November 27, 2007

Photo Attempt Samples: One Bad and One Good

Yesterday I was telling you about my first attempt to get a Christmas card photo of the kids, and you were like, "Heh-LO, SAMPLES!" So, okay, first a photo that represents the typical photo I take of all five children together, the kind I expect to get roughly 100 of for each photo worth considering:

From left to right:
  • William, with an Accidental Dumb Face and also a partial blink
  • Elizabeth, with an Accidental Dumb Face and a partial blink
  • Henry, looking acceptable but grousing
  • Rob, looking tortured and also partially blinking
  • Edward, looking away, partial weird eye reflection, and thumb in mouth


Now one of the good candidates:

From left to right:
  • William, looking cute even though he's leaning out of the group and too far forward, and he has his arm between his legs
  • Elizabeth, looking cute even though she's not looking at the camera
  • Henry, looking acceptable even though his hand is stuffed in his mouth and his eyes are vacant
  • Rob, looking cute
  • Edward, looking cute even though his hands are up and he's not looking at the camera and his shirt is bunched up


What I mostly look for in a Christmas card photo:
  • children looking happy
  • children looking like themselves
  • nobody picking his or her nose

Things I have gradually given up on:
  • everyone looking at the camera
  • no weird things in the background (example: diaper bag backpack)
  • tidy poses
  • coordinating outfits

This doesn't mean I've TOTALLY given up, and I do want to do a few more sessions where the kids are wearing red and green or whatever. But if the "good one" above is the best one I get, I'm satisfied with it.

46 comments:

Whimsy said...

Sweet pictures - BOTH of them.

I love the idea of knowing what you can hope for/expect versus what will be IMPOSSIBLE to achieve. Based on the perfection of their Christmas card picture every year, I personally believe my sister-in-law uses a combined method of drugging, staples, strategically placed pins, and cardboard cutouts to get her 4 kids to look simultaneously happy, normal, and non-blinky.

nikki said...

Your kids are too freaking cute.

Jess said...

These pictures are awesome. Your blondey blond kids are just adorable. We don't see many pictures of the older kids--I love Rob's hair. Also, the "bad" candidate is hysterical. And I think your criteria for a good photo is spot-on.

Kristin H said...

You know what would be funny? To include both on your card, with funny captions that explain each. Except I'm not coming up with anything funny! My first thought was the old "this is your brain on drugs" ad...except that's not funny. And not that your kids look like they're on drugs. Wait! This is coming out all wrong. Never mind.

LoriD said...

Ohmigod that first one... it looks like they just woke up from a good nap! They are just so gorgeous, I don't think any picture could be "bad", per se.

Tessie said...

WHAT? That is not just good, it is a GREAT photo! They all look high on life there! I love it!

samantha jo campen said...

I just love how Henry looks in the second picture. He's TOTALLY in his happy place!

I say the session was a success. Now go forth and address envelopes!

mom of the year said...

Love the pix! I, too, and not the type to want perfect pix. WHen I take Diva to Sears, I put her on the floor and tell the photographer to just "let it ride." I want the pix to be of MY kid doing things MY kid does. It's so much cuter that way!

Pickles & Dimes said...

I love that Edward has his hands up in the 2nd pic. And everyone looks so genuine and smiley - great photo.

Misty said...

They look so happy! I think the good one is a great Christmas photo!

Shannon said...

Personally, I would send out the "bad" one just to bug people.

But I'm like that. My poor family.

Kelsey said...

Those photos give me the happiest picture of what Christmas morning will be like at your house. Oh. my. goodness. What a great bunch! People must be so happy when they get your card in the mail and get to see all the kiddos together.

janet said...

first... that's a LOT of kids! (i'm allowed to say that -- i have five also, but they're more spread apart so it doesn't look so daunting.)

second... they are cute in the extreme. i think the second photo would make a great card, even if you do think you can do better.

Erica said...

I love those photos. You make suck cute kids, Swistle.

And I'm glad you're not all fussypants about the photo. They look like they're having fun, and that's the most important thing. Not matchy-matchy outfits or stiff poses.

JMC said...

If I can manage no tears from any of the younger three, no eye-rolling from the oldest and no pushing or hitting caught on film, I'm happy. And I've just got four.

Artemisia said...

You make cute kids.

I love the "good" photo! It made me grin in return. I'd put both photos in the Christmas letter!

Sara said...

Oh, I think the second one is super cute. I can't get over how much they all look alike. I love it!

Mimi said...

Your kids are so cute. Getting a good Christmas card picture is so hard to do. We need to attempt to do the same thing one of these nights. My husband has a fantasy of getting our two year old, three week old and dog all in a picture together. Right!

Fine For Now said...

