A few months ago, my cousin suggested that we get a family portrait taken this summer.
There are 42 people in our family.
You can imagine how well that suggestion went over. A family portrait is the sort of thing that everyone wants to have but no one wants to go through the painful process of making.
A few brave people took the reigns and organized a photo shoot for this morning with a reputable photographer in town. We were then instructed to coordinate attire within each family unit, which was quite the topic of conversation this week, resulting in a flurry of last minute emails and phone calls.
The plan was to have the pictures taken in the photographer’s backyard since his studio is too small to accommodate 42 people. But when we woke this morning, it was to the unwelcome pitter-patter of rain. We all dressed and primped and got in our cars and headed to town, hoping there was a Plan B and praying for a sudden change in weather.
The rain only increased as we drove, along with our stress levels. When we got to the studio, we were informed that Mr. Photographer would take pictures of two groups of 21 and then merge the photos in Photoshop. We were skeptical, to say the least, but there seemed to be no better option, so we obediently started to position ourselves as we were instructed.
But before we were all placed, one of my uncles arrived with the announcement that a local restaurant would allow us to use their convention room, which could more than accommodate 42 people in a portrait. The photographer seemed to think this was a fantastic solution, so he herded us all out to our cars, where we once again dashed through the rain (you can imagine how attractive our hair was by this point) and drove over to the appointed restaurant.
A half hour later and another sprint through the rain and we were all gathered in convention room, and the photographer was setting up his equipment. This allowed time for everyone to get reacquainted and for the kids to get sufficiently wound up.
It took about 45 minutes for the photographer to position us and three minutes for him to snap a round of pictures. Sort of reminds me how it takes three days to prepare Thanksgiving Dinner and 10 minutes to eat it.
Then we had all sorts of combinations of people groupings, and I’m hoping for a good shot of my family of five. My kids cooperated fairly well, but R (22 months old) was no picnic. I am certainly happy to have the ordeal over and done with.
After the Picture Taking Extravaganza was complete, somehow all 42 of us ended up downstairs in the restaurant ordering lunch. TWO HOURS LATER, and that’s no exaggeration, we finished eating and rolled ourselves out to our cars to drive back to camp. That’s two hours from when we ordered lunch. All told, our portrait adventure was five hours long.
Now, THAT’S a long day.