Maybe Matilda: Navy and Green Family Photos

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Navy and Green Family Photos

Two years have passed since our last round of family pictures, and we’ve added another little nugget to the mix, so it was time for another go. I’m always a little surprised at how stressful it is to get things in order for family pictures—choosing colors that will flatter everyone and complement our house colors, finding individual pieces for everyone’s outfits that are a good mix of colors/pattern/texture (without spending a fortune to pull them together), trying to get naptimes planned out exaaaaactly right so everyone will be well-rested and happy for picture time (which never works, by the way—someone is always grouchy during picture time, and I’m beginning to think it is simply a law of nature/God’s will), praying that no one wakes up with a Vesuvius zit pulsing on the tip of their nose, praying to the hair and makeup gods that everything will look top-notch on this Very Important Day.

We headed to the American Fork amphitheater for our pictures, taken by our good friend Erica (Erica Jessop Photography). We became friends when our husbands were going through chiropractic school at the same time, and we took advantage of their recent trip down to Utah to get some family photos taken. She’s always taken our family pictures for us, so it’s nice to keep the tradition going. She has earned Exclusive Brown Family Photographer status (quite the coveted position) (because we are such a joy to work with).

Navy and green family photos //

A major perk of being friends with your photographer is feeling way less awkward about getting your pictures taken. I usually feel kind of weird and self-conscious about photos, thinking too hard about how I’m sitting or standing or how my face looks or is this a normal smile? It is not entirely unlike Liz Lemon shooting her Dealbreaker promo (<—that link will take you to THE worst quality video of all time, but I laughed anyway) (“Smile! With your mouth! Remember waving?!” Just call me Liz.)

Navy and green family photos //

But when the person behind the camera is a great, long-time friend who has seen you in every possible state of being and all sorts of ridiculous and for some reason decided she likes you anyway, I don’t worry as much about making a fool of myself. Thumbs up.

Blue and green family photos

During our last round of family pictures, Forrest was an absolute mess. I swear to you, I remember nothing but whining and crying from him the entire time, but somehow we ended up with photo after photo of him looking sweet and happy anyway. I don’t know how Erica does it (my best guess: photoshopping frowns upside down to look like smiles), but one way or another, she makes grumpy children look pleasant. This time, it was Darcy’s turn to be miserable. She completely skipped her afternoon nap (why Darcy, WHYYYYYY on picture day OF ALL DAYS?!) and was none too pleased about being awake and out of the house for pictures.

But still:

Navy and Mint for baby photo


She was NOT happy. But she looks like she was, so who cares. It is apparently an impossible dream to have all family members present and happy for pictures, so I guess I will gladly settle for the appearance of all family members being happy for pictures. No one has to know it is all a fa├žade.

Forrest was, as usual, a goofy little ham. He seems to enjoy having his picture taken at the moment, which we absolutely exploited on picture day.

Just a little baffled by our instructions to put his hands in his pockets for this one. But hey, one out of two isn’t a terrible success rate.

He was definitely losing patience by the end of the night, but we got plenty of adorable shots of him, and I guess I can’t blame a 3-year old for growing weary of shot after shot after shot after shot after shot.

This romantic moment, by the way? Unstaged. No one told him to kiss me. This child’s cheese factor is through the roof. He knows veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrry well by now exactly what people will laugh at and think is adorable and hilarious, and he fancies himself quite the entertainer. I kind of worry a little about how he’ll act in school when the time comes. His teachers are in for quite a treat. I’d better start saving my pennies for really good teacher appreciation gifts for those poor souls.

And while we’re on the topic of people growing weary of photo night, shall we talk uncooperative husbands?

Jeff hates family picture day. Hates it. There is so much whining and complaining in the weeks leading up to it, but here’s a Pro Tip for you: dissuade husbands from future complaints on photo day by breaking down in tears during a family photo session. He complained so much about my insistence on getting pictures done a few years ago that I started crying (either on our way to get the pictures done or during the shoot, I can’t remember now). He claims to have no recollection of this and insists it never happened, but either way, he has toned down the whining since that little incident. Really, I ought to start a marriage advice column. Send your questions for my guaranteed successful answers! (Spoiler alert: almost every answer is bound to involve crying.) (It works.) Just look at that guy. So happy. So in love. So easily persuaded by hormonal and dramatic female tears. (I solemnly swear to use my power only for good.)

