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So you know when you see black and white pictures of children in people’s homes or on a Christmas card – and they are just amazing and the kids look so angelic?  You think to yourself – I have to go get nice photos taken of my kids!! This is so beautiful and amazing! 

Don’t do it if you want to retain your sanity.  

I googled children’s photography to see what kind of photo I would love to have for my kids.  You can see this perfect photograph I found below……

I know what you are thinking…..probably the same thing I thought before I ventured out to our photo shoot….

How hard could it be to get a nice photo like this one on a pristine autumn day with 2 boys that are no longer infants or toddlers??

Very hard.

Don’t do it.

Is a nice black and white photo of the people who you see every single day of your life – worth your mental wellness and your entire paycheck?

I don’t think so.

When Michael was 2-years-old and Sam was 6 months,  I made an appointment at our local Portrait Simple.  This is a studio in the mall that advertises amazing photos of children.  You know the ones, the little baby sleeping in a flower, children in front of a mantle hanging a stocking for Santa, little girls holding rabbits at Easter.

So while Mr. Gaga had plans to be in NY at a football game – I thought

“Oh that would be a great time to take the kids to get their photos taken.”

Ok – well that was just plain idiotic.

First there’s the business of getting the kids dressed in their handsome little outfits and combing their hair. Then we had to get to the mall at a time when nobody was crying, sleeping, hungry, dirty, had shit in their pants or barf on their shirt. 

Then there’s the little issue that the place is facing the Rainforest Cafe.  So at any given moment a child can crawl or run away – out of the photo shoot across the way to look at the huge alligator and essentially get lost in what seems to me to be a real rainforest.

If you are not familiar with this destination – then I will discuss it at a later time – It really deserves its own post.  Please see below:

This is a totally appropriate cafe to put directly across from a photo studio for children.....They are not going to run away and get eaten by an alligator or anything ......

This happened several times.

I was running across to catch one from the “Rainforest” and then would get them in position and say their names 500 times in a high-pitched voice (like that would make anybody want to smile ?) – and then one would escape and I would chase him, etc, etc, – for about a half hour.

To say I was “sweating” is not nearly doing justice to the buckets of perspiration that were coming out of my sweat glands. 

All this sweat and the anxiety, while some poor photographer that had at one time hoped to be doing photo shoots for Rolling Stone or Time Magazine, blows bubbles and shakes a rattle to make my children smile for their photo.

Then just when we are all at our breaking point, we are hustled out of the photo area and told to sit in the waiting area – where all 300 photos will be uploaded and I can look at all of them and pick one for my Christmas card.

So that day – I strapped the kids into my double stroller and gave them toys and goldfish and anything I could think of – so they would not scream or cry while I tried to accomplish this task.

More sweat and anxiety.

I vowed never again……..

Fast forward a year – and I said to Mr. Gaga – “Well if you come with me – it should be fine….”

It wasn’t fine.

It wasn’t fine the year after that either or the year after that.

What I will say – (I will give the Portrait Simple people a free plug )- is the photos somehow do come out VERY good.  I always get compliments on my cards and I have the photos framed all over the house and they are gorgeous.

However this year I just didn’t have it in me.  I have been going there for 5 years, the kids are older – I thought it would be good to try something different.  I hired a photographer to take pictures outside in a regular park – with no alligators or jungle vines to swing from.

I was happy about my choice. 

“This should be so easy and relaxing,” I thought as I drove to the park with the kids in khaki pants and white button-down shirts.

That was idiotic….. again.

Instead of FAKE alligators and FAKE trees – there was REAL mud and REAL grass and REAL trees.



About ten minutes into the photo shoot – they both had grass stains on their knees and their shirts were wrinkled and they were running around like lunatics.

We were attempting to get a nice photo of them on a bridge.  When the photographer stopped to do something with her camera – Michael decided it would be a good time to climb up onto the bridge, further destroying his clothes, endangering his life and sending me over the edge of reason. 

I went ballistic.

This the bridge at Elizabeth Park that my son decided to stand up on and risk his life during our photo shoot.

I ran over to him and pulled him down by his arm. I squeezed it – I was about to lose my mind.

“What is wrong with you?” I yelled. “If you keep this up I am going to go completely crazy and I am going to beat you senseless.”

He stared at me with fear in his eyes as I yelled. 

I got very close to him while still squeezing his arm – “And if I beat you here in the park – everyone will see me and then I will go to jail and you will have no mother… that what you want? Do you want me to go crazy???” DO YOU??” I screamed.

He definitely got the message.

I turned around.

There was a small crowd that had gathered waiting patiently to have their photo taken on the bridge. 

There was another photographer, a couple with a baby and another couple with 2 kids, all waiting patiently to take a picture on the bridge. 

All witnessing my craziness.

