Penguin Fat Envy | White Bear Lake Photographer

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“I wish I were a penguin with many layers of fat, ” My six-year old said as he cried in the back seat. They were all crying at this point, and the car could not get warm fast enough for them. And hot chocolate guilty bribes promises were not helping.

It did not begin this way in my mind. The valentine’s photoshoot in my mind involved an antique sled and glittery snow confetti and laughter and winter wonderland greatness. The golden sunset lighting and snow and fun – what a perfect combination for images on a Valentine’s Day card! And of course we had to go today because, at 20 degrees, it was the warmest day we have had in a while and was the warmest day by far in the forecast for the next two weeks.

Twenty degrees? Ha! We are Minnesotans! We are hearty! That is nothing! Put some bulky sweaters and hats on the kids and they are good to go! Rosy cheeks are cute in photos, right?! (Sometimes my can-do attitude gets a bit off skew.)

Reality hit about 90 seconds into the shoot and here is what it told me:

  • 20 degrees only sounds warm because it has been below zero for over 30 days in the last two months.
  • that temperature feels considerably colder when you decide that your perfect location is in a windy field.
  • windy fields mean lots of deep snow, which does not really work well for kids without snow pants.
  • when it is that cold, kids’ smiles look like they are in pain and not like they are having fun.
  • telling your kids to just stand there for a minute so I can get the shot is not a proud mama moment.
  • my fingers do not work when it is that cold either and I can take some crappy photos.
  • those hand warmer things do not really get warm until after you are home, cozy by the fire.
  • I have the BEST kids in the world who had amazing attitudes and made the most of the terrible situation their mama put them in!!!!

Yes, I can honestly say that it was not my proudest moment, but at least we got a couple shots for the Valentine’s Day cards – spoken like a true photographer-mom. Forgive me kids, I will pay for your therapy when you are older.

And one of the last shots of the very brief shoot was of William – giving me the, “Seriously mom, one more shot? I think we need to go home now and have that hot chocolate you have been bribing us with this whole time!” You are right, William. I love you.

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