Photos are worth a thousand words--but which photos?

Awkward Family Photos
Wrapping up the last bits of of our application. One of the things we have to include is photos, and you'd think for a photographer, this would be pretty easy. But I'm finding it one of the hardest things about the application process.

Perhaps I know I'm being too picky. We have tons of photos of us. But when you are picking photos that show you as potential parents...you want to get things just right. Our photos will accompany our homestudy to Korea. Those two things are the only way the people matching us with a child will get to know us.

I wonder what they will make of these two Americans? Do we send the photos where we are more silly (which we often are)? Will they understand our 50s/60s home decor (it's all midcentury modern) or will they think we are living with our parent's hand-me-down furniture? I wonder how photos of our lives will translate to the Korean culture.

And with all that on my mind, none of our photos look good enough. Here's what we have to send:

Awkward Family Photos
  • Two photos of us together, recent close-up shots where we are dressed up. (Dress up? What's that??)
  • One pic of each family member--plenty of those but they can't include pets or others in the photos so that really limits the selection. You also can't be wearing sunglasses in the photo. (Who knew how many pics we had taken while wearing sunglasses?)
  • Photos of the front and insides of our home. This is the easiest of the bunch. With all our house updating projects I've got tons of photos already.
  • And photos showing how we live, with us on vacation, sports, hobbies, etc. We've got plenty here with lots of pics of us mountain biking, working on our house. Most of the photos seems to have just one of us (The Man) in them, but there's a few that will work.

For those of you that have already done this, what type of photos did you send? 

If you need an extra giggle today, stop by THIS SITE. It's a great collection of awkward family photos. We won't be sending any images like this for our application!


  1. hello from ICLW - i can't believe the requirements for the pictures! that's nuts. all of these hoops we have to jump through, huh?

    also wanted to stop in and say hello from a fellow cheesehead!

  2. Hmm... we sent a ton of photos. Though it was hard to find some of both of us that weren't completely dorky. I think we probably even got dressed up (I totally hear you on the 'what's that?' question) in some wedding-y guest type clothes, set the camera on a tripod and took uber-dorky pics. They just want to see that you're not complete idiots. :)

  3. Wow. We didn't have that specific of a requirement at all! I think we could only send 4-6? And we had to send one of our house, one of our families, and one of us together. That alone was tough, so I can't even imagine your predicament! (For the photos of us, we had a photographer buddy do some. They rock... and are hanging in our house now, I love them so)

  4. That was one of the hardest parts for us. We could send 10, I think?!? I sent 14 to the agency and asked them to narrow it down from there. We included at least one of just the two of us, then a bunch with us and the kids, and a few with extended family. Some were inside our house but we didn't send the outside of our house.

  5. Medical checklists, homestudy photos...remembering all this is stressing me out :)

    Because I am such an anxious control freak, I staged all our photos (we had to send 10) to make sure everything from our clothing to items in the background (didn't want any beer bottles or wine glasses) was just right.

    I sent 2 close-ups of us in wedding-type dressy clothes, 1 of me reading a book (To Kill a Mockingbird) on our patio, 1 of me sitting on my parents' boat, 1 of Chris working on his laptop and of Chris gardening. The last 2 needed to be of the front and back of our house.

    I know they are just trying to get a better idea of who you are and make sure you're not a total freak, but I understand why you want them to be just perfect.

  6. Happy ICLW and congrats on completing your home study! So hard to decide what sort of a picture to paint when these faraway folks only have a few snapshots of you to go on...I say send some of the pics from Awkward Family Photos (those are terrific!) and let the matchers why it's different people in every photo. ;) Best of luck!

    -lp (#134)

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  8. Happy ICLW!

    Good luck with the adoption process. I realize they want to find the best homes for these children but sometimes their requirements seem wacky to me. Though I do agree with the no sunglasses rule...it's easy to fall for the "sunglass fake out" . That's what we used to say in college when we'd see someone in sunglasses that looked cute--everyone does in sunglasses. It's when they take the glasses of that you really know the truth...

  9. I spent a good part of last night combing through all of our digital photos... oy vey. I think we're sending this:

    --Two yet-to-be-taken photos of us in "nice" clothes, outside on our deck
    --One close-up of each of us, in more casual clothes
    --Three photos of the inside of our house
    --One photo of the outside of our house
    --One photo that shows us with a typical Chicago background (probably downtown somewhere)
    --Two photos of us looking happy on vacation in Amsterdam and California :)
    --A yet-to-be-taken photo of John playing the guitar
    --A yet-to-be-taken photo of me with my DSLR

    I need to email our caseworker and find out if it's OK to submit the photos with descriptions written on the back, or if they need to be affixed to some kind of page, etc. Whew!


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