We went to the beach in Ocean City the other day for some family pictures. That seems simple enough, but it was actually anything but that.
I figured it would be a challenging session but by the end of the one-hour plus session at the Inlet between the jetty and the pier, all of us were sandy and windblown, and at least one of us was sweating profusely and more stressed than I am on a deadline day at my day job.
While it provides an idyllic backdrop for photos, my boys view the beach as their own playground, no matter how cold it may or may not be.
Consequently, the kids were not too fond of snuggling close with their parents for photos. That’s why the best photos from the day were the random casual shots that involved my kids at play.
One of my favorites of the entire family was from under the Pier with Beckett and Carson goofing off in front of us and Pam and I in the background on our knees laughing. That sums up life for us right now. Two wild and crazy and headstrong boys who make their dazed and confused parents laugh constantly, while also testing the patience. Although we were smiling in the background, what was really on in my mind was why won’t they listen and get back here and sit with us for a minute.
Another favorite was a shot of Beckett running full steam ahead toward the photographer, followed closely by Carson and me. It was a line of Green boys running. It was a great shot because the three of us were all running with the same foot forward and for some reason each running with our thumbs extended up. We were all smiling but I recall not being thrilled at that very moment, barking to Beckett to not run into the Inlet parking lot and for Carson to stop trying to tackle his big brother.
Another of my favorites was Beckett lying atop Carson tickling his little brother in full laugh mode. Besides capturing our kids having a ball together with sand all over them, what was beautiful about this photo was it did not include anything about how Beckett a couple minutes later tossed sand all over Carson’s stomach and pushed him down when he was trying to get up.
Yet another favorite of mine was a result of desperation. With the kids testing our patience and constantly trying to run near (or in) the ocean, I thought it might be a good idea to try and corral them. The only way to do that without them pitching a fit was to make it fun for them, and there’s nothing my kids seem to like more than piggyback rides.
The shot of the kids on our backs underneath the pier turned out great and was one of the few staged photos of all of us that turned out to be a keeper.
In most cases, when we tried to stage a good photo with all of us looking at the camera, the results were a bit rough. Invariably, one kid would not sit still or one would not smile. When they both were cooperating, as luck would have it, I would have an eye closed or a gust of wind would blow Pam’s hair into her face.
Some of the best photos of the four of us came as we were walking to the car holding hands when we didn’t know photos were being taken. One shot I really liked was when we turned to the camera as we were walking because it provided a suitable snapshot in time. Pam and I were disheveled from wrestling the kids into place for the last hour, while both boys were sandy from shoe to head. Carson was holding hands with both us and laughing, while Beckett was busy trying to use his free hand to pull loose from me, saying something about I promise to not run into traffic.
In one vertical shot on the beach, the photo was yet another depiction of life currently. The kids were in front of Pam and I and Beckett was hugging Carson. The problem was Beckett was grabbing him around the neck and pulling him closer to him and the result was one of Carson’s legs being lifted off the ground. I was grabbing Carson’s hand because I thought Beckett was pulling him over. The final product was a state of confusion with Beckett pulling on Carson, who was being held up by me. Poor Carson was being pulled from both directions. Nobody was looking at the camera except Pam, and it did turn out to be a nice photo of her.
Thanks to photographer Chris Parypa for his patience as well as his ability to handle two kids at one time when he took some photos of just Pam and me.
That was no tall order. As he took photos of us, he assured us don’t worry about the kids, just be casual and pretend they are not here. That was impossible, of course.
There he was using one hand to keep Beckett from putting sand atop Carson’s head and utilizing the others to take pictures of us, saying, “I got them, don’t worry — be casual.” When the kids wiggled loose of his grasp, he was able to grab some decent photos of us while we were ignoring the fact Beckett was sitting on Carson’s stomach trying to cover up his legs with sand.
After all was said and done, when we got in the car and took some deep breaths, Beckett said, “man, that was so much fun. What are we going to do now?”
Both his parents simultaneously said, “sleep”.