Photographs and Family Law

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Here’s something that occurred to us as the graduation season wrapped up and the wedding season took over.

You’ve all seen photos like the one above. A player is missing for a championship team’s photo shoot, so they add the time-honored circular photo insert. It’s been done since photography was invented, it’s just a lot easier now with Photoshop and smart phones.

It doesn’t have to be a team picture, you see it with clubs of all types as well, and certainly in corporate and board pictures.

For whatever reason someone isn’t there for the photo, the group poses, says cheese, and the missing member is added in for the official, final proof. To give credit where credit is due, to acknowledge contributions.

I don’t know about you, but every once in a while, when I see a picture like the one above, I wonder . . . what happened?

Why did Elmer ‘Doc’ Bennett miss his team’s championship photo? I looked him and the team up. This was the McCook Generals’ third straight championship, Doc was the manager, had been since 1927. Three straight championships was historic, Doc was there throughout, yet he missed the photo op. He missed the one and only chance he had to hang out one last time with his team, his friends, and bask in the moment.

Sure, the inset gives him some due, but it doesn’t include him. I wonder if it – the missing – was in his control?

Now this. They don’t put insets in graduation or wedding photos. If you’re there and a member of the family, you get your photo taken with everyone else. The family, in all its permutations, is in the pictures. It’s a onetime only deal that can’t be reconstructed.

The lesson, if I haven’t telegraphed it yet, is simple. If you’re in litigation, or even in some kind of family law issue with the other parent of your graduate or bride or groom, and you can’t put aside your antipathy for a couple of hours, odds are you’re not going to be in the photos. Forever.


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Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC