Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Capturing a Great Family Picture, and Other Cryptids

I thought a nice addition to this blog might be a few pictures.  So I created a new page (and tab for that page) called "Us", intending to use that space to post a few good family pictures, and, through the course of careful digging. . .  there aren't any.  Not of the whole family.  At least, not smiling.  So I continued to look, and typed "Coming Soon" as a placeholder. 

Family pictures seem so much more "Father Knows Best" when the children aren't screaming, thrashing, flailing, or darting out of the frame.  Lily is like antimatter, she's very difficult to contain.  You can do it, of course, but at a cost.  Containing Lily for a picture means taking pictures of Lily angry or upset, so posed family pictures become very stressful and almost always show either my wife or myself pinning Lily's hands so that she can't slap us silly while we're pleading for one of the grandparents to please take the damn picture already before Lily has a complete meltdown.
Lily's left hand is pinned, but the right is
pulling my wife's hair.  On the plus side,
her grimace of pain looks vaguely like a smile.
Experiences like that (see picture at left)
often lead to experiences like this.
(don't judge my experimental fruity
 pink drink phase)
There is no "look at the birdie" with Lily.  Lily does not give a crap about the birdie.  She just wants to be free to whirl and spin and dance and jump.  As a result, many of the pictures we take of happy Lily involve slightly blirred pictures of a departing Lily reminiscent of Bigfoot pictures.  It looks like maybe it could be a man in a fur suit. . . or sasquatch. . . if only there was a better picture.  It looks like Lily, I think that's her eye, is she smiling? 

Capturing good pictures of Lily, and I imagine many other AS kids with ADHD, is a product of two things.  1)  Having a camera close by when she's in a good mood, and 2)  Taking 50 bad pictures to capture one good one.  If we were living in the 70's, taking flash pictures with little rotating cubes on top of our cameras, good pictures of Lily would probably be just as rare as the aforementioned Bigfoot sightings.  Fortunately, we don't live in the 70's, and cell phones have cameras, and my digital camera will, for all practical purposes, hold as many pictures as I choose to take before I really need to clear up space.
Emma attempts to corral Lily for a quick picture
This means my iPhone and digital camera at any given time have multiple series of 10 to 15 slightly different versions of the same picture in a row that I then go back and leaf through (in THEORY) discarding the not awesome pics and keeping the good ones.

When you ARE lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle, it is when Lily is sleepy, mellowed out or too tired to fight your efforts to contain her for a picture, she'll wearily allow herself to snuggled or held, and you've got yourself a quality IN-focus picture.  Alternatively, you've caught her at just the right moment when SOMEthing you're doing makes her giggle. And at that moment, if you have a camera, and can duplicate series of circumstances that led to the initial giggle, you can take happy Lily pictures as long as your fingers can push the button or your film holds out.

The drawback is that someone is almost invariably absent from the pictures.  There are good pictures of Lily, Emma and Lily, Lily and mommy, daddy and Lily. . . but no good pictures of Emma, Lily, daddy, and mommy.  Or precious few.  That "Coming Soon" is mocking me.

And okay. . . because my family will probably at some point read this. . . ALL family pictures are good because it's a moment in time where we're all together and we love each other and it's nice to remember that moment.  But come on.  The picture above is the only family picture I could find that wasn't more than two years old and Lily is pulling my wife's hair, Emma is sad (I probably yelled at her because I was stressed out about Lily pulling my wife's hair) and I had some bizarre eye ailment. . . like sunscreen got in my eye or something while we were on vacation, so my eye is all pink and I'm wearing my glasses because wearing my contacts made my eye look like it was actively hemoraging.  And although ALL family pictures are good because I love my family. . . that's not a good family picture.

So I thought about deleting the "Us" page from the blog.  But then I thought, it's funnier that it will probably always be "Coming Soon", waiting for just the right picture.  Maybe we could get bigfoot to take it.


  1. I take a ridiculous number of pictures each month and we have no good family pictures. We usually end up with one or two kids looking in the direction of the camera and maybe one smiling. Such is life with 3 kids. I went through months of pictures when I updated my blog header to find good smiling faces.

  2. It bugs me that my own blog tells me that my google account doesn't have access to post comments to it. Stupid blog.

    Anyway. . . what I said before blogger told me I couldn't say it was. . . that's what I love about digital cameras, practically infinite film. The only TRUE limitation is your patience.