closed on Sundays and took photos around the grounds and in the neighboring cherry orchard.  Clara was NOT interested in having photos taken.  She writhed and squirmed and fought us the entire time.  Paul, Jessica and I tried dancing with her, letting her walk some of her wiggles out, playing music for her - basically anything we could think of - but we were taking photos between 5 and 6 o'clock for optimal lighting and I think Clara was ready for dinner and the snacks I had given her before we left weren't tiding her over like I had hoped.  Plus, we had dragged her away from her cousin Emma and Clara was looking for that fun orange-haired girl that she loved to play with so much.

So here are the photos that we like best:  there are eight to choose from that turned out pretty well although we have frustrations with each of them (someone not quite looking at the camera or not smiling or shoes cut off or my face looks fat, etc.  You know how it is, right?).  I will label them "A", "B", "C" and so on for convenience and if anyone wants to leave a comment letting us know your favorite before we choose one for our adoption profile and pass-along cards, that we be a HUGE help.  Maybe take note of the letter (or letters) of your favorite(s) so you don't have to scroll back up here by the time you make it to the end of the post where I post all the candid photos and outtakes from the photo shoot.  Ready?  Here we go:

Option A:

Option B:

Option C:

Option D:

Option E:

Option F:

Option G:

Option H:

I know this is once again, a post with too many photos, but I had to include some of the outtakes because they were just too cute or hilarious not to post them.  Incidentally, one of the reasons I post so many photos on here is because when I was making our blog books last year, I discovered that it turned out best in the posts where there were numerous photos because I could fill an entire page of the book with pics and include the "journaling" portion on the side.  SO much easier than scrapbooking (which I still enjoy but just don't have time for really), even if it makes for really long blog posts. 

I love this photo of me and Clara.  The little romper that Clara is wearing was a gift from Paul's cousin Heather and her family.  I borrowed Jessica's new shirt from Ann Taylor Loft and the double-strand pearl necklace I wore is actually Clara's - I got it for her at Gymboree on clearance for $4 a couple of weeks ago and I grabbed them on a whim when I was getting ready on Sunday to be a little fancier for the photos since I basically have no clue how to accessorize.   

I didn't intentionally wear my pink canvas Crocs to match Clara's pink Stride Rite's but it is one of the details of these photos that I love.

Paul was pointing out a butterfly.  I didn't realize we were holding hands when this photo was taken but I noticed it when I was developing the pics and thought it was sweet.

The natural backlighting from the sun is awesome in this picture of me and Clara.  I love how it lights up our hair.

What. A. Beauty.

Remember how I said Clara squirmed and fought the whole time?  Here are a couple of pictures to prove it.  Either that or she has been watching too much ANTM and was trying out some high-fashion posing.  You can kind of tell by Paul's forced smile that we were a little bit exasperated at this point.

I finally handed Clara off to her dad for a go at settling her down since she clearly wasn't interested in hanging out in mom's arms for one more picture.

We ended up having an impromptu dance party.  Clara's dancing mostly consists of bouncing up and down although just yesterday she added in a funny head shake and arm wave that had Paul and I cracking up all night long as we let her stay up way too late dancing with us in the living room.  This is her bounce stance.

She was really getting into it while I snapped out a beat for her.

But even after the dance party she still wanted to run away. 

"No more pictures!!!" she wailed.

Two seconds later, she looked like this:

But then it was back to trying to escape.  Oh heavens, how does anyone get a decent family picture with a one-year old?

After moving to the cherry orchard, Clara wanted some of her favorite fruit (it used to be strawberries but ever since I introduced cherry halves, Clara has been obsessed).  You can see her eyes scanning the trees for the little red cherries.

Paul thought that maybe offering her some fruit would sweeten her up. 

The photos didn't really improve much - at least not for a usable profile pic - but it was hilarious watching Clara gape her mouth open like this.  Don't worry - we didn't just tease.  I would bite them in half and give her the half without the pit.  The photo shoot was pretty much over at this point so it didn't matter that she ended up with red juice dripping down her wee chin.

