Oh, holiday portraits... Last year I cursed you. This year I think I will curse you again.
Flash back to last year - we'd never gone to a photo studio before, so we book a session at 10 AM on Saturday, December 5th for our almost 6 month old. There were screaming children, grumpy parents, and overworked photographers all crammed into a tiny store with the heat set to boiling! It wasn't the worst experience, but James was always a very sympathetic baby. If he heard another baby crying, then he was going to join in. So we got some cute photos, but it wasn't the most fun. A few times I was fairly certain that Adam's head was going to explode. So we decided that we would always go to the photo studio (we prefer Picture People) during the week, in the morning, and well in advance of the December rush.
For James' 1 year pictures in June, we had a lot of luck. James smiled sweetly, the AC was cranking (keeping us nice and cool) and the store wasn't crowded at all. The key to this success, I now know, was that James wasn't walking yet. We set him down, he fussed a little, we waved a sippy cup at him, and the smiles came pouring out.
Cut to yesterday's trip to Columbia Mall - We could only get an appointment at 4 PM. I figured he would have finished his nap, eaten a snack, and be ready to go. Adam and I get to Rhonda's to pick him up at 3 PM and find a sleeping James, totally passed out, pant less, in his pack 'n' play. I should have just cancelled the appointment then. So we get James dressed and out the door, after Rhonda told us that he'd had a rough day and only gotten down for his nap at 1:30 PM. But we pressed on, giving him a sippy of juice in the car and Goldfish crackers as a snack. But James wasn't having it. There were no smiles to be had. He barely stayed put - as soon as we'd set him down, he'd come running back to us, arms waving in the air. We did get some cute shots, but he is smiling in exactly NONE of them. Of course after the photos, James was in a great mood, we'd released him from his very tedious obligation, so clearly it was time to smile. At dinner, James ate like a chow hound, so I guess the Goldfish weren't enough and he was just grumpy because his parents were starving him and forcing him to stand on a white backdrop with some guy named Ransom (seriously, where does Picture People find these people?) making weird noises to try to get him to smile. At least his mom was hot, but you know, I can only carry the picture so far!
Maybe we'll have better luck with his 2 year pictures?
By the way, Adam's suggestion: That James' GrandBear (my darling father and wonderful photographer) come out and visit us in May. That way, he can take the pictures in time for James' second birthday AND we can get a visit in. Good idea, right? (hint, hint.... Dad, I'm looking at you!)