Friday, February 3, 2012

The Momtographer

Back in the days when I was working in a police station (and by working I mean spending an hour doing filing and answering phone calls; spending seven hours playing on the internet) I was heavily into various groups on CafeMom.  (I was also heavily into Myspace -- how things change).  It was during this time that I found out I was a horrible mother for working, not breastfeeding, and vaccinating and that I didn't "really give birth" because I had a c-section and therefore "took the easy way out."  Anyone who considers a c-section the easiest way out has, obvs, never had abdominal surgery.  Anycompetimommy, one of my groups at that time did something called "Real Life Irritations" wherein, once a week, we'd all bitch about whatever things in "real life" pissed us off.  There was also a weekly "CafeMom Irritations" thread which was - you guessed it - things on the Interwebz that got our panties bunched.

This was about five(ish) years ago and, in that time, Mark Zuckerberg has taken over the world and the line between "real life" and "internet" has grown even fainter.  Thanks to Facebook it seems like everything "internet" is also "real life."  It makes my head hurt sometimes.

Here is my Real Life Internet Irritation for this Friday.

The momtographer.

I hate that 94% of bored stay at home moms who possess a fancy camera, a copy of Photoshop, and the ability to download The Pioneer Woman's action set thinks she can hang out her internet shingle and charge he friends, family, former high school classmates, and unsuspecting local assholes $400 to take their pictures.  Part of this "hate" could be that I am a bored stay at home mom but I do not possess a fancy pants camera because I've broken three and a half cameras during the duration of my marriage and, therefore, my husband refuses to spend more than the cost of a Canon point and shoot.

The momtographers are all over my Facebook.  Friends are asking me to vote for their baybeeeez to win free photo shoots.  Families I know are being tagged in a momtographer's "sneak peeks."  And some of these momtographers -- they really are GOOD and have the talent to charge what they charge.  Some of them.  And even those make me want to poke myself in the eye when it comes to two things:

1) Boudoir photo shoots - I don't understand this.  Why in the WORLD would I want a picture of a half naked me with all my stretch marks and cellulite photoshopped out so that I can look at it and get depressed?  I see them advertised with things like "let us help you feel good about yourself!"  Help me feel good about myself by making me look COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY not like ME?  As far as women who get them done for their men . . . I can't help but wonder how many men stare at those pictures and think to themselves, "hey, hey, heyyyyy!  So THIS is what she'd look like if she worked out!" or "Damn, I really wish I'd known her when she was 19 and her body really did look like this!"  I just . . . I can't, don't, whatever get wanting a picture of yourself that's been photoshopped to fake perfection.  I'd much rather look at a real picture of myself and think, "Hmm, that ain't to bad" than get depressed looking at a picture of what some overzealous momtographer photoshopped me into being.

2) Newborn photo shoots - The shoots in and of themselves I don't have a problem with.  I think baby girls in tutus and Big Ass Bows are adorable.  I love the ones of little boys all snuggled up with a football.  Adorbs.  But, for the love of all that's holy, PEOPLE, can we please, please, please stop stuffing babies into stockings and pumpkins and their daddy's Army boots?  And, while we're at it, let's quit putting an entire garden worth of flowers on their heads.  Ditto crowns.  And STOP HANGING THEM FROM SHIT or PERCHING THEM ON TOP OF SHIT.  It's a baby; not a prop.  There's nothing wrong with sweet pictures of mom looking adoringly at Baby or Dad and Baby nose to nose.  And I am one of those assholes who swoons when I see a picture of baby feet.  THAT is newborn photography.  Not that stupid picture making the rounds on Pinterest for ages that shows Big Sister opening the front door to see Baby in a basket on the doormat.  That?  THAT is stupid.

Sometimes I wish we could go back to the days of Sears portrait studio with their fake leaves backdrop.

** If you're a Momtographer who does boudoir shoots, I understand it's big bidness for you and you gotta make your money.  Keep on Photoshopping out that cellulite if it helps you pay your bills!  But can you please, please, stop stuffing babies into shit?  Please?