July 23, 2007

Photo Ferocity

A few days ago a friend emailed me a link to a contest being run by Johnson and Johnson and suggested I enter. They are giving $10,000 to the kid with the prettiest hair. Hey, that's Pixie! I thought. This will be simple, just snap a few fetching photos of my petite Rapunzel and walk away with the cash. Yes, I was that naive.

I was two minutes into the photo shoot today at the arboretum. Pixie's hair had been triple shampooed, painstakingly brushed and fluffed, and I was ready to capture her essence of hair on film for the world to see. But I was already yelling. Sure, she's got great hair. She's also two and trying to capture a toddler on camera is like trying to capture Bill Clinton in a lie.

Stay still! Smile! No, not that smile! Come back here! Back up a bit! Turn around! No, I'm not going to hold you. Don't touch your hair! STAY STILL!

I have a new respect for those bored teenage girls who run the Kiddie Camera shops at the mall. They make it seem so easy, just have a rainbow colored duster and a clown nose and every picture turns out perfect, right? But after only two minutes of hopping around like a coked up monkey and smacking myself in the face to make my kid smile, I'd lost all my goodwill. Hair, schmair, I wanted to put the furry beast up for adoption. Was there any way I could explain to Pixie the concept of $10,000 and how just a few seconds of compliance could make it ours? Did she have any idea how many Junior Mints we could buy with 10 grand?

After only 15 minutes, the smiles I was demanding from Pixie were turning into snarls and we were both decidedly fussy. I called it quits. Who needs 10 thou anyway? Money is for the weak. I bagged the camera and trooped over to a park bench to sulk.

And then my precious angel child took matters into her own hands. Over the course of the next few hours Pixie scouted out all the picturesque locations in the park and worked her top-model self to the bone. I followed her around with the camera, silent and grateful. She tossed her pretty hair while swinging from a weeping willow. Her locks glowed in the single stream of sunlight deep in the tropical forest section. She was a walking Pantene commercial.

Too bad I had already totally lost my cool with the girl. Every time she saw the camera she’d run so I had to be the clandestine camerawoman to document her frolicking. With everything that comes between kids and their parents these days, I had forgotten that cameras are the most damaging of them all. But us moms are notorious masochists. Even with all the angst I floundered in today, I bet one week from now I’ll look at the photo of her hanging from a weeping willow branch, hair tumbling lusciously down her back and think, “gee, I should take pictures of her more often!”

10 comments:

Heffalump said...

We take the boys' school pictures every year. I figure the school photo guy takes one picture, and if it doesn't turn out, too bad! So we take our own. It usually takes about 100 posed shots of the boys to end up with one or two decent ones of each (we have five boys) but they are still way better than we would get from the school, and making reprints and enlargements is cheaper too!

Sarah said...

That's nice that the school lets you do that! You are brave to attempt it with five boys though. I bet it's worth it for the cost of the whole affair though. I'm always floored at how much those "professionals" charge for their cheesy photo packages. I guess that's why I've never gotten them for my girls.

Suzie Petunia said...

I hope you win, I hope you win! She does have pretty, pretty princess hair...

amelia bedelia said...

"Hair, schmair, I wanted to put the furry beast up for adoption."

I love it - I laughed out loud! I'm so glad you're back :)

Susan M said...

Taking pictures of toddlers is the best. They're so unselfconscious in front of the camera. I never try to get them to pose though---just let them play and take pictures while they do.

Melissa said...

My kids are horrible about letting me take their pictures. I have one that puts on a "blank stare" when I point a camera at him. The other covers his face. And baby girl? Well, she won't look at me and screams "run away! run away!" every time I pull the camera out. :S

s'mee said...

Our two grandsons are the poor mans' answer to Prince William and Prince Harry. They have grown up with grammarazzi on both sides, so now they don't even flinch when the cameras come out.

Good luck with the contest, and i LOVE your icon!

Mumsy Ed said...

Gorgeous photo. PJ really does have the most beautiful hair. Good luck; send it in anyway, I say. Rest assured that you don't have the only camera shy kid in the world, and that they don't grow out of it either. Take a peek!

Sarah said...

Mom, you read my mind! I was thinking of your silly Caroline when I wrote this post and your album of her hamming at the camera was PERFECT! So cute. Thanks for sharing.

Angela said...

That picture of Penny is a keeper. Her hair looks glorious. Hope you win the money and share some Junior Mints with me!