Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taking Photos of Three 2-Year-Olds

My recent project has been to organize our digital photos and prepare them for printing. A couple of weeks ago, Cathy forwarded Amanda and me this link to a photographer's blog who hadn't organized or printed photos of her own kids in 4 years. This photographer decided to take on the challenge of starting the project -- and to challenge others to do the same. (She's made several updates since that first post if you are interested in following her progress.) Gary and I had talked loosely about needing to organize and print out our photos, but it just hasn't been a priority. I was inspired after reading that blog post, and got started soon thereafter.

It's not easy. Gary and I didn't own a decently functioning camera until I was pregnant with the kids. We bought a point-and-shoot, and a lot of the pictures we took during the first few months were downright pitiful. We used just that camera for almost the first year of the babies' lives. So, going through the 2008 photos and choosing which ones to print (about 350) wasn't too bad. I did those in about a full day and then had them printed at Costco.

2009 was a different story. For Mother's Day last year, Gary bought me a Nikon D60 and that's when I started taking classes last June. A few months thereafter, Gary got his own point-and-shoot, which was a lot better than the one we had. We also took some photos with our blackberries and iPhone. . . . So, I had tons of places to get our 2009 photos from -- two point-and-shoot cameras, my camera, Gary's old and new blackberries, my old blackberry, and my new iPhone. Plus random photos that people sent to us in e-mail. It took me about THREE days to go through all of those and upload them for printing. I printed about 900 photos -- but considering I went through about 7,000 for 2009, I think that's okay. I pick up the actual prints today.

Then, since I took some decent "portrait" type photos in 2009, I chose which ones I wanted printed up larger -- about 12 photos. I then edited those, and had those printed in larger sizes. Nana and Grandma, you will be getting copies of those as well. Sorry they're about a year old.

So, all I have left to do for our 2008 and 2009 photos is to buy really big photo albums (I think I've picked out some large personalized albums I want), put the photos in the photo albums, and then frame and hang the larger photos we've ordered. I've decided that the first half of 2010 is next. Maybe I'll get started on that in the next day or so, and maybe that will be uploaded and ready to order before Penelope arrives. Maybe. . . . If nothing else, at least I've done 2009!

Anyway, all this photo planning is pretty overwhelming, but I really do feel as though I've accomplished something that I really may not have otherwise done had it not been for bedrest. I'm feeling rather proud of myself for that. Hopefully now I can keep up with the project on a once or twice a year basis now that I've started.

I've noticed that I usually don't focus on getting photos of all three kids together, just because it's an incredible pain. I've decided to make that more of a goal when I take photos. This past weekend we left the house with Auntie Ann and went to Aldridge Gardens. We have a system to take photos of all three kids. I get my camera set up and I get into position, then we put the kids on a bench or something where they can't easily get away, then whoever put them there runs off very quickly while I take photos. I usually have about 30 seconds to get a decent shot. This past weekend I took photos of that process. I thought you may enjoy them:

It's no wonder my kids often look confused in their group photos:

I can only hope that I get a decent photo in before my window of opportunity is over. . . .

I did get a lot of good shots from that day, albeit not a "perfect" group shot (if that exists). I'll get those up soon.


A Lovell said...

I love this post. Any parent of multiple children (same age or not) can relate. Mine are 2 and 5 and the process hasn't changed much for us.

JoLynn said...

That is so funny that you gave us behind the scenes shots. It really does explain the confused looks. I have twin 16 month-olds and it's just as hard with 2 as it is 3. So many things to coordinate - getting them in the same place, sitting still, both looking at the camera, and then to top it all off to try to have some kind of enjoyable look on their face. Odds are probably better for me to win the lottery! Maybe when Penelope arrives you will have some great photos - they will be mesmerized by the baby for a while and should sit still.

Jamie said...

i love henry in the picture of the three of them. so cute how he's smiling.

on the photo note, I recommend doing it monthly. I know it sounds like a lot but it's not as bad if you just go through and pick out about 50-60 favorites each month. I also pick my top 2 or 3 of each girl then save those separately. That gives me a good start for my 2010 top photos at the end of the year... just an idea :)

Kirsten said...

Have you thought of making photo books online? I've made some large 12x12 photo books using shutterfly, and I also ordered one through iphoto. They've all turned out great and I love the streamlined look (I did one large black and white photo on the cover of each one, and the spine has a really simple title of our last name and the year/event). They're thinner than an actual photo album and you don't have to put the pictures in by hand.

Your kiddos are so cute, I came here from Sisters in Seattle (they're friends of ours). Congrats on the new one on the way!


Cathy said...

OMG-I'm laughing out loud! Those process pix are just too much. You do an amazing job in a very short window of time!

The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

I would be happy if I could just get all my pictures off the memory cards and on DVD's. Right now I have ZERO empty cards and you bet I am not telling you how many FULL ones I have!!!!

I'm so impressed you took this on. I can only imagine how good it feels to have that accomplished.

Michelle Carney said...

Good for you! It's a big project but one of Grace's favorite activities is looking through the photo albums of herself as a "baby" It will keep her entertained forever!

Amanda said...

I love Gary and Ann blurred out while they are running away!!! This is so funny. The picture is really great- is it edited?

Heather said...

Thanks everyone for the awesome suggestions on photos. Sadly enough, I focused so much on taking the photos that I forgot what the purpose of photos are. I definitely want to print a blogbook at some point, and I also have thought about photo books but they sort of intimidate me. I love the album idea because I love looking through real photo albums now.

And Jamie I really should do this monthly! That would be so much easier. Even if I just uploaded the photos to print later, at least I would have gone through them, which is really the hard part.

Amanda, no editing on these photos. I was too lazy. I did edit the ones I'm about to post, though. . . .