I'm not sure if it's just us, but as new parents there is a lot of pressure for us to take certain pictures of our beautiful baby girl. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE taking pictures of her. To date we seem to be averaging about 10-15 new pictures a day, and on top of that we've got a pretty big video clip collection as well. But, it seems that the world is bound and determined to call us lacking parents if we don't spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to have her picture taken by a professional at very specific monthly intervals. One of our friends looked at us like we'd just poisoned her sandwich and said "You're not going to get three month pictures taken?!?!...[long pause] Uhm, okay." HELLO! Three month pictures? We take DAILY pictures!!! Up to now there has essentially been no point in time where Riley's life hasn't been photographically chronicled!!
Well, after not much discussion John and I have decided not to be good parents. And by not good, I mean we're not going to hire some stranger to take posed pictures of our child in one of her many wonderful dresses or outfits. Why? You ask. First, this might hurt so brace yourself: We really don't like the vast majority of posed photos that we've seen. Read that carefully folks, we don't like the photos - it's NOT that your child isn't adorable and cute. Very often the poses look forced, and the back grounds are either over done, or just so plain it looks like a school shot. Oh, and don't even get me started on all the "artistic" black and white posed photos that people send out. Again, not necessarily bad, just not our thing. Secondly, we're lucky enough to have a couple of very talented photographer friends who visit frequently and take - in our opinion - truly interesting, beautiful pictures that (most importantly) also capture her little personality. Call me crazy, but I'd rather get a picture of someone that makes me smile (or dare I say laugh) in the mail than one of a little baby / young child whose been manipulated into some sort of crazy pose. [Note: as I write this I'm envisioning our names being removed from several peoples mailing lists as a result. Don't do it, I'm not talking about you!!] To me it's sort of like people who get painted portraits of themselves made - it's either going to be the coolest thing in the world, or...well.. not - and mostly it's not. John isn't hardly as passionate about this as I am, but luckily he's so picky with stylistic features that we'd most likely never be able to find someone who could do the pictures to his liking (unless perhaps Tom Ford happens to do that sort of thing as a second job).
You might be wondering what brings this rant on at this particular time. Well, we're working on our holiday card (and yes I mean holiday, not Christmas! There are lots of religious and spiritual events going on between now and the end of the year and we wish anyone who celebrates any, or all, of them well). As you might have guessed by now our card will not include any posed shots of our family (certainly nothing like my profile photo of us). It's going to be a single shot of Riley. Something simple, but not boring. Something cute, but not cutesy. Perhaps a little bit of a modern spin. Probably a post card, not a standard fold out card. We think people will like it - but if they don't hopefully they are like us and in the end just thrilled to see yet another picture of an adorable child (even if the photo isn't so hot).
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Here's some a news clip you might be interested in:
The UK National Academy for Parenting Practioners says lesbians make the best parents. Read about it at the Scottish Daily Express