My frustrating holiday family photos: A gallery of failed shots

All I want for Hanukkah Christmas is a picture of my family of four that conveys two simple feelings: happy and relaxed. This photo will go on my holiday card, which I usually order from Tiny Prints, and be mailed to a long list of friends and family across the country.

The light, the weather and the timing of our annual Thanksgiving trip to my mom’s house in L.A. have lead me to set aside a few minutes for a photo session in front of her house each year. We dress casually and the photographer is my mom; the camera, an iPhone.  But still, I want it to look good.Why this is so difficult, I do not understand.

Last year, I did not get a single shot I could use. Here are a few of the choices.

1- Forgetting that Julian’s over-the-top smile doesn’t go with my “relaxed” goal, Scarlett refuses to be seen.


2- Ok, we see your face now, Scarlett. Can you put your hand down? Please?


3- Julian! Really?  P.S. How’s my “happy and relaxed” face looking?


4-Civil disobedience from the littles: they intentionally closed their eyes.


5- So close. So close.


6-Hmm. I look great. The rest of them can suck it!


When I got home and reviewed these photos, I threw up my hands and used a photo that Scarlett’s Kindergarten teacher took of us on her first day of school. My hair is wet, but at least we look happy and relaxed.


{tiny prints *wishful happiness* card is here}

 Do you have any tips for me this year?