What is it with people who do studio photography for schools and nurseries that makes them want to create such hideous and unnatural portraits? No matter what your child looks like in real life, they somehow manage to turn every single one of them into a gurning, basin-headed horror, with every shred of personality removed.
It probably doesn’t help that I’m not a fan of studio photography in the first place, especially for children. Whenever I sift through pics of James and Helena and co. the best ones are always the candid shots, where they were natural and windswept with no self consciousness. As soon as they get wind of the camera the dreadful “cheese!” pics take over and you’ve pretty much lost it.
Anyway, I digress…
The real crime that plagues nursery photoshoots is that someone (WHO is this person??) always gets hold of the kids just before their turn and brushes their hair into the most heinous style achievable. So – once again – your happy, tousled child whose sticking-up hair is part of what you love about them, comes home wielding a package of ‘shopped-to-buggery proofs depicting an awkward, cheese-faced, basin-headed stranger who’s time-traveled in from 1978. (I’d share the evidence if only the proofs didn’t have copyright notices stamped all over them).
The other week, in preparation for the latest photoshoot, I came up with a master plan of putting some of daddy’s hair gel into the boybot’s hair, so that I could send him in ‘pre-tousled’ and with strict instructions not to let them brush it out… but, alas, it was to no avail. They just can’t help themselves.
Perhaps it is actually written in law that children shall only be photographed after their fringe has been pasted down to their foreheads with a wet comb – and bonus points for added ear flaps, if possible.
Anyway we got the proofs back and, as usual, I found myself raving about their awfulness. Until G pointed out to me, quite rightly, that the boybot was not only within earshot but has reached an age in which feelings might be hurt…
Um. My bad. The poor little devil came over and looked at them with me and said “is that one a nice photo mummy?” (Why, yes, dear reader, I did want to commit hari kari).
So I cuddled him and told him that he always looks beautiful, but sometimes the photographer doesn’t do a very good job of choosing the right pictures of his lovely face. And in my guilt I relented and have dutifully chosen the least heinous one to be printed, even though the fakeness of it still irks me. (Also £10 per 5″ x 4″ print? Ridiculous!)