In addition to securing the door prize for "Person Who Traveled Furthest To Attend Thanksgiving Dinner" (I so had that in the bag!), it was my job to take family photos. A few years ago, my grandfather and his wife hired a professional photographer for guaranteed-to-be-amazing family photos that...weren't. By all accounts, they were awful. Among the (many) flaws was the overly-heavy use of flash that whited everyone out and cast shadows all over creation. Fast forward a few years to now and me, with my extreme aversion to flash in general, taking family photos indoors, late evening, on a cold, foggy night. Flash was required, and I had the gear...but the pressure was on! The good news is the family photo came out great! You can see it in the Thanksgiving day blog post. Everyone is looking at the camera, everyone is smiling, everyone looks fabulous. Hooray! But I also have an aversion to posed photos, so as much as I like the big family photograph, I like these even more:
This is my sister, who always knows what she wants to do when the camera is pointed her way. She spent the evening giving tips to the other ladies on how to achieve the best angle, the slimmest line, the least-pronounced-double-chin...but she could also give lessons on hamming it up. Seriously. She and the dog have the same expression (I also like my grandfather's amusement in the background).
My mom assures me that this is the same look she has been seeing on my sister's face since she was a little girl every time she got something she wanted: "A new My Little Pony!", "Jewelry!", and in this case, "A cute husband!"
Another shot of that cute husband of hers:
My sister is also responsible for the expressions captured in this photo of my mom with her kids. For reasons that escape me now, she settled on a bootylicious pose that my cousin (the photographer at this point) was quick enough to capture. This is the aftermath:
That ridiculously tall guy on the left is my little brother. Yes, I still call him my little brother. He may have me on height, but I tower over him intellectually.
Take a look at these gorgeous girls. They are my cousins. They are 16. They are bee-you-ti-ful! And they don't even know it (part of being 16, methinks). My grandfather asked them to say the blessing, and they chose to split a reading by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This lovely young lady is my cousin, Shannon. She will start university next year. I remember chasing her around the house, trying to prevent her running outside in nought but her diaper on a snowy winter day many years ago. I also tried to teach her to fake snore on Christmas Eve when she was two and a half. I was spending the night in her room, and she was way too excited to sleep. And just look at her now:
Although most of these are posed, I still love all these captured little moments too:
And, as he loves to remind us, it was all started by this guy. My grandfather celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday. I was so blessed and lucky to be able to be there to celebrate with him.