Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Picture's Worth What?

My sister and I are taking the babies to get their pictures taken at Sears this morning. I'm sure this will not end well.
As a good parent, you're supposed to take your kids to get their picture made by a professional several times a year. Thus far I have not been a good parent and my child has been photographed by little more than several iPhone apps. Hey those apps are cool though. I can make her look like she was born in the 60s. Maybe when she gets older I'll mess with her and tell her she was born in a lab in 1967 and frozen. I can tell her I found her in a time capsule and thawed her out. Look, here's the proof. See how the photo has a white border and looks all yellow and washed out? It was the late 60s. I swear.

Ehn the professional pictures. Because we're white trash, we're going to Sears. Our only other option was Babies R Us which in our area is totally ghetto and Baby Lawns' Rocawear hoodie is dirty so... If I took her to our local Babies R Us for pictures she'd need to wear some sweatpants with words on the butt. They make those for babies you know. Juicy and Babyphat and whatever other brand thinks your child needs Princess scrawled across her diapered bottom. I was thinking I could make a fortune with my own line of baby sweat pants. Mine would say "Poopy" across the rear. Maybe "Wet" or "Stinky" would also work. You know people'd buy that. I'd die before I'd dress my daughter in something like that, but there are those out there with no shame.
I guess the thing to do these days is to hire a professional photographer to come to your house to photograph your children at various stages. This is too much for me in both senses of the word. Number one, I think it's too expensive and number two, my child isn't a celebrity and doesn't need a photo shoot to mark her half birthday. Next thing she'd be wanting an assistant and sending people out for non-fat, soy chai lattes in her Avent during the whole thing. We'd only be able to photograph her in Chanel and she'd insist on a reality show: The Real Babies of Broward County. I'm don't think I could handle raising the next generation's Khardashian.

The professional photos are all the same, but the funny thing is that the people who have them taken act like they're the first person to ever hold a sleeping newborn's head in their palm. Not that those pictures aren't very sweet, because they are. You know, I can even deal with the newborn photos. I think it's the family portraits that really bug me. The ones where everyone wears matching neutral outfits. It's usually white oxfords with khakis or jeans. Down here entire families put this get up on and head on down to the beach where they cuff their pants, go barefoot and attempt to be photographed looking like they're in the J Crew catalog. These pictures scream "We are white people! We believe we have good taste! We shop at Restoration Hardware! We will Photoshop this picture in black and white and order expensive Christmas cards featuring it! We will also blow it up and frame it in a very expensive frame! That comes from Pottery Barn!"

I don't think we can pull off the khakis on the beach thing. It's so wannabe Kennebunkport.

I remember getting my picture taken when I was little. In our town everyone went to Eckerds. I don't even know anyone who had a professional photographer at their wedding much less to come to their house to take pictures of their kids, so Eckerds it was. Do you remember how back in the late seventies there was a trend to take pictures where on the bottom there'd be one picture of your head against a very somber black background, kind of like Charlie Rose's set, and you'd probably be smiling and then in the corner, above that there'd be a smaller picture of your head, maybe looking to the side this time with a slightly more serious expression and the smaller photo would be surrounded by a sort of fuzzy haze? What was that? Whose brilliant idea was that mess? Thank God those pictures went out of style. They should have been inducted into the tacky hall of fame, but guess what? I wanted one. When I was about seven, I saw my cousin's portraits done like that and I begged and begged my grandmother to take me to Eckerds to get mine done like that because I thought those double photos were lush and elegant. Never trust a seven year old's taste because I also insisted that for my fancy portraits I had to wear a red tee shirt that I'd gotten at a tee shirt shop in Rehoboth. It had one of those iron on pictures on the front. I'd begged for that too. I went through a phase where all I wanted was to get new tee shirts. I loved the idea of picking out what I wanted on the front. I had one of a horse running across a field of yellow flowers and another with Princess Leia holding a ray gun and looking very bad ass. The tee shirt I chose for my movie star, two headed photo shoot was the fancy one though. It was red with a picture of a very colorful Polynesian beach at sunset. My grandmother tried to get me to wear one of my church dresses with a sash and smocking on the bodice, but I had to wear that tee shirt. I'll dig up one of the resulting photos for you if I can find one. It looks like an Eckerds shot of a little trailer park ragamuffin with two big, white barrettes holding my hair back on either side. Remember that style? Do they even sell barrettes anymore? Thank God people stopped wearing them and they too went the way of the iron on tee shirts and weird, double headed portraits. You gotta love the seventies though.

