If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it … well, you know how the saying goes. “Your daughter must just love having her photo taken!” or “Oh, your daughter must be so much better at having her photo taken than [insert self-deprecating comment about comment maker’s own children].”
Considering she’s had a lens stuck thisclose to her face since she was fresh out of the womb, you’d think they’re right. She should know by now how to prop her chin, her hip, her hands. But let me let you in on every photographer parent’s secret shame: we much prefer your kids to our own, at least at picture time.
Our kids aren’t trained monkeys, ready to perform on cue. Nor are they particularly fond of their parents’ proclivities. Which they protest. Loudly. And often. Usually by informing us that we’re A. the meanest parents ever and B. absolutely ruining their lives.
Sometimes they run from us. Other times they just sit there, pouting. The latter makes for hilarious photos, but alas, they warn us in no uncertain terms that we are not to share them with the world.
Your kids, on the other hand? Well, let’s just examine the evidence:
1. You’re bribing them. Whether it’s LEGO sets or a trip to the movies, chances are you have promised them something entirely enticing … and for once we don’t have to pay the price tag.
2. You’re behind us. Literally. If you’ve hired us to take photos of your kids, chances are you’re standing in a spot somewhere to our rear, making goofy faces that they can’t help but laugh at. And we thank you for your service.
3. They laugh at our jokes. Either it’s because they haven’t heard them 1,000 times before or because you’ve taught them to be polite to strangers, but hey, we’ll take it over the “Moooooooooooom, come ooooooooooooon” either way.
4. Suggestions are taken for what they are — suggestions. Your kid doesn’t take “show me that teeth” as evidence that you “hate” their smile, prompting a 5-minute sulk off where the lighting stinks and they know you won’t venture. At least not when we say it. If they have an existential life crisis because you said it, well, that’s your cross to bear.
5. We fascinate them. You know what’s really cool to kids who aren’t used to fancy digital cameras? Everything about them. They like to look at the back of the screen! Ask why our flash is pointing up instead of out. Offer to help hold our reflectors. They’re like city kids seeing their first-ever cow. Our lovely spawn on the other hand? They have been spitting out words like aperture and exposure since they were 2-years-old, but they’re pretty sure SLR is short for Satan’s Life Ruiner.
6. We’re not responsible for the evil that is destroying their lives as they know it. Forced to wear fancy clothes? Taken away from their favorite toys? Sorry, Mom and Dad, but that’s on you this time. Phew!
Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?