Every year I get a phone call from Narissa. It starts with, "Hi it's Narissa, you probably don't want to do this because of last time, but....." You see, the first time I went to Narissa's lovely home, I had a challenge. Two un-cooperative dogs and an infant to get in one shot! I accepted and hilarity ensued as we tried again and again to get the dogs to sit still and the baby to be happy all at the same time, then to get back in position and get a great shot. It was also about 35 degrees and we were sweating. I eventually got the shot! I had the best photograph printed up and it came out great. Phew! The next year I got the phone call again....you probably don't want to this... I said, of course I do! Then Narissa dropped another bomb-shell. Whilst Wallace had grown up and was now 2, there was a new baby! Eloisa was now here, so I would be photographing two naughty dogs, a two year old boy, and an infant! I was nervous about this one, the last one was difficult and now there was a new, fragile wild-card. I had a plan though! This time I came prepared for the dogs. I would shoot outside and I had tent pegs to keep the dogs in place. It worked a treat! The next year, the same call. I got this I thought. I have my tent peg method and Eloisa was a bit more grown up, so she can sit up. I was probably a bit too confident, haha! Eloisa was not only able to sit up, but sit, up, walk around and form her own opinions on what she wanted to do. Wallace was 4 and also had opinions. We bribed them with popcorn and got through it with some wall worthy shots when Narissa dropped the bombshell. She was pregnant and the 3rd bundle of joy would be with us for next years photos! Could I do it, I thought? Christmas rolled around. Family photo time. There were now 3 kids under 5 and two naughty dogs. I'd thought about this shoot. As soon as I got into the house, I announced that I was going to be re-arranging the lounge room, trapping all our precious subjects in a room and trying to contain them all to the couch. I am so grateful for my wonderful client. This year Narissa had engaged the services of her amazing husband, who was, for the first time, exposed to the circus that is the annual Christmas shoot!
We got to work re-arranging the furniture. Got all the dogs and children in place. One by one, at different times, each child proceeded to have their own meltdown. Oh. My. Stars. How was I going to pull this off. I couldn't fail. To my absolute delight, the dogs were absolute angels. They were now used to the kids and knew if they sat still, not drawing attention to themselves, they were left alone by the children, so the dogs were now the easiest part of the shoot! haha! We spent a couple of hours working towards the perfect art work. As each child lost their mind, I worked with the other child to capture individual shots, photographed each of the dogs and the dogs together. Food bribes weren't working this time. But we struck gold. Apparently throwing bouncy balls is the most fun ever, so I stood there as the two big kids lobbed balls at me and my camera and Narissa and her husband worked furiously to ensure no one left the couch. I set my camera to action mode and rapid fired. In the end, I got my shot. Well, I got my 4 shots! Through the magic of photoshop I was able to layer four photos together into one where everyone was happily looking in the right direction for that winning photo for the wall. Behold my friends! Four years of challenges blended in to one happy set of kids!
Now the moral of my story is, I'm ALWAYS happy to work with kids and animals!