Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Like a Fish on the Hook

Something I might include the next time I'm asked to meme something about myself: Generally, I hate staged kid photos. Generally, I must emphasize. A local studio we took Max to several times, in fact, specializes in those ultra-stylized kids-as-adults photos I have despised for years. The toddler in a suit, complete with ruffled tie and open briefcase. The seven-year-old in a leather jacket sitting on a fake motorcycle. The girls-as-fairies setups. Or, my personal favorite, the Tom Sawyer wannabe sitting at the mirrored fishing pond. Any time we took Max to the studio, we would iterate over and over, "We just want him to look like a nice boy" or the photographer would be hauling out old newsroom typewriters or live monkeys to pose him with.

So when I saw a sign at Tommy and Sylvia's daycare announcing that a photographer would be there would be doing old-timey sepia photos, I rolled my eyes and forgot the date. I didn't take any special pains to get the kids photo-ready that day, since I didn't even know what day the photographer was coming. But a bit after the photos were taken, someone was there at the center with piles of proofs, and because I always like looking at pictures of my kids, I agreed to take a peek.

And despite the salesperson's what-do-I-have-to-do-to-get-you-in-this-full-package pitch, which usually sends me running the other way, I was hooked. I don't know how it happened, but suddenly I became one of those moms who couldn't write a triple-digit check fast enough to obtain staged photos of her kids in unnatural settings. Phil even got in on the act, meeting me after work at the daycare so we could pick out the perfect poses. Then we agreed to buy the full set of electronic photos so that we could do things like post them on blogs.

Photos of, say, Tommy just weeks before admitting he had a problem at Gamblers Anonymous:

Or Sylvia in a little number we like to call "Random Feet":

Or Tommy sleeping off a drunk while Sylvia suspiciously eyes the creepy man offstage:

Or Tommy reprising his role as George M. Cohan in an off-Broadway production of Yankee Doodle Dandy:

Or, no joke, Tommy playing hooky at the ole fishin' hole:

While I keep trying to give myself a mental tongue-lashing for this somewhat expensive and unbudgeted purchase, my heart's not really in it. Every time I look at this picture in my office I smile, so I suppose not all impulse purchases are without merit:


Heather said...

The picture of Tommy with the cards has a very "hey mister, can I shine your shoes for you and then grift you out of some money" tone to it, which is awesome.

Chris and I have just been discussing the issue of getting formal portraits done of Sam for his first birthday, and because we're both anti-pics of kids posing in front of fake fences and the like (thanks, Olan Mills!), we've been a little stumped about where to go. But I must admit, I'm kinda liking these sepia photos. Do you have a card for the photographer?

Hooked on Houses said...

Oh, my gosh, this had me laughing so hard. Love it! Like you, I hate those posed photos. I have friends who are horrified that I have never, ever taken my children to a portrait studio. Not once. I just prefer snapshots we take ourselves. But these. Wow. I just don't even know what to say. Priceless! -J :-)

Sally Hamer said...

Those are adorable! My boyfriend's 2 year old niece just had those exact daycare shots taken herself. I believe my favorite was "Look at me garden like it's 1899!" (And, really, wasn't this a nice way to spend that little windfall you received?!)

The Neurotic Turtle said...

I think this photographer might be giving Anne Geddes and her scary flowerpot babies a run for her money.

Suzy said...

Those pictures are hilariously cute!! Especially the last one. I'm glad you splurged ... and then shared them with us. :)