Sunday, August 5, 2012

Family Portrait - Bloopers and Out Takes

We've all seen them, those impeccable family portraits.

Where everyone is not only looking in the same direction, but looking composed and not at all stressed.

In those portraits no one has their hand in their pants, or is picking their nose, or their brother's nose.
In those portraits no one farts,
or smells a fart,
or tries to smile through watering eyes
or denies having been the perpetrator of the fart.

Those quintessential photos seem as if the family is enjoying a typically candid moment, no one is killing anyone, but instead, relaxing in perfect harmony.

Having recently survived this hellish ritual been through this experience, I have to say that photographers, (ours at least) should be a spokesperson for Zoloft nominated for sainthood! And while out of 260 frames taken over the span of 3 hours, we were able to agree on at least a couple that would be suitable for framing or for a Christmas card, I have to admit that there were a whole lot more that were much more representative of my REAL family.

In order for you to be able to achieve the same success that we have had in this endeavor, I will pass along some tips that worked for us in taking the perfect family portrait.

1.  I've always heard it said that when being photographed with pets children young adults convicts, the responsible parties boring people adults ones who are paying should always smile, no matter what is being broken who is being killed what is going on around them. This way the photographer can capture the kids' angelic smiles as they happen. Also you have the added benefit of looking slightly daft.

2.  Think about your family members and their personalities... then devise a portrait theme that will allow their individuality to shine.  After you've chosen the theme, the rest of your decisions become easier.... It is also said that in every family, "there's always one."  I'd be interested to know if anyone could guess from looking at our family who that one is... I bet it would be difficult...

3.  Shoot outdoors, natural light is most flattering.  Late afternoon also works for adding warmth to your photos... unless that warmth is upwards of 100 degrees, and your photographer runs the risk of 3rd degree burns on his torso from laying on his belly to get a shot of you by the pool. Also, always keep your iPhone in your pocket, so you can have a reason other than your hair and clothes for your kids to NOT to push you in the pool.

4.  Try having the kids sing a family favorite song, so that your mouths are open or closed at the same time, and you all appear to be happy and having a good time...

I would not suggest Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train for that song.

5.  Have cash, and a stiff drink ready for the photographer and yourselves once it is all over.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sanford Spectactular

It occurs to me that as I speak of my employer, sometimes I may exude an acerbic, or cynical air - let me say right now that is not the case.  We (and by we I mean 60,000 of my closest friends) are just coming off of the biggest group hug ever experienced from a giant corporate conglomerate.  And I say corporate conglomerate in the nicest and most loving way possible.

Every year at the end of July, Sanford Health  throws itself a splashy hoop de doo which accomplishes many things. First and foremost, it reminds the employees that we are absolutely valued, and two - it proves to our ever growing list of communities that Sanford is a pretty darn cool place to work!

This year, we were treated to company-wide picnics, slick videos spotlighting our cool-itude, tee shirts, appreciation promotions, and best of all, two free concerts by Train.  During all of this, we broke ground for a brand new medical center here in Fargo, beginning the largest construction project in the Dakotas! Scroll down to the bottom of the page on that last link - go ahead, I'll wait.... its a pretty cool live webcam that will show the progress on this construction project. That's also where we held the Train concert for 15,000 employees and their families!

Seriously, after coming off of 5 years of playing at being a Realtor; a year of being employed by a local yokel  wannabe giant conglomerate, then being laid off because they'd over inflated themselves; 6 months of unemployment; and 2 years of blissful, but meagerly paid employment with our local symphony; I still can't believe my good fortune of being a part of this great and growing company!

I hope you'll pardon this flagrantly public display of affection for my employer, but apparently their tactics have worked.  I feel appreciated, energized, and extremely grateful to be a part of the Sanford family!  Seriously, who wouldn't?