Every year around this time I stress out completely over getting our family portraits done. I obsess over the outfits, the location, and most importantly: how I can wrangle a bunch of small children into smiling and looking at the camera so I can get the quintessential tableau of the happy, carefree, perfect family that we are. (Stop laughing). We’ve been through our horror days of bad Sears portraits (Exhibits A, B, and C): A couple years ago we finally ponied up for a real photographer to take our pictures on location, and it is so worth it. Unfortunately, our favorite photographer Drew B was totally booked by the time I called her to make an appointment (and I’ve noticed a few of my blog readers showing up in her blog of portrait sessions . . . all of you people who schedule your appointments with her in a reasonable time frame and therefore prohibited our snagging an appointment at the last minute? You are now DEAD TO ME.) I finally got up the nerve to ask my friend Trever Hoehne if he would do our pictures. I’m a fangirl of his work, but he usually photographs artsy things like album covers and fashion spreads and I didn’t know if he would relish the idea of honking a horn above his camera to get four squirmy kids to smile. (He didn’t actually do that). Lucky for us. he agreed to do a session. I gave him lots and lots of warnings about how hard four kids would be, and how they might be a bit more challenging than the model-types he is accustomed to shooting. I braced myself for a couple stressful hours of fake-smiling while uttering veiled threats under my breath to spank anyone who wasn’t looking happy. (I didn’t actually do that.) Still, I was prepared for uncooperative children and lots of bribery. I think we were all a little surprised by what happened next: the kids were all totally pleasant and full of smiles, and we finished the whole shoot in about 45 easy minutes. I was shocked. I’m hoping this is a sign of their budding maturity and not just the fact that I promised them a jellybean for every picture where they are smiling. (It’s probably the jellybeans). Anyways, I’m really happy with how they turned out! N Now I just need to decided which family shot should go on the cover of the card. Which would you choose?