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The Other Side of Perfect

You know how it is.

All you want, for the love of God, is one family photo. One sweet family photo where everyone smiles and looks lovely towards the camera. Is this too much to ask, people? I mean for Christ's sake, it's Christmas.

Sometimes we succeed and no big damage is done. Other times we succeed and everyone feels like crap. Like the year I positively tortured my then husband and kindergartener into their Christmas best for The Nutcracker, the best holiday photo op ever.  Or the time I marched my then preschooler and toddler for the Santa shoot that played more like a horror show than a friendly visit.

Thank God we get older and a little wiser.  Thank God we each year have the chance to lay down our perfectionism and take the shot of the way things really are...chaotic and out-of-sync and irregular and real.  

This photo you see above? Someone called for a crazy/silly face and there you have it. Eighteen people fully alive in the frame. Eighteen people who have been struggling to be together for so many years now that we didn't have the heart to even try to pull off a giant family holiday after the last time until now.  Eighteen people who decided that maybe they could manage a three hour dinner that turned into a photo shoot that turned into mayhem that turned into bliss.

Because isn't this what the holidays are about after all?  The miracle that we can somehow keep loving each other even when nothing is perfect? The miracle that we somehow keep coming together even when we don't know how to handle how different we are? Even if we can barely understand how fierce and irrational the glue that keeps our love together?

Today after you manhandle everyone into their Christmas best, after you get the shot you were waiting for, ask for everyone's silly face. Then put that photo in a frame.  Slap it on your fridge, on the mantle, wherever you'll see it most often.  

This is the other side of perfect, and it's the reason why your family is so fantastically unlike any other family on the planet.  It's the reason why you love these people. And why your love, year after year, remains so amazing and true.

Comments are all yours kitty kats. Show us your crazy family today.  Shots from all cameras, mobile or otherwise welcome.



I wish it would snow at Christmas here in London… this painted snowman in a pub window, is the closest I'll get to seeing one this year…

Snow at Christmas is tradition, right? Not really for so much of world, yet it's part of the tradition just like stockings, Santa, holly, presents etc…

Christmas is steeped in traditions, even when it comes to the photos we take.

Do you have a traditional photo you take each year?… sat by the tree, the table laid out, christmas lights, wrapping gifts, stockings hung… there are so many possibilities.

These photos are the memories that we take onto the next year, that's what makes tradition… I believe in holding onto memories and I love to use photos and videos to make mini movies into Time Capsules… and this festive period gives plenty of opportunity to make some magic…

If you'd like to learn how to make your own Time Capsules, you could win a spot on my Creating Time Capsules course… please leave a comment below and you could turn your christmas fun into a Time Capsule of your own…



weekending by Polly Scott

I persuaded my husband and stepson to go shopping with me by promising good food and a toy store. My sights were set on the parade of cute gift shops and restaurants further north. But I had forgotten the magic of Lark Toys.

Entering the store is a bit like stepping into a Willy Wonka village.  A vintage toy museum runs along a long hallway leading into a candy shop with a large rotating carousel.  Llamas wander around the grounds waiting to be petted.  A large room of wooden toys runs into a room full of costume hats and wigs with noise makers, hula hoops and pogo sticks nearby.  The book collection is large and diverse enough to be an independent bookstore.  I stared at a room stocked floor to ceiling with family games. I thought about how long it had been since we’d played a simple board game.

My husband and stepson try on hats and make faces in the mirror. They head along to the noise makers and kazoo sounds fill up our quiet space.  As we leave, my stepson hops into the Whirlybird. We can barely tear ourselves away. I feel refreshed and I’m reminded once again of the value of play.

How do you play?


Polly Scott shoots images like these with a Canon Rebel T3 and spends her weekends going on fun family outings like this one to the local toy shop.

You can find her on her website and on Flickr as DriftlessDestination.

Todays prompt: cards

Tomorrow's prompt: evergreen


Oh, baby

Who doesn't love babies?! When photographing babies this age, I just follow their lead.  They most definitely run the show.  I may not always get that 'perfect' baby shot, but when this little beauty (who just happens to be my niece) started with the faces, the opportunity was too good to pass up, so I snapped away.  It may not have been what I was looking for, but it's most definitely a keeper.

Today, show us your not-so-perfect shots that worked out for you anyway.  I know you've got 'em.  We all do! 

Don't forget, sign up for our brand new mailing list for 2013!


The End of the World as We Know it

You may have heard by now that tonight midnight marks the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. These predictions fail to move me, being the kind of girl more ready to shrug off catastrophe than prepare for the worst.  But then my friend Stacey called with this scandalous thought: what if starting tomorrow we could start over? What if we all decided once and for all to take responsibility for ourselves and each other with love being our guiding light? What if the end was a brave new beginning?

I was intoxicated and also intrigued.

It's a love apocalypse, Stacey said. A chance to let go of all the things that don't serve you. A chance to choose the world you create.

Hours later there was an impromptu photo shoot with my kids and good friends from the neighborhood.  The kids immediately understood, and I began to appreciate in a new way the power of intentions. They were so glad to be photographed. Even more I could see each one saw the necessity of choosing a new way.  In a world where killing was becoming all too commonplace, radical love is the only way.

What will you let go of as the world ends tonight at midnight? What you embrace for the sake of a better world?  Leave us your own declarations in photo form in the comments. Or better yet, join Stacey and I at midnight wherever you are. Let's do this thing together.

for more information visit or leave your own brave images in the Flickr group or tag your Instagram photos with #LoveApocalypse.