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It’s All About the Family…

Last week I received this email:

I am looking for someone to take photos of my extended family (13 people ages 3 mos-75 yrs) in Bolinas. We are renting a house there for the weekend for my mom’s birthday. I think we would want some photos of everyone and some of the four nuclear families that make up the 13 people. Your photos are beautiful. I didn’t look at all of them but they seemed to be mostly one person. Do you have any examples of larger groups?

Thanks,
Deborah

So, inspired, I decided to dig through the archives and share some of my favorite Rolleiflex “family”photos…

To see what digital group photos look like click here.

 

Making an Exception for Tradition…

This is my extended family. Every year we all meet at my Grandparents’ home in Carbondale, Illinois. This year for our family portrait, I wanted to emphasize how far we all travel in order to continue our Christmas family traditions. And to summarize for you: the total number of the miles traveled by all of my 17 relatives and their spouses in order to get to Carbondale, Illinois is: 31,327 miles (32,025 if you count the dogs’ journey) and 64,050 for a round trip.

Those are a lot of miles and that is a huge carbon footprint… and that doesn’t include all of the presents, and wrapping paper, and trips to the mall.

Being a person who cares a great deal about the environment… the crazy amounts of consumption that occurs in one week is embarrassing… but at the same time… I feel incredibly lucky. I feel lucky because:

  • I have an amazing family, and we have wonderfully bizarre family traditions that we have carried out for as many years as I can remember…
  • I know not many people have such a strong extended family, especially one that is so spread apart…
  • and because I know that these traditions will not last forever, so I better enjoy them while I have them.

So, for the spirit of Christmas and for the love of family, I try and contain my environmental gripes, and I wholeheartedly throw myself into the crazy seasonal consumerism as much as possible. But I still do little things to try and make myself feel a little better, such as shopping at the local Carbondale stores, instead of the big box stores and chains, and wrapping all my presents in newspaper and reused paper, and preventing my paper-plate-loving relatives from adding to the overcrowded landfills, just because they do not want to do dishes.

And in the end… traditions make it all worth while. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for bringing us all together for all these years, and for teaching us the value of family. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

How to Work with Different Agendas…

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Parents want family portraits…

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Kids want to climb trees…

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And run…

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And explore…

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So I suggested swinging, and when the swinging stops… then we take the photos…

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And when the swinging wears off… then start hanging them upside down…

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And when they fall on the ground in excitement…

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Everyone falls on the ground in excitement… and there we have our family portrait.

How to make a baby smile…


Yay, we did it!

And wow, was it worth it… this little one might possibly have the cutest smile ever. If there is a baby near you, spread the word that I am back in the baby photo business and so so happy about it.

Deborah turns 90

To celebrate Deborah’s 90th Birthday… 99% of her family members turned up for her party in Oakland, some traveling as far as NY. I arrived at the end of their festivities to take portraits and it was fun to see everyone so happy and throughly enjoying each other.

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But one of my highlights was from the week before, when I went to Oakland to meet Deborah and find a good spot for the portraits.

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During the visit she shared some amazing stories about growing up in Berkeley for most of her life and being caught up in the social turmoil during the 60’s. I am so envious of her generation and in awe of all they were able to experience in a lifetime.

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The Brady Family Off Work

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Tim Brady is the Assistant Chief of the Reidville Fire Department. His wife Dolly makes missiles for the military. The lab Buddy retrieves doves when Tim takes him hunting and the chihuahua Hunter barks, at everything.

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