Archive | March, 2016

A crazy cold December morning

7 Mar

McNeil Family December 2015

We took this amazing family picture recently and I am in love with it.  I owe the hard work of the quality mainly to the photographer, my son Jeremy (aka @shilohshiloh).  We woke up, got ready, and headed out to the park.  For me, that entailed, DOING MY HAIR!!!  We decided we were gonna go easy with button down shirts and jeans this year.  It was meant to be our family picture and then we might do some silly pose for a Christmas card.  (Last year’s was amazing!!)  I do hair and makeup, I help with the granddaughter’s hair but her daddy picks her clothes and gets her ready.  Simple enough, right?  Well the photographer who is also my son, lives across town.  He is calling early to make sure we are ready to go.  Timing is everything because of the sun and shadows, the cold weather, but probably the most important thing is catching the almost 3 year old in a good mood.  Coffee is a must but can’t have stained teeth in the picture.  Of course there IS photoshopping but we want to get these out by Christmas after all and this was less then 3 weeks out.  Not to mention, getting everyone to congregate at the same time because of school and work schedules it is almost impossible and then add to that the fact that the toddler’s mama decides last minute that she didn’t want to leave the toddler over night so we could get her up and ready at our own house.  Yikes!!  When everyone has a different schedule, it gets super chaotic pretty darn fast.  Add the McNeil and Salazar character traits and we are up for some serious eye rolling, some yelling and ‘hurry up!’ and ‘Where are you?’ etc etc.

One car from across town with all the camera, lighting, table, computer, flash, etc equipment. A second vehicle – a truck with our love seat from our living room – because NO we did NOT just find a random couch in the park, and a third vehicle with Grandma, Daddy, uncle, and the toddler in charge.  The kid is in a mood as if she was up all night. Grandma trying to finish the makeup on the way, the brothers were either irritated or laughing to avoid being irritated.  Ay ay ay…..Here we go.

Now we pose.  The kid won’t smile while looking at the camera. She would smile while looking away, then put on a serious face as she faced the camera.  She knew exactly what she was doing, stinker!  Random strangers at the park see us taking pictures and just walk in front of the camera, others walk right behind us, oh and did I mention it’s 30 degrees outside!!! We take our coats off for the pictures and the kid refuses to smile.  How many fake smiles are we gonna put on? How many things can we bribe this kid with?? And can we really threaten the next guy who walks with his dog across the picture taking path???  45 “CHEEEEEESSSEEEES” later and a dog walker in the background who had to be photoshopped out of the picture, here we are.

Obviously, for the photographer’s sake, I won’t give away ALL his secrets and all his photoshopped tricks, but it was one crazy morning.  It is damn near impossible to get us together all at once at the same time. And when we do, rest assured, there will be all sorts of chaos, but we always get the end results.

And if you’re crazy enough to wanna be part of my family, here is a tidbit of craziness that comes along with being part of the McNeil clan.  Oh and I might add, as soon as we were done, we all headed to Village Inn for brunch! Lots of laughter, great memories and good times….just like we like to do after the chaos.  We are one crazy family but WE ARE FAMILY!!

#family #toddler #photographer