The Family Picture Session

Is it so unsuitable to want an amazing photograph of my household with my extended family with everybody’s eyes open? IS THAT SO Improper?

As the nice thinker Kim Kardashian as soon as stated, “It’s essential to undergo Kris Humphries to get to Kanye West.” Who knew that Kris Humphries was code for flesh-consuming ants, blinding sun and screaming youngsters?

Of course, as I now stare at these glorious, serene photos of flaxen-haired angels and sunbeams, I understand it was all so very price it, especially come holiday time, when you may be sitting in a snow drift and we’ll be sitting on a seaside on your fridge, gloating. However again to Kris Humphries and the 8th circle of hell.

The multi-generational household photo session is like strolling over burning coals very, very slowly, 57 instances, until everyone’s mouths are stretched in grimaces which can be much less Hitchcock-ian and more Disney — and that is once we’ve really discovered the photographer, which takes a great half hour, as a result of he’s busy photographing 200 other households on the seashore at the very same time.

It’s “The place’s Waldo? The White and Khaki Edition” and that’s when it dawns on me, as I await the return of my husband from the brave 2013 Photographer-Search-And-Restoration-Mission, that my family — COLLECTIVE GASP! — can be dressed in white and khaki!

Underneath regular circumstances, I’d cackle like a hyena — it is so Brownie Troop Leader, so Mid-1990’s-Tech-Company! — however these will not be regular circumstances. These are circumstances during which my household is making an attempt to painstakingly follow photograph session clothing ordinances. We do not want to — God forbid — disrupt the nesting sea turtles with our brash colours and patterns! And also, these photographs should be a testomony to my family’s superiority for many years — nay, centuries — to return! We tried so laborious to be the Recent Prince of the Family Picture Session, but alas, we’re simply another Carlton in a sea of Carltons.

It is too late for regrets. There may be nothing ahead but sand in my poor choice of high heels.

Once the photographer has been noticed, we move as one clumsy, sweating mass to his nook near the cattails and there, I make the fatal error. The miscalculation that elevates the following half-hour from Code Purple to Code Asteroid-Inferno-Apocalypse.

“Honey, watch where you put your toes, there are ants on the sand,” I inform my 5-yr-old, having sustained a number of bites myself.


I must get the situation beneath management! Which is difficult to do when my husband is hissing to me in low tones of accusation and distress and excessive tones of survival. Survival, I mutter, keep my eye on the prize! The holiday card! The vacation card! With the whimpering 5-year-old at last raised high in Papa’s arms above the ants, I am feeling very closing-season John & Kate Plus eight as I steel myself for the flash of the digital camera.

And that is when the photographer requests that the ladies, THE WOMENFOLK-MINUS-NANA, sit down on the sand. On the sand full of hundreds of biting ants. In our dresses. With sweaty legs. While the dudes, THE MENFOLK, stand proprietarily behind, dapper, jovial, their asses not a part of the ant al fresco. In a scene reminiscent of that highschool drill staff pep rally the place I was pressured to smile while carrying a unitard and doing the splits because the marching band played the college tune, I drive a smile that solely the contestants of Survivor would acknowledge.

After seemingly lots of of takes and choruses of “Look here, look right here, open your eyes, cease squinting, look here, search for, ignore the sea gull, open your eyes, cease crying,” we are instructed to carry arms and stroll by the waves, in search of the elusive picture of three generations completely reflected within the ocean. Please pause and think about that moment within the film Anchorman where the news team tries to show around at the identical time and look coyly at the digital camera, but cannot do it.

Despite the aurora borealis of frizz haloing my head, there are not any ants in the water, so my smile is slightly extra real in these photos. Also, the tip is near. Families are leaving, the seaside is changing into less khakied, I can almost style the margarita that my contract requires at the tip of modeling periods!

But the luck, it should be pushed. (As stated within the bylaws of life.)

Nana and Papa need a photo of themselves with all the grandchildren. Are you able to consider it? The sheer audacity! The gall! To want photographs of their grandchildren to treasure! (By the way in which, the important thing to treasured photographic memories of kids is to ask everyone to look instantly into the sun, while eardrums are lacerated by an inconsolable toddler.)

And then instantly, it’s achieved. The photographer by no means yells “Fin!” and throws his digicam to his invisible assistant behind him or kisses me on each cheeks, but he starts speaking about proofs and muttering “I hope I received the reflections,” and that i get the strange feeling he would not need to see any of us again. Or ever.

After taking a sluggish look round and assessing the damage — each physical and emotional — the family tumbleweed rolls back to the boardwalk, white shirts dingy, khakis resembling army fatigues. The PTSD will hit later, but in the meanwhile everyone is giddy, elated, thrilled to have lived one other day.