Say Cheese!

Over the break, the Knight and I went to Tulsa, OK, to visit the fam.

Since I like to punish myself and enjoy everyone hating me, I decided to volunteer myself to be in charge of the belated holiday card family picture this year.

I pored over old copies of Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart, trying to get some sort of inspiration. Finally, after flopping down on the couch in exasperation, and watching some old sitcom, I got it. The Brady Bunch.

See, my family is pretty big, especially considering current American standards. My parents are still together and I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. Plus with the Knight and our beloved family dog, Tootsie, we had 8 people (yes, Tootsie is a person in my book) to consider.

So, I worked up the poses, thought about the color scheme (blue and white and brown - perfect for the new year and friendly to most skin tones), set up the portrait studio in our gameroom, and begin shooting. It was, to say the least, interesting. But since I've never been one to just "say the least" I will instead give you a play-by-play of my family's photo shoot - 2006.

First, I had the opportunity to shoot Ron Burgundy, er, I mean my father. I mean look at the man - could he look anymore like a newscaster?

He does look adorable, though.

Dad is a college professor, but also has a huge passion for photography. Normally, he does the family photo shooting, but I think he has been burned by our bad attitudes in the past, so he happily let me be in charge this year. Dad, it was very big of you to allow me to take the photos this year, but yours are still much, much better.

Next was me. Dad took these, and you can already see his shooting is superior. He utilizes the natural light coming from a nearby window and has me tilt my head, which really adds an interesting angle to the shot.

Next, was mom. Doesn't she look darling? This month, she is turning the big 5-0, but I still can't believe it. She just doesn't look like she could possibly be that age. I sure hope I inherited those genes.

After mom, we had a l....o....n....g....pause. My big little brother (BLB) had to "get ready." He couldn't pull himself away from Guitar Hero II earlier, so now, we all just sat around waiting. And waiting. I swear, he took longer than I did when I was getting ready for prom. Diva.

After enduring me pacing back and forth in front of the bathroom reminding him it was time for his photo shoot, he decided to grace us with his presence. Despite my grumblings, his shoot was hilarious. Here are some of my favorites.

Thank dear brother for some interesting entertainment.

Next was my little sister. I guess it is unfair to tag BLB the Diva when she exists in our family. She really wins the title - she is a teenager and every day is a dramatic saga of the unjustices she has to face. Only use her cell phone after 7 except for emergencies? No boys in her bedroom? Must finish her homework before she can watch TV? I know, sweetie, the world is very, very cruel, with our parents being the grandmaster planners behind every unspeakable injustice, but just hold on to the freedom we call college. Unless you go to Lipscomb, of course. Then, still no boys in the bedroom.

Anyway, here she is in all her teen glory:

Next, came the baby of the family. He and I have always been close, primarily because by the time he was born, I was 13, and in the beginning, he almost seemed like a pseudo son of mine, rather than a brother. Yes, I got my sex education lessons at school and at home, and let me assure you - helping my mom out with him was lesson enough that I didn't want to have a baby any time soon. We developed a closeness that remains strong - even though I only see him a couple of times a year.

Unfortunately, on this particular day, our closeness was not enough to get him to work with me. You probably remember the age where smiling for pictures was the LAST thing you wanted to do. Lucky for me - he is at that age. Evidenced here.

So, I had to get creative. I tried tickling, reprimanding, telling jokes, and even feeding him pizza.

What? It works at the zoo. I thought it was worth a try. Thankfully, he gave us a couple of shots with which we could work.

After lil' bro, my true love and white shining Knight came onto the scene. Thankfully, he was happy to smile.

And smile.
And blow kisses.
And smile.

Finally, the star of the show was ready for her picture. Ms. Tootsie. We aren't really sure what kind of mix Tootsie, but ever since the day she came home with us (we found her in a trashcan at the movie theater), we have all loved her. She is a crazy mutt and as much a part of the family as anyone else. She is terrified of cowboy boots, loves popcorn and cheese, barks ferociously at every stranger, and can dance with the best of us. Photographing her involved lots of cheese, lots of "STAY" and a little bit of luck.

Here are some of her best shots:

Isn't she lovely?

Afterwords, BLB used his amazing photoshop powers to create the grid, touch up our photos, insert text, and generally make beautiful laptop love to our pictures.

Note the differences in some of our pictures above versus the pictures below - like the game we used to play in Highlights - pick out the differences. Note the wrinkles, the blemishes, the hair out of place. If only I could have Photoshop follow me around each and every day.

Anyway, here is the final product:


The Pink Highlighter said...

Ah, I know you're truly from Tennessee when you make reference to David Lipscomb University! Those pictures are awesome and your dog is indeed the cutest.

Artsy Fartsy said...

Thanks so much. And little missy, how is the law school thing going for you?

The Pink Highlighter said...

I have yet to hear back from: Willamette, UTK, Quinnipiac, Drake, Golden Gate...And the only one I really care about: Southern Illinois. Those lazy admissions people! Bah!

Meg said...

I like how you followed your dad's lead and utilized the natural light and head-tilt technique with the dog. :)

Nerdgirl said...

super cute brady bunch theme. Loved it.

Artsy Fartsy said...

Thanks everyone!

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