Ian's mother has long desired a photograph of herself holding all of her grandchildren. This seems like a perfectly understandable and heartwarming desire, easily accomplished. Until you throw in the fact that she ideally desires a well-lit, flattering photograph of herself holding her grandchildren, all of whom are looking directly at the camera and smiling beatific smiles. Still heartwarming, still perfectly understandable. Not quite so easily accomplished. Behold:
Attempt Number One: July4, 2007. Things that I would like you to take special note of: a)It was 10,000 degrees on the 4th, and Max, Joey and Elaine all have the glassy-eyed stare of the severely dehydrated heatstroke victim, b)Max and Joey are both clearly attempting escape, and are only in the photo at all because of the prominently visible restraining hands of their respective mothers, c)not to be outdone in picture-ruining tactics, Maggie is screaming bloody murder, so much so that her entire body has turned a brilliant shade of red, and d)the picture is, at least, relatively well-lit.
Attempt Number Two: August 31, 2007. Things that I would like you to take special note of: a)NO ONE is looking in even the general direction of the camera, b)while the heatstroke risk is somewhat less significant on this occasion, the lighting is also brighter, making it look as if everyone's blue shirts are melting together, and c)The Tillmans are reproducing at an alarming rate, and none of the offspring are small in size, rendering the space on Grandma's lap insufficient. While Elaine seems to approve heartily of the increase in the number of grandchildren in spite of any and all spacial issues, this picture is technically of Elaine holding two grandchildren, while the disconcertingly incomplete form of Chelsa lurks to her left propping up the third.
To summarize: We will, of course, soldier on, and try to keep the hope alive that we will eventually achieve photographic perfection. With four subjects to contend with, however, three of whom are two years old or less, it's looking grim. We may have to wait until the kids all grow up, and then photograph Elaine sitting on their laps.