the quest for the perfect holiday photo

The Quest for the Perfect Holiday Photo
My Very Own Personal Version of Awkward Family Photos

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of the holiday photo (and the long, newsy annual letter). I love the pictures, especially the ones with the whole family. They arrive in the mail from our friends and we post them on our fridge for the year. Computerguy and I have done a photo almost every year since we got married. The two years we didn’t were the years we were expecting (just sort of happened that way) and we ended up sending out baby announcements instead, so we did technically correspond with people that year. We are never ever on time and this year is our latest yet. We were going to go for Groundhog Day cards, but that’s out now, so maybe we’ll shoot for St. Patrick.

Anyway… with this in mind and a fancy new camera, this year I started pushing to take family photos at every possible opportunity with the idea that one of them would work out as the Perfect Holiday Photo and maybe it would be at an interesting place to boot. With a one-year-old and a three-year-old and a couple of somewhat geeky parents, we got more fodder for Awkward Family Photos than we did Perfect Holiday Photo, but we did finally get a good if not exotic picture. It was on a rainy day at a birthday party in a park.

I thought it would be fun to post the also-ran photos here. Some of them are okay and we could have made them work, but most are just a little, um, awkward.

“We’re in Minnesota. Let’s take a picture in front of this giant Spoon-with-Cherry Sculpture. With the kids on our shoulders.” I’m sure all those thoughts came out of my mouth in one sense or another.

I actually really like this photo, also in Minneapolis, but there’s that darn dinosaur in Squeak’s mouth.

East Park, the park I grew up going to whenever we visited my grandparents and that my dad and his siblings grew up going to all their lives. “We’ll let the kids stay in the swings. Won’t that be a fun photo?”

Peter Pan’s Pirate Ship! “Can we do a family photo?” And then the baby was hidden by the mast and the girl by the wheel and other people dared play on the ship in the middle of our photo shoot and so on.

The Round Table! Perfect! or not.

In front of the ocean in Santa Cruz. Strollers never make for great photos, but I’m rockin’ the jacket, shorts, socks, and sandals.

Every year we try for a pumpkin patch photo. This year it was a little bit of a comedy of errors. Computerguy’s dad was using our camera but didn’t think it was working so took only one or two photos. My dad was taking photos, but not getting our attention, so we weren’t looking his way. And grandmas were working on getting kids smiling without paying attention to what camera was going. And so on.

Halloween. It was never really going to work.

This wasn’t a Perfect Holiday Photo attempt, but I think it was the first picture all year where all of us were smiling. I told my Vermont cousin that she and her boyfriend might well end up on our Holiday card.

Let’s take a bunch of pictures in a Yurt with Exercise Balls. It’s fun!

“Wouldn’t it be cool if this California family could take our holiday photo in front of the Atlantic?” (Mostly these are my ideas.) CG humors me. The kids, not so much.

One of my favorite pictures of CG and Bubble and me is Thanksgiving 2007, so I thought we could do another “traditional” Thanksgiving photo. “Let’s pose as if we are eating the fondue.” It’s a shame Bubble had a fever. She just looks a little “off.”

And, finally, a really nice photo (taken by the redhead several photos above) that will show up eventually with a collage and letter. Maybe Easter. And maybe photoshopped onto a more exotic locale.


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3 Responses to the quest for the perfect holiday photo

  1. quackademic says:

    This is great! Thanks for making be laugh.

  2. Love it!
    And I actually like the one with the kids in the swings. A little cropping and this one would work.:)

  3. Leslie says:

    This makes me think of those Windows commercials running right now…the one where the exasperated mom shouts “To the cloud!” and pastes in a bunch of different heads onto the best body shot. That kind of perfection is creepy. I’d take one of these instead any day.

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