Saturday, January 10, 2009

Swedish Family Pierson

Deck the walls with lots of pictures,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the reason to hang these scriptures,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our best appearance,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Here's a shot of all the Piersons
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See amazing shots of all of us
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Strike a pose and a be glad there's not more of us
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

No, this new version of Deck the Halls is not inspiring, but I'm bored and have too much time on my hands. Nonetheless, before you lies the Pierson parents 2008 XMAS gift. Years ago, a little over a decade actually, my brother, sister and I decided to give our parents a joint gift...a group photo of their kids. One photo of us looking nice and another one making silly faces and doing stupid things. They were nice photos, the frames weren't the greatest, and since we were too old and out of high school we no longer got yearly photos from school. That's when we figured they would both love a new photo of us...and we were right. Well, years later, that photo taken at the Sears department store looks outdated, in fact, it doesn't even "look" --- Our parents have taken it off the mantle and it is nowhere to be found.

SO...time to do another photo?

Yes, time indeed. Only this time we would do it ourselves. With my newly acquired skills behind the camera and our desire to not only create a nice photo of the 3 of us, but actually create an entire collection for my folks, we set out on an ambitious journey: Arrive home on Saturday the 27th, take photos secretly of us without my parents knowledge on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, edit and develop on Wednesday and have ready to be hung by Thursday. Not much of a vacation for me, but so be it. (It was my idea in the first place.) I borrowed a friends studio back in Michigan, had B&H Photo/Video in NY send out almost 20 frames a few weeks earlier to ensure they arrived on time and they would fit on the walls properly and then got to work. Difficulties, yes, unbelievable shots, absolutely, our Mom crying when she saw the photos, would you expect anything less? It was a huge success. And with the help of my brother-in-law Mark, we hung every photo that morning in time for all the relatives to see when they came over.

Besides it being a great gift and getting such a wonderful reaction from our parents, the best part has to be Mark's comment about how the pictures completely changed the room. Your eyes no longer wandered around the room until they focused on the TV. Rather, they surveyed each wall hung with art gallery style frames arranged perfectly. You would swear the room had grown in size -- that's how much of a difference it made.

All in all, I could make a few changes here and there, but considering the time constraints and scheduling difficulties we faced, it was truly a Christmas miracle that we pulled it off without them knowing. (Oh yeah, be sure to know, I guarantee my parents were pissin' and moanin' under their breath about how I wasn't "spending time with the family" while I was home...well, now they know why.)

Not only did we have a group shot, we also did individual shots of the kids and grandkids.
This would be me.

Our older sister, Lisa.

Younger brother, Kevin.

4 year-old nephew, Ryan (Lisa's kid) doing his best Ed Sullivan impersonation.

Lisa's other child, 9 month-old Emmett.

Each photo was framed separately and hung above the couch in this order. A loose interpretation of the evolution of man.

Lisa & her handy man husband, Mark.

Kevin & I in our Michigan State cycling gear.

The Fishwild Family.

The whole family - sans Mom & Dad.

And finally, the silly shot.
(You knew there was going to be one)


Trial and Error.
(Click on the picture to enlarge. Notice the anger boiling underneath. A miracle we ever got a good one.)
(Displayed in sequential order, I particularly like shot 7, 8 and 10)

Oooo!!! We are serious triathletes. Oooo!!!

Strange, very strange.

Kevin's attempt at making me laugh and my attempt at posing for a photo of myself.

Actually, looks like a pretty good one of him.

Alternate shot. Cute.
(Getting Mark to smile is rare)


Hate looking at myself.

No comment.

Ryan being Ryan - He loves this T-Shirt.
(Check out the Transformers tatoo!)

Me Kevin, me pedal fast.

Looks centered to me.

"Oh, I felt that one."

Maybe my new headshot?

Let's see who can come up with the best caption for this one.
(Leave a comment with your ideas for a caption)

And Finally...

"Guys? Guys? Where are you guys? This is not funny."


  1. Caption idea:

    "Yes, sadly, those are my brothers."

    Thanks for the great photos and memories. The series of us taking the group shot is priceless.

    Lisa xoxo

  2. For the caption, how about, "Dad, you're telling us you're going to the gym 4-5 times a week?"

  3. Your portrait shots are awesome!

  4. What a Fabulous Surprise for them, And the Photographs are Priceless!!!!! Love, Aunt Jan and Marcel XOX

  5. Great to see your face, young Master Pierson. Fantastic photos.