OMG, how adorable can you get! Love love LOVE the pictures, and you are hilarious.

:o)

d e v a n said...

I'm impressed that you got that 2nd photo. It's hard to get that many adults smiling in a pic at one time, much less 5 kidlets. Good job.

rebcram said...

This is funny... I just posted about holiday photo shoots going wrong also!

I know you can hear me... said...

Ack! They are TOO CUTE!

Jen said...

Thank God for digital cameras! The second photo is adorable. And no one but you will know that that backpack in the background is a diaper bag. It totally blends in with the surroundings and I wouldn't have noticed it if you hadn't pointed it out. I can't believe you got such a good picture with 5 young kids!

Kristie said...

Maybe you can send both pictures! I like them both. :)

Melissa H said...

It looks like you curled Elizabeth's hair....

The photo is awesome!

MrsGrumpy said...

You know what I am thinking and/or just struck me as I read this entry? (feel free to tell me to go away) The picture you posted of Henry super close up with the awesome expression in his eyes would make a really, super great Christmas card picture. It captures all of the awe and wonder that they tell us Christmas is about anyway...and he is your this year's addition...and you could tuck and/or print one of the other pictures (I don't know if you handmake or print) on the inside. I think that Henry picture on a blue-y/silveryish back ground with snowflakes would be beautiful. I love both pictures of your group.

Pann said...

First of all : Those are some really good looking kids ya got there!!!

I have a suggestion that might or might not help with getting a good shot of everyone. I got this from my daughter's school which does this with their classroom photos.

Step 1 - assemble everyone.
Step 2 - tell everyone to make a really goofy face, be as obnoxious as they want, etc., and take a picture of that.
Step 3 - VERY quickly thereafter snap a series of pictures of everyone laughing and smiling and having so much fun because they got to make silly faces.

The idea is somewhere in there you'll get everyone smiling. (Henry might not get it, but he'll be cute no matter what.)

Shelly Overlook said...

I love both pictures because they make me imagine what it would be like to have all five of them pile on top of me in a big family pile. You must have a gift for getting good kiddie pics b/c I think that second picture should be an impossibility, in theory.

Swistle said...

Melissa H.- I DID! I was inspired by your pictures of Biscuit!

MrsGrumpy- Fun idea! I have been thinking of putting in a separate photo of just Henry, since we didn't have him the last time we sent cards.

Pann- GREAT IDEA. I'm going to try that next time.

Mommy Daisy said...

Aww, it is so great seeing all your kids together finally. It won't matter what the photo looks like, people will be happy to see your growing brood. Cute!

the new girl said...

Your descriptions are cracking me up.

What with the accidental dumb face and partial eye blink.

LOVE it.

PS. All of those not-really-named-so-children are KEY-UUUTE.

susan said...

you have honestly got the most gorgeous set of kids. no wonder you keep wanting to have more! more! MOOOOORE!

all 5 of them are real sweeties, and have adorable smiles.

Amy said...

I think the second picture is fabulous! I can't even get a decent shot of two kids.

Great looking bunch you've got!

Penny said...

Ha, that's really funny that ALL the kids seemed to give such a weird expression in the same picture. And then they all perked up! It's like a before and after picture. Before cookies, after cookies.

She Likes Purple said...

The good one above is adorable! They all look so happy!

Erin said...

How cool to see all the Swistle children! Adorable obviously. But also they look very happy together. I'm sure that's not always true, but I love seeing siblings together who aren't completely grossed out by just having to sit near each other. What a beautiful family.

Nowheymama said...

Great job!

Katie said...

You can just send that good one off right now and stop trying to take anymore. It looks Christmas-y--everyone in winter clothes, lots of red and green in the photo. No one is clashing. The background is actually really good because you just focus on the kids! And, most importantly...they all look HAPPY! You can't do any better than that!

Marie Green said...

I feel like I know what you look like now, by combining all of your kids' looks together...

The pictures- you've done a fine job. Your good shot is very good- the kids look happy and like they are kids being kids, which I love.

Thanks for sharing... and if you have more photo shoots, share some more!

Black Sheeped said...

This made me laugh out loud. Perhaps you should use both on a card.

Mommy Brain said...

Thank goodness for digital cameras.

Farrell said...

I say it's a go! Let them be them!

Angie said...

Though I think the second shot is great, I would give it up and get a photo card that can be collaged. That way, you only need one good photo of each of them. Or, I would take a goofy picture of each of them for the collage.

Jenny H. said...

It's perfect. I love it.

Melanie said...

Hey Swistle - I'm guessing you haven't noticed that Casey's quads have arrived. Go look at her website!
Mel

Fine For Now said...

Quads???? Must.have.link!! :o)