After a rip-roaring morning at Butler's Orchard, we spent the afternoon getting ready for our family photo shoot with Alia Cardwell. It was a stressful afternoon, to say the least.
The kids all needed a bath and I was way anal about their hair (especially Ginger's) drying properly. Ed and I had stayed up very late the night before figuring out what we would wear (more on that below), and I needed to hem the jeans I was wearing. Which took a lot longer than expected, to get them just right. Meanwhile, Ed had "put Poppy down for a nap" which meant he had laid down with her and fallen asleep. We were running behind!
We got the girls dressed and rushed our showers. I was recovering from a nasty case of pink eye, and worried about that, plus I was planning to blow out my hair carefully with a round brush, you know, like I do once every two years for a photo shoot, but there was just no time so I blowed it carefully straight and hoped for the best. It was a warm afternoon and I was sweating from heat and stress and then had to put on a sweater and apply make-up, trying to not be too pink.
Photo shoots stress me out. Everyone has to look good, including me (I would much rather be behind-the-camera stylist.) And you have to be there on time. And everyone has to relax, smile and behave. It's a lot to ask. While getting ready, on the way there, and during the shoot, I just kept repeating my new mantra. Which I'll tell you about in another post.
Styling the family for a shoot is tricky. I didn't have a plan, and I didn't have a lot of time when we booked Alia, only about a week and a half. So I turned to Tea Collection, which has lovely children's clothes and, unlike many lines, you can buy the same things from size 0 to 12 yrs old. So while I'm not usually matchy-matchy I thought it would be cute and easy to get the girls matching dresses, just this once. And it was cute. Hazel wore jeans under hers, Ginger wore tights and boots and Poppy went bare-legged with Robeez.
However, I don't think we'll do it again. I didn't anticipate the nightmare it posed for me and Ed. If all three girls matched, then Ed and I needed to coordinate with them. But all the time I didn't want to be matchy (you know, like the denim-and-white pictures.) Plus I have wardrobe issues right now anyway, from my special post-baby body. We spent a few hours Friday night trying to figure it out. Very tricky. In the end, there was just a lot of blue, which we all look good in, but it might be too much. Won't know until I see the pictures.
Working with Alia was wonderful. We did the shoot on Theodore Roosevelt Island, with lots of leaves, bridges, and cobblestones as background. She was professional, adaptive, and definitely knew how to work with children, sensitive to their attention spans, and prepared with a goody bag and an awesome barking puppy puppet which caught Poppy's attention and made her smile over and over.She also incorporated my requests, which we had discussed previously and included candids, kid shots and hiding me as much as possible in the family poses. Ed and I feel strongly about sending a whole family picture in Christmas cards (we HATE getting pictures of just people's kids), but that is in direct contrast to me self-consciously not wanting to be in any pictures this year. But I sucked it up, sacrificing vanity for the team, and we shall see.
Of course, Ed always looks good - has he even changed in 10 years? And Poppy couldn't be more perfect with her bald head and sexy legs.
We also got some couples shots, and some of Ed running around playing tag with the girls. On our way back to the cars I was holding Poppy and walking and talking with Alia when I had a thought and asked her to take a picture of us for Poppy's baby book. I don't have a single picture of us together and I'm so happy she complied. Hope I remembered to hold my chin up.
I think the pictures will be great. I hope. I'm a little afraid. But mostly I am so glad it's over.