Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Amateur Photography Win

***Before reading this blog post in its entirety, please read, print, sign, and submit this waiver.***

I, ______________,  understand that the opinions stated below are no judgement of me, my artistic eye, my design choices, or anything heretofore forthwith related to the things stated above.  I will not cry, moan, nor leave nasty comments about how we should all respect each other because really, Starr already agrees with me on that one.  I also will not make senseless political statements here because I can do that on my own blog.    Finally, if I find myself angry about whatever is written here, I'll go make cookies and eat them.

I swear this statement to be true.



Okay, now that we've gotten through the mumbo-jumbo, lemme offend you a little.  I really do not like getting my kids' pictures taken all that much.  When Katie was a baby, there were a few times when I took her to one of those studios where you pay too much for candid shots.  I still like the pics, but these days, I'm kind of over it.  Because I can get what I like by myself.  Or should I say, by asking Ryan to take photos while I critique and then ultimately choose.

Oh, but Starr, we got awesome shots of our newborn wrapped in these gorgeous swaddling blankets, topped off with precious oversized hats.  You know, like Ann Geddes!  

Well, that is awesome for you.  Those pictures are indeed very cute.  In fact, I support using small business owners (like photographers) because it helps the economy.  But we don't do those around here for several reasons.

A) They are expensive.  The only time we've done a solo session with a photographer was when my pal Alexa was doing sessions free for her portfolio.  The photos were stunning, and I'm so grateful for what she did.  I don't have a link for her work, but I'll add one if any of my friends know of one, although here is one of my favorites:

Yes, I know I posted more than one.

B) We have a teeny tiny problem with skin issues.  Katie seems to scratch herself every time we want to formally take photos.  Poor Drew was allergic to something in the hospital and had a rash that precluded our getting his cute little pics done there (here in KC, the hospitals use professional folks, not just the drunken middle finger picture-takers you find at many places).  This was not a rash you could photoshop out.  Of course, that's a newborn problem, but that's okay.  I've got some other excuses, I mean, reasons.

C) My children do not behave on schedule.  I remember with KB feeling very frustrated about whether she'd wail during photoshoots. I have one pic of her where she's smiling sweetly with her face covered in tears.  I bet MY child would behave.  Ah, yes.  Your child is an angel and mine is a demon, okay, and it's all my fault, and they'll be paying millions for therapy because of all the damage I've inflicted. You're a better parent. We've now established that. Moving on.

D) I can get pictures I like with the equipment and expertise found in this house.

Ryan purchased a used consumer-grade SLR for a reasonable price, and every now and then, he manages to take an excellent picture.  You professionals out there might be scoffing, and you have every right to.  Every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks that a big-ass camera makes them good photographers, but we're not all artists, right?

Of course we're not! I was telling the gals at book club that after reading Patti Smith's Just Kids, I realized that I am not an artist.  I do not struggle in the name of art, I play piano because it's fun and brings me some joy, but I'm not driven to do it all the time.  I remember in college, going with my friend Pam to the apartment/studio of an art student at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore).  I have two memories of the outing: 1) Running somewhere--perhaps to a party?--to/from the gal's house because 10 years ago, the area around MICA wasn't that safe, and the only women walking anywhere were selling what they were strutting, and 2) Paintings of ears all over her place.  She said she had a thing for ears and had to paint them.  I have never had such an urge.

So we've established that I am not an artist.  But that doesn't mean Ryan and I can't do fun things with pictures.  The trick? Take lots of them; then there will be plenty to choose from.  Trick 2?  Blow 'em up and frame them.

The photos we chose:
Katie wears costumes year round.

Andrew at the beach. Sure, you can see Winslow's booty in it, too, but absolute perfection is dull.
Winslow is usually the prettiest in photos.  It was fun finding a goofy pic!
You've seen the frames before in my post about my "art collection".

The flowers worked for staging a home, but are a little too boring for me otherwise. I have a painting of a red-headed fetus in my bedroom, remember?

I'd been thinking of putting something new in them for awhile now. Of course, I'd be the *only* mom who'd put real, untouched, shots of her kids on the walls.  Or so I thought until I walked into my friend Sarah's house recently to see that She had done the same thing!  Ugh.  It's okay.  I'll assume she read my mind and preemptively copied me.  I forgive you, Sarah.

Anyway, I blew up the photos to 12x18 posters. The size was a bit longer than the cut-out on the mat (FYI I've seen that word spelled a dozen different ways all for the same use), but we figured out placement easily enough.

All it took was taking the back off the IKEA pics, inserting my posters (ordered from Snapfish), attaching them to the mat, and closing the frame back up.  Ryan wants to change out the pictures at least annually.  I think that's a great idea, but these frames might not work because the little hold-the-pic-in thingamajiggers were pretty weak. Some broke.

So here they are.  We could've gone black and white, but Winslow's hair is bright red.  Dumb to hide it.

All we have left to do is choose where they're going on the wall.  They are temporarily hung on whatever hangers were already up there. And the photos of the finished products don't do them justice (bad lighting be damned!).

So there ya have it.  You, too, can make your photos look like art.  It's relatively inexpensive, it's fun, and can make you feel a little smug when folks compliment them.  Because now you are an ar-teest, no?

I linked up to A Bowl Full of Lemons, Type A Decorating, The Shabby Nest.

1 comment:

  1. i featured you!! http://typeadecorating.blogspot.com/2011/10/anything-goes-37-highlights-from-35.html


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