The outtakes: What went wrong at our blog photo shoot

My kids like to liven up photos with headlocks and knocked off glasses. It's not easy getting a good shot of the family. Check out our outtakes from our recent blog photoshoot on the ajcmomania Facebook page. (Kent Johnson/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

My kids like to liven up photos with headlocks and knocked off glasses. It's not easy getting a good shot of the family. Check out our outtakes from our recent blog photo shoot on the ajcmomania Facebook page. (Kent Johnson/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

If you think getting a good family shot for your Christmas card is tough, try taking one for the front of a national blog.

Even with a professional photographer, it’s never easy pulling off a fantastic shot of multiple kids. They are rarely looking the same direction. Some are smiling, some are not. Often they are trying to walk out of the shot.

My family is never particularly cooperative for group shots.  No one likes to sit still.  Hands invariably are placed over brother’s or sister’s faces. Well meaning hugs to create a tighter shot turn into headlocks, and silliness often reigns.

The second shot we used on the Momania blog taken about four years ago at our house. Lilina was probably on 7 or 8 months old in the shot. I am so sad that the first shot of just me and Rose and Walsh has been eliminated from the computer system. We can't find it.

How the kids have changed: The second shot we used on the Momania blog taken about four years ago at our house. Lilina was probably 7 or 8 months old. I am so sad that the first shot of just me and Rose and Walsh is missing. We can't find it in the computer system.

Rose was the only one trying to smile nice at our shoot, and sometimes ended up looking a little forced. The youngest two are like little puppies always trying to wrestle. My whole plan was just to keep smiling no matter what so if he happened to catch a good one of the kids I would be smiling. But I look stiff. You can see from the outtakes on Facebook ajcmomania what we were dealing with.

I was begging them just to sit still for one, smile pretty and we could be done.

This is the third blog shot we have taken. The first shot only had me, Rose and Walsh. (Lilina didn’t exist yet.) The second one was up the longest – for the last four years.

For the first two, the photographer came to our house to shoot and I think that was less stressful. I brought the kids into the AJC studio for this one, and I was so afraid they were going to bust a light or be loud. (I was meeting with my bosses after taking the shot, which also added to the stress level!)

You can check out our outtakes on the ajcmomania fan page on Facebook. Click  “like” while you are there!

25 comments Add your comment


August 31st, 2011
12:10 pm

Liliana stole the photo you did go with! All 3 children are beautiful!

They are all growing up so FAST!!! Mine are too…sigh.

I always love the ones where folks are not perfectly posed. Ok, maybe not for a National Blog, but seriously, nobody who sees those Christmas photos and so forth really believe the family is that “perfect” and “happy” to be around each other. :)

You and Michael be proud, the love and care that goes into being a family is on all 3 children’s faces.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 31st, 2011
12:16 pm

FCM — We can never pull of the one-shot Christmas card so we always make a collage a shots through the year to show things we’ve done or cute shots of each kid. I find it completely impossible to do one good shot.

Thanks for your sweet words.


August 31st, 2011
12:45 pm

I love all of the pictures of you and the kids!

My sister in law used to send out her outtakes at Christmas after Christmas to family memebers on email. They were always good for a laugh. She says the photo sessions used to stress her out so much so now she lets Portrait Innovations take care of it. HA!

Time for a new "do"......

August 31st, 2011
12:53 pm

…and the kids must take after Michael in the photogenic aspect…….


August 31st, 2011
12:55 pm

Great picture! Ditto FCM’s comments on how big the kids are getting ! And yes, Lillina completely stole the show on the picture. Very cool family pic!


August 31st, 2011
12:57 pm

Much better picture than the obligatory all-khaki pants, white shirt on the beach picture.


August 31st, 2011
1:19 pm

I thinik it’s a great family shot. Everyone looks natural and that’s what family photos should be about. Your kids a beautiful Theresa.


