Perusing page after page of beautiful, happy family photos on Pinterest and in my Facebook feed, the poses typically reflect many smiling faces and happy family members relishing each photographic moment and adoring the time spent together to take every picture. You can see the joy, love and beautiful emotion in the photoshopped-sparkle of every eye and the natural glisten of each smile. Everyone cooperates, smiles in sync, and need I even say, all hair is perfectly combed, teeth brushed until white, nails painted meticulously, babies bathed and carpets vacuumed. The photos – and the people – are spotless.
And then you have us.
I forgot to bathe the baby, didn’t have time to vacuum the rugs and neglected to shave my legs for the occasion with longtime friend from high school, and an incredible creative, Lindsay Henderson Edward of LuLuEdward.
So, from the start of our family photo shoot, we were a bit disheveled. I wasn’t sure how our crazy, fidgety, unkempt, but sometimes-cute family might churn out photos ever worthy of being on Pinterest, but I figured if anyone could do it, it was Lindsay. Plus, I’d seen her do amazing things with already-camera-ready families, so I thought, “Let’s throw her a curveball. A real challenge.”
When Lindsay arrived, we started with a small tour of the house where – once upstairs – I proceeded to strip down in front of her in all the glory of my unshaved legs to change into the “camera-ready” attire I’d prepared: a borrowed dress my sister had delivered to me just two hours prior.
I think I apologized for the rugs not having been vacuumed and she quickly forgave me and herded the family into my son’s playroom. After the first three pictures, Tucker, my three-year-old, decided he’d had enough of this picture-taking mumbo-jumbo and gave the camera something really wonderful to work with. He climbed on Jay’s head and pulled his nose off his face, body-splashed his six-month-old little brother (who thought it was funny, of all reactions), and laid on the floor kicking wildly into the air at Lindsay who was hovering over him with the camera to capture the whole thing in a photo. Picture perfect!
At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself about Tucker, “what a terror,” but I assure you, he was recovering from a sinus infection and definitely having an off day. He normally loves taking pictures, but this day was just special, I guess!
So it continued. Jay took Tucker into the other room for a little “break,” so Taylor and I pretended to have a cuddle sesh for Lindsay where he proceeded to drool profusely into my long hair, grab my eyebrow and then strategically place his gooey drool hand inside my mouth for good measure. Should be some great shots there, Lindsay.
After all of that, Lindsay actually wanted to continue spending time with us. We went to lunch a few blocks away, caught up, talked shop and she even volunteered to hold my baby. Because she wanted to? The woman’s a saint, I tell you.
So what does an uncooperative three-year-old; a drooling, teething six-month-old; unshaved legs; non-vacuumed rugs; three barking dogs; neighborhood kid distractions; and a borrowed dress get you? Well, we did something right, because Lindsay later sent me this preview of our first photos: http://luluedward.com/2015/04/jay-bridgets-lifestyle-family-session-baltimore-lifestyle-family-photographer/. Quite Pinnable, if I do say so myself. I think I even see a sparkling eye and a glistening smile. She captured our imperfect family perfectly. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
We’re not the spotless, sparkling, shipshape families on Pinterest. But we’re better. We’re us.