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LOVE love love Ross' comment. And sharing your "pain" about the photos--yesterday I took the kids to a Christmas tree farm to try to get a photo for Gamma's (Grandma) Christmas card. I don't know who complained more, the kids or the husband, though. (No, he wasn't even in the pictures, and I did ask him to stay home!) But add on top of that, when I got home and looked at pictures on camera, I think all were about one f-stop overexposed and didn't seem totally crisp/clear, so I wished I was you [Karen Russell] and knew I needed to review my class binder!


I had the exact same conversation with my family last weekend. It resulted in a trip to the park and a whole lot of pictures. But the trip there was a grumpy one. And I kept thinking about how you mentioned that in class and I had to lighten up the mood a bit so I bribed them all with lunch at the mall. It helped, I got some great pictures.

Lisa Hall

Karen i just think that is the way it goes yep said the same to my girls now one of them is a professional photographer.
ya karma right back at her.
You are always so hard on your self.
your a good mama and a great woman.
can't wait to see the rest of the kids.
Miss ya
Lisa Hall


I can sympathize with Ross on the shimmy thing >.<

Lovely picture you've taken of him there (:

Nicole Kberg

Um, how much do you LOVE Zumba?! I {heart} Zumba & take a class once a week...I wish it was offered more frequently!


I just love your blog - the pictures AND your writing. Those kids! Sometimes Moms need to rant at them - they'll live. It's funny - when I'm taking pictures everybody moans too. Then when I break out the scrapbooks, everybody loves to look at them and remember what was going on at the time. Seems like the drudgery falls from the actual picture taking and all the goodness stays. At least that's what I tell myself when someone groans loudly as I say for the 50th time, "just one more!"

Jennifer M.

That is the best quote ever. :)


I laughed out loud about what Ross said, that is toooo funny...No matter what pictures you take, they're always inspirational to me and beautiful..I love your style.



hilarious comment about the shimmy by ross!! :)
i've been taking zumba 2x a week for about 10 months...
and i'm JUST now perfecting my shimmy ;)

gina f.

you crack me up! Great picture of Ross!


Have you ever tried using a remote to capture Annie looking at the camera? I just got one and can't wait to try it out at my baby shower on Sunday. The family kiddies will be a lot of fun to practice on. If they don't think I am using the camera they might be more relaxed and snap with the remote when I see them looking towards it. At least it sounds good in theory!

cindy johnston

Well...the photo you took of Ross is awesome Karen! wowsers! And his comment made me LOL! I love your blog! :D cant wait to see pics of your other kiddos!

allison Gottlieb

so feeling your pain on trying to take portraits. but hearing you talk about it makes me feel a teensy bit better.


Great shot of Ross! I was just thinking I don't take nearly enough of the everyday stuff! Thanks for the inspiration!

Kim P

Thanks for the Monday morning laugh (not about the complainers...just the comment from Ross). And now that I know Zumba classes include learning how to do a proper shimmy, I won't ever be enrolling in a Zumba class. You've just saved me from some embarrassing moments. Can't wait to see the other pictures! Have a great week.


Sorry but I refuse to do the "shimmy" in Turbo Kick Boxing class that my teacher loves to do. It's something I don't need to see myself do with all the mirrors around me. You are a brave woman.


I would sooo shimmy! and my sons would probably have the same reaction!

Susan Helms

I know exactly how you feel about taking pictures of your kids. Several months ago when my oldest daughter, who is 5, began to whine about pictures, I told her that she would only be 5 once and I would like to take pictures so that we could remember it. I began to cry like a mad woman....I try to remember that they don't understand where I am coming from as a mother (who is obssessed with photography.

Kim Bolyard

this sounds like my kids....I take photos of all their friends for SR shoots and family shoots...but they can never make it easy on me when I want to take photos of them.

I feel your pain...

Nancy Wyatt

Loved the post! I don't have kids so my hubby is my victim and boy does he put up a fight! And love, love the picture of Ross! Hugs from Conroe, TX!


Your kids sound like my kids. My 2 1/2 year old consistently says, "No! Don't take my picture!" with his hand up like a police officer directing traffic to stop. He does it almost every single time he sees the camera lens point his direction. Try bribing Annie with something...chocolate or lollipops work at my house every time. Or a dollar or two. Good luck!



