December 7, 2013

Family Picture – Part Two "Couples Shot"

Aside from my sister tell my brother "You're so gay" this happened...

We had decided to get one of my sister's friends to take our family picture to save money and because it was the day after Thanksgiving and people aren't the most available. We have twenty five people in my family. Thirteen adults over the age of twenty six (myself being the youngest) and twelve little ones under age eleven. So we knew this would be a very stressful and strategically planned family photo. How do we keep the kids warm, happy and smiling and get everyone's photo taken.

I have five siblings, three are married, two are gay and single. My sister who is single wasn't here for this Thanksgiving, so it was just me, riding solo as the single sibling. After we had all arrived and said hi to everyone (as this was the first time we were seeing each other for the holiday), the photographer was going around meeting everyone, and placing spouses and children mentally. She came to shake my hand and said, "Who is your wife?"

"Oh, I'm riding solo" I responded.

"Solo, oh ok."

It came time for the adults picture. My mom requested we take a picture with the siblings and spouses and mom and dad. The "adults picture". The photographer announced her idea, of grouping couples together. She looked at me and said, "I'm not sure what to do with you yet." Yes she literally said that to me.

She began with all the boys (excluding me). Then each wife was to go stand in front of their husband. The husbands would drape their arms around the wife. The whole time I am thinking, "Oh hell no. This is going to be extremely awkward."

After everyone was placed, the photographer looked at me and said, "Umm, you can just go stand by your parents." Yes, again literally what she said to me.What the fuck? Luckily I did not verbalize my thoughts. "Of course I stand by my parents" I joked. Most siblings laughed at my plight and awkward position.

So here we are standing man and wife, and then there is me. Ok, I can come up with some super chill and sexy pose to stand in. Nope, just awkward with my hands in my pockets. Can this get any more awkward? Yes. Yes it can.

"Ok, talk to each other now" directs the photographer. Seriously? Of course all the couples turn and talk to each other. My mom and dad say they will talk to me, well that looks awkward. My sister and husband, who are on my other side, say they will talk to me and that looks awkward as well. I just look at the grass and up at the sky.

The photographer announces we are done. Wait, what?! You aren't going to pose us in any other configuration? I was given all the photos on CD, since I am the family graphic designer and am therefore expected to go and do touch ups and such. Well all, ALL, of these photos look so bad, and awkward. These shots will not be used for any frame. It's too awkward. Even my sister and mom agreed that I stand out to much. They laughed and then apologized, but promised none of these photos wiould be used.

Dear photographers, plan ahead. The likelihood of a large family with married children having a single is not extraordinary. Plan ahead to avoid catastrophes like this. Please.

In relating this story to my grandmother, who doesn't know I am gay, she said, "Well you know how to change that, you need to get coupled." Not get a wife, as I thought she would have said, but get coupled. I would think maybe she knows I'm gay by a comment like that, but it is too often offset by questions about girls I hang out with.

The other thing I wonder, is how will my family react when I am coupled with another guy? I bet coupled grouping photos will never happen again...


  1. Trevor-

    Ugh, man. This sound like a nightmare. I will make sure I am "sick" on the day that day if my family ever decides to do a picture like this. If I am lucky enough to be "coupled," you bet your butt my man will be in that picture with me. And now that I think about it, I think my family is finally at a point where they would want that to happen. Hmm... Now to find me a man. haha


    1. *sounds, and just one *that day

      (Sorry. That's the English teacher in me. This will teach me to proofread!)

    2. I have bad grammar and spelling abilities so no judgement from me :) I like to think my family would let my hubby in the picture, but I can't imagine how that conversation will go down when the time comes.

  2. I am really sorry that experience was so awful for you. And, it did not have to be. The photographer could have been more prepared. There could have been MANY ways to have taken the "adults" pictures and they would have been grand, elegant, fun, and ones to be cherished. (I dabble a bit with photography and have taken family photos for several groups. Yes, there are DOZENS of ways you all could have been "configured" so that each of you would have been happy with the end result.)

    I really enjoy your blog, Trevor. Thank you for sharing your life with us. and, I hope your health is good. I worry about you and pray for your happiness, good health, and that you will find, soon, a man whom you can love, respect, build a life with, and one who will do the same, in kind. You are a good, kind, loving, open, talented, funny, charismatic man and deserve only the best!!

    1. I agree, it's something all photographers should plan for.

      Thank you Duck, those are very kind words. I appreciate it.