Jeff Frandsen seems like the kind of good-humored guy you’d like to get to know. Thanks to what he did a few days ago, a lot of people are.
When the Pennsylvania dad, his wife, their baby daughter and the family’s mini goldendoodle posed last week for a holiday family portrait, things didn’t go, shall we say, smoothly.
Ten-month-old Emerson grabbed daddy’s glasses.
Daddy was in shock.
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Mommy tried to stop her.
Frankie the dog looked bored.
Frandsen, 29, who is a photographer, and his wife, Liz, wanted to create something unusual for their Christmas card photo. This wasn’t it, but he knew he had to share it.
First he showed it to loved ones, who loved it.
Then he posted his “authentic” family portrait online for the world to see.
“I wanted to share the image with Reddit because the laughs and joy it was bringing to my friends and family was something I wanted others to experience,” he told The Huffington Post. “It’s been a crazy few weeks around this country, and a goofy family photo can only put a smile on one’s face, right?”
His friend and fellow photographer, Sam Interrante, who took the photo during a studio shoot in Lancaster, seems a little stunned by all the attention.
“At the time, I had no thought of this photo going viral,” he said via email. “As a portrait photographer, I absolutely love those candid moments that happen between the planned ones. I often incorporate them in the gallery to tell a more honest, real story. These are the photos, the moments that people really feel and can relate to.”
On the blog on his website, Interrante, who is 27, wrote that many of his friends are getting married, getting dogs, having kids. Creating portraits of them is giving him a “good look at the reality of family life,” he wrote.
“From what I have gathered, I could sum it up with two words — beauty and chaos. Jeff's daughter is 10-months-old and she's getting into everything. She's curious, she grabs, she crawls around at terrifying speeds. I wanted to really capture this one-year-old’s world.
“So often the ... ‘outtakes’ capture that authenticity, and it resonates with people. So when Jeff posted this image ... on Reddit, the world felt it.”
The day after Frandsen posted the photo, Interrante got calls from media outlets across the country.
“I guess the takeaway from this is a simple reminder that people need honesty,” Interrante blogged. “It connects us. It reminds people that they don't struggle alone. The candid unplanned moments are precious and sometimes, well, just hilarious.”
As much as people are getting a kick out of the goofy portrait, Frandsen and his wife ultimately chose the portrait they were aiming for all along.
“This year, I wanted to go for a mix between Norman Rockwell and American Gothic,” he told The Huffington Post.