Melissa Mann

That story is just great! I love his comment about the shimmy!


Really great picture of Ross. What a nice looking kid! And, i loved his Zumba comment. I have two nephews a little older them him and get that kind of stuff from them all the time! LOL! You made me smile today!

Gena - MI

Since my kids were little, I have bribed them with ice cream for a photo shoot. :) They are now 22, 18 and 16 AND I still bribe them!


OMHeck! Hilarious! I think you should show Ross your zumba moves every week!

And you said the magic word!!! How about doing something crazy like taping an irresistable looking SUCKER to your camera, a headband (or your forehead!) for Annie. Tell her she'll get it only if she smiles for the sucker....ha. You might look like a dork, but maybe you'll get some good pics!!! :D


Your post made me smile! My oldest, Ryan, who is 12 has resorted to saying "Awkward!" very loudly when I say something that he finds embarassing. I think he has things on his "not to see me do" list too!


I so feel for you! My son never used to let me takes portraits of him....still doesn't. But he's grown now, 24 and lives 3000 miles from me (in Oregon!). Maybe if you ask the kids to "schedule" the portrait time with you when they feel like it, they may feel like they are more in control....kind of make a game of it? I so wish I had more photos of my son....maybe I should schedule him an appointment with far are you from Eugene? LOL! Good your photography!


OK, I literally laughed out loud!! Too funny that Ross said that!!!
And great picture of him!


Haha, Ross' comment sounds so much like what my oldet son(18) would say. My kids are like that, hate having photos done, then complain that I don't have enough shots of them, go figure...

Dana N

My family calls me Oscar the Grouch, and I don't even have my camera in hand! Ross is too funny - love his shimmy comment. Sorry your portrait taking was less than ideal. It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one with uncooperative subjects. Glad you managed to get some good shots. Love the one of Ross that you posted.


Ha ha, Ross cracks me up. Tell Annie that Santa's elf is hiding in your camera.


So typical!! My three are just the same..."Mom, go away,don't come neeeeaaaarrr me, I said go, no I will nOT look at the camera!!" I hear it every time I walk near the camera LOL...

I have a 4 year old and to make her look at me I put a BIG lollipop behind me or near my head. She'll stare at it and sit still (escepially if she thinks she will get to eat it!!) I bought one of those big colorful ones for bait and then give her a small one!!


I feel EXACTLY the same way when my son won't let me take his picture.---It REALLY hurts my feelings.


Seriously Karen you just made my day. Each time I ask the girls if they will pose for me so that I can one practice and two get a nice portrait of each of them they complain to where I get so angry I usually start complaining about how much I do for them also LOL. Thanks once again for being so very real Love you my friend!!!


What a wonderful photo. The contrast is gorgeous...The colors are just so rich and the bokeh is perfect....I call it perfection!

Hey, they complain to you because they KNOW that no matter what you will love them. I call it "hazard duty".
Have a wonderful day!
Thanks for blogging!

Paola Norman

I hear you about having kids pose for you. I only have one and he gives me the hardest time sometimes and it shows in the shots.
Ross is growing up to be quite a handsome young man.


I don't think you need the bribery thing with Annie as much as you need the reverse psychology thing. You know, tell her, "Mommy is going to take some special pictures of you today but you can NOT be looking at the camera." Then you comment on how she needs to look to the left, or like she is looking for a special star in the sky but not to look at the camera. As long as you keep snapping, you will probably get a picture of her looking right at the camera.
That is how those girls with those spirited (but charming) personalities is 11 and a 1/2 and I am still working on strategies with her!!!


Thanks for making my day Ross-that is the funniest thing I have heard!:)


I love Ross - he reminds me of my Ryan (22)- just puts it out there. His role seems to be to keep us honest, kwim?


You are my all time favorite photographer, blogger, Mother... So glad to know that I'm not the only one with older sons that do not want their Mom to be too hip. My girlfriends can't believe how conservative my boys are when it comes to Mom. Not to be "creepy", but your photos and stories of your family is one of the few things that cheers me in my depression. I really admire you and Josh.

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