There is something I believe, of which I am quite certain I am the sole person to actually believe it. And that is, you should always fatten up as much as possible for family photographs.

For years I’ve asked friends and family members why the most recent family photos hanging on their walls are several years old at best. And for years I’ve heard excuses from every one of those people as to why they haven’t gotten around to it. There is no doubt that almost every one of them has the exact same reasoning holding them back as they publicly declare, “I want to do it. I’m definitely going to do it. Just as soon as I lose these ten extra pounds”.

Of course, the number of pounds each person wants to lose varies. Some want to lose a handful, some want to lose a quick hundred before stepping in front of the clicker. Me… I want to gain twenty to thirty in the days just prior to the photographer showing up, and I guarantee I ain’t gonna be sucking in my gut when he snaps the photo.

Before you get your knickers in an unfixable twist, let me ask you a couple questions.

1) When you finally do get one done and you pass by the portrait hanging on your wall, which of the following two thoughts do you want flooding your mind and your self esteem bucket?

Dang, I’m SO much better looking nowI think I deserve an extra slice of pizza today

or

Man, I’m such a lardo now. What happened to me? I looked way better back then. I’m gonna go eat a piece of pizza.

Personally, I prefer the first, mostly because I’m a bit of a pizza addict, and I enjoy it more when it isn’t loaded with guilt. If you wait until you’re unrealistically skinny for that photo, you’re going to love the photo and hate yourself for the rest of your life. If you do it when you’re very realistically fat, you’re going to love yourself and hate the photo. Make sense?

2) When you have a guest over and they come across that same portrait, which of the following two scenarios would you rather see played out?

Your friend looks at the photo and then quickly looks away because they know that you’ll know that they were just noticing how ginormous you are now much weight you’ve put on…

or

They stop, gasp unrealistically, and declare, “Wow, you have lost so much weight since this photo, haven’t you! You look absolutely fantastic! Was this really you?!”

Personally, I prefer the second. If you wait until you’re unrealistically skinny, your friends are going to think you’ve turned into a blob every time they see that photo for the rest of your life. If you do it when you’re very realistically fat, they’ll think of you as the beacon of health and determination, and they will make sure you know it.

And that is why you should never wait until those pounds come off. Instead, call your photographer right now and schedule her immediately… After all, it’s the one time each year when you can guarantee you’ll be at your fattest.

Imagine how good you’ll feel the entire rest of the year when you walk by those photographs. Come Christmas time next year, you’ll look at the portrait and think, well, I guess it’s good that I’ve at least maintained my weight in the past year. Trust me, if you wait for the skinny moments, the holidays will haunt you and you won’t be able to truly enjoy all of that fruitcake and candy popcorn goodness.

Finally, make sure you keep going to town on the holiday sweets this year. You’ll know you did well if the photographer switches to her wide angle lens for the photograph.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS, just as a reminder, I’m on vacation until after New Years (though I’ll still check-in on the comments and emails every day). This is a repost of one of my earlier posts. Hope you enjoyed it.

Please comment! What do you think? Do you have a love/hate relationship with family portraits?

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!