Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Photo Shoot

This year I decided to forego school pictures. I have lived places where you can see a proof of the photo before deciding to buy, but around here you pay first and are stuck with whatever weird/unfortunate face your kid decides to make when the school photographer says "say cheese" (my friend Megan's 3rd grade school picture sporting plastic vampire fangs is a cautionary tale, albeit a hilarious one). Don't get me wrong--this unpredictability is part of the charm of school photos. My nephews and nieces had some priceless ones this year. You can't buy those kinds of memories. Oh. Wait. Yes, you can (for only $40 a kid!). But, I've never been much of a gambler and I'd rather not spend our money on photos of my boys with painful fake smiles and sweaty hair because they had P.E. or recess before it was their class's turn for pictures (yes, this has happened to us before). These photographs are going to be gracing our family room walls for at least the next year, so I want them to show my boys' personalities and be somewhat pleasant to look at. So, last Monday on Columbus Day (no school!) I bribed all four of them with promises of food, (of course) to let me take a bunch of pictures at our favorite scenic locale.

I'm an amateur. I have a decent, but not great camera, but I do have good looking kids (if you'll pardon my saying so), and I was reasonably happy with how the pictures turned out. Now I just need to decide which ones I want to have printed. I took well over 200 pictures (digital cameras--a blessing and a curse) because there were roughly 150 photos where one or more of my children a.) had their eyes closed, b.) were making a weird face/talking, c.) weren't looking at the camera or d.) all of the above. Anyway, I managed to narrow the final choices down to these.

First the individual portraits:
Danny #1

Danny #2

Nate #1

Nate #2

Joel #1

Joel #2

Seth #1

Seth #2
And now the group shots:
 Group Photo #1

 Group Photo #2

 Group Photo #3

 Group Photo #4

 Group Photo #5

 Group Photo #6

 Group Photo #7

 Group Photo #8
I'd love to hear what you think. I'm having a tough time deciding. Which ones should I have printed? Chime in with opinions in the comments, please. Also, grandparents, take note: I will accept requests for your favorites as Christmas presents this year. They won't be a surprise, but I'm sure you will love them anyway.

And just for fun, here are some of the many, many outtakes--the best of the worst, if you will.
Clockwise from the top:
The Something-on-the-ground-is-more-interesting-than-the-photographer shot
The Picking-the-nose/This-is-torture shot
The Stifled-yawn shot
The Quit-distracting-your-brother shot
The Photographer-doesn't-know-what-she's-doing/This-pose-was-obviously-a-bad-idea shot
The Everyone-is-doing-something-weird-in-this-picture shot

The boys were getting tired toward the end, but we actually had a pretty fun time. It was a beautiful fall day and in between photos there was plenty of playing and running around. We laughed a lot too. I'd do it again, but probably not until next year. Or the year after that.

Do you buy school pictures or have a professional photographer do photos for you or do you just bite the bullet and do it yourself? Tell me in the comments.


Heather Oxborrow said...

I like the second of the first three boys and the first of Seth. Group shots were harder as I love 2, 4, 5, and 7. The jury is still out on buying pictures, you saw the proof and we'll probably get at least the class picture. :) we had family pictures done about the same time at jcpenney and they didn't have a hard time getting great individual pics of the boys. Have you seen the school picture studio c?

Tanya said...

I like 1,1,2,1 of the singles, and then 1, 4, 5 and 7 the best of the group shots.
I bought school portraits for the first two years for my first kid, and then kindergarten pics for my second- only because life was too crazy to fit in my own. But I take way better photos (you do too!!!) than the photographer companies that come to the school, so I only buy the class pic and yearbook. I try to do birthday photo shoots and fall photo shoots...some years it works out, some it doesn't. We also take our own family pics with a tripod! :)

Tanya said...

I forgot to say- gorgeous setting, btw!!! I love the shot of them standing lined up by age, the grassy path looks incredible!

Linda said...

I'm no help because I think they are all wonderful and you should print them all! You are an excellent photographer and your boys are all handsome, even with fingers up their noses.

Shannon said...

What good looking boys! Your boys smirk like mine do--can't seem to get them to smile! I've done my own photos for a long time now. It's SOOOO much cheaper than school photos (I print mine at Costco for under $10 total!). I don't think you'll ever go back to school pics--great job!

Mom said...

I can see what you mean about having a hard time to decide. They are all sooo good! I like different things about all of them. But if I had to choose which are my favorites right now, it would be: 1, 2, 2, 2, 6. In five minutes it might be different. So I guess I trust your judgment. I would be happy with any of them. (And now I can't wait for Christmas . . . )

carriecatherine said...

You did a good job, I hate buying school pics also, I bought the smallest package possible in case they were good. For your I would say Danny #1, Nate #1, Joel is harder, if you want the pics more uniform I would say #1 beacuse then none of them have teeth showing smiles and it is closer up like the others, but I prefer #2. Seth I would say #1. For the group pics I personally like #3, #5 (which is probably my favorite), #6 and #7 (my second favorite). I love the one of the boys hugging on the green path, it's fun and the one with Danny pretending to pick his nose. Maybe you should frame the bloopers page you made just to show the fun ;) Goo luck choosing!