It’s that time of year again. When I need a shot of the whole family for the Christmas card. The whole family with “unholy” clothes, no “wild-and-wooly” hair, and very few chocolate smudges on faces. I know, moms ask an awful lot sometimes, don’t we? But if we’re going to go to the trouble to send out a photo and advertise to the world what a beautiful, happy, and “picture perfect” family we are, we will have to learn to fake it. We bribed our children with doughnuts, and they were at least mildly cooperative. It was a harsh light day (which are few in Seattle, so I don’t have a lot of practice). Luckily, since I decided to be adventurous and really push my luck by scouting out a new place, we arrived at our destination just before the sun went down, during that wonderful “golden hour” of glowing light. Lucky me. They aren’t perfect. They are taken with a shutter release, and it was really hard to get the focus nailed that way in backlight. But we aren’t perfectionists here. I took advice from a photographer I admire, and took the extra time to get shots of the kids with parents. Those ended up being my favorites. Hubby took a turn on the camera to include me in the collage. Someday, my kids will remember what I looked like. (For better or for worse). Here are some of my favorites.