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The Story: Why it's called "My Longest Year"

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His Longest Year

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    A few pictures from J.'s Longest Year...

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With my oldest daughter I had to have the 1 month, 2 month, 3 month, etc photos of her taken from JCPenny and Sears (which ever I had a coupon for). Now, I don't really like taking them to those types of places because they want them all dolled up while holding a big huge larger than life candy cane. I find that my most favorite pictures of them are the ones that I take myself.

There is actually this one local photographer that is excellent with children's photos. She lets them run and play in her studio while she clicks away at her camera. Those are my most favorite of my oldest but sadly she is waaay to expensive for me to do it again.

I've framed many candid pictures that I took of my son. I decided to never settle for the sears/penney's portraits and save my money towards a photographer whose work we admired. His photos are featured at our Children's Hospital in the NICU and the labor and delivery unit. When Aidan turned one, we had him take pictures and again when he turned 4. They gave us advice at the studio to only buy pictures for ourselves and family members can buy their own. Last year we bought pictures for family members as Christmas gifts.

I too love the crib pictures. She is sooo beautiful.

Have a great weekend.

I totally don't do the studio thing either. My sister and sisters-in-law all do, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I do wish that I took better/more technically correct pictures. I don't like the feel of those places, and they seem so contrived. I did take my kids once when my sister wanted some pictures of her kids with mine and it was not a very good experience. They didn't feel natural to me and I didn't even order any for myself, I prefer the ones at home where you capture real moments, because that's what you are really trying to remember.

I havent done any professional photos of my 3 children.
I just think the natural catch the moment pictures are the best.

The one of your daughter waking up after her nap is perfect!
She looks roughly the same age as my baby, nearly 8 months.

I have no patience for the studio portraits. My life is like this: get kids dressed, one pukes. Change outfit on kid. Other kid doesn't match now. Change other kid. Other kid poops. Need diaper changed. 12 minutes until appointment. Starts raining out. Kids get wet and look like drowned rats. Drive 21 miles over the speed limit to get to mall. Find out there is 40 minute back up. Baby needs a nap. Lots of crying. Me included.

But my family still nags me for these wretched photos. I said if you want them, then next time one of you has to come with me and help for the day!

Crystal - the 2nd pic from the crib could easy be a favorite - you could turn black and white, crop etc. I also havent done much w/portraits at sears, picture people, etc. I like candids more - I did actually have a good friend's do a portrait (hes a commerical illustrator) of me & my girls last year for fathers day for my husband that came out very well. I like it much better than the photographs I have.

She is such a cutie! When Courtnie was a baby, I had her pictures taken at Olan Mills Kids all the time. Not so much for the other 3! Thank goodness for school and daycare pictures! I love taking pictures of the kids and hope to be able to take a photography class some day....

I am not a fan of the "posed" portrait studio photos. I did them with my daughter (now five) and haven't done a single one with my son (two). We have done the family beach photos and some outside photos with a local photog, but that's about it. My favorite photos of my children are those that I capture when they aren't posing, but being themselves. Then there are times I like to pose them and I just "borrow" ideas from the professionals, like this site: www.pauljohnsonphoto.com. Buy a nice camera and have fun. I have the Canon SLR Rebel Xti and I love it.

Buy yourself the camera! I did the whole studio thing for the first 2 but then I got my Nikon and they haven't been back since.
I'm no photographer but you'd be amazed at the pictures you can take with just knowing the basics. I looked at the camera as an investment because we save a ton on pictures during Christmas, school photos and birthdays.
Last Christmas I set us all up in front of our tree, and with the tripod and the remote for the camera I was able to get our Christmas family photo. I uploaded it to Costco and printed 8x10, 5x7, and wallets sizes all for $15.
Doing your own photos is much better and more fun.

I wish I could make you feel better by saying I skipped all that stuff. But I didn't. I try to take my girls to have their pictures taken together before the christmas rush. I usually go to sears and and get one of those sale packages. With that said I think the pictures you post on the blog are very nice. More natural than what you would get in a studio. I say take your camera, find a nice field or park and take some pictures around sunset. The lightening is nice and you won't get harse shadows. Her expressions will be natural and at ease cause she won't be in a studio with someone she doesn't know trying to get her to smile!! Good luck

I did a Sears picture session for Dylan when he was six months old and that's it. I felt reeeeeeeeeeeeeally guilty when I walked into the studio and saw the "3,6,9,12" month progression portraits. However, the guilt didn't force me back in at the 12 month mark and I have yet to return. Like you, I'm hoping for a "good-enough" amateur picture. Because I believe in miracles.

