Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Value of the Annual Family Photo

"The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: 
thou maintainest my lot."
Psalm 16:5

Working on the annual Christmas Cards always brings up the matter of the
annual family photo.

  Family photos are priceless.

This is my Mothers Paternal Grandparents and children.
Unfortunately, the picture was taken before my Grandfather had entered the scene.

 This is my Mother's maternal grandparents with their 3 children.

 When we married, my husband and I didn't get into doing the yearly family photo thing
until Violet came along.
We took pictures together before that,
so why did we need to go sit in front of somebody we didn't know and pretend to smile?
 Yes, a little bit corny and cheesy thing to do,
I guess...

 ...but what's life without some cheese and corn now and then.

 We missed a couple of years in there.
However, it is fun to look back on the years and see the changes.
You don't feel life going by until you see the pictures of what seems like
"just yesterday."

A few years back, we got all decked out to go to the fire hall to get our family portrait done
because it came free with a donation.

But when we arrived there after church,
the line was incredible.

My farmer went and picked us up some lunch,
we ate it,
and it still looked like we'd have another hour or more to wait.

Two little kids
and a man who uses his days off to do farming stuff "full-speed-ahead":
these things don't mix well with sitting around in a fire hall all afternoon.
The mood was getting grumpy all around.

So we went home and set up the digital camera
and used the timer.

It took us several tries,
but we finally got one that we all liked.
 This picture always reminds me of the secret that I was carrying.
I had a suspicion I was pregnant in this picture,
but I waited until Christmas Day to tell my Farmer.

 We liked the ability to take our own family portraits,
and a tradition was born.

(Traditions are great when they cost less money as well.)

 But it's not always easy to get the perfect shot.
Children are hard enough to get to cooperate,
but the dog was obviously holding a grudge this day and refused to look at the camera.
"I'm sorry you're not in the spotlight anymore, Fido.

But we still love you."

 It's great having a computer program that I can use to crop pictures.
It helps with the ones where the kids look good,
but the adults,
not so much.


 It's fun to make my children look like they are ancient.

Finally, a good family one pops up.

 Of course, doing home-pictures has it's downfalls:
there are lots of blurry ones...

 "Yikes, Levi.
What is that?
Are you smiling or in pain?"

Lillie's not too sure about this whole thing either.

 The kittens are forced into the drama.

"Levi, keep the cat alive for the photo, please."

 "The camera is THIS WAY, Levi."

How do you people with lots of boys get a good picture?

 "Okay, we'll use this one.  At least you're all looking the right way."

 Surprisingly, the family photos turned out pretty well on the first few tries.


 Another great thing about my computer program is that it has a way to fix
"damaged" photos, called cloning.

I used it on this one on the wall behind Violet's arm.
See the big black opening to the fireplace.

 I copied part of the wall from another place and glued it in,
well, cropped and pasted it in, in a sense.
It comes in super handy,
although a little time-consuming.

I've worked on several old photos to repair them using this method.

But no matter what you do,
how you work at getting the children to "look here,"
"now smile,"
"No, smile like you mean it,"
and then crop
and repair...

 there's just always gotta be a clown in the group.

But it's okay;
I still love you.

(And, of course, I have someone to blame it on when the kids act that way.)


  1. Oh Tonya! I got a great laugh on this post! Especially the pic of Shawn!!! Your family is so precious! Any secrets in the pictures from the present???

  2. These photos are really fun. Your son always looks like he's either absolutely thrilled to have his picture taken or wishing he could disappear.

    So cute.


  3. No, Tammy! Definitely NOT! If we had started when I was 20, I think I would have liked a couple more; whether or not I could have talked Shawn into it... I feel like I'm still recovering from Lillie!
    Thank you, Sue! Yes, Levi is a riot. He keeps us laughing all the time. He says the funniest stuff at the strangest times. He was being wild yesterday from not getting outside to play much b/c he's been getting over a cold, and I told him I think he needs to do a little school to keep him occupied, and he looked shocked and said, "NO! School is for girls, not boys." I responded, "No, boys go to school, too. You'll do school when you get bigger, just like sister." He answered, "Nope, I'm not getting any bigger. I'm already big enough." :)

  4. Priceless!!

    Thanks for linking up with Lazy Wed Walk!
    The Lazy Mom was here.


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