Behind the Scenes of That Picture Perfect Family

This summer we had new family pictures taken by professional photographer, Eva Qin. The afternoon session produced some beautiful images like this:

perfect family watermarked nycjenny


Look at how adorable we are. We are just having so much fun lying on this picnic blanket, laughing in the afternoon sun!

Actually I think Roger was simultaneously pinning Jack down while tickling him to get a smile of any sort. I was utilizing that pricey Tisch School of the Arts degree and summoning up a sense memory of sunny days in Paris, child-free, and sipping rosé. You know, you do what you gotta do to get the shot.

Tis the season for smiling family photo shoots, folks. It’s countdown to Christmastime and our mailboxes are about to be stuffed with cards featuring picture perfect families and happy siblings who aren’t trying to kill each other. If we can all find the time to get those cards printed. AND YOU KNOW WE WILL. Come hell or high water, we are going to get it done. I could go into a rant here about how we’ve all got to knock it off, and I almost did on Facebook while reading this NY Times piece on Our ‘Mommy’ Problem. I agree with a lot of what the author feels and I try my hardest to not let my online postings give a false view of our family. I am so NOT all in. That’s just not my style.


Once in a while we all need the illusion. Or we need to at least take a moment to stop, breathe deep and celebrate those moments when we do get it right. It happens more than we remember I bet. It’s just that it’s awfully hard to remember when the house needs cleaning, the children aren’t listening, the cat keeps barfing in unfortunate locations, and your partner is working another 13 hour day…  So let’s cut each other a break and let our perfection shine. You stay up all night, chugging a latte to get those Holiday cards ready. You go girl. I’m going to love getting it in the mail and will try to quash my feelings of jealousy that you apparently had the wherewithal to get them done before Thanksgiving.

I had my moment on Facebook already – I had a little free time and I made an album to share our family photos. Four months after we had them taken, but WHATEVER…  My friends were so sweet with their comments and likes. Bless your hearts for letting me be proud of my little family. I’m going to pay you back by letting you behind the scenes now. I bet this is what happens on 99% of family photo shoots anyway.

“Are we really doing this today?” Yes, dear. We booked the session two months ago. It’s on the calendar in your phone, and on the one hanging on the wall. Two males whining about having to wear a shirt with buttons. SUCK IT UP, you two! Now sit still and pretend you’re happy about it.


Oh look, I forgot to iron that dress… Sitting still wasn’t going so well (nice face, honey) so we let the boy go crazy for a bit. Literally.

eva qin photos nycjenny

Then we let him break out his favorite toys. The space shuttle almost fell off that ledge for a 30 foot plunge.

eva qin collage nycjenny

HUGE mistake with the baseball bat. He just wanted to play baseball and couldn’t care less that the adults wanted to get a perfect family picture. Tears.

Kisses worked for a bit.

eva qin picture nycjenny

Then someone (me) gave the boy a water bottle and he acted like a 3-year-old with a strong dislike of how this Sunday afternoon was going down. Yeah.

eva qin water nycjenny

By the way…that’s him spitting the water. I had to walk away.

Roger came to hold my hand because that’s how life goes. The photographer asked if she could take a picture of just us. Why not? We’ve never had a single professional photo taken of just us two. Our story isn’t so traditional so there weren’t a lot of the photo ops along the way. Our City Hall wedding was documented via iPhone. But now we have one!

roger clark jenny gill nycjenny

I like that photo. Parenting is hard and it ain’t always pretty. I’m glad we get to do it together. Even if I should have ironed.

Jack was watching us from a bench all cute like.

eva qin photos nycjenny

Silly grown-ups tried again…he wouldn’t face the camera or sit still. Fooled you, Mom!

eva qin family pictures nycjenny

C’est la vie.

We left the park completely stressed out and muttering “never again…never again”. It’s months later and yeah, I’d do it again. Out of the mess came some pretty moments and my Lord that kid loves baseball and space shuttles.

I can’t wait to see your beautiful faces in all your family photo glory come holiday card season. At least once a year we should all celebrate the perfect moments, no matter what happened behind the scenes. We deserve it. YOU deserve it. Just don’t make a habit of it, ok? I know your house isn’t always photo shoot ready!

All photos in this post were taken by Eva Qin of Eva Qin Photography.  We won a photo session and one print with her because I dropped my business card in a box at the local creperie where Eva was advertising. See? Someone DOES win those things! We bought the additional images with our own funds though. Thanks, Eva! 


Behind the Scenes of That Picture Perfect Family — 9 Comments

    • We do look shockingly normal and happy in these! I am glad I got the water spitting action shot though – will be good to show him when he’s got kids of his own (god willing…).

    • Thank you for stopping by! I have such respect for Eva (the photographer now), all I could imagine was that every picture would be horrible! Instead we had such a hard time narrowing our choices down-there were so many beautiful pics!

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