Your pictures of the girls, however, are really good, so I wouldn't worry about it.

The other mandatory picture we don't have: the family picture.

You take amazing pictures. We did a 3 month picture at Sears and it was horrible. We ended up buying some plain fabric to make our own backdrop and taking pictures ourselves that turned out MUCH better.

The best, and least expensive, place to have pictures done is Portrait Innovations. You should look into it if there is one in your area (although I think the last time I was in that neck of the woods there wasn't).
I take a billion pictures of my kids, but I still love the studio!

I have a confession - my 4 children have never set foot into a Sears (or any other) portrait studio. :-) Does that make you feel better? Invest in a good camera - it makes all the difference (I have a Canon Rebel XTi which I love!). Your girls are so cute anyways so you won't have to try hard to make the pictures good!!

I have never done the professional portrait pictures for my kids. And I have never felt guilty about it either. Should I? :)

I am not a fan of the portrait shots done at stores. They seem like a HUGE, and I mean HUGE, hassle for the mom. And the kids seem to always be miserable. I enjoy taking my own pictures in places where my kids are comfortable and I don't have to wave a puppet around to make them smile.

Gosh! I'm rather opinionated about this. I had no idea I would be...

-Andrea

I've been going through old photos from my mom and grandmother lately. The studio photos are nice but not really very interesting. I love the candids that show something of the surroundings of the subject--perhaps with other people or with cars or furnishings that help to put the person in a time. Don't underestimate the value of photos that show everyday events--I look back to the photos I took of my dad in the hayfield or in the garden and those photos contain so much more of my dad than any studio photog could accomplish. Forget Sears. Perhaps save up for a family portrait from a good studio...or for a photographer who will come to your home. Once every five or ten years with plenty of candids in between and you'll have history recorded.

The only professional photos of my kids are the school shots and the two family portraits we had for a church directory...and everyone knows how good the church directory photos are, right?

the pictures you take of her are great, no need for a portrait really. I got a nikon D80 and I've been very happy with all the photos of my girl that I "set up" to look more proffesional. All you need is good lighting, a smile and a good background. I use my backyard or her room all the time.

maybe do one for when she's 1. it's really not that a big deal. and you know it is much more fun doing your own photos! i love a good photo shoot. (I'm frugal for the most part and I don't like going to photographers, I think I did it 4 times when he was smaller and those were only after he was 2! I took all the baby photos, the ones I liked best I had them enlarged.)

I have no children yet (I've got a while!) but being the third child, I would have been happy to just have more pictures of me that my parents took. Now that I write that I feel pretty narcissistic! There are TONS of pictures of my oldest brother, quite a bit from my middle brother, and so few of me.

I prefer the natural, candid looks that your pictures have to studio shots anyway!

love when they wake up happy! I didn't do a professional picture with my youngest either, I still feel kind of guilty. My husband jokes that she looks exactly like her sister did as a baby so we could just say one of her sister's pics is hers lol


I did a Target portrait shoot with my first born.......still not happy with them. I also have some KMart pics that I wasted money on. And like you, I did it because I felt an "obligation." I'm much happier with the candids I take. And I think the pics you take are fabulous. But, I must say, I am saving up for a freelance shoot in our home for the boys. Expensive, yes. But oh, so worth it!

Click my name to see my favorite of Lily so far. I took that one when she was about 10 weeks old.

when i was little i used to look at the photos my mom had of us...i always resented the fact that my older sister had professional baby portraits and i didn't. i know now how expensive it is. i swore that i would try to do a portrait even if it was at the Walmart studio for jerrett...um, yeah that didn't happen! the last professional picture we have of him is what we call our mug shot (he was one); it was also our first family portrait. it was the worst photo ever! i made us wear matching colors, jerrett's face had just started to break out with eczema, and the hubby had scratched up his nose on the job site looking like he'd been beat up. it was horrible! i'd rather take my own pics now because i can edit them or retake them without spending any money.

LOVE the crib pictures... she is beautiful!

brittany

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