(three days in advance): Inform husband that pictures will be taken of our children. And quite possibly him. Ignore whines and moans and eager suggestions that said portrait session take place in front/back yard. Insist (borrowing parenting techniques from Love and Logic) that while this is frustrating, it must be done.
Point to blank walls in new house.
Point to office area with walls papered in clients’ children.
Point to own sad face.
Point to own precious offspring.
(day before): remind hubby gently, while assuring him it will be painless, fun, and possibly good bonding time. Ignore pleas and moans for a ‘free pass’.
8am : pointedly avoid mentioning session happening later in the day.
12pm: Show children the massive lollipops they can have when they are at the park having their picture taken by Mommy (cue high, excited tone of voice). Suggest naps for entire family so all are fresh and in good moods (mainly the husband).
1:00: Begin putting little ones to bed for all important nap.
1:05: Suddenly realize their clothes, while bought and carefully put away weeks ago, should be unearthed and prepped for an easier afternoon.
1:20: Frantically realize that the reason son’s shirt (that matches daughter’s dress) cannot be found is because he wore it to preschool the day before and is currently residing in dirty clothes hamper, covered in ketchup, finger paint, and dried yogurt. Unearth and throw into washer (while whispering thanks for the ‘quick wash’ cycle).
1:45: Threaten both daughter and son with a lifetime of guilt (at the same time promising ice cream and toys) if they will just. stay. in. bed.
1:50: Lay kids’ clothing and check to make sure both sets of clothes match. Look up-notice the rain falling (again).
2:00 Sit at computer and blog about session up to this point as a way of letting go of things we cannot control, and accepting those we can.
4:25: Son is awake and never actually napped (oh dear). Wake daughter and whisper “Lollipop!”. She’s UP and eager to go. (big sigh of relief). Tell hubby we need to leave at 5.
4:30: Hubby heads into shower. Children are fed one last snack (in their undies, to keep the (newly washed) clothes clean).
5:00: Hubby actually gets INTO the shower. Bite tongue and try not to grouch about his tendency to talk ‘like a girl’ to his guy friends. Dress kids, encourage potty for both, pack extra snacks, water, wipes, shoes, outfits, rain boots and umbrellas (in case in rains and we switch tactics-wouldn’t mind some cute puddle splashing pictures either), mosquito spray, lollipops, hairbrush, small bows…wonder how families show up calm, cool and collected at their sessions every day.
5:30: Hubby is ready. Kids are ready. I am ready. Almost forget camera equipment. Grab reflector as it looks like it might rain again and it is really, really overcast. Mumble to self that if this was a client’s session, we would have rescheduled.
5:45: arrive at the park. Unload kids, gear, husband. It starts to rain. Reload kids, gear, husband, grumpy self.
5:50: rain stops. It’s do or die time, and we tumble out once again. Agree to let daughter wear her fairy wings and bring the hot pink light-up fairy wand. Inhale deeply, pray for patience, and try to let go of “mom” role and step into “photographer” role.
6:15: Kids did well, Hubby did well. Mentally swear to hire someone to do this next time, if for no other reason than to protect my marriage.
And the results?
(click to enlarge)