You know that joke about being a gynecologist’s wife? Do you know where I’m going with this?
I love being married to a photographer - MOST of the time. 90% of the time, I love working with my husband to create and preserve memories for some of the coolest people we’ve ever met. The other 10%…well, let’s just call it the hazard of the vocation. We don’t have very many professional family portraits. Even fewer gorgeous vacation pictures. And finished leather bound photo albums that chronicle our lives and adventures…don’t make me laugh!
You see, when your husband carries 30+ pounds of camera equipment (that’s a light day) to take thousands of pictures that he will spend many hours culling down to hundreds of pictures, only to follow with many more hours editing those pictures for a living, the last thing he wants to do in his spare time is that exact same thing for his most demanding client…his wife. His most high-maintenance, super demanding, NON PAYING wife.
Don’t get me wrong, we take plenty of snapshots - our phones and Point-and-Shoot flashcards are always maxed out…and they get downloaded into a folder called “Family Pictures”…so we HAVE pictures. But how often we visit them or get around to editing them is another story. If it weren’t for screensavers, I don’t know that we’d ever get to enjoy them! Once a year, however, we get to take the ONE family picture that everyone sees - our Christmas card. Or rather, our intended Christmas card.
November and December are very busy months for photographers - we’re invited to take part in and take pictures of holiday gatherings, year-end celebrations, and lots and lots of family pictures for Christmas cards. This means all weekends and several weeknights are spent taking pictures and most weekdays are spent editing them. And only AFTER we’re finished working on our clients’ photographs do we even think about a concept for our own card. This year was no exception.
This year, we decided would not send cards. Yes, they’re nice to send, and we’d probably feel bad about it later, but this year our present to ourselves would be to just NOT stress out over a greeting card.
Enter my sister and my mother-in-law (both of whom I love very much)…
I’ll spare you the details about the guilt trips they both put on me and my exhausted husband and how “everyone looks forward to these cards,” and how they “keep all of your cards every year”, except to say that in the end…we made the damn cards. We got dressed up (well, we got dressed), found a pretty setting (ahem, the woods behind his parent’s back yard), set up the camera, and placed orders for cards later that night. And we’re so glad that we did. They didn’t get to ANYONE on time despite the expedited shipping we paid, but I don’t think they minded.
Another year, another family picture in the books. Happy New Year to you and your family!