We finally bit the bullet and started using a professional photographer. We love outdoor casual pictures and while the professionals are expensive, the quality of the pictures are worth it. We found a great photographer that allowed us to just buy the rights to our pictures on a CD and then we printed them ourselves. This is the way to go, my friends!
This year we tried something different. I'm not sure we'll try it again though. We haven't really been here long enough to find a great photographer so we decided to let Chris try to do our pictures himself. He's got a lot of experience from his reporting and freelancing days, so he knows a thing or two. But, taking pictures for a newspaper or magazine job is very different than taking your own family photos.
First problem: He didn't have a tripod or a remote. Because that would be too easy. So he was looking for tree stumps, large rocks, the hood of the car, and other things to prop the camera on. He also packed a few Rubbermaid containers and stacked them up in the middle of the road/trail for a few shots. Nice! Nothing says classy like stacked Rubbermaids! Picture him posing us, setting the timer, and dashing in and squeezing into each picture. Fun times.
Second problem: Sam. Seriously, as you'll see from some of the pictures below, the kids is a total goof and if he's in a mood, he is just not going to listen (and follow) directions at all. He is the king of funny faces and exaggerated reactions. If Chris told him to move a tiny bit to his left, he would move six feet away. Not going to lie -- this was incredibly frustrating. It took us about three times longer than normal to take pictures this year and we were at least 1000 times more miserable!
We haven't picked our favorite pictures yet out of the bunch, because surprisingly we actually got some good ones! But here are a few that didn't make the cut. Some of these Chris took, and some I took with my phone as I watched the ridiculousness of it all!
Here, Chris is on the edge of a short drop-off trying to get the kids' pictures.
Here he is after slipping and falling down!
And here are the kids' reactions!
This is exactly how a lot of our pictures turned out. Look at Sam. Seriously a disaster!
This one is so funny! Sophia's clearly caught up in watching what Sam is doing off to the side. Yes, he is that goofy!
He kept trying to photo bomb the pictures too!
So we discovered that not only are the professional photographer's actual pictures worth the extra money, but their trained ability to manage kids like Sam is truly priceless! We saved a bunch of money this year on our pictures. We got some really good ones I'll show you soon. But, it really was a miserable and very long process so I'm not sure if we'll try it this again or not. But we survived, and they're done! And I guess that's all that really matters in the end!