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I don’t take a lot of professional photos of of my kids. I know many of you do because I see them on Facebook. And they look gorgeous.

But we don’t do it because we take some pretty good photos on our own and because I immediately get anxious the minute a professional photographer is hired.

Will the kids cooperate? Will they stay clean? Will everyone smile? Will anyone start to cry? Will my arms look weird? Will my hair suddenly frizz and end up looking like this..


And the last time we took family photos, my two oldest daughters absolutely refused to smile and well, the twins didn’t exactly turn it on either. So I smiled extra hard for all of them!

family photo

But we were on the Jersey shore this weekend with all of Rick’s family and my mother in law wanted to take professional photos on the beach. Which sounded like it could be amazing. My fingers were crossed.

As soon as we got out there, 6 year old Harlowe started crying. Because she apparently can’t take the professional photo pressure either.

Harlowe sad on the beach

In fact, in one shot, I had to crouch down in the background so I could hold her hand while she got her picture taken.

family photo - kelcey in background

Then it was time to for my sister in law’s family to get their photo done. And the photographer told them to climb on top of each other’s backs. Seriously. There was a lot of accidental hair pulling and near strangulation.

Plotnick Family 1

Yes, that’s my husband Rick holding them up.

Plotnick Family 2

I wonder if his bum will make the final cut? This seems a little crazy, right?

But look…


Apparently, these professionals know what they are doing.

And yes, my hair frizzed. And yes, not everyone liked their arms or the fact that they were sometimes squinting or their pants got wet in the waves. But who cares. Because we got this…

family photos line

Photography by Randee.

13 Responses to professional photographs make me very nervous

  • That’s like the best I’ve ever seen your hair look! It looks awesome frizzy. Pics are awesome. I’ve grown quite fond of professional family photos! In fact, we are due too.

  • hokgardner says:

    I’m jealous. We had family photos taken by a photographer at my bil’s recent wedding. not.a.single.one turned out well.

  • Suzanne says:

    I LOVE professional photos…that my friends post. 😉 Whenever we do it, it’s a crapshoot if a single picture turns out decent.

  • MN Mama says:

    The pics are gorgeous! We have never done professional pics either. Taking family pics involves way more drama that I am ever want (at least in our family).

  • As a professional photographer, as I read your first couple of paragraphs above, I wanted to take your hands in mine and say to you, “Of course the kids will cooperate. It might seem to you like they aren’t cooperating fully, but I promise you I’m capturing their beauty behind this lens of mine and you will be so pleasantly surprised at the final result that beautifully captures each of your children’s unique personalities. And your kids might stay clean…for the first 15 minutes or so…but just like in that episode of Modern Family where their professional family photo session gets interrupted by the sprinklers coming on…the pictures will only be better because of the character it adds. Find a mama of grown children and ask her if that grass stain on her 8 year old son’s knee from days past is still the eye sore she initially thought it would be…my guess is that she secretly loves it now. As for the kids smiling… everyone may not smile for every.single.frame, but over the years of photographing families, I’ve gotten pretty good at the ole head swapping technique and it sure will appear in the final edit that everyone smiled beautifully for that family portrait. And after the smiling portrait, let’s capture their sweet, serious faces, too. You want to remember those, too, right? And even if there are tears, it’s okay…because in that moment we can take a break and regroup and just enjoy the moment…because I have kids (young kids nonetheless), too, and I *get* it. And last, but certainly NOT least, I’ve got your back, mama. I’m going to take these images as if I was taking them of myself. If I notice that your arm is looking funky, I PROMISE I will let you know because who wants a picture of them looking amazing with a funky arm? But please know that all I truly see is a gorgeous mama in front of me wanting meaningful images of her gorgeous family. And I promise you…if you just show up and authentically have a good time…your images are going to be just as beautiful as your family.”

    …but as I kept reading your post, I realized you already understood the things I’d want to tell you and I SO love that you blogged about it. These are beautiful family images…and ones I know you will treasure for a lifetime to come! Thank you for sharing!

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kelcey kintner