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Mom Sets Off DIL By Refusing To Retake Family Photo After She Missed It While Doing Her Hair

Person setting up to take group photo
Stephen Simpson/GettyImages

Gathering people for a professional group photo is no easy task.

However, it can understandably get complicated when you’re talking about a photo session that includes around 40 family members.

The group organizer, who worked hard to plan the session with their big family, caused a bit of drama in response to an issue, which caused them to seek judgment on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Acceptable-Heart3031 asked:

“AITA for not retaking the family photo since my DIL was not in it?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“Every couple of years, we get everyone together and take a giant family photo. In total, there are about 40 people.”

“Our last one was in 2018, and we decided to do this again. I organized the whole thing, and everyone was told that small pictures would be done at 4 and the big picture at 5. Afterward, we got dinner.”

The OP wasn’t expecting this bump in the schedule.

“The issue is that my son and DIL were running late. Wasn’t a big deal since it was just small pictures. They get here in time for the large picture.”

“I asked everyone to be there on time. I called twice asking if anyone is missing. Everyone is lined up and the photographer takes like 15 minutes of the big picture.”

“Everyone is hungry and hurrying to get food. My DIL soon comes out asking about the picture. It is around 5:30 at this point. She told me that she was in the bathroom fixing her hair when the picture was being taken. She asked me to round everyone up again to get a picture.”

The OP gave a definitive response.

“I told her no, that she was late coming to the event and couldn’t care enough to actually be on time for the picture. I am not gathering everyone up again and paying the photographer an extra hour (he was done and packing up at this point)”

“This caused a huge argument between her and me. My son is demanding that I get her in the picture, and I told him to pay someone to photoshop her.”


Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole here.

There was one question that was on every Redditor’s mind.

“Why did your son not speak up and mention that she was not there when the pic was taken? Weird.” – Slayerofdrums

“I don’t know, seriously I don’t know why he didn’t speak up.”

“Either he didn’t care or didn’t notice.” – OP

“I would assume that he knew she went to the bathroom. It’s unfortunate that your DiL was not there for the pic, but if she’s mad at anyone, it should be him, not you.” – Slayerofdrums

“I agree that this is 100% on him for not speaking up. ‘Hey, can we hold a minute? Suzy is in the bathroom.'” – FarlerFive

“And Suzy apparently needs 30 minutes to fix her hair when she should have done that before leaving the house. I mean, it’s one thing to do a quick touch but the photo was at five, and she only came out at 53.” – Novel_Fox

“Actually the booking was from 4pm and she already missed the small pictures…. so if she got there on time she could’ve spent an hour in the bathroom doing her hair and still been in it.” – KitchenDismal9258

“Maybe fixing her hair was a euphemism for having major bowel distress. If someone had said she was in the bathroom, please wait, they should have waited. Her husband didn’t bother. NTA, OP.” – Brennan_Boru1031

“I’m 99% sure she had her phone on her. If it was a ‘bathroom emergency,’ she could’ve called her husband or MIL and explained, and then MIL could’ve decided what to do. However, I’m 100% sure this is not the case, and she was fixing her hair.”

“Anyone that can ask someone to regroup 39 other people for them is the same person sitting in the bathroom trying to make sure they’re the ‘prettiest’ girl in the photo. Fk that OP stood her ground and I don’t blame her. NTA She fkd around and she found out!!!” – Momma-Stacey1983

“I get the feeling that he’s happy she’s blaming YOU and not him! It’s not your fault they were both too clueless to know what was going on.”

“Expecting you to pay more money and everyone else to reconvene just for her is rather entitled. She can get by with Photoshop for this year!” – Koralteafrom

“He also probably thought that the photographer was sticking around until his wife was ready for a new picture. A lot of people are generally clueless or careless about how photographers charge for their time.” – shuckyducked

“Geez, either way that’s bad on the part of your son. If I were his wife (your DIL) I’d be mad at him, not you.”


“Can’t stand people who are late for no reason. All the time. Things happens, traffic, kiddos barfing all the sudden. Sure, I’d wait as long as I could.”

“I’m talking about the people who are always late. It’s so rude to assume the world revolves around you, and everyone else’s time is not as important as yours.” – calicounderthesun

“This is on them. NTA. We do the same thing at our family reunions – it’s a bear to get everyone together. Your son and DIL were disrespectful and here’s the consequence if not giving a crap about everyone else’s time.” – Upper_Assignment9201

“This is the NTA for me. The son should have spoken up, especially since he was in the photo and they took 15min there was time at that stage to yell one person was missing. DIL should have said before going into the bathroom, I just need to check hair since she was running so late already.”

“Photoshop sounds like a solution, or the son arranges for 40 people to gather again and finds out how hard that is to do and how much an hour photographers charge.” – gelfbo

“NTA, its not your job to make sure inconsiderate family members get in the photo. Sounds like you did your due diligence, and DIL was being an inconsiderate AH, there’s no way you run an hour and a half late to a photo you want to be in. You’re not responsible for her carelessness.”

“If your son does agree to pay for the photoshop, it would be nice if you were the bigger person and used the photoshopped version instead of the one without her, although I personally would be petty about that.” – Sad-Seaweed-59

“NTA and agree her husband should have spoken up and if he/they are upset about it, then they can pay to edit her in.”

“Funny aside, I was terribly late to a cousin’s wedding due to a work emergency. I missed the vows, but they were just taking a huge group picture (with the brides on the altar and the guests behind them) when I drove up, and someone yelled that I was coming.”

“In the professional portrait, huge and hanging in their living room, I am running like a fool, trying to make it into the group. It is hilarious and cracks me up every time I see it!” – Plenty_Turnip_4034

“Photoshop her in. Done and dusted. My brother covered my sister’s face with his big head, so I took a photo of her against a plain wall (same room so lighting was the same) and just photoshopped her in. Can’t really tell.”

“If this were day of, I’d say ask photographer for one photo of just her. Forgot to say NTA.” – Remarkable_Table_279

“NTA your son, her husband should have spoek up and said she was not there. He didn’t. Hes blaming you because it takes the attention away from him and the fact that he didn’t even notice or care that his wife was missing.”

“If it was really that important to them then they would have one, been on time, and two, offered to cover the extra hour of wages for the photographer if they were even willing to stay. They very well made have had another gig they needed to get to.”

“Your time is important, and so is the photographers. They can pay for a GOOD photo editor to photoshop her into the pictures or deal with it. Put the blame where it lies next time they bring it up, which is on them for being late and your son for not speaking up about his wife being missing.” – mocha_lattes_

“NTA She missed it. Her husband didnt tell you she wasn’t there. And no one spoke up for her. If she wanted to redo the photos, she could have gone up to talk to the cameraman themselves and paid for the extra hour out of their own pocket.”

“I am sure the family would not mind taking another picture too much. But the whole aspect that she expected you to pay for the photographer and then round everyone up when she could have done all that is on her not you.” – Azsura12

Overall, Redditors agreed the OP’s refusal to redo the group photo with everyone was warranted, regardless of the reason for the DIL’s negligence.

They also thought the photoshopping suggestion was perfectly acceptable, given the circumstances.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo