Friday, November 14, 2014

The Family Photos That Made This Mama Cry.

I never once want to give the impression that taking family pictures is easy. As much as we all yearn for that one perfect image, the one that doesn't really represent us whatsoever, the reality is that the outtakes are so much better and a much truer sneak peek into our lives. 

We haven't had professional pictures taken since our wedding, seven years ago and I can probably count on one hand the number of pictures taken since then that include the five of us, especially since Collins was born nearly seven months ago. If you're counting, that's hardly enough pictures of our family together. 

I knew I wanted to have professional family pictures captured the moment Collins was born. I also made several excuses for myself as to why I kept putting them off. I wanted to be happy with how I looked in them. I wanted to lose 10 more pounds. I wanted to look rested. What stupid, stupid reasons to put off something so important to me. 

When I found out that Melissa was hosting mini sessions, I don't think my fingers even hit the keys as I emailed her to claim one of the early slots. It was now or never. Within minutes I had booked a 9am session nearly an hour away. The logistics of it all didn't really dawn on me until a couple of hours later when I realized I would have to have our entire crew fed, dressed and ready to walk about the door by 7:45am. Somehow, I knew it would be worth it. 

I immediately set out to put together outfits. Since we don't have pictures taken on the regular, I wanted us to dress up a bit- to look a little fancified for the occasion. Of the five of us, I knew I wanted to be the fanciest- especially surrounded by all those boys! 

In my head I already knew what the boys would be wearing- I had scooped up Collins' romper from the GAP as well as his striped pom hat a few days earlier and knew he would look darling in it. I snagged two pair of those fancy camo slacks from JCrew Factory for the bigger boys at $14 each and knew I'd want to class them up with a cardigan. Again, JCrew Factory to the rescue. I ventured a bit out of my black yoga pants-wearing comfort zone and donned a tulle skirt and chambray top- pulling those pumps out of my closet was icing on the cake. 

The night before, as I was pondering scrapping the lot of outfits, I was desperate for a belt to tie together my top and skirt. I spent two hours at the mall, scrambling before closing hours to find just what I was looking for, the belt I so glamorously saw in my mind. I found it at Nordstrom to the tune of $72.00. Yep, you read that ride. It was perfect but needless to say, that sucker went right back to where it came from the day following our shoot. Ain't nobody got the money for a $72.00  belt! But it was so, so pretty... 

The morning of our session I couldn't believe it. The night before I was *this close* to scrapping everyone's' outfits but was too tired to follow through. Get this- I had to wake everyone up! The one morning all three of the boys choose to sleep in, of course! Through groggy smiles and foggy eyes, we made our way through a quick breakfast and into our "costumes." I knew if I called their outfits "costumes" I would have a much better chance of getting them excited to wear them- and excited they were!

Before stepping out of the car, I silently hoped the boys would cooperate for at least half of the session. I know my boys full well that at 2 and 4 years old, expecting anything above that was just too much. I wanted one, just one, really good family portrait and just one pictures of me and my three sweet gentlemen. I trusted our very talented photographer and knew she would be capture us the best she knew how. 

Good lord. I walked away from our session thinking that out of all the kids I've ever photographed (and there's been plenty) that mine were the worst behaved by far. No amount of fruit snacks or candy corn could get the middle one to stand still, or so it seemed. It felt like, we came, we saw and hoping against all hope, maybe we conquered. 

But then I received a sneak from Melissa. Followed by another sneak and another and then our PASS gallery. I was literally moved to tears as my eyes scanned over our images. I'm so rarely in pictures with my boys that aren't taken using the front camera of an iPhone, much less all three boys at once. 

I couldn't love these images more if I tried and it goes without saying that I've backed them up on several different hard drives. This is us. This is our family. The loud, the crazy, the messy. The beautiful. 

I'm so grateful for these images but even more so, grateful for the faces in them. 

images c/o Melissa Manzione Photography
Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Beautiful photos! We had some taken recently and I've vowed to do the every year....even though my son was a beast and would not look at the camera or stand still....those are some of my most favorite photos! Your family is beyond adorable!

  2. oh my word. the one of you and all 3 boys... PRESH. These are all so great!

  3. I love them all! Especially the last one of you and Carter. So darling!

  4. Oh AP, These are just beautiful!! :)

  5. i truly love them all! you have one BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL family mama. and you have never looked happier. so radiant you are! i just want to get coffee and hang out!

  6. Amazing! These are all so precious! I think your family is super adorable and Melissa is a magician! Perhaps I need to book her for our family photos next year :)

  7. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures!! I laughed out loud while reading this as I, too, made an extravagant purchase from Nordstrom (um, no one needs a $200 casual maternity dress - or at least I don't) and then sent that baby right back the next day. Thank goodness for their amazing customer service….

  8. They are beautiful and capture your personalities so perfectly! I never ever go into sessions with poses I want to try or anything specific (other than outfits) because I know that if we can just let me kids play and laugh, we'll have the very best memories captured. It's hard to find a photographer willing to let them just be kids and not pose them, but it's so worth it! Those smiles in your photos say it all!

  9. THESE ARE SO DARLING! Your outfit is incredible. You seriously couldn't have found a better belt (maybe it had to go back, but it totally served its purpose!). All of you look gorgeous & that sweet baby's smile!

  10. Wrangling just one little man is hard enough, so I can just imagine what it must have been like with 3!!! Regardless, the photos are priceless, AP! So glad you took the time to have these done:) We are having ours done next week and I have yet to pick out outfits...Cue the mama stressing.

  11. These are gorgeous photos, AP! You have a beautiful family. That belt is darling... but $72, good grief! I love your skirt.

  12. The one with carter in the chair and you bending down talking to him. TEARS. BIG FAT TEARS. Beautiful pictures!!!!

  13. The are perfect! I love that real talk about the belt return. Aint' nobody got time for a $70 belt. Ha

  14. Oh my gosh! I love every single one of these! I remember seeing your posts the day you had them done, and I know you were so worried about them. But they are amazing! I love that they don't look posed!

  15. They are great! I still haven't even had newborn pics done of Sophia... and I feel that with all she went through, she deserves them.. but it's so expensive that I just can't justify. ugh, wish there were good photographers in NJ that weren't as expensive. LOL. There should be a "gave birth to a preemie" discount.


Thank you for reading ILYMTC. If you have any questions about a post or want to get in touch with me (or any of the cast of characters here at ILYMTC) email me at iloveyoumorethancarrots(at)gmail(dot)com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...