So much of my life as a mom involves sweating. I might be lugging bags full of my kids’ stuff, wrestling a wild screaming toddler, or just living in Hotlanta – but chances are that there is currently sweat dripping down my back. I’m not a particularly sweaty person, but what can I say? Parenting brings out my most glamorous self.
But perhaps there is nothing more sweat-inducing than wrangling and primping your family members to get ready for family portraits. You know what I’m talking about. So much thought goes into finding a photographer, coordinating dates that work for everyone, ordering outfits that match (but not too much!), fixing hair, keeping clothes clean, praying no one is vomiting, hiking to the middle of a field, forcing your family members to smile and act like they love each other – all while usually carrying a child on your hip! SO.MUCH.SWEAT.
Last year, I (ambitiously) scheduled our family session one fall day around 5:00pm, hoping to capture the golden light before sunset. First big mistake! Our middle daughter (who was 2 at the time) fell asleep on the ride to the field. We had to wake her up, against her will, and plead with her to hand over the pacifier. We lost that fight.
The beautiful fall day I was hoping for quickly slid into a wild thunderstorm right before our session. EVERYTHING was muddy. Our baby wasn’t sitting up reliably on her own yet, so the minute I set her down, she was covered in dirt and mud. I ended up holding our baby for the entire session and HOLY SWEAT. I was exhausted and filthy after only 30 minutes of family pictures.
There was so much crying and whining from my three (normally) well-behaved little girls that I’m not sure how our amazing, patient, creative, and wonderful photographer was able to get beautiful pictures of our family! I’m also not sure how my husband was willing to try taking family pictures again this year!
This year, I learned my lesson. I scheduled our pictures early in the morning when my children are much easier going. I ordered our coordinating outfits months in advance of our pictures. I bribed my children to smile with the promise of donuts. By the grace of God, no one was sick. The sun was shining! I took last years’ troubles and used them as a learning tool to adjust our expectations and preparations.
And check out the magical results: