Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baby models

Well, Kyle lucked out this time, but only thanks to chance (and aesthetically-pleasing posterity)! I've been trying to gently coerce Kyle into having family pictures taken at a real photography studio since before Erik was born. We tried out the Walmart portrait studio with Ellie and her bosom buddy Kimberley, but the results were so melancholy that I only saved them for sport.

Mother's Days, birthdays, and holidays have come and gone, and my walls remain void of professionally-captured family moments. And yet here, in the land of little emperors and emperesses, regular, extensive photo shoots are the norm even for families who really can't afford them. With every photo shoot comes a darling album of pages brimming with nothing but your child, clad in frilly dresses or frilly suits, donning sometimes forced smiles, the bright pages accented with cheesy Chinglish phrases, but I just gotta love it. Alas, even in China we just can't justify the cost.

And then... when I had truly forsaken all hope of professional baby albums, bless that Ellie for sitting so photogenically on the back of Kyle's bike as they rode to the grocery store last week. Ellie's foreigner cuteness was discovered, and we landed an offer for a free family photo shoot with one of the nicer studios in town, in exchange for being able to use pictures of the kids to advertise their company! Cha-ching!

So, the better part of today was spent at this studio, tugging shirts on and off of moving heads, placing and replacing barrettes in fine hair, coaxing with toys and more toys, bribing with candy/soda/chicken sandwiches/rides on the rocking horse, making all sorts of embarrassing googly noises, etc. in the pursuit of luring the cutest expressions out of the kids. Part two will be taken outdoors when the weather starts cooperating.

It's hard to conjecture how well they'll turn out, as it always is with kids, but I think Emma, our photographer, was able to capture them well in their elements, and as far as I could gather, very much in the essence of their personalities. Ellie was fiercely independent as she fiddled with toys, looking down of course, or danced in circles, but never looking where we told her to or offering more than a momentary, forced smile. Didi spent the majority of his limelight time slobbering on his hands, toys, binky, or all of the above, but even through tears could not help but smile widely at almost every flash.

So, in the coming weeks feel free to browse Chinese magazines, or billboards and buses, for two familiar little faces... and at that point, I will be demanding more compensation than a scrapbook album! =)


Tana said...

Will you become the next model Mom or Pageant Mom? It sounds like Didi has the personality for it. Do you guys have plans for returning to the states yet?

blaine and michelle said...

That's awesome! That episode at Walmart was a bit discouraging, hopefully this one turns out better. Actually, it will. I don't know how those could have been worse :)

Marilyn said...

I hope you can post the pictures on your blog. I'm anxious to see those darling anglo babies of yours. It must be fun to be blonde in a sea of black hair.