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Maybe it’s an occupational hazard, but I actually like taking photos.
The last few years, I’ve been asked to take photos at several weddings, for family graduation and anniversary events and most recently some baby photos.
Last week, I did a family photo shoot for my nephew in honor of his new baby. They wanted family photos in a casual setting, so we agreed to meet at my sister’s house for the shoot, which consisted of the dad, mom, and my great niece, Natalie, who is 2 years old and her new brother, Trapper (actually his name is Trevor but this is what Natalie calls him so it’s stuck) who just turned 6 weeks old.
Our photo adventure began with the baby pooping his pants before the first picture was taken. After a clean up, we were ready to start except that Natalie preferred to ride the four-wheeler and run through the yard barefoot than sit for photos.
When she was made to sit, she began to cry, then kick, then flop around on the ground. Not photos that you’d want to hang up in the family photo gallery.
We discovered that Tic Tacs would get her to be still long enough for us to snap some photos, but half way through Trapper showed off his lung capacity because he was hungry.
Once fed, we decided to move our adventure inside for a must-have photo involving the baby in a polyester one-piece outfit that my deceased aunt gave my sister’s first born son. Forty years ago it was kind of cute, but the red, white and blue donkey outfit as I call it isn’t what you’d call precious, but for whatever reason my sister had both of her sons photographed in this outfit. It has the outline of a donkey on the front and she surprised all of us when she whipped it out and insisted that her grandchildren also be photographed at 6 weeks old in the donkey outfit.
Trapper, the fourth of her grandchildren, is slightly larger than the rest, so we were thinking we might have to cut it up the back and tuck it around him. Fortunately, for my sister, we managed to wrestle him into it and snap a few photos.
Then came the shots that every 18-year-old dreads – the naked baby photo. The pictures are usually taken with the baby in his/her birthday suit lying on a rug or blanket on their belly. These photos are the ones that get pulled out by a parent or grandparent just as the subject is heading out the door to prom. The intent of the photo, of course, is pure embarrassment to the subject. I bet almost every one of us has this type of photo lying in a drawer somewhere.
For me, it’s me sitting in the bathroom sink with my hair sticking up in all directions with the help of a lot of shampoo. I’m smiling, not realizing that years down the road, this would be a photo my loving mother would want to use against me.
Trapper’s embarrassing photo was of him in a wicker basket. He liked it at first and even smiled a little, but just as his big sister leaned in to give him a kiss for an especially touching photo, he decided he had to go and promptly peed on his sister’s dress, the blanket and floor.
It was time for a wardrobe change so we moved on to the family in their Cincinnati Reds wear. I’m not sure if this is Trapper’s statement on the next year’s team or not, but only moments after donning the duds, he filled his pants in a way that only babies can and I was left with a gift all over my pants since I was holding him.
There’s probably a really good reason that I have never wanted to do children’s portraits.
Actually the night went pretty well and the photos were precious, maybe that’s just because they are family and I think they are that stinking cute.
All I know is I’m going to take a cue from my sister and I’ve already set aside a darling little pink pig outfit that my daughter wore, so that I will be able to have my grandchildren (which I hope don’t come for many years yet) immortalized and hanging on my wall.
(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)