Trying to get a family photo in Worthing: One Thing or a Mother

As I scan through social media, particularly after a sunny weekend like the one we’ve just had, I’m always a bit jealous.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 5:59 pm

Pictures of happy families frolicking in the countryside and on the seafront typically fill my Facebook feed. And while I know social media doesn’t necessarily reflect reality (let’s face it, we all present the best versions of ourselves online, because nobody really needs to see a picture of your child having a meltdown because you wouldn’t buy them two ice creams), it does show that other people seem to be able to get their children to pose for photographs.

No matter what I do, I just cannot get mine to do it. No amount of bribery, threats or even an element of surprise seems to work.

In my pictures, somebody is usually crying (not me, although sometimes I feel it should be!), somebody else is blurry, normally somebody isn’t looking, and you can forget a happy, natural smile.

He had the best time ever. I guess that's all that matters.

My children know I love to take the odd family snap when we’re out and about and it seems they do everything in their power to use this information to work against me.

My husband says it’s because I’m making too big a deal of it. Maybe I’m giving off an air of tension. But is it really that much to ask that everyone stays still and says cheese for two seconds so I can get a picture to print off in Boots and put in a frame?!

Apparently, yes, because on Saturday I tried to do just this and failed miserably.

We took the children to Cissbury Ring (one of my absolute favourite places to go) for my son’s first trip up there.

The best I got. At least we're all in it!

We weren’t sure how he’d cope with the walk up there, but he did so well and absolutely loved it.

The sun was shining, as always the scenery and view was incredible, and I just wanted to capture the moment.

In my head, I’d just take a quick selfie of us with the views over Worthing in the background. And maybe a picture of the children together.

But what I ended up with was lots of blurry photos of people running away from me, and children who suddenly seemed to find the ground fascinating.

The horse was a very good subject. Didn't move a muscle!

My son might only be two, but he sure knows what he’s doing. My little girl is a bit better, but she won’t hang around for long, and if I take too long, she’s off, calling ‘see, I did it mummy, I’m going now’.

I’d even come prepared with a chocolate treat from the leftover Easter eggs, as a way of getting them to sit down and stay still for a minute. But what I didn’t think through was that they’d get covered in sticky chocolate, and that by the time I’d have wiped it off and picked my phone up, they’d have run away. Gah!

No matter what I tried, I just could not manage a photo of the four of us in a remotely normal pose together.

What I did get was a selfie of me with my husband chasing two blurry figures in the background, repeated shots of the backs of my children’s heads, and by some miracle some vaguely arty shot of our shadows as we walked up the hill.

At least the view is static

Not the well-crafted photographic dream, but in years to come I’ll probably look back on them and smile. Because while they might not be ones to put in a frame, they do show us having a great time as a family.

That’s not to say I will be put off in my quest to get that elusive picture of the four of us. So the next time you see a crazy-looking mum running after her family, camera-phone in hand, it’s probably me. Feel free to say hi!

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