Everyone looked at me awkwardly.

Crickets chirped.

The mom holding the baby chuckled softly to be polite. (She doesn’t know yet about being crazy…..she will find out soon…..)

I actually could have at that point been reported to the local police – and definitely been carted away to the loony bin.  Thank God nobody reported me for torturing my children and we carried on with the photo shoot.

I will get to see the pictures later this week – and hopefully we got a few good ones.

Suffice it to say – I could never be a “Toddlers and Tiaras” mom. 

The glamour shots alone would send me to the institution. Maybe that’s why all those Moms are insane!!!

I am about one more photo shoot away from going as batshit crazy as this mom.......


Let’s just hope that my Christmas cards are perfect…..

I mean that’s what matters –  right?


Even though I am a mean horrible mother who threatens her children in public for a perfect photo – please know that I would really never do anything….just empty threats…….I was KIDDING!!!!!  So please click on the banner to vote for me as the funniest mom blogger…….xoxox LADY GOO GOO GAGA


25 responses »

  1. WOW!!! Your photos are BEAUTIFUL!! Totally love them!

    Have a nice day!

  2. *sigh* I only have ONE to contend with – and I thought that with my cousin doing the photos in an area with grass, flowers, a little koi pond, etc – ya know, OUTDOORS IN NATURE it would be a piece of cake to get some great shots for Hubs for his birthday… um, not so much. Goose decided she was feeling shy, clung to me (a lot) and wasn’t in the mood for much smiling… so yeah. I’m in most of the pics, and there are very few of her looking happy. AWESOME. thinking about a re-do WITH Hubs and fall leaves for Christmas cards… and then I think about drinking. 😉

  3. Very funny. I’m starting to think that those leashes with the Velcro around the wrist (or locks in your case) are not such a bad idea.

  4. Hahaha, we did the Portrait Simple pictures at the Westfarms Mall (love that mall) and they came out really well but it was exhausting. Getting Junior dressed, getting him to look at the camera. I want to go back and do a family portrait but am dreading the legwork. Your commentary on that photo was hilarious.

  5. Getting any photos with children is painful. I am now dreading the annual family Christmas portrait.

  6. I found you through The Lightning Bug. I can see why you’re their writer of the week. I relived every single professional photo my kids have ever endured just now. (Up to and including the one this year, where the couple ahead of us ran AN HOUR late with their supposedly cute baby and then the photographer didn’t get even fifteen minutes with us because my son was just done by then.)

    In the meantime, I think I love your mall. That is one cool Rainforest Cafe. I’ve only ever been to the one in Orlando.

  7. Great post. Where is that beautiful bridge?

    New follower

  8. I hate getting the annual Christmas pictures done. I think I am going to use an old picture this year.

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one stressing out over Christmas pictures! I hate doing them but it’s what I send out every year so I need to just quit stressing and DO IT. My daughter is not even 2. Pictures with her is NOT FUN.

  10. the dreaded Christmas pictures. I’ve been pretty lucky over the years, I have one very photogenic daughter who will hold her smile and not move at all while we chance down and work tirelessly with her little sister for a half smile. I am so grateful that they are 11 and 17 now, the thought of their friends and family seeing the real them is all I need to get at least one good picture.

    The captions on that picture are a riot, I love it!

    Thanks for linking up and good luck on your quest of funniest mom blogger, you have my vote.

  11. OMG. I need a valium after every time I take my kids to get their pics done. It usually ends in tears- mine.

  12. It’s totally ironic that I am reading this post after just scheduling a picture appointment for Saturday! You reminded me why I have waited so long…

    Seriously, it’s not just the kids. You should see what it does to my husband. He’s worse than our twin toddlers.

  13. Holy crap, can I just say that I am sooooooooo glad that my mother never thought to use the “and if I beat you senseless in this park, everyone will see and I’ll go to jail ” routine. N She would have just said she’ knock me into the middle of next week. Today, she’d go to jail just for saying that! That is hysterical. I can’t stop laughing.

  14. Thanks so much for linking up with us to do some fun Super Stalking!!! Hope to see you again this weekend!!
    Kortney @ Kortney’s Krazy Life!

  15. This made me LOL because I have SO been there. Exactly there – sweating and all.
    Here’s to hoping yours turn out betterr than my recent ones did!

  16. Hilarious! You were chosen to be this week’s guest hostess on Haute Mom’s Welcome Wednesday. If you are interested please email me at! Hope to hear from you!

  17. OMG. This made me laugh out loud. This is me. The sweating. The death grip. The insanity. The empty threats. And guess what? I have a family picture scheduled THIS Friday … outside … on a bridge. *pounding head on desk

  18. Very funny! I can totally relate. I have plans for a Christmas picture with all FIVE of my kiddos. Yep, I’m insane! lol

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