Last year we arranged a family photo for my parents' Christmas gift. These days, having us all in the same town happens less and less and we needed to commemorate the occasion. That, and well, the last time we had a photo taken together Dawson and Max hadn't been born and Brian wasn't married.
Now any of you who have ever tried to orchestrate something like this knows how much a project like this involves. What colors should we wear? Where should we take it? Who will we hire? Needless to say, there was a lot of back and forth between me and my brothers. And, finally we all agreed on an outdoor location, some shade of blue and a personal friend of my brother’s, who happens to be a professional photographer.
Unfortunately, the day we arranged to take our photo, it was snowing. I know, crazy right? I mean, we live in Augusta, GA, it almost never snows. We thought for half a second about doing it out in the snow but it wasn't that beautiful, fluffy stuff. It was cold, wet, grey...and freezing. So there we were, the night before the big photo with no idea where we'd take it. In swoops divine intervention and I threw in, "Hey what about Enterprise Mill?" We all agreed and called the photographer.
My family is pretty cheesy so it’s not too difficult to get a good photo. I think he took pictures for maybe 15 or 20 minutes and we were out of there. At that point, as is the case with many things I do with my brothers, the ball was in my court. It was my job to take the digital photo and turn it into the wall portrait my parents needed. Except the company I always work with doesn’t do the size we wanted. I called a few other places, school started back and well, I kind of forgot about it.
I don’t know why, but sometimes I let things like this really slide (exhibit A, just had Max get his three-year-old wall portrait ….three months before he turns four). Yes, sometimes, I do not have it all together. So when Thanksgiving rolled around…and several family members ribbed me about getting it done before it turns into this year’s photo, I started the research again. I don’t know why but it’s not a piece of cake to find an online place for large photos that aren’t posters. And the crazy thing is that they want you to believe that the posters are so what you really want. I know because I talked to all of them.
When I finally found one that was reasonably priced I bit the bullet and uploaded the picture to their site. Of course, that involved downloading a new program, viewer and several other technical steps that I can do but always make me a little nervous. Once I waded through the process of simply looking at the photo on their site, I was given a plethora of styles, papers and editing decisions to make. When I finally clicked the purchase button, I felt freedom.
Here was something I let hang over me for nearly a year. It was definitely more involved than I had planned but not a year’s worth of involvement and I knew it. When it arrived the day after Thanksgiving, I called my mom immediately. It was beautiful and I wanted her to see it right away.
As I reviewed these pictures, I remembered how amazing they turned out. When I opened the final portrait, I saw something much more beautiful than the photo. I saw my family. For all our shortcomings, we clean up pretty nicely and when it comes right down to it, we have a fierce love for each other. We thought that was worthy of capturing in time. And now I know it was worthy of a little extra work.
Kind of like family isn't it.