So that is it for our family photo shoot.  Thanks, Jessica, for doing such a great job and putting up with us!  Don't forget to leave a comment letting us know which of the option above (A thru H) was your favorite.  You can choose more than one.


  1. They're all so cute, but I love B and H!

    It's hard getting pictures at that age!!

  2. B is my absolute favorite, I think it's adorable. But if you're looking for a more traditional, looking-at-the-camera pose I like D best. I like F, too, since Clara is smiling more, but it crops your shoulder a bit. I thought maybe that would be good for a blog button, and you could crop it closer to Paul as well to make it more square? Anyway, they're all great pictures - at least you've got good options!

  3. Lovely Family!

    D is definitely my favorite.

    A and H are not quite crisp enough.

    B and C you can't see your face enough. They would be cute at secondary pictures, not the main one.

    E is nice, but not as nice as D.

    F and G I don't like that people are cut off or there is too much background.

  4. F, B, and C in that order.
    I like that you're all smiling in F, even if Clara isn't looking at the camera. And B is a lot of fun. I like that you're smiling as you kiss Clara, and it almost looks like Clara is enjoying it! And C shows what kind of parents you are--enjoying a walk with your little one.
    I like the lighting of D better than A, but Clara looks pretty annoyed in D. And Paul looks tired in E. I bet you could do a face swap with F though, the angle is almost the same. H is cute too, but Paul's face is washed out too much by the ray of sun--it touches his eye. You could probably fix that though.

    And I love pictures in blogs. I think they add a lot to what your saying. Especially because I write my blog to show off pictures of Claire to family members that don't get to see her.

  5. I love F, and I loooooove G,. I love B but you can't see your faces :(. The one I really love and think would sum up your familu, relationship, and how you are as parents is the butterfly one. Not one of the choices, but I just love it and it would be my choice.

  6. Love photo "C" for the back of the pass-a-long card and "A" for the front! Gotta love pass-a-long cards. That is how we found our soon to be boy!

  7. "F" is my favorite. They are all cute though.

  8. All gorgeous pictures! Jessica did a great job! My favs were d, e, f with e probably as my favorite. the expressions in f are the best but i like the composition better in e. Any way you go will be great! What a darling happy family. I also love the pic of Clara dancing. What a hoot!

  9. D is definitely the best all around. Best composition, best coloring/lighting, the most crisp. I don't think it matters that Clara isn't looking (and I don't think she looks annoyed). B & C are cute but don't seem appropriate as a main photo. For a profile and pass along card it seems like your full faces should be showing. Whether admitted or not, people want to see what you look like. You don't want to seem like you are hiding your faces :) Great for a secondary or back of card pic.

    F is nice if you cropped a little more from the right side.

    I want to like A, but it just isn't crisp and my eye travels first to Clara and second to the flower on your shirt.

  10. B & C.

    All of them are cute photos though. Hope things move quickly for you through your second adoption process.

  11. I like them all, you are all photogenic:) I like A, B, and F best though:)

  12. I like F the best because you all have great smiles in that one. But I also like the butterfly picture and the ones where Paul is feeding Clara cherries. The candidness is fun. I think that they all turned out nice though and if you hadn't included all of those out takes, I might have been fooled into thinking you have some kind of magic trick for making babies hold still for photos. :)

  13. I laughed over and over. Cute family & GREAT pictures I love the cherry ones. Bribery is the best isn't it? Thanks for sharing these. BTW - I am so jealous of your beautiful hair!

  14. I like D best, and E second. Although my favorite of all the photos on this post is the very last one. Real smiles, and genuine Clara. Perfect. Now I want to know which one you would have chosen.

  15. I have been reading for about a year now and I don't think I ever comment, but couldn't help but comment today. I really like E. Everyone is looking the light is good and it is a nice picture of you all. Personally I love the last one with Paul feeding Clara the cherry, but probably not what you are want for your profile and pass around cards.

  16. B's my fave. But they're all super cute. What a beautiful family you are!


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