Then I got out my fancy camera, created a makeshift studio using our paint drop cloth, and dressed my girls in cute matching outfits. After about thirty seconds, my respect for actual professionals skyrocketed by the minute.
I read in one of my library books to give kids Smarties during a photo shoot (small enough easily pop in the child's mouth, but doesn't turn their lips colors like M&Ms). This worked like a charm in bribing Hannah to pose...until I realized that she wasn't eating the Smarties, but was hording them all in her little fist, only to drop them or eat them at very inopportune moments.
There were no tips about how to get babies to stop crying. Hannah ate half a package of Smarties while I tried to lull Lydia to sleep with milk. No luck. I settled on taking thousands of pictures, hoping that one or two would give the appearance of not crying.
More Smarties were required to get Hannah to lie on her back. Too bad this was just another good position for eating candy...
Also not covered in my library books was what to do when Big Sister is terrified of Little Sister's crying. As Lydia grew more and more unhappy with the entire affair, Hannah grew increasingly skittish. She kept subtly sliding away from Lydia, obviously trying to hold still enough to earn another piece of candy. Although not a photograph fit for hanging on the wall, this picture tells quite a story. Have you ever seen a better "get me out of here" look?
However, this stressed out photo-taking mama was more than pleased with two of the pictures that I took of my girls. The one at the top of this post (with a little help from some editing software) is so sweet, right down to the tutu and ballet slippers Hannah insisted on wearing in spite of my carefully chosen matching outfits. (Which you can't even see in this picture!) And the one below, my favorite, looks nothing like what I had envisioned, but instead shows Hannah's personality and Lydia's incredible 5-day-old cuteness and vulnerability.
So maybe I'm not a professional photographer. Or maybe professionals sometimes feel at the end of their rope and as though none of the photos are going to turn out. But in the end, my kids are really cute, and I consider myself lucky to have caught a little bit of their wonderful-ness on camera.