Getting Our Photos Taken (by Dana Napoleon)

Have you seen the photos that Dana Napoleon has done for Soft Clothing?  I know you have -- they are the incredibly cute ones with the kiddos in the old car?  If you have been under the sensory-free rock this last month, you have to check out the links!

I saw them on Facebook (and everywhere else) and wanted to know more about the photographer - a woman I had actually come in contact with once before on a listserv here in Washington.  So, our Facebook conversation via comments went like this:

Me:  I love your photos!
Dana: Thank you!  I could take your boys' photo!
Me:  You don't want to do that. LOL  They will be horrible -- Matt's a runner.
Dana:  We could do it here by my house, it is fenced!
Me:  Is there any standing water?
Dana:  No. 
Me:  OK!

With that I convinced my husband to accompany me and all three boys on the 1 hour and 15 minute trip to Tacoma.  Yes.  In their 'good' clothes. 

What was I thinking?

I'll tell you -- I was thinking that if this amazing photographer could actually capture some great photos of my kids, it would be well worth it.  We hadn't had professional photos in an outdoor setting since Matt was 11 months old.  And that photo of the tree boys still hangs in my family room.  Jeff and I joke that should we divorce, we won't argue over who gets the kids -- but rather who gets the photo of the kids.  So, I was looking forward to this opportunity!

What I wasn't anticipating is Dana having a Polar Express Train set up on a train table in her backyard that Matt bumped right into when we arrived.  Nope, not expecting that.

Matt loves trains.  Getting his photo taken?  Not so much.

Let's just say that Dana got to see my kids act ridiculous, my husband yell at them, me yell at my husband and then watch as Jeff and I resorted to bribes of candy to get through it.  Not our most shining hour.

But we got the photos.

I love this collage, it shows off all of the fun and unique things we did!

There is a series of these photos with the olde time cameras and I am framing three of them in sequence for my entry way (and might I add that changing the artwork there has been on my to-do list for nearly 5 years!).

This is on of my favorites!  We had to break down and get the Polar Express train from her backyard and bring it to where we were shooting so that Matt would cooperate.  If Dana wasn't the mom to a child with Autism, she would've never understood why this was necessary.  NOT having to explain myself or my children to her was fantastic!

So for all of you out there who have been putting off getting your child's picture taken, I say go for it.  Because the photos you get will be truly a representation of the version of 'perfect' you are living -- yelling kids, train obsessions and all.  And if you are in WA state, I highly recommend going to see Dana Napoleon.  Not just is she a 'famous' photographer for Soft, she is also a forgiving mom who 'gets it' and won't judge you for bribing your kid with Kit Kat bars.  Trust me, I know.


Patty O. said...

These pictures are FANTASTIC! I love the one with the boys on the chairs, the one with the cameras and definitely the Polar Express one!

I have been putting off getting pictures taken forever, but I recently met a mom with a kid with autism, who also is a photographer. She will get it. I am going to email her NOW! Thanks!

Kelly said...

Hartley, I love, love, love your photos. I have always loved taking pictures and we've attempted to get pictures of Zane, but it can be a challenge. He will cooperate for me sometimes, but rarely when I schedule a professional. If only I lived in WA. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Gosh--they are awesome! I thought I was the only one in the world that couldn't get my kids to co-operate for photos. I have runners too! And sensory kids! My husband & I DREAD photo days. My last experience at a photo place ended in tears for us all. I got one photo w/ my son and then a note back saying the photo was blurred--his hand was moving and the camera didn't focus. It was the only shot she got of him looking at the camera. Then there is my 5 yr old who I had to PRY out of the car last year on preschool picture day. I didn't tell her because I knew what would happen, but she knew because I had put a bow in her hair. Speech delay and all--she knew something was different that day. I had to stop in car line and pry her out of the mini-van screaming and crying. She only took a photo while on her teachers lap--with her head buried in her chest.
Glad to see--it's not JUST me! Thanks!

Chynna said...

Those are awesome, my friend. And if she can do that w/your boys, then she can do it w/my 4. LOL!!!! ;D



Stepping On Cheerios said...

I am a professional photographer as well. Great photos!

I love the opportunity to photograph kids, especially ones that for whatever reason don't have a lot of success with photographers. My son is one of the most challenging I've ever encountered and I've been a pro photog for over 10 years!

I'm in the Wash DC area if anyone is interested:)

Kari George said...

LOVE the photos, Hartley! My favorite one is the black and white one of the 3 of them with the old fashioned cameras! PRICELESS! Looks like you have Christmas all taken care of, huh?? Good for you for stepping out on a limb and doing something that was uncomfortable...and look at the awesome, beautiful result! WAY TO GO HARTLEY!

Stacey,momof 2 said...

Ah, yes family photos... we just went through this also-- and Of the 80 some pictures that our photographer took I am happy to report that I have quite a few favorites!
Our photographer is a dear friend and mom of three... she knows how cute my kids are "normally" :)
and she was able to get the kids and the err...parents all cute at the same time.. Although I was exhaused after-- the pictures we got were well worth it. I love the three boys with the cameras!