Monday October 24, 2011

{another year of picture this. picture perfect.}

we did our whole annual family christmas shoot thingy today..
which, holding to tradition of all other hutchins family christmas shoot thingy’s, was memorable.

family pics~2 006

shot at a gay farmer’s farm down the road {he was super nice and accommodating!} :)
with the occasional donkey or dog running into the picture…
me, returning to my inner cowgirl of scooping horse manure with a stick, trying to clear where i wanted us to stand..
to climbing on hay bales…
and reminding my kids a dozen times to think nice, WARM thoughts as the 60 degree ontario weather left us a bit chilly.

which, when you get our card this year.. no! we did not all drink blue koolaide before the shoot.
that was just au-naturel! ;)

looking through the shots tonight i was reminded of this post, from years ago..
my thoughts went from a vanity check to a motives check.
not just WHAT? am i trying to prove. but WHO? am i trying to prove it to.”

i think i could totally copy and paste every word from back then again here now. {and look how little emma was!}

family pics~2 124

sure the perfectionist in me wants everything to be exactly how i envisioned it in my mind.
and the photographer in me wants that one magical photo that you blow up and frame and pass for generations.
and the insecurity in me wants as nice a family picture as all the other 5 million 11 people that will take christmas pictures this year…

but. it happens every time. always just like this.
as i sit scrolling through. thinking,
“man.. i wish kate’s eyes weren’t shut..” and.
“gee. why is ben making a funny face…” and.
“i really think i’m talking in every single one…” ;)

somewhere in the process the irritation shifts to amusement, and amusement finally fades to a smile.
of course, when it comes to picking the shot for our christmas cards i’ll try to pick the one where the least of us has our fingers up our nose. ;)

… i’m just reminded again tonight that eyes shut and funny faces and mouths open is what happens when you’re living life~
it’s not perfect. it’s not posed. and there’s the occasion where you have to put up with a little crap. ;)


while i’m not sure my kids believe me when i tell them how boring it would be to do things “normally”…
like shooting pictures in say, 80 degree weather, not stepping around cow patties, or having to re-do a photo shoot-
{anybody know what i’m talking about?} ;)

i have a feeling that once they’re thawed, and years down the road,
they’ll be reminiscing through laughter about, “oh, remember the time we took those family pictures…” kind of days.
days that carry memories lasting long after a perfect frame worthy shot has lost it’s wowing effect! 


and just a bit of photo q&a…
1. have you taken your family pictures yet? if you do that sort of thing each year
2. do you take the shots or do you get someone else?
3. and, is it a stressful process? or could you care less about fingers up the nose? ;)

happy start to a new week, where…
“it’s all those little moments in between the bright flashes and clicking shutters that i really want to treasure –
real life happens.

those are the pictures you store in your heart. no frame worthy to hold. no other eye able to see.

they are yours. & they are perfectly imperfect!

family pics~2 202

·´¸.·¨) ¸.·¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ (¸.·¨¯`♥ amber

48 thoughts on “Monday October 24, 2011

  1. Richgem

    “Perfectly imperfect”….Perfection at it’s best! Especially for photoshoots! I haven’t done ours…have to wait ’til Thanksgiving. I am doing a family on Tuesday and am nervous. They have one of THE wildest little boys….God knows, right? You all are beautiful and no matter what you send out, it’ll be fabulous because it’s YOU being REAL!

  2. mytoesareblue

    Awww, love Reece’s face in that last one…i think the best p pictures I’ve seen are the ones where both the reality and beauty of life are both seen. I think you’ve captured it well

  3. lovinbloggin

    last year….due to ZERO cooperation from any of my family, The Boy included….i said, “fine. have it your way.” i will let go and not insist on family pictures, and i did. i gave up all the grand and glorious hopes and dreams i had in my head and heart. yes, the generations to come will be missing The 2010 Edition of Yoder FamDam Photos. however, all That Last Year of me letting go…did not come free. nope. i said, “fine. have it your way.” because next year (now this year), i will have it MY way. you will wear what I want you to wear. you will stand where i want you to stand. or sit. or lay. for that matter. and i want ZERO and i mean ZERO complaining out of ANY of you. there is always lots to be thankful for…so pull out those thoughts and the smile that goes with them, and bring it to The 2011 Edition of Yoder FamDam Photos. I will have a bag of extras in case anyone forgets theirs. everyone WILL be wearing one. :) i must say, it turned out well. :) ha. (those of you who really know me…will read this and know that i can be a bit of a drama queen.) er-hum.

    since we now have FOUR kids and it just seems impossible to do a shoot on our own….i con my sister into snapping for us. i set it all up, she snaps. then we take them out for dinner. and everyone lives happily ever after.

    your pix are very cute, amber! i cant wait to see the rest!

