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Column: Say cheese

Editor’s note: This column originally published March 8, 2016.

For the first time that I can remember, we took my entire family’s photo. All 24 of us, from my newborn great-nephew to my dad at age 70 plus a few, got together to take a photo that is decades in the making.

I know as a kid we took a family photo because my mom had all of us in matching outfits. It wasn’t a big deal to me because I was in elementary school and thought it was cool to look like my sisters, but I’m sure they weren’t as enthusiastic as teenagers.

We also had many weddings we attempted to take family pictures at, but of course someone was always wearing a giant white dress and they weren’t exactly what you want to hang on your wall.

Our last attempt was at my wedding which is coming up on nine years ago. At the rehearsal dinner, we tried to get the whole family together, but the pictures fell flat with a less than great setting and five 9 to 14 year old boys cooperating about as well as you would expect.

From then on we kept saying we would do it as soon as the latest baby that was born to the family was old enough to participate in the pictures. During that time my brother and myself both had two kiddos and timing never seemed to work to our advantage.

The subject once again came up as our youngest kids eclipsed three years old and we had added another to the crew in the form of my new niece-in-law, if that is the correct term. The final push came as my youngest nephew decided to enter the army and would be leaving in a months time.

Nothing like a deadline to make things happen and that is what I did. Out of the four weekend before he was leaving, I would be out of town for two of them and the final weekend was Easter. My brother and sisters also have busy work and activity schedules that ate up time in between.

The date of March 6 was thrown out as a possible time to accomplish the task. Miraculously everyone could make it work, and we planned on low-key but actual professional pictures at my parents house.

I was in charge of finding the photographer and after contacting a couple of locals with no luck, turned to my co-worker and notable photographer. He, thankfully, was available and the plans were set.

After a brief discussion on what everyone would wear, we settled on, well, whatever everyone showed up in. The pictures went about as well as we could have hoped. The weather was great, except for a bit of wind and our photographer did a great job in dealing with, not our five youngest but grown grandchildren.

I’m exciting to have a photo of my family to hang in the house that I don’t have a wedding dress on or hadn’t hit middle school yet. Hopefully as the family continues to grow, we can get together a little more often to mark our family in time.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson

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