I am a perfectionist. Sometimes. Okay, most of the time. In my defense, it’s a characteristic of an alpha female. I have to remember that “done is better than perfect” and that “perfect is the enemy of the good.”
I sometimes will spend up to two hours finding the perfect picture for a post. Then I give up because after two hours, I need to move on to something else.
Finding pictures isn’t my only problem. It’s taking them. Every year during the holidays we sit together and take a family photo for our Christmas card. This year we took 128 photos. It took us about 35 (maybe 45) minutes so it wasn’t that bad, I suppose. But after taking 128 photos I spent an hour looking through them all trying to find the perfect one for our Christmas card.
After the hour passed I was so frustrated. I wanted to redo the whole thing. I even told my daughter that we’d have to get dressed all over again tomorrow because none of the pictures came out right. Out of her nine year-old mouth came the voice of reason to snap me out of it.
“I’m sure you have one good picture in there mommy, it doesn’t’ have to be perfect!” And she was right.
We’re not in a photo studio, I don’t have a professional photographer, and my camera is good enough for capturing nice family pictures.
Today’s ordeal reminded me of one family picture we took years ago. After taking many photos of the kids for what should’ve been a kids only card, I decided that the card should be a family portrait. A few days later I set out to try and do it all over again. No easy task when you have three kids five and under. I got ready almost two hours before everyone else. Then I washed and untangled my daughter’s hair while she whined the whole time and I tried to maintain a Christmas spirit about it all. Then I spent another 30 minutes convincing my five year-old to wear a nice shirt. For the baby I put a white shirt with a Christmas tie that he discovered was fun to take off. Keeping it on was a fiasco itself.
The whole time, Hubby was on the couch shouting at the football game on the television. I convinced him to finally get ready so that he could participate in a memorable picture with his family (not exactly how I put it but after several failed attempts at the nice way, I resorted to more “assertive language”).
After setting the camera up on the “adjustable tripod” (baby highchair with adjustable height), we were all ready. We took many photos but no one was really happy, not even myself.
You’d think I would’ve learned a lesson back then but I didn’t. While looking over several year’s worth of family pictures today and all the retakes and hours we spent taking pictures, one thing was certain. Each picture was actually perfect. Not only did we get one memorable family picture, we actually have hundreds. Pictures with the kids making silly faces, mad faces, crying, laughing, or crawling out of the photo. All those moments today, are perfect.
Lesson learned, many good pictures are better than one perfect picture.