You can’t expect your daughter to be perfect…

Did someone say smile

Yup, that’s our daughter–the one making funny faces during the group soccer photo at sports camp.

I guess it’s payback. Long before I became a photographer’s wife, I too was the daughter of an aspiring photographer. Not sure if his dream of becoming a full-time professor would ever happen (it eventually did), my dad signed up for a professional photographer course when I was a few years older than my daughter is now.

“Lori, I need you to model for me,” he would call. Without even brushing my hair, I would put on my headphones (music would keep me from getting too bored) and go down to the basement where his little studio was set up. Since his main focus was getting the lighting right, he never complained about my unkempt look or the fact that I wasn’t smiling or in any way trying to make myself look presentable. This might have been fine had we entered the digital age. The photos would have been deleted and forgotten. But no, everything was on film and everything was printed–and now those horrible photos are part of our family’s keepsakes from my middle school years.

Even worse than the basement modeling sessions were when my dad would take my sister and I out in public to model. For one of his assignments, he had us sitting on a merry-go-round as it spun about. This might have been fine had there not been other kids near my age at the park–and playing on a merry-go-round with my little sister was not a cool thing for an almost-teenager to be doing. Wanting to make sure the other kids knew this wasn’t my idea of a good time, I made the most sour faces imaginable every time the merry-go-round spun me away from my father’s view then tried to compose myself before I spun around to the side he was photographing. Unfortunately, I didn’t always succeed at composing myself in time. Recently, as we were going through family photos (yeah, these shots are also a part of the permanent collection), my dad commented, “You don’t look like you were having much fun.” Sigh. Nope, I was being a disrespectful daughter–and though he didn’t seem to notice at the time (he was probably too busy focusing on adjusting his F-stops just right in order to capture the amount of movement he wanted), my behavior was captured on film as a permanent reminder of my acting up.

“You can’t expect your daughter to be perfect,” my mom once advised me. “After all, you’re not perfect yourself.” She’s right. And so, as frustrating as it is when she acts up during a photo shoot, I’ll try to remember what it feels like to have your picture taken so much that you forget to be on your best behavior when the camera is pulled out.

And though we probably won’t print this photo out for posterity (the digital file will probably even be deleted), we now have this blog. And if she ever becomes a photographer or a photographer’s wife (or even just an over-eager parent with a smart phone) and complains about her kids acting up in front of the camera, I’ll pull up this blog. And, like my mother told me, I’ll remind her, “You can’t expect your kids to be perfect–after all you’re not.”

Oh, and just so you know she can pose nicely for a picture. Here are a couple of the individual portraits we took of her at sports camp. Much better, don’t you think?

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