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In Which I Don't Come to Blows in a Portrait Session

This weekend we took Molly for her 6-month pictures at the Giant Baby Emporium.

Oh wait. I am ALREADY going to go on a giant tangent: does anyone else do 3-month, 6-month and 9-month pictures like I do? And which I started doing only because my mother would say things like, "Well, have you scheduled her 3-month pictures yet?" And, note to my mother, I would be taking pictures ANYWAY, I just wouldn't be so on top of it. Okay, so, anyone? Just as I wrote that first sentence it occurred to me that I don't see many department store portrait-type pictures in my friends' houses. The kid pictures are usually candid snapshots blown up on a home computer, or very natural un-posed artistic photos, in black and white, mounted, framed, set atop an altar and lit candles all around it.

For Jack's 6-month pictures we went to a Real Photographer in a Real Studio and had ourselves an hour of family picture taking. These photos are my favorite of all his baby pictures and I have one giant open-mouthed smile framed pretty prominently in my living room. I love it. I knew I wanted to have an equivalent Molly picture, but I also knew we didn't have the time, energy or funds to go back to the Real Photographer. A department store portrait studio would have to do, except for the fact that I HATE THE DEPARTMENT STORE PORTRAIT STUDIOS.

Is it me or is the department store portrait studios staffed entirely by eighteen-year-old girls who couldn't be more bored or put out or annoyed by your average energetic toddler? They will only take so many shots of so many poses -- I was informed that they aren't allowed to take more -- and why is that exactly because the ability to take a zillion photos in pursuit of an Erstwhile Smile is the BEAUTY OF DIGITAL CAMERAS. They don't know that your six-month-old baby can't quite sit up, and apparently thinking up additional poses is too much work. They have zero creativity when it comes to getting a toddler to sit still and how dare I ask for a different background!

(Maybe I'm beginning to understand why my friends don't take their kids for 3- and 6- and 9-month pictures at the mall. Sigh.)

Anyway. Going back to my original sentence. The teenage girls at the Giant Baby Emporium? FANTASTIC.

I had input on everything, while still having the benefit of a portrait session directed by a professional. They took as many pictures as I wanted, within the time limit. When I wasn't satisfied with certain poses and expressions, our photographer willingly tried more things. It was a completely different experience -- dare I say even enjoyable? -- except for the fact that the skills of the girls at the Giant Baby Emporium were no match for my 6-month-old daughter and her determination not to crack one single smile. (And she didn't. Phillip says one of the poses I bought makes her look like she's ruminating on the sinking economy.)

But her dress was cute and Jack was moderately well-behaved and they printed out the pictures RIGHT THERE. Where have they been all my life?

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