Baby Lawns is napping now. When she gets up I have to cram her in her Easter dress and bonnet and schlep her to Sears where she and her cousin will roll around on some dirty assed shag carpet that has probably never been cleaned and is crawling with the germs of a thousand other unwashed, snot noses who also couldn't afford a professional photographer to come take sepia tones on the beach. It would probably be cleaner to take her, unvaccinated, to Uganda and let her drink out of mud puddles.
You know what's going to happen don't you? Babies are worse than pets about not cooperating for the camera. There will be crying. One or both of the babies will decide that this is the ideal time to take a massive crap. Someone will spit up. Easter outfits will be ruined. Screaming will happen and it will most likely be coming from me and my sister and I will both be forced to take out our boobs in the middle of Sears, where the portrait studio is located next to the tires and lawnmowers and smells strongly of men and rubber. Babies live for making you take your boobs out in public. They think it's hilarious. If we're lucky, we may get two or three halfway decent pictures that don't involve the babies hollering or grabbing one another in the face as they roll aimlessly on the virus soaked mat. Then we'll pay out the ass for the prints for the grandparents and I'll come home and another large chunk of my hair will fall out from stress.

Maybe that professional is worth it after all.


Shannon Culver said...

I'm crying I'm laughing so hard. True, all true, those carpets are the grossest. Hope things go well for you and babies today, although I'm secretly hoping that the hilarity that ensues will be tomorrows post.

Anonymous said...

You can always do fun and hokey pictures depicting how your family really is. Check out

Anonymous said...

Barrettes are out of style? Fantastic. I am wearing barrettes, one on each side just like you described, right now! Mine are silver. By silver, I mean some sort of shiny plated metal.

Anonymous said...

So funny! Reminds of this site:

If you leave near a university you can usually find an amateur student needing to build their portfolio.

Jen said...

Oh. Baby together portraits. They are so stinking cute, but when I worked at The Picture People those were so hard. It's getting all the babies propped up so you can see them. Two babies is easy. It was bad when a family brought in their herd of babies. All the sisters together with their 6 babies that are all under 6 months and an odd 18 month old who wanted nothing to do with the camera. We did however wash our blanket things at least once a week.Too bad you don't live closer to here, then you could just have me take them. Then you could have the expensive photographer came to my house look for free.

Eraserhead said...

I usually like your posts, but this one kind of makes me wanna take a dump on your head. You've never sounded more judgemental.

sarah said...

don't worry the hair falling out in chunks isn't stress it's just one of the post baby delights that no one tells you about... it's your hormones re-adjusting apparently... ha!

you MUST post a picture of the outcome!

Anonymous said...

A lurker who loves your blog says ... you need a very nice Nikon DSLR for Mother's Day! Pricey, but fun and totally worth it!

Rich said...

Funny, funny stuff. Thanks for the laugh this afternoon.

catherine said...

Eraserhead must be a Sears photographer, or worse, a Walmart photographer, LOL. They are the death of professional photographers because they are so cheap. You would be better off getting a good camera and taking your own shots. That way you will get them at their best, like right after a nap, bright toothless smiles and all.

Anonymous said...

Those double-photo images from the late 70s were called "reflection" photos. I had one done when I was a tot, but my folks weren't all that into studio photography so fortunately that is the only reflection shot of me in existance.

Ameline said...

I seriously love it whenever parents refer to their children having a "photo shoot." It amuses me to no end.

Cassandra said...

Appently I am a horrid Mom then - I never heard the thing "As a good parent, you're supposed to take your kids to get their picture made by a professional several times a year." The last Sears shot I got done of the family was when my youngest was under a year, she is now 7 1/2 years old. I have 5 years of family photos on my computer and I only print out a few for Xmas gifts to the grandparents, otherwise we look at them on my screen and laugh a lot.

I do love your take on the props though, too funny :)

Anonymous said...

"We are white people! We believe we have good taste! We shop at Restoration Hardware! We will Photoshop this picture in black and white and order expensive Christmas cards featuring it! We will also blow it up and frame it in a very expensive frame! That comes from Pottery Barn!"

Laughing SO hard at this!!! We live about an hour away from Kennebunkport...believe me, I've seen a LOT of family photos like that...! too funny.

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