A while back, I mentioned a “failed” family photo shoot. And then, not too long after, I posted this pic:


…and many of you thought (understandably so) that this was from our shoot. 

But it wasn’t. This was just a last minute thing where I made all of us throw on matching clothes before we ran out the door to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving.

A quick trip out to their pier with my brother wielding our camera produced the keeper above as well as a few other good ones, like this one:


Not quite perfect (Daddy, LOOK UP!), but still pretty decent.

And then there were these:


{And, yes, those are two different frogs; sometimes I want to send out a memo to the frog/toad population of the free world to run and hide when my boys go outside; theywillfindyou!}


Interestingly enough, it was markedly less stressful than our official shoot because it was so spontaneous and laidback (which is not to say that there weren’t times that my smile looked a bit forced as I kept repeating through my clenched teeth, “Simon, stop wiggling and look at the camera, fortheloveofPete!!”).

But the the total lack of expectations definitely helped me feel like this particular photographic endeavor was a success.

Still, although low expectations are pretty integral to keeping your sanity when trying to capture a decent pic (much less two) of 5 squirmy children and two frazzled adults, the real secret is very simple

And it is: VOLUME.

I have shown you 8 out of the possibly 10 decent shots that we managed to salvage from—wait for it—300 pictures that we took over the space of 20 minutes or so.

Yup. Three. Zero. Zero.

So, am I ever going to show you the “failed” shoot?


And soon.

Because even though it didn’t go how I would have liked, and even though I didn’t get “the shots” I wanted, and even even though my expectations were too high and I shot myself in the foot multiple times with very large guns loaded to capacity with mama guilt, there were still some keepers.

But for now, know this: you don’t have plan way ahead and spend a lot of time or money to freeze a few sweet moments in time.

And, sometimes, the clothes in your own closet will work just as well (or better) than that new outfit you bought just for the occasion.

And maybe not everybody has to be looking at the camera (it’s more artsy that way, right?).

Sometimes, all you need is just to be together…and let the shutter fly.


  1. reasonably uncluttered inbox – I get less than 50 emails a day. If I have an email I need to take care of but can’t/won’t do it right now, I make sure to keep it unread and I can’t mark it as read until I’ve actually finished that task. The way my inbox is organized, my unread emails are always on top. So that way it’s really hard to forget about something or let it get lost in your inbox, since it’s always there waiting for you to take care of it.Tierras del Este

  2. I love the traditional look–you still managed to keep it modern and fresh. I am always jealous of other peoples thrift store finds . . . we don’t have many thrift stores out here, and it’s next to impossible to find anything good in the ones we do have. Those stockings are super cute!Condominio 221

  3. These turned out wonderfully! And I agree about the key to a successful photo shoot – take TONS of photos.The more you take, the more likely you’ll get some that turn out good.

  4. Don’t think you could take better photos…….they are all precious……you really should forget about those professional shots and frame all of these!!!!!!!!!!! Love, love the joy in all of these.

  5. These turned out wonderfully! And I agree about the key to a successful photo shoot – take TONS of photos.The more you take, the more likely you’ll get some that turn out good.

  6. ummm, i obviously haven’t been here in a bit. TWINS?! oh my word! congratulations mama! so very happy for your family!

  7. Hey,
    My name’s Sara, I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks here from Germany and I feel like I m spying into your life, so I just wanted to say Hi 😉 I think I was looking for something on Pinterest when I noticed you and your blog. It’s lovely! And then I realized you’re Christian too, and a teacher and a Mum ( although with three! more kids). I’m a secondary school teacher and I have a 2year old son and a five weeks old daughter.
    Anyway, I really just wanted to say Hi as I feel I know you a little bit and say I love your blog.
    I ll leave a comment on your FB page so you have a face to the commeny here. I don’t know if you could add a picture here, I really don’t knowmuch.about blogs at all….
    Have a wonderful Day!

  8. They came out so nicely! You have a lovely family. You are so right about “volume!” We did the same thing recently, 45 minutes resulted in 500 pictures with about 15 really good ones.

I love hearing from you guys!