In Search of “The Perfect Photo”, The Teenage Edition | Behind the Scenes with Linda Barber

This post is part of a series of behind the scene posts authored by the Where The Boys regular contributors. This is our opportunity to share with you the very best of us and our different perspectives on mothering / capturing / documenting our sons. Our hope is that in these posts you find encouragement and inspiration in your journey of celebrating your son(s). 

Today's post is brought to you by Linda Barber. To get to know the author better and connect with their work visit their individual page here

I remember when my kids were babies. It was so easy to take photos of them. Those adorable little cherubs, smiling when I smiled, looking so natural and happy.

And then those babies became teenagers. Well, two out of three became teens, but the last one thinks he’s one.

Now, every time the camera comes out, they hide, duck, look away. Or the worst transgression of all: they make funny faces. We are talking Calvin-level funny faces (just search for “calvin and hobbes funny face photos”, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.) 

All these crazy face photos used to drive me, well, crazy. Like yelling-steam-coming-out-of-my-ears-crazy. Which then in turn made them dislike having their photos taken even more. As a scrapbooker, I’ve cringed when thinking of all the pages I haven’t been able to create because I couldn’t capture a single good photo of many special occasions.

As I was brooding over all the terrible photos I’ve taken lately (“lately” equals about 5-ish years), it occurred to me that in order to keep what I have left of my sanity, I needed a different approach. Here’s my a-ha moment: “funny-face” is a just phase in their lives. A phase, that while not that cute, will continue to be photographed and documented because that’s my life —never perfect, but always (well, almost always) worth remembering.

Some day, they will act natural in front of the camera again. I’m praying it’s not that far in the future. Meanwhile, I’m hoping they’ll cut me some slack, and let me capture a gem every now and then.

Next weekend, we are taking our family Christmas card photo. Wish me luck!


1. Most of these photos haven’t been edited because, I mean, they are what they are. Most are from my phone, grainy, and with poor white balance. Keeping it real, friends!

2. Yes, the oldest is usually the perpetrator.

3. No, the kids don’t know I’ve posted these photos online. Revenge can be so sweet