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Friday, March 21st, 2008...7:48 pm

#12: High-End Child Photographers


Once a relatively simple task confined to the back rooms of department stores and downtown retail centers, child portraits are now more akin to high-end fashion shoots for white parents and their children. They have ultra-stylish lighting , overly-thoughtful art direction, and are almost always shot in black and white, as if Herb Ritts himself was shooting little Cody or Madison for the Spring issue of Vogue.

This is because the Best Parent is perennially drunk on style (or some form of style that can be easily purchased from the nearest Restoration Hardware). And like any drunk, the Best Parent cannot control their own impulses. They must flaunt their personal expression with such reckless abandon that the non-best parent pines for the day police will stop ticketing drunk drivers and instead lock-up any Best Parent who spends more than 20 minutes in Pottery Barn Kids.

“How did this happen?” non-best parents ask, while waiting for the JC Penny portrait people to change the blue sky backdrop to the autumn leaves display. It’s simple, really. When looking at a child’s portrait, the Best Parent Ever doesn’t see a mere picture of their progeny – they see a reflection of themselves. And since they are better than you, their child’s portrait must project this message as well. It must say to all who peruse their artfully framed portraits, in their Crate & Barrel picture frames: “We are better than you and your free 8×10 portrait with no sitting fee! We are so stylish, our portraits didn’t even come with wallet-size photos!”

So, take that non-best parent, waiting to say “cheese” at the mall dressed in those matching Christmas sweaters! The Best Parent just had their portraits done professionally by Annie Leibovitz.

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