August 31st, 2011
1:37 pm

Nothing worse than the khaki/white shirt beach picture. Can people stop getting that photo taken and can photographers stop using that as an example of their work? TWG–your new photo looks great.


August 31st, 2011
1:55 pm

Years from now you will treasure these photos. I cannot stand perfect posed pictures….Like Jeff said, at least you aren’t all dressed exactly the same. I hate those photos too….

I like impromptu pictures. I like pictures of people doing things, not just posing for the camera. Some of my best photos are spontaneous.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 31st, 2011
2:11 pm

JJ – most of our shots are action shots — always on the move. if I try to make them stop and pose they end up funny anyways with attitude. we have one in front of the mississippi river and they all have such attitude. PHR – i love sending out he outtakes after Christmas so all can see the trauma!!

This summer I saw a lot of families shooting on the beach and the one I liked best were color coordinated – like shade of blue on guys but then girls in shade of pink – where they blended but were not exactly the same.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 31st, 2011
2:12 pm

they do all take after Michael — the Irish lady got nothing — but I do think Lilina’s hair is going to be curly!


August 31st, 2011
2:37 pm

Theresa, I feel you on that one. My kids got NOTHING of my looks. My personality, yes, but they are clones of their father except for their eye color; the ONE thing I wanted for them!

bop in every once in a while....

August 31st, 2011
3:01 pm

Being a guy who actually knew and hung out with Michael in our teens in Naples, I can attest to TWG’s veracity that they all take after Michael. Mini-me’s..all of them. TWG…are you sure they’re yours?


August 31st, 2011
3:41 pm

This reminds me of trying to get picture done for Christmas last year. We went to Target (they – mostly- look pretty good by the way) and my 4 munchkins did not want to behave for a shot. Our youngest was 2 then so she was wiggly and wanting to run all over the place. The one good shot of her was when she was being held by both arms, my husband had one & I had the other. Of course she loved it! The other good one of all 4 kids together was when I told them that one of them had “stinky armpits” and they busted out laughing. It was a last resort to get them all smiling and it worked.


August 31st, 2011
4:31 pm

charlene: I can beat that. One desperate Christmas season after the millionth outtake, my husband stooped to playing fart sounds on the computer. Of course they thought it hilarious and we got great pictures.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 31st, 2011
5:09 pm

momto alex – love it!! you’ve got to do what you got to do!!


August 31st, 2011
8:48 pm

I like the new picture!!


August 31st, 2011
9:01 pm

your pictures are great! i love that they have so much fun together. i dont think i have one single picture of my kids where at least one of them isnt making a face or poking someone or doing the rabbit ears thing. i am famous for saying ‘please just act normal all at once for ONE second’ lol..of course that makes it worse. ill be surrounded by all of my kids this weekend so i expect more of the same lol…and we love it.

Daily Aued

August 31st, 2011
9:19 pm

Unavailability of independent advice and the susceptibility of the person persuaded.


August 31st, 2011
9:48 pm

I LOVE the new picture – of course, I would have loved just about ANY new picture of the family at this point. Since it seemed that you and Michael were always into taking pictures, I was surprised it took this long to get something new up on the blog. Well worth the wait! The kids are adorable!


August 31st, 2011
10:00 pm

Happy to know we’re not the only family who can’t get a good group shot! All of our Christmas cards are collages too! Good update -the kids do grow fast, don’t they?

[...] hugs to create a tighter shot turn into headlocks, and silliness often reigns. … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Share and [...]


September 1st, 2011
10:40 am

@ mom2alex&max: That is hilarious! I might have to steal the idea for the next group shot. :) And the pictures are very nice, Theresa.


September 1st, 2011
11:35 am

How about individual shots (maybe while they are asleep) then photoshop them together in an interesting background?

somethings cant be photoshopped!

September 4th, 2011
8:06 am

turn down the lights, move the camera back, more, no more. now vaseline the lens cover, trust me. Ask the readers to squint…hey not bad, sorta.