Remember a few weeks ago when I posted the interview with Danielle Guenther, the photographer who shoots hilarious photos of chaotic real life parenting scenarios? If you don’t remember, I’ll wait while you click the link and get up to speed.

Everyone back? Alright.

At the end of the interview, Danielle suggested a photo concept she wanted to shoot with my family. She said, “My favorite part of your work are the interviews you have with celebrities, while also juggling your children and home life. You stay so calm and focused. I’d love to see the chaos going on around you during an important interview.”

I thought that was a great idea so I talked to the guys at IKA (the production company that shoots the Mommy Show) and convinced a few of the crew members to come over with their equipment to stage a fake Mommy Show episode for the photo shoot.

Then, Danielle showed up at my apartment and assessed the situation.

“Can I shift this painting to the side?”



“Do you have a bunch of dress-up clothes and jewelry that I can throw everywhere? And maybe an Elsa doll to put upside down over the lamp?”

“Of course!”


“Can Mike put on a pink feather boa, a tiara and red lipstick?”



“Do you have a celebrity hiding your bathroom that we can put on the couch?”

“Ummmmm… YES! As a matter of fact, I do!”


Wanna see the final product?


Keepin It Reel- low res

Because the images on my blog are too small to really see all the details and awesome facial expressions, click over to Danielle’s site to see the large high-res image. She calls it “Keepin’ It Reel”.

In reality, it’s not so different from what REALLY goes on in the Mommy Show.

Minus Mike in drag, of course. (Although, he has been known to wear a tiara from time to time.)

Thank you Danielle for this amazing picture! I will treasure it always. She is professional and kind and had so many awesome ideas and highly recommend hiring her to shoot your family in the most ridiculous scenario possible.


Thank you to Rachel Dratch’s son, Eli (that’s him in the top left of the picture), who happens to be friends with Mazzy, and probably the only reason I can email Rachel, make a totally weird request and she’s like— “uhhhh, okay, sure”.


And thank you to IKA for lugging all that equipment over and partnering with me in creating the Mommy Show. I am forever grateful.

For those of you who have never seen an episode of the Mommy Show and don’t understand what this is all about, here’s the episode where Rachel appeared as a guest.

You should also check out a few of my favorite episodes, like the one where Mazzy plays store with Julianne Moore, the one where Taye Diggs touches my toilet and the one where Jim Gaffigan glues a popsicle stick to my dining room table.

To see more from the fabulous Danielle Guenther, click here!


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22 responses to ““Best Case Scenario” Photographer Shoots My Family in all Our Glorious Chaos”

  1. This is AMAZING! I am obsessed with Danielle’s work and am hoping to have her shoot my family soon. Loved this whole thing. (Also, how awesome that Mazzy has celebrity-kid friends??! She’s the coolest.)

  2. I love it! So awesome. And I love that Rachel was such a good sport. Mom friends rock.

  3. Jennifer Campbell says:

    Danielle is my new photographer idol. Awesome stuff.

  4. Sarah says:

    I love the stickers on the camera man’s back. LOL

  5. Briza says:

    Love! LOVE! LOOOOVE! Well done, Ilana!! Mike is definitely a good sport!

  6. Briza says:

    Looking at the hires shot, I have to ask, where are Harlow’s accessories!?!? 😉

    • Mommy Shorts says:

      You noticed! I swear this is the one time in the history of ever that Harlow didn’t want to wear a tutu or jewelry. She was wearing them all morning— I even have pictures of her with 25 necklaces around her neck, but then right before we started taking pictures she wanted it all off. Oh well. Still works!

  7. Heather Rosenberg says:

    OMG… totally have an idea here… since Allstate did the Monday Morning’s series, maybe Nationwide can sponsor the chaos series and have Danielle fly all over to document families… you know… since they’ve just started the conversation about make safe happen??? If they do decide to pick up the series, you have to agree to let my family be one fo the families!! 🙂 I LOVE the photo!!! Like seriously LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo!!! Or maybe Allstate would like to pick it up… since htey have that one hot chaotic spokesman anyway? Or you can start a bidding war between the two companies??? Maybe this is why I can’t do PR?

    • Mommy Shorts says:

      If Danielle was open to it, I would TOTALLY be open to pitching this as a sponsored series that travels across the country. I may have even suggested that to her. But I think she’s getting plenty of work lately as it is!

  8. Heather Rosenberg says:

    And yes, Mike was such a good sport!

  9. Natasha says:

    I LOVE this. One of my favorite details is the stickers on everyone’s backs. That is just so true, anytime someone comes over, they get “rewarded” with a million stickers they never knew they wanted.

  10. I love this so much!!! Fantastic photo

  11. Erika says:

    I love the stickers!

    Also, Ilana, you look beautiful and happy while everything else is in chaos. I’m sure that’s real life, right?!

    • Mommy Shorts says:

      Danielle wanted me to look like I was totally focused on the interview and oblivious to the chaos around me. In reality, whenever we film the show, I am never oblivious to the chaos, just trying REALLY hard to ignore it.

  12. Ashley says:

    Fabulous photo!!! So fun that you are friends with Rachel Dratch! And Harlow’s “WTF” face is perfect.

  13. Robyn M. says:

    So amazingly fabulous! This put such a big grin on my face. My favorite besides Mike getting a makeover is the stickers everywhere, including on people. Our house and our bodies are frequently decorated with stickers.

  14. Ellen says:

    Ok, it seems like you’re making fun of Bruce Jenner’s transitioning by saying that having your husband wear makeup (and dress in drag) will make you closer to the Kardashians. I cannot stand that family BUT I would never make fun of something as emotionally and physically difficult as transitioning to the opposite gender and sex. I think your words, while attempting to be funny, were ignorant and hurtful.

    • Mommy Shorts says:

      I did not mean to be insensitive. It was meant to be a joke about Mike, not Bruce Jenner. I was referencing a comment on facebook from the other day that you might not have read, which I don’t believe was insensitive either. I am very happy for Bruce Jenner, and I think it’s wonderful he is finally finding peace with himself. I was actually talking to someone today about how nice it is that the media has been mainly respectful of his decision. His children seem supportive too. In any case, I removed the reference because I don’t want anyone to misinterpret my feelings on the issue.

      • Ellen says:

        I’m sorry, I completely overreacted. I had just seen a trashy article about whether Bruce would be attracted to men or women when he’s finished transitioning and I decided to look at the comments… big mistake. They were so offensive it was actually alarming. I guess I’m also particularly sensitive because two of my friends have transitioned (one man to woman, one woman to man) and I know how hard it is for them and how upsetting small comments or jokes can be. I am sorry I took my frustration out on you!

        P.S. I love all of your IG accounts, especially Insta2yearold. I can’t wait for her adventures when she is three and even sassier 😉

  15. Ashlee says:

    Holy crap. Does she travel?! I’m absolutely in love with this photo and the rest of them! I would probably be the chick in the shower because every time I get out, my child and dog are usually sword fighting, the toilet paper is rolled all the way downstairs, and my cats are knocking over everything on the counter onto the floor so my son can stick it all in the toilet. Yup, true stories.

  16. […] me manage brand partnerships), Andrea (a new contributor to the site) and Danielle, the amazing “Best Case Scenario” photographer who I hope to work with […]

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