Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Chaos

Our annual Christmas Eve birthday shot isn't going to make it onto a photo website, showing the "how-to" to create the perfect holiday image. It's not about photography's Rule of 1/3s or perfect lighting. It's about family - all the imperfections and all the chaos.

noun: chaos; plural noun: chaoses
 1.    Complete disorder and confusion.
                "Snow caused chaos in the region."
 Five children ages 3 and younger "caused chaos in Grandma's annual birthday photo."

Christmas Eve at my parents' house is both a Christmas celebration and a birthday bash for my Mom. Since the first grandchild was born in 1982, we've been taking the annual snapshot of Grandma and the grandkids. 

In the first version of 2013 (at top), my Mom and my niece, Paige, were the only ones ready for their closeup. (That is one rule I try and stress with adult "models" in photos with kids:  Be ready at all times. A+ to both my Mom and Paige!) 

I put out an email plea to my siblings, nieces and nephews for a better shot than I got. Evidently, they weren't any more successful than I was, since I didn't get a single response.
This was as good as it got. (From the left: Braden, 3; Blake (Dad of Braden & Benson); Benson, 15 months; Kinley, 2; Neelly, 2; and Holte, 11 months; and Paige, Mom of Neelly and Holte.

The scene was somewhat reminiscent of a long-ago grandchild shot - the first that contained all seven of them, back in 1994.(Paige again pulled through for me: She was the only one looking at me in this particular shot.)
From left: Abby, Brian, Blake, Mom holding Madison, Jill, Brent & Paige
Nineteen years later, they were all looking in the same direction at the same time. We take our victories where we can find them, folks!
From left: Blake, Jill, Mom, Paige, Madison, Brian, Abby & Brent
Despite the chaos, it was great to be together as an extended family to celebrate my Mom's birthday and Christmas. I appreciate the effort it takes for 23 people to get to my folks' house at the same time to be together - even if it's only for less than 24 hours. 


  1. Love, love, love this! (I am so familiar with this photography session chaos!)
    Happy New Year to all of you!

  2. Love the photos. Family photos with kids are always fun. Just getting our 4 grandkids to sit still for one photo is a major undertaking.

    1. These days, I have even more respect for professional photographers who get quality shots of toddlers and children. It's sure not easy. (Brent teased me about how many photos I took at Kinley's birthday party. But it requires taking a bunch to get a few good ones!)