Wednesday, May 06, 2009

family photos

My grandma's funeral was the first time all my siblings had been together since my brother's law school graduation. Not the brother who graduated last year, the one who graduated four years ago . . . [counting] . . . yes, that is right, four years ago! (Also, yes, three of the four of us are lawyers. And no, no one else in our family went to law school. I started the trend.)

Since the last photo of all of us together was taken in 2004, my mom really wanted to take some family photos. The trouble is, when we try to pose for the regular type of family photos, you know, the kind most families spit out on an annual basis, we look kind of like this:
I don't think this is a terrible photo. In fact, I really like it. It is just that we just all look a little stiff and unsure of where to put our hands. We just aren't good at this formal posing thing. My mom quickly removed herself from that side of the camera and focused on her children:

Right, nothing terrible. Just a bit . . . unbalanced. Jason's collar is standing up, Erin is standing too far forward, Nick is completely hidden in the back and I'm . . . giving the I'm-smiling-so-just-take-the-picture smile. And Nick is smirking.

So we tried another pose - lined up in birth order:

Yes, I'm the oldest and the shortest. I kind of love hanging out with my brothers because they make me feel so small! Also, I was abiding by my grandma's house rules and was not wearing shoes while my sister was still wearing 3 inch boots . . . that is why she looks close to 6 feet tall. The photo was better, but not great. So we tried a different angle.
Whose idea was that? I will refrain from commenting on how horrifying it is to see myself from this vantage point and just say I'm impressed at how nice my hair looks given the swirling winds at the cemetary earlier that afternoon. Oh, and we're mising Jason.

After rounding him up, we decided to try a different look:

I think it is an improvement. And you have no idea how difficult it was to refrain from laughing here. In case you are wondering, those are the arm rest covers from my grandma's couch and her Lay-Z-Boy recliners.
But then Nick had another idea. An idea based on a professional family photo circa 1994 wherein for inexplicable reasons, the photographer had me lounging across the front of the family on the floor. In a sheath dress. I wish I had a copy of that photo because it somehow worked and is - to this day - our best family photo. But Nick's idea had a little twist.
He didn't really want me lounging across the front on the floor . . . instead he asked me to fly through the middle:
Nice touching adding the cape, right? I also like how my foot appears to be curving around Jason's face. Erin looks extremely happy in this next one.
Then they dropped me. Err, I gracefully landed.
And we once again used an iconic photo from our youth for the next pose. One lazy school day afternoon when my mom needed to use the rest of her roll of film (remember how that used to work?), she photographed the four of us in all kinds of nutty poses around the house. Including this one:
Then it was time for sister photos:
Aren't we adorable?
But the boys really cracked everyone up. . . as usual.
Finally, my dad and his sister wanted in on the fun:
They were at the end of a very long, painful and stressful week and needed to let off some steam.
What better way than a pillow fight with lots of laughter?
I know it would have made my grandma laugh - the one where her shoulders moved up and down, her mouth grew broad in a full smile, her eyes crinkled up in the corners and short bursts of laughter escaped at a time.

It made posing my dad with his sister and my mom for a regular photo much easier because the smiles were genuine. By the way, my dad and his sister look a lot alike, don't they?
I know my sister is going to kill me for putting these photos on my blog . . . but since she doesn't check in too often then maybe she will miss this little post. It really makes me miss my family. Hopefully we can all get together again for another photo session before another four years elapse.


lizzie said...

oh, i so remember that family photo of you lounging across the floor. it wa great! it's fun to see your family again!

lizzie said...

and i loved your description of your grandma's laugh. grammie laughed that way to. with a little bounce.

Tiffany said...

I think this is my favorite post ever. The arm rest covers did me in...

Kami said...

I love all these family photos! They are great! It makes me want to take some. What a great family you have!

michele said...

the armchair covers was my favorite, although i liked you flying through the air as well.

Mary said...

For some reason the green armchair cover and the flying made me think of Peter Pan. Very creative posing!

z said...

loved the pictures!

erin said...

Lame! I can't believe you posted these on your blog after I specifically told you I wouldn't send them if you did!

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