Poster Family

A couple of weeks ago,  I wrote a post about some of the odd jobs I’ve held over the years, including “foot model” for one lovely afternoon spent pool-side at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.

I completely forgot that 11 years ago, I’d also been part of a photo shoot  to encourage summer visitation at Biltmore. The marketing department needed someone who could lend them a family, and I volunteered my nephew and his grandmother (my sister’s mother-in-law) for the assignment.

We spent a warm August morning in the Walled Garden at Biltmore, and the photographers got a lot of nice, multi-generational shots of us enjoying the flowers (yes, I ended up in the photos, too). The funny thing is, we all look enough like that no one would ever suspect my sister’s MIL wasn’t my mother and that my nephew wasn’t my son.

Our art director chose one of the photos as the signature shot for Summer 2003. The photo was sort of unplanned–it happened between shots, and the blurry couple strolling in the background is really one of the photographers and one of their assistants.

The photo went everywhere–our advertising brochures, Ticket Center info screens–even a run of several months on billboards around Asheville and along I-40. It resurfaces from time-to-time; right now we’re framed and hung on the wall in the estate’s Staffing Center and we’re probably still on the website somewhere, too.

I enjoyed spending that day with my then-almost-five-year-old nephew and his grandmother, who’s one of the nicest ladies you’d ever hope to meet. I think the photo still works after all this time–my nephew will be 16 in a few months–because it looks just like what it was–a family enjoying their time together.

A family in the garden at Biltmore

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