The photo has got it all.
The combed hair. The shy smile. The perfect gap between the front teeth and the doggier-than-dog dog.
Oh the dog. Don’t you just want to snuggle and cuddle and feed him Good-Ohs?
(And prod him a bit to see if he is actually real…. )
These official photographer people are good aren’t they?
The latest “official portrait” of Prince Christian of Denmark has been released as he celebrates his 10th birthday and it’s undoubtably a corker of a shot. It makes you just want to hang out with this kid and shoot monsters on X-Box while getting the low-down on his favourite You-tubers.
Even if they look like cardboard cut-outs there is something about these royal portraits that just makes me a little envious. It must be genetic and not just because of the slightly crinkly blue eyes, the smattering of just-the-right-amount-of-freckles or the photo-shopping. But these royals do it right.
I have an eight-year old boy. An eight-year old boy who I like to take photos of. An eight-year old boy who, being a child of the digital age, likes to have photos of himself taken too.
It’s just that we have different ideas of what those photos should constitute:
Me: Let’s get one of those mum and son selfies Jasper? Yeah? Yeah? You ready?
Him: Leave me alone Mama I just want to watch Minecraft videos.
Or this one. My latest attempt to get a snap of all three of my kids together. Sibling harmony. Love. Sweet smiles that we can turn into a Christmas card.
Looking at Prince Christian makes me yearn for one of those large, glossy, family portraits to adorn my hallway.
You know the types. The family in matching outfits, the wide-limbed tree in the background, the sun shining off your mum’s carefully styled hair. Not a streak of baby vomit in sight, not a holey-sweater or a goofy face.
In reality, when you look back at these portraits you have to wonder who on earth these people actually are. They aren’t real are they? They aren’t a true representation of your family.
The baby portrait: Oh those pics are great, the baby sweetly gazing at the camera positioned in some vessel more used to flowers or fruit than a baby. His dappled skin, a soft white shawl artfully covering his modesty.
The reality: Babies cry and sleep, and the milliseconds in between those two instances are quite often so rare you’d need to move in to the photographic studio with a motion centred camera to actually get the prized pic. What you see in those delightful portrait pics is the one time the baby wasn’t screaming, drooling or arching up his teeny back demanding more boob-now.
The newborn family photo: You’ve nailed the baby shot, now its time for a whole family. It’s only been three-hours , and the photographer only charges by the hour. She’ll be right. What you don’t see in those portrait shots is the plethora of bodily fluids layering the studio. The dripping breastmilk, the explosive baby poo carefully photoshopped out, the wet patches on the white shawl.
The reality: Never wear black, or white, or in fact anything that doesn’t have a carefully constructed pattern to disguise baby vomit/ cappuccino froth/ and the smear of a half eaten banana.
The sibling portrait Do you remember those wonderful images of the darling little British Royal babies taken by their very clever Mum Duchess Kate? George sweetly kissing his beloved sister’s forehead. The white couch, the knee socks.
(Oh the KNEE SOCKS!)
Do you remember the delight and sense of complete and total confusion you had when you first saw them? I mean whose children actually sit like that?
The reality: When my oldest son became a big brother at 22 months I had romantic dreams of beautiful family photos in the same vein a-la George and Charlotte. What I hadn’t counted on was the sheer frickin terror felt by a 22-month old forced into a strange room with a weird alien like bright light and his screaming 10-day old baby brother.
Was he going ANYWHERE near that banshee- like baby? Not in your life.
You think your photos are awkward. Take a look at these family pics. Post continues after video.
The casual portraits: For this you need props: the dog, the artfully arranged flowers, the candid, oh-here-we-are-just-laughing-as-the-wind-blows-in-our-hair-at-the-beach, the sweet accessories on a balding babies pate.
The reality: The sands in your eyes, you are all wearing really ugly shirts, the dog is farting so much the 10-year old can’t stop laughing, and the baby screeches every time you place that pink head muff thing on her noggin.
The smart-outfit pic: Thankfully in Prince Christian’s recent pic they decided to forego the customary white shirt theme and head down the 10-year old in a tailored jacked path.
Let’s be honest while Prince Christian’s recent portrait is delightful. He doesn’t look like a 10-year old boy. He looks like an (incredibly handsome) version of his (incredibly handsome) father.
But not like a 10-year old boy.
The reality: Prince Christian whinged and fidgeted. He scratched at that itchy-black jumper and chewed on the collar.
And I would be willing to place a $20 Itunes voucher bet that the second “time” was called he mussed up that neatly combed hair and flung off that stiff jacket as he raced back to Minecraft on his Ipad before his mum could ask for just one with whole family Chris?
What do your family portraits look like?