We had our first professional photos as a family taken over Easter weekend. My Dad treated our whole family to a mini session with the delightful Amy Russell of Pinwheel Portrait. As someone who spends most of her time behind the camera, these photos feel extra precious. It's rare for all three of us to make it into the same photo!
The problem is almost certainly genetic. Amy took some shots of my whole family, complete with spouses and grandkids – a photo that somehow didn't exist yet, even as much as we all get together.
C was very shy about being photographed, so he ended up being held for almost every photo. The result was a collection of pictures that actually does a great job of capturing our family's current dynamic. He loves his Dad, his Nana, his Pop-Pop, aunties, uncles, and cousins – but nobody can compete with Mama.
His constant attention can be a little exhausting to tell you the truth, but I know there will be a day (probably a lot closer than I'd like to admit) where I'll wish I could capture his heart this way again. Also, coffee helps.
My sister, Sarah, found these amazing Strong Like Mom t-shirts at Target* so of course we had to get a photo with my sisters and our little boys. At this point C was pretty much done modeling so we took this group of pictures with a full-on booby latch happening.
God, I love him, but sometimes I worry that he'll never stop nursing!
Amy took this amazing shot of my three sisters and I with our Mom. I think it is one of my favorite pictures EVER. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who thinks so either. I predict five prints are headed for frames shortly.
What I love most about this picture is how it captures my mother's spirit and personality, and how the four of us have come to love and understand it in a special way now that we're "all grown up". My mom has really opened up to us in the past few years, and we've opened up to her. It may sound a little funny to say, but I feel like we've finally become friends.
I've always loved my mom, but as our relationship morphs and we both grow into these richer, more seasoned versions of ourselves I discover just how much I respect this bold, brilliant, and hilarious woman. Growing up, I sometimes felt annoyed that my mother wanted to be my friend, to laugh with me, to share her feelings, and spend her energy cheering me on instead of pushing against me.
I guess the difference is that back then I was looking for walls. These days I crave wide open spaces – like my mom's great big smile, arms spread out for hugs, and that cheek-aching belly laugh that I only experience with the women I love most - my sisters, my mom, my best friends.
Speaking of laughing, my youngest sister (pictured here with her own darling baby) is putting on her ridiculously funny sketch show, I'm So Sorry on May 22nd as part of ATX Sketch Fest. Even if she wasn't my little sister I would still tell you to go because the show is honest-to-god hilarious.
You will especially like it if you are a fan of other unapologetically female comedians like Amy Schumer or the babes from Broad City. If you're in Austin on May 22 definitely check it out. You can buy tickets here OR you could win a pair from me, if you're lucky.
So what's the verdict on having family photos taken? It gets a big HOORAY. We are definitely doing this every year.