Our Gender Reveal Photography Shoot Fails

I pictured the scene: my two girls in beautiful dresses, smiling, looking at the camera and holding a big bunch of balloons in front of a beautiful back drop. Easy right? It turns out not so much. I know my daughters aren’t always the most compliant when I have a “vision” in mind, but I must admit I was hoping to be a little more successful than we were.

A small pair of feet poking out from a bunch of balloons next to a girl looking sideways and wiping her nose

I checked the weather, ordered some balloons, found the only the long sleeved dresses in our nearest children’s clothes shop (thank you cold snap and Next for them only costing £25 in total). And the girls even liked the dresses, result! Roll on the morning of the photography shoot. I woke up at 3.45am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was tired, had a headache and felt sick. The girls appeared around 7am in a good mood, but within an hour there were tears and shouting. My eldest got in a total mood because she didn’t want her hair brushed, stormed off to her room and I accepted that I might have to have just my youngest in the photographs. 

Eventually I got everyone into the car and we drove 10 minutes to reach a pretty bit of forest. The girls looked beautiful, but ran around with manic looks on their faces rather than staying still. Pleading, bribes and threats to actually look in my direction didn’t work and I swear they had made a pact to only have one of them looking at the camera at a time. Less than 20 minutes later I had given up and I hoped that out of the 250 photographs taken one of them was useable. The girls were covered in mud, the balloons tangled and my partner was very much looking forward to spending the afternoon away from us all and having a few pints.

With some heavy editing in Lightroom there are a few photographs I’m happy with, but I won’t be winning any awards. In contrast there are some photographs of the girls on a swing from seconds after the balloons were put away where they look absolutely stunning. I know one of the best ways to get good photographs of children is to let them do their own thing and capture the results, but the mere presence of the balloons seemed to bring out the wildest side of my girls and my photography skills and lens weren’t up to the challenge.

So I thought I would share some of my favourite fails. They are full of my daughters' personalities, but I doubt they will make it to my Instagram: they range from hiding behind balloons, to daft faces and being unable to both look in my direction. I hope they make you smile.

A girl wrestling with a bunch of balloons

A toddler holding a bunch of balloons next to her sister who is bent over and messing around

A girl with a bunch of balloons for her head

Holding a bunch of balloons high in the air

Sitting on an uprooted tree with a bunch of balloons not looking at the camera

Sitting on an uprooted tree with a bunch of balloons still not looking at the camera

A girl pulling a fed up face next to a toddler looking at the floor


  1. They are a wonderful bunch of photos! congrats lovely xx

    1. Thank you, my favourite is the feet sticking out of the balloons. It makes me smile everytime


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