I know a thing or two about babies. For instance, one cannot simply put them to bed. You can’t just be all, “There are clean towels in the closet and help yourself to whatever’s in the fridge” when you put them down for their first night in your home. I tried. One must jiggle them and sing to them and contort one’s own body into the most uncomfortable position ever just to get them to sleep. Raindances will occur.
I also know that babies don’t take bad pictures. They may take funny pictures, but never bad ones, and this is because you (AKA their parents/guardians) are with them when they get snapped. You are there to protect them from the hobgoblins that lurk within the flashbulbs of the school photo session.
Beautiful, smiling babies. Photo sessions, for them, are occasions of fun and amusement. They are not interludes of woe between math and reading.
Case in point. Here is me when I was about a year and a half:
Cute.Wittle.Baby. Completely unsullied by the horror that is school photography. My parents were obviously in sight when this portrait was taken of me within the safe confines of a photo studio that did not also serve as a cafetorium. It was likely just me, my parents, and a photographer in that room when this delightful photo was taken back in 1983.
My infantile spirit had not yet been marred by the soul-crushing rite of passage that is the school photo.
Now, getting your picture taken at school isn’t something that destroys your innocence all at once. It’s insidious, and like water torture it takes time to lay hold of you, the victim. By the time I was in second grade with two prior class photos under my belt, I still looked OK to the naked eye.
Dressed in a lovely dress my mother had made for me and with my hair in braids, seven-year-old me is still protected by that parental sheath. But the seed has been planted. Too many rectangles of cafeteria pizza and the insipid fumes of oil pastels in art class have already laid claim to my soul. I have seen the Trapper Keeper of destiny and am willing to sell my soul for it. The downward spiral commences.
Only two years later, and the damage is obvious.
Why have I selected a jogging suit with black Keds as my photograph uniform? And why am I sitting on the floor? Even the baby from before is civilized enough to know that photos are meant to be taken either in a chair or standing, and that one must wear something that does not date her to the MC Hammer-era of puffy dayglow pants.
So many questions. So few answers.
Middle school is expectedly disastrous. I have elected to have my hair cut with bangs several months before the photo is taken, only realizing one moment too late that it’s not a good look for me. But instead of pinning the bangs back, I have completed the look with (adjustable) overalls. These glasses were a striking accessory for post-Beatles-era John Lennon, but not so for eighth grade me. The look on my face is of dumbfounded resignation. The school photo demons have clinched my essence.
Within three years, I have fallen so far into the depths of school photo possession that I am now ready to start taking souls myself. Eleventh grade. The seductress is here. Don’t be fooled by that cross around my neck, for that demonic grin tells the tale of a baby whose soul was eaten by the imp of the school photo. I am a regular Nathaniel Hawthorne character.
The moral? Do whatever it takes to keep your child away from the school photographer. Walmart photo center exists for a reason.
Link up with us! Here’s how to do it:
1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about school photos. Just try to stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D
2. Grab the badge and place it at the bottom of your post.
3. Add your link below and come back to see all the other great posts your blogging pals have written! Comment on them and tweet and share your favorites using the hashtag #RTTbloghop. The link-up closes at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, so get your link in before then.