You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

It’s been quite a while since I ruffled anyone’s feathers, at least on the blog, so let’s shake things up a little bit. Today I’m going to discuss baby photography.

What’s that you say? Baby photography isn’t a controversial subject? Nobody could possibly find fault with the immortalization of these adorable little bundles of joy? Well, it’s not baby photography per se, but a particular practice that drives me into a froth-mouthed rage.

What I’m talking about is the “naked newborn” pics. I can mentally hear you saying, “Aaaaawwww, they’re so adorable!” But I’m here to tell you, they are an evil that must be abolished! Reason 1: All human beings, no matter how young, have a right to basic dignity. A newborn has no defense against such ignominious treatment, which is why parents need to do what the child can’t.

Reason 2: Newborns are used to being in an environment that is at body temperature. It takes a while to get used to room temperature when you’ve been living in a sauna for nine months. Removing all their clothes makes them shiver. I don’t know about you, but seeing a newborn shivering cold does not make me feel good.

Reason 3: Predatory photographers at the hospital. These are the folks who swoop in, taking advantage of the beaming new parents to make a quick buck. And what do they invariably want to do? Remove the baby’s clothes to get the “naked newborn” photos. They don’t care that the child is cold; they just want to make money off of the miracle of life. And they’re harder to get rid of than bedbugs, and less polite. At least bedbugs wait until you’re asleep to bite you.

I’m sure most of you who are parents have had these photos taken, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you never thought of things from the baby’s point of view. One counterargument might be that the baby won’t remember it. Does that mean it’s okay to steal money from an Alzheimer’s patient?

Let’s stop treating living beings like art projects.

Let the objections begin. Seriously, people. I might have been bad about blogging lately, but you have been abysmal about commenting. Everyone who reads this needs to post an opinion of some sort, even if it’s just about your favorite color of M&M.


Angie said…
Babies are creepy. I would know, I had a few. Good thing they get bigger. Probably not the comment you were expecting but it involves babies and it is a comment.
Lizzy said…

Okay, really. Never had any naked pics, never thought of it, wouldn't have done it.
Now I do have naked pics of my youngest, and I am super happy for them. But they are the just born, getting cleaned up and weighed pictures. Why so happy for them? Because I had an emergency c-section which means I was knocked out and John not allowed in. So those pictures are the best we have for neither of us being present/awake at her birth.
The artsy pictures, however, I don't care for.
joel said…
Thanks for pointing that out, Lizzie. I forgot to mention that the just-born pics are fine, since the baby is just getting cleaned up anyway.

Angie, I'm just happy you stopped by.
Jer said…
Ok, my feathers are ruffled. I must object to the implication that my commenting has been abysmal. My commenting is directly related to the quality of the post, and let's face it: Baby pictures? Rain? Involuntary pinky extension? Weak sauce. If you want quality comments, give me something more than this drivel.

As to your complaints about baby photographs, the shivering? Come on. That's just the playing to your weak side. Babies are tough. You can throw one down the stairs and it will be fine. Sam seemed to have no ill-effects from when I smacked him with that snow shovel, and Allison was fine when I accidentally left her in the fridge for half an hour when I set her there while making a sandwich.

Dignity? Babies spend all of their time taking dignity from adults. They keep us up at night, they force us to deal with random strangers who want to play with them because they're 'so cute' (which they're not), and they make us clean up their excrement, the lazy jerks. They owe us some dignity.

Predatory photographers? If people didn't pay them, they'd go away. This is the fault of parents. Personally, I blame the babies. If they didn't trick adults into getting past their basic creepiness, nobody would want these photos, and the photographers will go away.

By the way, Green M&M's are NOT an aphrodisiac, according to the girl I'm stalking.
Ann said…
I agree about the naked pics. Other than the "just born." :)
Jen said…
I agree with Jer about this post: weak sauce-- in the "controversial" arena. This is not controversial, Joel. I guess you acknowledged that in the beginning, but c'mon! Give us something good.
.Make sure that you have EVERYTHING you need VERY well organized and easily accessible. Im not by ANY means saying that this is right for everyone but this is my particular style and I do this for many reasons.. .My friend and fellow photographer mentor Nicole Hill of Nicole Photo and A Little Sussy recently informed me that a little stocking cap beanie can be a solve all for the .
amy said…
My favorite M&M is the blue one. But seriously, though I totally see your point, there is nothing so adorable as baby buns. So it's a tough call. I definitely don't want my child shivering, but if it is in a very warm studio and only for a brief moment then I think it's ok. Creepy babies? Seriously guys, you've been spending too much time at the wrong end of the gene pool. My son is anything but creepy. I'll kick you in the crotch if you say otherwise.
joel said…
Similarly, we won't put our little girl in sleeveless dresses at any age. At what point do you draw the line and say, "Okay, NOW you need to start living our standards 100%"?

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