Monday, September 17, 2012

When bad photos happen to cute kids

I get it.  You went to school to become a photographer.  When you graduated, you weren't sure what to actually do with your photography degree, so you took a job with a local photography company.  They tell you you're going to take school pictures for local elementary schools.  Its your first job out of school.  You're all about snapping photos of cute, adorable kindergarteners.  What could be better?

The first couple of days are okay.  The kids weren't nearly as cute as you thought they'd be, the teachers are stressed out, and what's with 5 year olds who won't stay still, don't hold their head like you tell them to, and are more interested in when recess is than helping you shoot your next masterpiece?  Oh and by the way, you're shooting a single shot of hundreds of kids each day and after a while, they all start to look the same: short and uncomfortable in the nice clothes their moms sent them in that day... for their school picture.  The one that will be forever immortalized in yearbooks and mantle pictures frames everywhere.

Every day you're at a different school.  You're getting tired of this.  You start to play mind games with the little kids... telling them to say cheese, seeing them smile excitedly, waiting longer than you should to press the shutter button, and then finally shooting their picture when their face has changed from smile to confusion becase you didn't take their picture when you thought they would.  You have a lot of private laughs to yourself about this as you're loading up the company van after another long day of bad photography.

After a while, you just don't care anymore.  Kid has a PB&J smile after lunch?  Take the picture.  Next!  Kid is crying because they tripped on their way to sit on your photo stool?  Say cheese, sister!  Next!  Kid with special needs - no I'm not working with you longer to get a better shot.  You get what you get.  Next! 

Apparently AFTER you hit this rock bottom spot, you landed at my kids' schools to take their kindergarten school pictures.  You know, I take a lot of photos of my kids.  They aren't always the best shot, sometimes eyes are closed or the picture is out of focus... but I've never taken photos this bad.  And I'm not even a professional.

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