  4. MartinTreehouse

    I commented on that old post of yours… So you’ll just have to go read it. I really liked what I read there, and it’s just as relevant in 2011 as it was back in what, 2007? Like I said there, I’m hoping to have a family picture this year of us in Tokyo with Tokyo’s colorful sights surrounding us. I think it would be awesome. I think I should not try to have one just to make my friends jealous though, lol. Since i doubt we’ll be able to afford the price of photographers here, we’re still a small enough family that I’ll get Martin to take a self portrait of us. I like set up shoots, but I also like the weird angles of self portraits and I like something that feels so natural that it just happened… A family picture that just makes you happy. I try to be really sensitive to my husband’s dislike for photos, although he is so darn good with it, and make it stress free and not demand too many different poses or too perfect a picture… except at this point I think it’s fairly easy to get a “perfect picture” since we only have one baby.

    (I got the crap pun with the cows… Loved it!) I also agree with Janel, I thought these pictures were so good!

  5. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    oh yes. the family photo shoots.
    yep, did ours. ourselves.
    and, it can be stressful….this year went mostly smoothly. i just have to keep my expectation low.=)
    your pictures are always so good..and, i like what you said about the someday your kids reminiscing about the photo shoots you put together. i hope the same with my kids. i’m sure their recollections will be somewhat different than mine, but somehow, i look forward to hearing those things and knowing a different perspective. it also keeps me mindful of what i’m really portraying to my kids, ya know?
    happy monday dear friend!

  6. aretheyallyours

    Family picture day is one of the most stressful activities of the year! We haven’t done ours yet.  We do them ourselves w/ a tripod.  Last year was really interesting because the movers broke our tripod so Scott duct taped it back together, just to add a little more stress! :)

  7. ToLiveLoved

    1.Have NOT gotten ours done yet…always seem to put that off later than I should.
    2. Usually have someone take it for us….occasionally will do the tripod but running back and forth just about drives me to drinkin’.
    3. Without fail, the harder I try, the worse the picture! I usually stress getting us all ready but when shooting starts, it’s all fun to me. I don’t particularly care for fingers in noses or crotches being scratched but besides that, I’m good!
    I took some for friends yesterday! It was my first time! I have SO much to learn….ugh…..but I think I got a handful of good ones.
    Have a marvelous week!

  8. madisonsmom2

    Is there anything about family photos that is not stressful? I did the kids one night… no man, to busy… so who knows if I’ll ever get one! Such is life, I try not to stress about stuff like that. :) I love love love that last picture! It’s so adorable to see the last itty bitty in line holding her letter too! :)

  9. baileyandme

    love the thoughts, amber and most of all the fun pictures! yes, family shoots are stressful! it`s not that i care as much about fingers up noses etc but we just all drive eachother insane. my husband and i hiss things at eachother and mutter under our breath how we want to just (not sure what) the 4 year because i have never seen her so naughty… well ever. than we are done go home, get in comfy clothes and everyone is happy. :) it`s just life. i always expect it. haha. and yes, i`m sure my husband would say my expectations are too high.
    i have to add– you and your husband both look too young to have those older kids!!!

  10. WasabiBek

    my sister always takes ours.
    mine are done. i always try to get them done before the end of October so i can get the 30% off from snapfish:)
    and yes it can be kind of stressful, but i try not to let it bother me. this year we settled for two out of four children smiling:) it’s no big deal.

  11. ABAHM

    Haven’t taken one yet. Hoping for the married ones to join us. My sister Mary has always taken ours when we do take one. Back in the day, when the kids were young we would go off somewhere in Laguna and take “a whole roll”, in the hopes for a good shot. The comical “opps” shots end up being treasured as they often show personality, and there is usually at least one that will do of the family all looking OK.
    Shanda managed to take a shot of both families when we visited by putting the camera on a pole in the field. Only one photo and it turned out so well. I am holding Seth and he isn’t smiling, and Sarah is so cute sitting eating an apple in front, but really I was amazed…one shot! Helps having all the big ones used to the “SMILE” command.

