Monday, October 24, 2011

Posing For Family Photos


I’m no great fan of ‘the Family Photo’.

This is not to say that my hard drive isn’t bursting with pixel after pixel of Son of Whirl gurning for England or Girly of Whirly lolloping from exotic location to exotic location in a selection of dazzling bikinis — if truth be told, I’ve snapped such a colossal volume of fam-friendly bobbins with my camera over the years I could bore most immortals with the resultant slide shows.

No, the sort of family photos I refrain from applauding are those taken by professional photographers.  As I walk Geoff’s ghost round my neighbourhood, shadowy lounge windows trumpet glimmers of these obscenities from mantlepiece, dresser and display, and it’s all I can do to draw my cowl over my eyes for fear of being haunted in my sleep by some vile image of Mum and the Kids and Grandad and Barney the Dog and the urn containing Jerry the Terrapin’s remains.  Grinning faces, staring out through the whipped cheese of their own vapidity against a backdrop of faux reality and lovely jumpers.  Arghhh!  If my skin weren’t so tightly bound to my body, these kinds of images would almost certainly creep it the heck off my bones.

So imagine my delight this Saturday when Mother of Girly of Whirly turned one thousand and dragged our entire extended family to a professional studio for a professional shoot with a professional photographer whose name out-pretenced the most fluffily exotic of Nigella Lawson kinky dinky fairy cake recipes.

To be fair, it all kicked off sensibly enough: thirteen people, all more or less related to one another, arranged like a smartly dressed football team, smiling their sibling rivalries into oblivion.

Then came the wriggling and writhing around on the floor.

Gone are the days of sitting on chairs, it seems, or even leaning nonchalantly against the wall with the pensive glee of underwear models.  These days, you get to lie prone on the floor as grandkid after grandkid piles onto your back in a human pyramid of visually appealing suffering.  We had Mother of Girly of Whirly snapped in mid-air as strapping sons gave her a leg and a wing beside a huge potted plant; babies hung from Tarzan-style vines over heaps of mothers dressed as Roman goddesses playing their offspring, pendulum-style, with bare feet; and finally, a kind of trapeze act involving too many somersaults and a mural of the Niagara Falls.  Apparently, this new approach to family photography is good for “capturing people’s personalities”, but until we see the final images of fear, incredulity and shame, I don’t suppose we’ll know how accurately represented we were as a miserable bunch of buggers.

Whatever the outcome, it was a lot of hard work for an inch square hologram branded onto bleached dolphin fin flesh bound in a frame of purest wicker, which is what Mother of Girly of Whirly has chosen to hang over the downstairs loo.  Sure, the fridge magnets were £500 cheaper, but seeing as it was such a special day for her it would have been foolish not to go the distance.

Hopefully, that’s me done now on the whole family photo thing until Son of Whirl is twenty-one and hitched to a girl with a face like a horse...


7 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Hope you had space for Sock Monkey.

:-) Take care
x

Whirlochre said...

Oh he was there all right...

stacy said...

Now I'm imagining how Sock Monkey might have posed.

Whirlochre said...

He'd have been great in front of the Victorian photographers — quite brilliant at remaining still for long periods of time...

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please will you post one when you get them back? Purty please? With sugars on top?

fairyhedgehog said...

arranged like a smartly dressed football team

Oh yes.

Now we need pictures.

Whirlochre said...

Mother
I've added your request to my To Do list — just below "drink some paint stripper" and "pick a fight with the New Zealand rugby squad"...

Photo Hog
...and "arrange wih local biotech lab to have pig's head grafted onto neck"...