I organized a long- overdue family photo shoot this weekend. We hadn’t done this since the boys were toddlers, so I’d completely forgotten that making love to the camera is my gift. Not theirs. For whatever reason, they hate wearing matching sweaters and shivering in the cold while I bark,“That’s my bad side, you idiot! For someone who always carries extra makeup, a wardrobe change, and her own portable backdrop, it’s hard for me to understand their disdain for the paparazzi photographers.
Not only do we feel differently about photo shoots, but we prepare differently. Leading up to it, I had a million things to do: get a hair cut, a nose job, and my teeth capped. The ‘day of’ had me running around too: clean the house, iron clothes, and get my tubes tied makeup done. I have to admit, the boys did step up to the plate when it counted: They woke up.
I waited until the fourth bowl of Froot Loops kicked in before I broke it to them: “Meet Lance. He’ll be doing your hair and makeup.” “It’s pretty cold and windy out there, guys, and we can’t wear jackets in the pictures.” Then, I pointed out the bald spots on my head from years of repressing shirts they were to wear.
One of them asked, “Where’d you get this shirt, Mom?”
“It’s a ‘chick’ shirt. There’s no way I can wear this.”
My husband will soon be available, ladies told him, “You look like a homo in that shirt.” I instantly shot my wedding ring down the toilet him a deadly look.
When the photographer arrived, we discussed authentic-looking shots. Nothing contrived or cheesy. With the word ‘authentic’, the boys instantly relaxed. They stared blankly at their iPhones, cranked each other in the head the volume on Cops, and scratched themselves. In the end, we went with cheesy.
As we huddled and posed around an eyeball-sized radius on our front step, I could tell this was going to be a challenge. The guys struggled with the simplest instructions: lean in, smile with your eyes, for the last time: put down that f@%!ing cereal bowl!, scooch forward. I, on the other hand, was absolutely killing it: twisting, turning, writhing. It seemed the more layers I removed loose and alive I became the more rigid they got. Plus, they whined about the tiniest details, like when the typhoon uprooted our maple tree. Whatever. I quite liked how the storm surged through my thong gave my hair that ‘come hither’ look. Perception is reality I guess.
I wasn’t sure if the wind took them or what but after an hour of me screaming, “This lighting is total crap! Get someone in here who knows what the hell he’s doing!” posing, my clan was nowhere to be found. Then I saw a note attached to the front door: You are sick in the head don’t seem to need us. Gone to football game. Hell with them. To wind down the shoot, the photographer said, “Work it, baby! You’re incredible!” “That’ll be $200.” And with that, it was over. I’d say the
Cosmopolitan spread family photo was a success. You be the judge: