ARTSY: Unique Family Portraits

I've never been a fan of the traditional posed professional family portrait. I typically dread the conversation about matching clothing and the thought of getting my children to behave properly while posing unnaturally. However, the grandparents really want nice photos to frame, so I usually succumb to JCPenney Portrait Studio once every year or two. As a mother of two young girls, it's also become increasingly important to me to document their growth as children with some sort of portraiture. So, about four years ago, we decided upon these:

It was around Thanksgiving time and we were taking guests to Minneapolis' ultimate tourist attraction, The Mall of America, the world's largest shopping mall. After riding the roller coaster in Camp Snoopy, the old amusement park in the center of the mall, we came upon a caricature artist and had our portraits drawn. I love the way they are quirky and exaggerated, much like our real personalities.
Of course, we get new ones of the girls done more often, since they change so much. This one of Alice and Lucy was drawn by an artist at the Western Idaho State Fair just this past summer.

I think the portraits of Eric and I are hilarious. Eric thinks he looks like a Hobbit, sporting his winter beard and cute little ears. (He also swears he never stands like this., but you get him talking about politics and he does.) The artists typically charge around $20 for black and white drawings and I got the matching frames at IKEA in Minneapolis for less than $10 a piece. They are a fun and inexpensive take on the typical family portrait and a great way to support struggling artists.