Wee Wednesday: Christmas Card Photo Fail.

Recently, we decided to  attend a little Christmas lights festival, and take some photos. I was hoping we’d get a great family photo with all the pretty lights, and send it out as a Christmas card this year.

But then real life happened. It was that classic moment where I had a vision of us frolicking in the fairy-light-filled trees and getting amazing photos, all joy and family love. I said- ‘we’ll just get someone to snap a photo of us!’

I apparently live in an imaginary world where everyone knows how to use a DSLR. But I now know that isn’t true at all- in fact, most people do not know how to use a DSLR. And those that do, well… Lila had other plans:

From left to right: Lila wants to run around and not be held for a photo; one of the people we asked to take a photo didn’t tell us that her hat was covering her eyes, and then more of Lila trying to get away from me and run around…
From left to right: I have no idea what she is looking at, but it certainly isn’t the camera; we changed locations in hopes that might work, but all we have is this shot where Lila sees something else interesting, and possibly tasty-looking; more blurry shots of a wiggly toddler.

She is just a busy little person on the go, and doesn’t quite understand the whole ‘smile for the camera’ thing, so is often rather confused as to why we’re standing still and what is going on. It’s quite the change from the cooperation I had for last year’s card.

This was the best of the bunch:

but Lila’s got crazy toddler eyes. So Guy decided maybe he could fix it in Photoshop:


So. Much. Worse. We’re going to have to go with a plan B, even though we’re rapidly running out of time to get Christmas cards out! The holiday season just totally snuck up on me this year.


  1. Danette Bartelmay   •  

    OH! Lila is so adorable no matter what she is doing in the photos! I cannot believe how big she has gotten. EVERYTHING sneaks up on you when you have a busy toddler 🙂
    But nothing makes the holidays happier than these precious little ones.
    Have Fun,

  2. Monica   •  

    Oh, I feel for you! I have had those moments where I am completely unrealistic and think, of course we can get a perfect family portrait, and then something like that happens. I have to say last year’s card is absolutely adorable!
    But Lila is a cutie!

  3. Cassy   •  

    This post is hysterical! Ah, toddler times. I think your fam and friends would love the pic with the crazy eyes anyway! It has a great story that goes with it.

  4. Amy S   •  

    Ahhh, this is why I used to fake the holiday setting/scene a few months prior. It gave me enough time to get them done the way I envisioned it… at least until they’re old enough to actually cooperate.

  5. Tanis   •  

    Hilarious. This was us last year, and I didn’t even have a baby to trick into posing yet, just a husband and a silly dog! The lights are gorgeous! A funny family collage card would be awesome too, a real slice of life!

  6. camby   •  

    I love your candid honesty! Because life isn’t perfect, but reading people’s blogs it often seems that other’s lives are perfect! But you have a beautiful family!!!

  7. Loulou   •  

    Oh my gosh this is hilarious! I like the edited picture but also quite like the ‘before’ shot. It shows real life and would certainly make the recipients of your cards smile. I especially like Lila’s face in the one where she has possibly seen something tasty looking 🙂

  8. Christina   •  

    I would be tempted to just give into toddlerhood and do a blooper card. I remember one year our photo was of the little man laying on his blanket crying and older brother beside him trying to shush him, with the caption “oh silent night” … it was quite well received.

  9. Katinka   •  

    I actually like the crazy toddler eyes! She looks like she’s plotting mischief. 😉

  10. Erica   •  

    you should stick in one of the crazy/trying to run away photos too. This is real life!

  11. Monica   •  

    I love, love, love that you shared this. Your photos are always so perfect – it is nice to know that occasionally they aren’t! My family photos ALWAYS turn out like this, and my daughter is 9 now. LOL Best of luck with your retakes!

  12. Seanna Lea   •  

    Just the other day my husband tried to get a photo with myself, our 2-month old, the dog and the cat in a single photo. I leave it to your imagination how badly that turned out.

  13. AngelaH   •  

    These photos are hilarious in exactly the way that, in ten years, will delight you and embarrass her. I second Tanis’s suggestion to do a collage. You have to cherish the silliness.

  14. Jolene   •  

    I, too, love the crazy toddler eyes shot! But I remember those days all too well. When Izzy was not much older than Lila, I quickly gave up on trying to get her to pose by the tree. Instead, I had her use our stairs like a slide (I’d wrapped garland around the handrail). By her third trip down she’d slowed enough that I got some non-blurry shots. Bonus, she was smiling and belly-laughing all on her own.

  15. christine m.   •  

    Oh how this makes me laugh! And bless you for being so honest about the “family photo mishap”! These shots may become some of your favourites years from now. Good luck getting just the right shot… please share it here when you do.

  16. Kathy   •  

    we take hundreds of pictures to get 1-2. You should see the set for Halloween. Hilarious.

  17. duni   •  

    thanks for showing in all honesty how hard it is to get a good shot of a squirming kid! i say go for it and use the original photo anyway and make a little note about how excited she is about the holiday or some such. it’s always nice to see people’s personality in pictures!

  18. M   •  

    Yet again, you and your thoroughly awesome family have cracked me up!

    I think you should keep the toddler crazy eyes!

  19. Christine   •  

    Oh my goodness, I can’t stop laughing! Thanks! I never post a comment but this was too precious! I agree about either go with the eyes, or a collage. Everyone knows life is messy anyway and it will add laughter to the season!

  20. Hilary   •  

    Oh my goodness, I am laughing out loud! And every other parent reading his nodding his/her head and laughing about a similar experience. Why do toddlers NEVER cooperate?! But, Lila looks absolutely adorable, even if she’s not looking at the camera. 🙂

    P.S. Our Christmas card this year features my child doing this weird fake smile he’s developed that also sort of makes him look like he’s pooping…but it was the best we could do…

  21. Anonymous   •  

    Lila is beautiful. I hate to tell you this but those aren’t crazy toddler eyes. They are “my mom’s a dork” teenager eyes. Good luck!

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