I knew it was time to replace the family portrait hanging in our house. Ya know, the one that is from fall 2005 when Brock was a baby. My mother-in-law requested a big group picture, too, so I figured if we were all going to go through the efforts of individual pictures we should just gather at once and get-er-done at one time.
Ok, so that presents STRESSOR #1 with family pictures. Where/who is going to take the pictures. We knew we'd outgrown the studio-package places for the big group. The womenfolk discussed some different people who were into photography. I know there are a lot of REALLY good photographers (kinda feels like the thing to do sometimes if you have a decent camera and are looking for a way to make some cash while staying at home), but I really trust the work of my friend Chris Jenkins. [www.chrisjenkinsphotography.com] So, we booked her for the huge group and she agreed to not only do individual families, but also individual kids, and pretty much whatever else we requested. I'd seen some of her shoots with other friends at a local park here, so we went to Sonata Hills Park up in Seven Hills.
Then we agreed on "fall" colors, which was part of STRESSOR #2. What is it with our consumer economy that we are a full season ahead of what's happening? Christmas decorations out at Halloween? Easter at New Years? Ya know? Anyway, as I was looking for options that would stay in our budget I was irritated at all the Christmas colors out already. Tons of reds, black, gray, turquoise blues (which is the "in" color for winter . . . who cares that it was OCTOBER when I was shopping . . . CLEARLY still fall . . . grrrr.) ANYWAY. My theories of color-coordinating are not probably right or trained, but I know what I like and I had a vision of what I wanted for the fam in order to look good . . . we ARE going to plaster this photo in every Christmas card and on our walls, so . . . When we get pictures done, I'd rather have color than not, and with so many people, it's not okay to say we're going to do "purple" because then we'd look like a huge Grimace or "brown" or we'd blend to each other like a pile of poo. I like to have some pattern, if possible, and different textures. I don't think the girls need to have the EXACT same outfits (they're too old for that now and have their own style), but I am not opposed to it for my boys. I do think the looks should be all jeans OR all khacki, but on a budget I was willing to toss that one out the window.
And that's STRESSOR #3, the budget. Luckily we were all able to split the photog fee, and I was able to narrow our clothes options to what I knew we already had and what I liked: Tyler's golden yellow Nashville shirt (I really liked the shirt on him) and Mackenzie's purple shirt (love that color). From there I pulled out everyones jeans as I washed them (so I'd guarantee they were cleaned come picture Saturday) and then I started to lay the clothes out on the dining table to get a visual. I went to Target to see what options I had there and immediately say the yellow scarf. I love scarves, but don't have a need to wear them too much in Vegas BUT I knew it'd be a perfect match to Tyler's shirt and thought maybe Caylee could wear it (and bonus, it was on clearance for six bucks or so). I found a purple polo shirt for Brevin for $5.99 and the right yellow T-shirt for Brock for $3.99. I was looking for a plaid button up for Briggs, but didn't have any luck. When I laid everything out at home I realized we were looking like the Lakers sports team with the yellow and purple, so I decided to throw in a 3rd basic complimentary color and went for brown. At that point I pulled out my long sleeve brown shirt I've had for several years, my boots from Savers (seriously they cost $.99), Kenzie's brown shoes, and the boys church brown shoes. That left me looking for Caylee's top and shoes, and Briggs top. I went to my hand-me-down bins in the garage to see if I had any options there and found a cream waffle knit shirt that would do Briggs in a pinch if I didn't find anything. The scarf was too big for Caylee, so I decided it'd be my accent color, and Saturday after the early soccer game I swung by K-mart to score brown flats for Caylee ($10.99 - kinda more than I like to spend, but she can wear them to church through the winter or to school on non-P.E. days), and a PERFECT brown polo for Brock. Although it wasn't in the right size, I bought it knowing it would break up too much yellow with Brock and Tyler in the same color solid shirts. I also bought a two pack of tank tops for Caylee at K-Mart knowing I would have to find SOMETHING in purple or brown or yellow to go OVER the tanktop and fast since we were ticking down to prep time and arrival time. I ran super quick to a boutique Rhapsodielle (or something like that, very similar to Forever 21) and found a brown shoulder shrug in an XS that I hoped would work for Caylee ($7.99) and some fun dangley earrings for me in purple (my splurge $8.00) since we needed a 3rd appearance of the purple.
Not that you can see the earrings BUT, here's my law of 3's. There needs to be an appearance at least 3 times of accent colors in a group picture. Purple (4 - Kenzie's and Brevin's shirt, my earrings, Caylee's necklace), Yellow (3- My scarf, Tyler's shirt, Brock's undershirt), Brown (4- Brigg's pants, Brock's and My shirts, and Caylee's shrug), and white (4- Brigg's shirt, Caylee's tank, Brevin's undershirt, and Caylee's hair flower.) And now that you read all that . . . I KNOW!!! I think way too much about this.
I shouldn't really talk too openly about the other STRESSORS of family pictures for the sake of all familial relationships, but it's sufficient to explain I was pretty emotional about our family's pictures and bawled the entire way home. I am SO glad I pushed the point of having a great photographer because she was hard-working and got some amazing results despite a HUGE workload and a woman-on-edge (yeah, that would be me.) Thanks again Chris!!!