Holidays, photography, Sunday Portraits

Some Impromptu Easter Portraits

Alternate title: Don’t let these pictures fool you (taking good pictures with a two-year-old is HARD).

Honestly, our Easter would have been about as perfect as we could have imagined it except for one little problem—

I seem to have contracted The Plague over the last 72 hours.

A few weeks ago, both Matt and Raven were terribly sick with this hacking cough and chest congestion and general irritability all the time. For 3 weeks while they were both recovering (yes, it took at least that long), between administering medicine and making lots of toast, I secretly patted myself on the back for my excellent immune system and flew about my regular duties with renewed vigor, being in full appreciation for what great health felt like.

Well, no more.

Despite my sickness, however, I did drag myself to the first hour of church so that I could follow through on my commitments of singing in the ward choir and playing the organ for the services (where I discovered about ten seconds into the first congregational hymn, to my horror, that someone–probably a child–had come in and wiped the organ clean of all its presets AND hit the “Transpose” button so that the hymn was about 5 keys higher than it should have been, necessitating that everyone sing an octave lower than normal. Needless to say, it was a stressful four minutes while I tried to figure out what the heck was wrong and what to do about it while still watching the music and playing the foot pedals.)

The rest of the meeting was lovely, however (despite having a wriggly two-year-old who just wanted to get out and play with the toddler seated by us), and I went home early by myself to catch up on some rest and not spread germs to the general population at large.

Being home alone by myself for the next two hours (while Matt and Raven stayed at church), my brain decided that it would be a Good Idea to go out and do some impromptu Easter portraits as soon as the two of them got home, before we all changed out of our brightly-colored Sunday clothes and into what we usually wear (i.e, sweats and generally a lot of grey and black).

So I packed a string cheese, a different-colored tie for Matt (because his original choice just wasn’t going to measure up to the pictures in my head), and an extra jacket for Raven in case it got cold, and I accosted them both as soon as the car pulled up in the parking lot and insisted we go and take some.

This is what it’s like to be married to a blogger, folks—

We’re insane.

Of course, the problem with this little photo session ideal I had in my head is that I still mistakenly think regularly that Raven is the same as she was at 9 months old—happy no matter what we’re doing, and easily pose-able.

News flash: Raven at two is NOT the same as 9-month-old Raven.

For starters, Raven at two doesn’t really like to be held by Mom or Dad when it’s much more fun to go run around and explore by herself. Raven at two also doesn’t like to be told to stop and look at Mom or Dad when she is in the middle of running through grass that goes as far as she can see and there are flowers in bloom all around to be touched and prodded.

In fact, this is what the majority of our pictures looked like (just so that you are not deceived by the rest of the images in this post):

So this is what we learned in our 30-minute picture-taking adventure:

1) Get a “prop” for Raven, and pronto. Although the pictures above will make it seem like Matt got the tulip for Raven, she actually was given the flower by a very sweet two-year-old girl whose parents were nice enough to take the one picture of the three of us that we were able to get.

2) Let Raven play mostly as she likes, and just insert Matt or I into the general vicinity to make it look like we meant for it to be like that. That way, she’s still in the picture with one of us, but she doesn’t feel like we’ve manipulated her into posing for the camera.

3) Family Easter portraits are apparently a real big thing here, so we were surrounded by scads of other families out where we were, also taking pictures. This is a wonderful, wonderful thing because it means you can find another family with young children also trying to get pictures and offer to do swapsies—they take a picture of all of you, you take a picture of all of them. Everyone wins.

4) Know when to call it quits and go home and eat. That point was reached when the tulip was starting to get massacred and when the whining reached a decibel no longer tolerable by average human adults.

At the very least, we got some cute pictures out of it nevertheless, and we also discovered that the campus of our ol’ alma mater is a FABULOUS place for a picnic, a notion we plan to try out this next weekend.

Hope your Easter weekend was a great one!


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