This is another photo from our family reunion weekend. I wanted to put it up earlier, but the camera it was on went missing so I'm posting it now.
It all started with a trip to the zoo. The Thompsons, Skinners, and members of the family who still actually have the last name Redd all went out to keep the boys occupied for a few hours. And to spend time as a family, enjoy the intermittent sunshine, yadda, yadda.
We entered into the gorilla house during one of the rainy spells. We'd just been to see the lions and zebras, and after an adorable moment where Ben and Isaac roared at the birds and "scared them away," all the adults were especially camera happy.
As we entered the gorilla house, all three boys lined up along the fish tank and stared in wonder at it's inhabitants. I had recently passed off the camera I'd been in charge of to my brother-in-law, so seeing the perfect picture moment, I nudged him and said; "Jason, get a picture."
And so it begins.
No sooner has Jason asked the boys to turn around to face his camera then our mission becomes impossible. Brigham won't look at the camera, Isaac keeps wandering away, and while Ben is very accommodating in saying cheese and giving that adorable smile he mastered when he was two, we can never get him to do it at the precise moment Jason hits the shutter.
So we do what any group of adults would do. We gather around the camera, and try to divert the attention of three toddlers from more interesting things in the hopes of getting their attention for two whole seconds.
For those of you who have never tried this, I do no recommend it.
First you have to have the Attention-Getter. One person who stands to the side of the camera guy and shouts out out;
"Ben! Isaac! Look at Auntie! Look at Auntie!" (that was my job)
Next you need the Smilemaker (my sister Katey), who gets the delightful task of standing to the other side of the photographer and acts really excited and enthusiastic and tries to make the kids laugh. Being funny to kids on the spot is not so easy, so the Smilemaker may have to resort to just saying "Say cheese!"
Then, you need two Nets, people who stand on either side of the camera entourage and catch any toddlers who may be wandering away. These people must move quickly to scoop up wandering children and put them back in place before the shutter trips.
You would think that would do it, but if I have learned one thing about toddlers, it's that they're unpredictable. One day they're perfectly content to let you to 70+ photos of them for your photography project and the next there is just too many interesting things going on elsewhere to even stop for a second. This was the latter.
So five adults stood around, waving, cracking jokes, and poised ready to herd toddlers back into place at a moment's notice stood around and tried to get three toddlers to look at the camera at the same time and smile. We probably would of made a funnier picture then the kids at this point.
Eventually, my sister Emily came over with cookies, and all three boys leapt up with outstretched palms demanding a treat. We tried a new tactic; let them eat cookies, and take a picture.
The result is the picture you see above. And while they all have their mouths full and Isaac looks as though he's planning his escape, we sort of got what we want; a photo of Brigham, Ben, and Isaac, sitting in front of the fish tank at the zoo.
Kudos to people who do this for a full time job.