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.