I’m the Book who takes the pictures. I’m not particularly good at it—I’d like to be better—but I’m the better of the two of us, and I’m interested. Mr. Book says that taking pictures is traditionally the dad’s job, which I’m not sure that I’d picked up on . . . although, come to think of it, my dad is the one with the expensive camera and good eye. Now I’m trying to learn to take better pictures, since I am responsible for the visible record of Joey’s childhood. Anyone want to recommend books or give me hints?

In the last email I got from Ruth, she apologized for not sending any pictures for the last few months. She promised more soon, which would be nice, and told me that they’re really glad to keep getting links to Joey snaps from me—Cricket is interested, I guess. I do send them a few every couple of weeks; I’d love to get pictures on the same schedule, but that’s just not how they roll.

Now I’ve decided to get professional pictures taken of Joey at six months old. My parents had that done for me and my sisters, Mr. Book’s parents had that done for him, and I’m glad now that we have those pictures—so it’s my turn. I found a photographer, picked out a date, gave her a deposit, and now I keep looking at her online galleries and anticipating. I am ridiculously excited by this extravagance; it’s probably dumb for us to spend money on portraiture, but I’m still glad that we’re doing it. Cricket’s moms didn’t opt to get pictures taken. I’ve heard adoptive parents express frustration that the birth family is asking for professional pictures, and for a long time I couldn’t understand why they would keep asking when the adoptive parents were clearly annoyed—then I saw the blurry, unfocused pictures that Ruth and Nora kept sending and I started to get it. The photographer I picked out includes siblings at no additional cost, and I spent some time seriously considering asking Ruth whether they’d like to bring Cricket down on the day and get some nice pictures. Of course, that led me to wish that I could also pick out Cricket’s clothes for this theoretical photo shoot; we want the boys to complement one another, after all. In the end, I know that Ruth and Nora just aren’t interested—and if I can be perfectly honest, I don’t want to have to explain to a photographer why we have a sibling with different parents. I’ve gotten awfully used to answering “Is he your first?” with “Yes.”

8 thoughts on “Evidence

  1. My mom was the one to take pictures in our family, which is why we have barely any pictures of her and I seem to be continuing that tradition! Plus I hate all the pics Brett takes of m so I delete ’em. My friend Abby yells at me about this because she says when I’m dead the kids will be sad if there are no pictures of me. (She’s right. I’m trying!)

    I never have formal pics taken of the kids because I don’t really like them but Pennie does so she’s scheduled them and bought them (and then she’s nice enough to give me one or two of the shots). She hasn’t done it since Roscoe came — too busy — but she used to try to get a formal picture of her and Madison every year or so. But I think she’s done it three years total.

    Now that I think of it, maybe that’s what we should get her for graduation … It’s just so dang expensive!!!

    • I hate, hate being in pictures—but I’ve tried to suck it up since Joey’s birth.

      I hear you on the expensive. Although, my sister Tammy is in NYC and thinks I’m getting some kind of incredible steal. Trying to take consolation from that. 😉

  2. I take the memory photos – which means I’m in precious few of them – and DH seems more interested in the scenery shots. Now that we have a better camera, he likes to play around with it a lot more.

    We never did a professional photo shoot when MG was an infant and I deeply regret it. I wish I had a shot of how tiny her little hand was wrapped around my finger. I think it’s an extravagance well worth every penny. I have some really good pics but still, a pro knows their way around so much better.

  3. My husband takes HORRIBLE photos, even though he’s a science major and should better understand all the camera settings than I do. In our family at least, I’m the photographer. Parenthood is definitely a good motivator for learning more about how to use your camera – good luck! I’m sure the professional photos will be beautiful – 6 months is a great age.

  4. I don’t think it is silly or an extravagance- you deserve to have nice photos and it is a way to document Joey’s growth and life stages! I think it’s a great idea. I really wish N and R would be open to bringing Cricket if only for a few shots, it seems like a nonthreatening and generous gesture but I understand your hesitation in asking.

  5. These portraits are going to be a treasure. I can’t wait to hear how Joey does at the session and what he wears. It would be so nice to have some good portraits of Cricket too. I wish R&N would be open to having portraits of the boys together. I went to department stores a few times when I was little to sit for portraits…that could be another possibility for the future, if R&N were open to going to a mall.

    • I really like that idea—maybe I’ll bring it up in an email. If there’s no date and no need to make a deposit or anything like that, perhaps the suggestion is low-pressure enough to be appropriate.

  6. FWIW I would most certianly suggest a photo session for a next visit. As cheesy as it sounds, I got’s L’s pics taken at Sears at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, and then at 2 years. I am an amateur photog myself, and have many wonderful candid shots, I do all her holiday photso and “half-birthday” photos myself, but there is something very traditional about studio shots. It would warm my heart to see pictures of the two brothers together, even if their clothes don’t match! I’d imagine they will love to have them, too.

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