Success meant that the end result looked effortless and candid.
Behind the scenes, though, was a carefully guarded secret.
Getting two kids -- two boys in Mr. O's family and two girls in mine -- to get in place must have worn nerves thin. My mom absolutely dreaded the day set aside to do this. I always wondered why that was.
In my family, our pets appeared in the photo about every third year. I always wondered why that was.
Most years we'd go to a studio somewhere. Choosing a background was the most stressful part -- then the photographer would set up stools, arrange us by height, and take a dozen shots from which we could pick the winner. Done.
I think there were a few years when we tackled the project outdoors somewhere, but that was the exception and not the rule. I always wondered why that was.
I'm pretty sure that there were more than a handful of shots that were good...if it weren't for the kids goofing off.
And, really? It was probably one of the outtakes that truly captured our family's personality.