Did a conspiracy theorist just make me laugh?

Okay, okay… just to be clear, conspiracy theorists aren’t funny to me in any shape or form.  I don’t engage them, listen to them or answer to them.  I have really restrained myself from watching their awful videos mostly because I just don’t care what they think.  However, a little while ago I needed a picture of our family and had to try and find a quick copy online.  In doing so, I came across this family picture below.

CT 1

Posted with the picture, a conspiracy theorist writes that he now had proof that Emilie never existed!  Then he had an “expert” look over our family picture and declare that Emilie was photoshopped into the picture!  The horror!

I looked at this head line and couldn’t help but smile a little.  James, the family member that was looking at the picture with me at the time, scoffed at the headline and laughed about the idea that I had photoshopped her into the picture.  I turned to him and said, “Well of course I did!! Do you have any idea how hard it is to take your own family photos and get ALL your small kiddos to look at the camera?  I hacked that picture to pieces and put it back together like a puzzle!  I am proud I got anything at all!”

A few days ago I came across the pictures of that actual photo shoot and just laughed!  What a mess that day was!  It was so disappointing, because I had such big dreams for that picture!  

We were living in New Mexico at the time and I really, really wanted our family pictures to have a beautiful colorful sunset behind us, with glorious mountains in the background.  I knew exactly what I wanted!  

All week I had been watching to see what time the sun was setting to make sure I got the best lighting.  I searched all over the area for the perfect background and found a location off a road in the middle of a sand lot.  It was going to be perfect!

But of course on the day of the shoot, the clouds weren’t their usual bright pink and orange color, instead they were more of a murky grey.  First deflation.  We got to my “perfect location” and all the girls could do was complain about the sand and how they did not want to sit in it.  I tried to get them pumped and excited by keeping things cheery and happy (they mostly looked at me like I was crazy).  I quickly set up my tripod and timer and looked up to realize the sun was setting a lot faster that I had anticipated.  Shoot! 

I arranged the kids and Robbie and set my camera up for the first shot.

CT 2Missed it! And WOW lighting is bright!

CT 5This time I barely made it!

CT 3Come on girlies!  Look at the camera!

CT 6Okay, I have to get some color in the background!

CT 7Emilie!  We almost had it!

CT 8Well… what can I say?

Tired after running back and forth and not seeing any good pictures come out of it, I gave up the idea of my perfect shot and just tried to see if I had one picture of each kid that  could possibly work.  The end result definitely wasn’t perfect, but I am still proud that I had a picture for our Christmas cards that year.  

So do people think Emilie was real or not real???   I guess that doesn’t matter much to me, because she was (and still is) my little girl and she mattered to me and my family.  I will always cherish our photos; even the ones I hacked to pieces, because they fill me with happy, silly memories.  And that is real.