Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Photo shoots (and photo shoot woes)

For the past 5 years or so, we have been doing an annual Cook Family Portrait. Usually at the trailer, and usually in the summer. This year, the summer ended abruptly and the trailer was closed up early when Grampa Bruce got sick, so we didn't get our picture done until this past Sunday, when we were all together for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it was the coldest day of the year so far - not exactly ideal for catching an outdoor shot.

On top of that, two things. First: my tripod broke as I was setting up the shot. Lovely. A nearby picnic table to hold the camera and a quick change of location got the job done. Number two: my favourite lens, with which I would normally take this shot, is currently somewhere in No Man's Land - either Canada Post or Canon Canada has it right now. I had to break out a telephoto lens instead. This meant that I had to back way the heck up to get the shot, and also meant that I had to run like heck and just barely had enough time to get into the shot, since it was taken with the 10-second-timer feature on my camera. They need to make a 20-second-timer option for situations like these. (Do I look sweaty, dishevelled and windswept?) I want my short lens back!!

It was a photo weekend all around, because on Saturday we had no real plans, and I was out for a run that morning when in a perfect act of serendipity, I passed what would become our 2009 Christmas Photo backdrop. And since the weather wasn't too bad, we took the kids out later that same afternoon to capture a few shots. I already had their clothes and I had bought the props last year for this year's photo - thinking that I wanted to take it early enough that I wasn't hearing complaints about how cold they were the whole time, and that Christmas stuff wouldn't be in stores yet. I am so glad we did this on Saturday. There is a brief warm spell coming but mostly it is cold and gloom and doom from this point forward. My recommendation: if you are planning to do outdoor photos anytime soon... do them NOW. Two years ago we did them on November 3 and last year we did them October 27. It was definitely colder this year, on October 10, than it was either of those times. And it's only going to get worse!After the full family shot, I asked Jenn to take a few of our immediate family. I have a big copy of our family shot from 2 years ago hanging on the wall, and I'd like to update it. I love that photo and it's going to take a lot for me to love something more. I'm not entirely sure that we succeeded... there are things I would do differently if I had the chance to do it again. But that's the way, isn't it? It's like the cobbler's children who have no shoes. Photographers are never satisfied with photos of their own families. They're used to churning out perfection for clients, but somehow it all falls apart when it's your own family.Case in point: I took about 60 photos for our Christmas card. Not one of them turned out like I'd originally planned. At least I know that I am not alone in this. On a photography board I frequent, there is an annual thread where photogs post their own Christmas photos. And they are always a far cry from the work I see these people post during the rest of the year!


Dawn said...

awwww you caught some cute ones! I so enjoy all of your disney updates! Makes me excited for our trip! I rented a lens for 2 weeks and hope to get our holiday card pic shot soon! The weather here has been crappy though!
I tried to get you the witch shirt, but all they had left is xs.....who the heck wears xs???