PPP {{3}} + $150 to Starbucks

Another month of The Picture Perfect Project is here! This month I wanted to focus a bit on my weekly Monday photo project.

If you've followed this little blog for any amount of time you've noticed Monday's are always dedicated to a few photos of my kiddos. What was once Marcus Monday has now evolved to M & J Monday. You've also probably noticed that these photos are not in the slightest bit candid. I do this intentionally. At the end of the year I have high hopes to line all the photos up and see how much my kids have grown and changed in 52 weeks.

More often than not our little photos sessions happen on Sunday morning after church. It's the one day of the week I thoughtfully plan Marcus and Julia's clothes to somewhat coordinate. After church also happens to be the time that Julia has woken from her morning nap and is generally in a good mood. Marcus has had his post-church donut (as have I). And, I've consumed no less than eight cups of coffee - necessary when knowing I have photos to take of both kids at the same time.

When my blog posts are published on Mondays the question I most often hear is, "How do you get both kids to smile/look/interact?"

The honest answer: I'm not really sure. Marcus has had a camera in his face since birth, so I'm figuring he's just kind of used to hearing me say, "Look at Mommy!" "Smile for me!" "Say 'cheese'!" "Don't 'cheese' too hard!" "Give me a soft, sweet smile!" He's pretty good about taking direction. He also knows the faster he follows my prompts the faster we're done. He's also caught on to the bribes I'm known to use. "We can have a Popsicle after lunch." "I think there are some M&Ms waiting for you." I'm not above using bribery to get a smile. No judging allowed.

Julia is obviously a different story right now. She's wiggly and rolls all over and has arms and legs flailing all over the place. My saving grace with her is Marcus. She absolutely adores him, and he can make her laugh and smile like no one else. When a photo is taken of the kids looking at each other, it's usually because that's just how they're interacting. I also make a million crazy sounds, dance around like a fool, and snap my fingers to get and keep attention.

That's not to say things aren't somewhat of a train wreck for the 15 minutes I'm snapping away.

Case in point, this is what generally comes off my memory card and on to the computer each week:
So many photos to sift through.
When there's one good one there's always one crazy one not too far ahead or behind.

Quite a bit of editing required.
 There are sometimes tears, and it takes A LOT to make those go away.

Sometimes there isn't that *one* shot, and even editing can't fix it all.
There's a lot of love, but sometimes that affection means licked cheeks and covered faces.
For every one photo I use there are at least two or three that I discard.

I've also quickly learned with two kids that when they're done with my photos, they're done. The white flag is flown and I work with what I've got on my memory card. Going one second passed the small window of opportunity just leads to tears from everyone.

So, when the question is asked, "How do you get them to do that?" I don't really know. I guess I'm just kind of lucky my kids don't hate the camera right now.

Besides being lucky I also generally have a bunch of caffeine pumping through me. It keeps me sane while I'm trying to get *the* shot.

A little luck and a lot of caffeine, it's what my Sundays are made of. And, I want to share some luck and a lot of that caffeine with one blog reader.

I've teamed up with some of the best bloggers around for a 
Luck of the 'Bucks Giveaway! 
There is a $150 gift Starbucks card up for grabs! 
Do you know how many Sundays and photos that could take care of? SO MANY! 
The giveaway runs today, March 10 through Thursday, March 17. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day! 
Entering is easy. Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to link up your Picture Perfect Project!


  1. Great post, I loved seeing the process!

  2. You are very, very lucky! I burned Mason out on the camera and most of the time he hates it. Even bribes are starting to not work. :( Grr!! I get so excited when he lets me take some pictures and then I oversnap and take a cagillion...and then comes the editing. Oh the editing. That's a process! You have captured such sweet moments of your two precious babies. I still think you should make a photobook at the end of the year! ;)

    PS - excited to co-host this giveaway with you!

  3. I love the behind the scenes look. I'm the same way. For every one food picture, I toss three or four. It is what it is. :) Thank goodness for smiley babes because Cash has no interest. I have to take his 4 year photos here soon & I have no idea how that will go. I guess I will embrace the chaos. ;)

  4. So fun! I love the licking the face thing! Hahah! They are so sweet with each other!

  5. I take so many photos in a shoot as well. I may end up with 100 photos and only 1 or 2 good ones. I think it's just the nature of photographing kids! That being said, love, love, love these shots of Marcus and Julia. Melt my heart!!

  6. I love this!!! I was actually wondering if it was just me or if everyone else takes 23868126387125378 photos before they get a good one. And I'm just working with one kid!
    I LOVE M & J Mondays. They always bring a smile to my face!

  7. haha! I know what you mean about past that point. Best to just stop and leave it at that or try another day. Marshmallows are Aria's bribe of choice =) no shame in the bribe game.

  8. You are so talented. Keeping both kids in line and entertained is a huge feat in itself so I applaud you. And you know how much I love hose pictures! Yay for our giveaway!!

  9. Hahaha love this and love the outtakes! And I SO wish I could win that giftcard!

  10. I love that you take these photos and just as an FYI my memory card STILL looks like that lololol. The outakes are just to priceless I'll be sad when they are no more.