Sunday, February 16, 2014

I've become my mother…..

When I was a kid, my mom would hang a fancy blue tablecloth in front of her closet doors, move the piano bench or a kitchen stool into the room, and have us kids stand there and pose for pictures. 

It worked great -- if you ignore the ugly 80s sweaters and hair, it looks pretty darn good, maybe even professional (by 1980s standards, of course) doesn't it?

It was the 80s, so of course Mom shot on film and didn't want to waste a bunch of film, so we had to be on our best behavior for the entire photo shoot. I don't remember having professional pictures (aside from our yearly school pictures) until we were seniors and got to have senior pictures done. Yet our childhoods are very well documented, thanks to my mom's bedroom-turned-photo-studio.

I realized last week as I hung a tablecloth in front of the closet doors in my craft room, I have become my mother.

I really wanted to take some pictures of my kids together and Valentine's day seemed like the perfect excuse to snap a few. I told them all I wanted for Valentine's day was a few updated pictures of them. How could they argue with that?

The little girls were happy to pose for me while I figured out if the tablecloth would even work.

Despite their help, I wasn't in love with the tablecloth (sorry Mom). I remembered seeing something on Pinterest about making a photo background out of plastic tablecloths. So that's what I did. It took me six tablecloths to fill the space, but they worked so great, because they are long enough to cover from floor to ceiling (I kept getting carpet in the shots with my cloth tablecloth). My professional photographer friends would probably cringe at my makeshift background, but it worked.. and it was cheap! I held the tablecloths up with push pins, and added the "I love you" banner I found on sale at Hobby Lobby.

Now, came the hard part: getting all four kids in the same place at the same time. I wanted to use natural light, so I was hoping to get them together before it got dark. 

Like that would ever happen.

My kids are busy! The big kids weren't home much all week, between school, basketball practice, basketball games, and church class.

So I had to come up with a compromise.

That compromise was to take their pictures individually and piece them together into one picture later. It took a couple of days, but I finally got at least one good picture of each kid (my standards for a "good" picture have been lowered immensely over the years… we're talking if their eyes are open, it's a keeper!).

I put the four pictures together into one using an app called "pic collage." It was super easy, and a creative way to get around the my-children-are-never-home problem!
I also used the Pic Collage app to make individual valentine greetings. We sent these to grandparents, godparents, cousins, aunts, and a few other special people. It was easy, cheap, and fun, and who doesn't love getting a cute picture in the mail?
I guess it's not so bad to be turning into my mother… if only I had her photography skills. At least I have technology on my side! 

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