  12. WildWomanOfTheWest

    You always make me smile~

    Have yet to do the annual family pic. I told my daughter, since everyone but Andrew, has hit adulthood, I am thinking of letting the chihuahuas do the Christmas card. She was relieved.

  13. writersblock02

    This is really a timely post for me.  This morning I was pondering if I’m going to go through with it all:  finding coordinating clothes, finding a photographer I like,  coerceing my husband…

    I think I’m going to skip it this year. Next year, I’ll try again.

  14. fruitloops115

    oooh, do i get one in the mail?? we are not. doing one this year. i know. very grinch-like of me. But there is a fairly good church directory photo that a select few will recieve just so they remember how we look this season. I want to do something grand next summer when it’s lovely outdoors. Not a big fan of last minute fall photos here-for myself.

  15. Roadkill_Spatula

    You’ve got a gorgeous family. That’s a great place for a photo shoot. It’s very challenging to get a “perfect” shot, especially with kids. I make up for it with quantity. Fortunately digital photos are cheap. Out of 12 photos, a couple are good, usually. Haven’t done a family portrait in years. Last time was when a photographer friend traded portraits for work done on her house.

  16. mlt10202002

    your family is so gorgeous that i am pretty sure we would all still ohhh and ahhhh over a picture with EVERY ONE of you picking your nose. =)
    2)someone else.
    3)and it really isn’t that awful for us.i think it really helps the trend is all about capturing the moment, not poise and seriousness. =) this year i did have to PRAY the whole day before we took them that i would stay calm and not get all mean and flustered about trying to get everyone ready. and just stay calm about the (cold, windy) weather. that i would not hurt everyone and then insist we look like this cheerful, lovey-dovey family a few moments later.

  17. The_Carpers

    Oh the infamous family pictures! SIGH… nope, haven’t yet … heck we still have 8 weeks and 5 days until Christmas! That leaves me with um, 56 days to get this accomplished! I did however buy them all clothes or I should say have rounded things up and washed em so they will be ready when I am. I am also taking a photography class and by george I plan on using it! Oh and one more thing … just to have this floating out and about on the world wide web … we are all about capturing the moment this year. Remind me of this when I am in the heat of the moment!

    @MartinTreehouse – DID I JUST READ THAT RIGHT??????? I am so giddy I could squeal!


  18. down_onthefarm

    they win. we aren’t taking ’em this year. i thought i was okay with it…but as time rolls closer to sending them and getting them i feel sad. and like i just may pull something together real quick. :) i love what you shared up there ^^^ and perfectly imperfect is perfect.

  19. Anonymous

    We have taken ours yet. My girlfriend does them for us, and I return the favor. No, typically I do not stress.. We usually get atleast one good one, and that’s all you need really.

    Yours look like they turned out nice. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

  20. Elizabethmarie_1

    My favorite Christmas card every year is yours…I sure hope I will be getting one this year!!!
    I actually bring your card to Christmas dinner so I can show both mine and Jeff’s family…not kidding!

    We have not taken our pictures yet. I was actually just talking about it with my Mom today!
    We are so bad, we always end up doing it like the day before Christmas!  This year…I will be prepared.
    (This is what I say every year! haha)

    You guys look great. What a fun, fun family!!!
    Happy Monday to you!!!

  21. quiet_hearts

    So much creativity here!  I love your outfits.

     1) We took our family photos in September this year. Amazing!  2) Someone else took them.  Neither she nor us are professionals and they look like it, shadows and all.  But I’m trying to be ok with that. 3) Yes, it’s stressful. This year was actually kind of fun–except for the 2 year old not wanting to do anything but be held by me.

    A wonderful week to you.

  22. pettybunch

    We’ve been doing the Family Christmas Pic for about 28 years, and my poor kids just knew that around November-ish, they would be smiling and squinting into the sun!  But I will say that they never seemed to mind it, and often came up with the best ideas!  In the early days, we did the picture perfect shots, but we loosened up some, and often the ones we picked weren’t the best posed, but the one that made us laugh at ourselves!

    Nowadays, if we try to get pics with the grandkids, it seems a bit more difficult than with our own little ones.  We are instructed by Dannye (she’s now the photographer most of the time) that all the adults stay focused on the camera, so that if, by chance, the little ones look and smile, we won’t all be looking at them!

    We haven’t done ours yet – I think it’s just gonna be the three of us this time, and it kinda hurts a bit!

    Bill and Dan always do our pics, and while it used to be running against the camera timer, Bill now has remotes for the cameras.  You almost can’t tell!

  23. Donna7

    I absolutely love yuour photo shoots!

    You must have the most awesome family photo albums.

    Just a short drop in as my shoulder continues to cause me grief. However I see the surgeon on the 31st so I guess I should find out what is going on in my joint once I see him. ;)

  24. redladybug18

    as a photographer, I personally like the ones that aren’t posed and just show real life. As long as everyone is happy, I love it :) From what I’ve figured out with taking pictures of people, if the mom is a firstborn she seems to like everything just so and perfect. ;) It’s funny when my mom is picking out pictures of mine to print, she always picks the perfect ones where as I on the other hand, love the creative shots. :) I like family pictures best when they’re dressed up but just relaxed and enjoying wherever they are, not necessarily there
    One thing I have figured out from another photographer (you can see pictures of their kids here… is that if you have food, everything seems to go much better. I haven’t figured out how to do that with my large family shot especially since I can’t say they’re the most patient when it comes to getting a picture. I usually only have like 3-6 tries and they’re all done.
    Now when it comes to our once a year family shot-this year it’s at Thanksgiving-I usually have to photo shop people’s heads b/c not everyone looks at the timed camera. Year before last I think we had the best picture ever except for my nephew who had a 10 second delayed reaction to something said to him and started crying right as it was taking it…he made us all laugh but he had to have a new face from a different picture :P Last years picture I never printed for the wall b/c I didn’t really like any of them due having just gotten a new camera and the shutter speed being kinda slow.

    Since you guys get snow so early up there I could see a fun snow themed shoot playing in the snow or on a sled together etc.

  25. appalolly

    We always do a family picture of some sort every year…I have a whole row of them hanging in the hallway in my living room.  But…we don’t nearly always send out Christmas pictures/cards. I totally go by the mood I am in that year and whether I feel like I have the time it takes to do the whole “sending out cards” thing. Because I like to write something to go with if I do send out cards. And that gets to be a big job.  So sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t.  This year…we took ours in August or beginning of September. Since two years ago we had “Christmas-y” pictures taken in a studio.  My sister did them this time.  And no…I do not look forward to it. And I feel like I spend the whole time just barking orders at everyone and fussing and then smiling in between! And this time the mosquitoes were TERRIBLE!! So that was NOT fun.  Our poor legs got all bitten up. (Nikki and I anyway)  I think your pictures turned out great! Loved the setting. Minus the cow poop, of course.

  26. robins_egg_blue

    LOVE these pics, Amber! Am so glad to see our family is NO different than anyone else’s fan, when it comes to the pic thing! Its always a crazy time trying to get just the right shot, BUT you’ve given me some great ideas! I hope you don’t mind me “stealing” a couple ;) I also wanted to tell you…I closed my FB account, for too many reasons to name, but I’m going to try and keep up with you and your sweet family here :) Blessings for the rest of your week ~

  27. bakersdozen2

    I can’t believe it’s that time of year for family photos. I’m so glad other people do this so be encouraged and keep it up! There are many friends out there who love getting your Christmas letter! Like us!!

    I’m with you though on the hassle/humor factor. :)

  28. fauquet

    I am not sure to know  what is the” whole annual family christmas shoot ” but I enjoyed to see your family in the hay .
    The cows also are cooperating and attentive to what you tell them !!
    I love the black and white photos . Bravo to the artist !



  29. smilesbymiles

    Nope. Not doing them this year. I actually like doing them except that the actual picture taking part can be hair-raising b/c somehow we ALWAYS seem to wait too long to get started and it gets dark on us and we end up w/ slow shutter speeds and blurred hands. I often get Christy to take some when she’s here. Last year I wasn’t going to see her in time so I had a friend come snap for me after I set things up. Those were actually our best pictures b/c the boys cooperated better for her. And very occasionally, I get lucky and the self-timer works. I’m going to miss my annual tradition of drinking creme de menthe and stuffing / addressing the envelopes. :)

  30. betheelou

    We had so much fun on our picture day today! Thank you Amber for always having words to say with your posts. I wish I could write like you!! You always bless me

  31. Hutch5

    @betheelou – thank you, beth! that means alot~

    @portraitsbygrace – you’re totally right. and should know! ;) was that three christmas’ ago we did family pics at Alt park?? seems like forever ago. i just saw some of those the other day and remembered that time.. miss you.


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