Sunday, January 18, 2009

Calendar Outtakes--Part 1

The older the quints get, the harder it is to get a decent picture of them! Getting TWELVE decent pictures to make the calendar was really a challenge! Just for fun, I thought I would share some of the “inside stories” and outtakes from the calendar photo shoots!

January—41 pictures taken
My mom and I really thought that this would be the easiest picture to take. After all, we were only taking a picture of the babies backs, so we didn’t have to get them to smile or anything---just sit still five seconds so we could take a picture. So we took off all their clothes and diapers and sat them down, facing backwards. We gave each baby a little bowl of Cheerios to entertain them (an idea we thought was brilliant at the time). We soon realized the complete un-brilliance of our plan. No one wanted to sit and eat their snack. Within seconds, babies were standing up and running around the room naked. Cheerios were spread all over and several babies had some stuck to their bottoms. It was chaos! My mom and I kept trying to pick the babies up and put them back in place, but by the time we got the last baby down, the first one was up and running again. I knew we were not going to get this picture unless we had help, so I called Virginia to see if she could come over. I must have sounded frantic on the phone, because she said all she heard was “naked babies, need help!” Virginia was out shopping when I called her, but she was at my house in about 10 minutes. When she got there, we came up with a plan that really was brilliant---we got out the portable DVD player and put on the Wiggles. Thanks to Virginia (and Greg, Murray, Jeff and Anthony), we finally got a good picture!!!

Kyndall, Kassidy, Rustin, Ryder and Kaydence---foiling my "brilliant" plan

Kassidy, Kaydence, Rustin, Kyndall, Ryder and Virginia who saved the day! Notice also the princess crown dangling from the top of the backdrop---we were trying everything to get the babies attention and keep them sitting down!

The Final Result: January's Calendar Picture

February—95 pictures taken
Finding the lollipops was one of the biggest challenges for this picture. I checked several stores before I finally found them at a world imports store in the mall. I was worried about everybody becoming a giant sticky mess before we could get a good shot, so at first I didn’t even take the wrapper off the lollipops. The babies were completely uninterested in the lollipops that way, so I peeled off a small corner of the plastic and tried to get them to suck on that part. This worked a little better. One of the hardest things for all the pictures is that the boys, especially Rustin, did not want to sit still. The second you put them down, they would try to escape.

Kassidy, Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder and Kyndall

The escape artists in action

The Final Result: February's Calendar Picture

March—58 pictures taken

My original idea on this one was to have all the babies together in the laundry basket. That didn’t go over too well, so I finally settled for any shot that had all five babies looking in the right direction!

Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder, Kassidy and Kyndall

Kyndall, Kaydence, Rustin, Ryder and Kassidy

No matter what prop we used for pictures, Rustin was always diving out of it.

The Final Result: March's Calendar Picture

April—232 pictures taken

I made the little chick costume by taking two turtleneck onesies, putting one inside the other, and then filling the middle section, in-betwen the two onesies, with batting. Then I took three feather boa’s and tacked them around the outside. The resulting costume was very hot, so the babies were not very excited about it. It was also a bit difficult to get on and off, so halfway through the shoot, I cut off the arms of the turtlenecks to make it a bit easier. After we got done taking the pictures, I posted the best ones on my family's blog. My brother, quickly pointed out that chicks are YELLOW, not white (I guess he really does deserve that PhD he has). I must have been thinking of chickens, not baby chicks, when I made the costume! After all the work we went through to take the pictures, I did NOT want to re-shoot. Instead, I became very good friends with Adobe Photoshop!

Of all the babies, Kaydence hates getting her picture taken the most!

Rustin, diving off his seat

Of all the babies, Kyndall is the easist to take pictures of. She loves the camera and will smile and pose. She also has lots of really great expressions.

Kaiya agreed to be my model while I tested the flash settings

The Final Result: April's Calendar Picture

If you are interested in purchasing a 2009 Wilkinson Quints Calendar, it's not too late! We still have several left! Click HERE to see more pictures from the calendar, or to order your own! Any proceeds will be used to support the consumption of diapers and wet wipes by the Wilkinson Quints!



Krystal said...

Hi I just came across your blog yesterday. These pictures are precious! You are amazing to be able to take it with 5 babies in it and USE photoshop! Just wanted to say hi and tell you the pictures are too cute! I love picture from behind and their sweet little heads. They are too cute!

krystal in TX

Debbie said...

This post was great. Your babies are adorable. My two year old likes to just sit and watch a playlist of your movies. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Buggles said...

What fun!!! I can't believe how big the babies are getting!!

Tobi said...

I love the cheerios on their bottoms story. Those babies are so darn funny!

You are one brave/determined woman to get those quints picture perfect!

Bethany said...

I use a piece of clear tape to get my kids to sit still. I put one piece stuck to their hand and they still long enough for me to get a picture!

♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

It never dawned on me that you took all of these photos yourself... amazed? Yes I am.
I love checking out your blog. Mostly in awe. Ü


2Gemelle said...

better than Anne Geddes pictures, you have 5 wonderful babies and thus your photos are simply great!

Rachelle said...


I didn't take all the pictures, but I did take most of them. My friend and photographer, Kristen Duke, took a few and my mom also took one.

Anonymous said...

I see the lollipops at Walgreens all the time and have bought them there. Not hard to find at all. Also the candy store at the mall.

celia said...

Rachelle, I loved this post and learning the "making of" stories! Anyone with more than a couple kids can appreciate the struggle it is to get a decent photo. Having Gigi hold the laptop up and then "photoshopping" her out was a stroke of genius!

Kristen Duke said...

that is hilarious and so much fun to watch! Even though I do know first hand the chaos and laughter that ensues with getting a great shot. I love the princess tiara hanging, didn't notice it before you pointed it out.

The Queen Vee said...

Rachelle, even the most famous photogs of the world have to take dozens of pictures to get one really great one so you are in good company.

The outtakes were so much fun to look at. Actually an outtake calendar would be great, I'd buy one.

I think we need to make a superhero costume for Virginia as she is the Wilkinson family's very own superhero. You are blessed to have her in your lives.

Crazy Granny said...

This made me laugh my head off. I've shown it to all my co-workers.

Linda said...

My quint calendar is over the sewing table in my scrapbook nook and it makes me happy every time I look at it. I am SO impressed that you took the photos yourselves AND that you made chick costumes! I thought it was all done professionally! You are all amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.

Schauers Hours said...

That was a funny post! I loved Rustin diving out of his poses every time.