All right, that’s enough, I suppose. You’re probably sick to death of looking at our faces. Thank you to Erica for our beautiful pictures (for which we paid, by the way, this is not in any way sponsored, but I do love her lots).

In case anyone’s interested, here are our outfit details:

Dress: Downeast // Necklace: ebay // Shoes: c/o Sole Society
Shirt: Gordmans // Pants: Burlington Coat Factory // Shoes: Walmart
Sweater and Pants: H&M // Shoes: Payless // Belt: Burlington Coat Factory
Pants: Old Navy // Shirt: Kid to Kid (Osh Kosh) // Headband: made by me // Bow: Kid to Kid // Sandals: thrifted


  1. You and me both on the crying! I don't mean to, I swear but I think my husband is so desperate to make it stop he'll agree to pretty much anything :) Gorgeous pics - Forrest seems like quite the little personality haha

  2. These pics turned out so great! Forrest is definitely a ham and it's awesome! Also, that blanket Darcy is laying on is beautiful! What pattern did you use!?

  3. Bahaha. Crying truly is the secret. Your family does grumpy well. Also, thanks for the Liz link. Totally made my morning. There are so many hidden gems in that show that one forgets about.

  4. Thank you! It is called Grandma's Lacy Ripple (such a flattering name, right?) and you can find it here:

  5. Haha, yes! I don't do it on purpose, but sometimes the tears just get the better of me :-)

  6. Your color scheme inspired my family color scheme! I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out. Also, my daughter is normally the happiest child ever... EXCEPT on our picture day... my husband also turned into the biggest a$% hole on the planet. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT??

  7. The same thing happens with us in the days/weeks leading up to pictures. I stress out every.single.time. Your pictures are lovely though! :)

  8. Oh my gosh LOVE! is perfect :)

    I can second the crying works every time... Anthony also hates family picture day. I can also relate to the 3 yr old protesting but knowing he is the entertainer of all. I don't even want to talk about what this year might be like since we do ours in the fall... A 2 & 4 yr old... I should start prepping & praying now probably...

  9. Ha! I'd like to hope that planning months in advances diminishes the stress, but I have my doubts ;-)

  10. Everything that can go wrong on picture day absolutely, 100% will go wrong on picture day, always and forever, amen. The things we go through to try and preserve some memories, sheesh!

  11. love your dress!!! and darcy's outfit is pretty dang cute as well :)

  12. Cute pics and nice use of navy! Love the shoes too (you look a lot taller than Jeff!) - I was wondering how to match a navy dress since nice navy shoes are hard to find- yours are perfect! And your kids look so happy during the shoot- even napless! Did you bribe them with candy? Haha, jk.

  13. These photos are amazing. Seriously such a gorgeous family. And I need a photographer who can turn a frown into a smile. For my husband, obviously. Cookies work for my toddler.

    And your dress? Seriously gorgeous - just like you. And I need to get Henry some green pants. So cute.

  14. You all do look so great, and like you are having the day of your life! :) I love Forrest's confusion with putting his hands in his pockets. I have to wonder what is going through these toddlers' minds when we are trying to pose them. We took pics at JC penny (Ballers here) the other day and trying to get Crue to pose was hilarious. The photographer told him to put his hands on Maddy's shoulder and I could see the confusion on his face, and his hands were SO awkwardly placed when he sorta figured it out. Hahahha

  15. You guys have the most adorable family! I can't wait to show you our new family picture. We've never had them taken by a professional, and I'm pretty sure it's the only photo in existence with all four of us together. Hmm...Should probably do something about that I guess.

  16. Thank you! It's not a very practical dress for nursing, so I'm looking forward to enjoying it once I'm not breastfeeding Darcy anymore.

  17. I LOVE the green pants, too. Only $10 at H&M, and they come in quite a few colors (of course, I want them all).

  18. Hahahaha! Love it. In just about every shot of the two of them together, Forrest had her around the neck in a death grip. Those ones probably won't be making it up onto the wall.

  19. Sadly, the candy bribes only work on the one who wasn't grumpy to start with. Oh well :-)

  20. Beautiful pictures! Both your kids look so cute and happy (regardless of their actual emotional state at the time, haha).

  21. These are really beautiful pictures. I love your colour scheme too!


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