Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Don't Say Cheese!

So over the last few years working at Happy Time Portraits I have seen some crazy shit that people have paid to have pictures taken of/with/in.  Some of these were requests and some of these are pictures that I took and some of them are pictures that should not have been taken, but were anyway.  Keep in mind that Happy Time Portraits is a family company.  If I could show you guys these shots I totally would, but of course that would break all kinds of rules and laws and stuff, and especially after that Applebee's waitress scandal I'd rather be safe than, uh, fired.  Maybe someday I will have someone draw them out for fun, but until then you'll just have to take my word for it!  I swear these all really happened!  Anyway, here we go!

I felt really awkward taking these pictures because...

- The mom dressed her ten-year-old pageant girl up in a Cowboys cheerleader outfit that looked like this without the long sleeves:

and wanted these really creepy suggestive poses that I didn't feel comfortable doing.  When the mom is telling her kid to "suck it in, push 'em out and make the booty pop" it doesn't make for a good session.  Trying to make the kid still look like a kid was a challenge.

-The teenage boy was trying to pick me up while I was taking his senior pictures... You know, once his mom left the room!

-The pictures were for an Indian matchmaking site (which is fine, I have done a lot of those) and after the session was done the dad wanted to know how much it would cost him to marry me!  Ack!

-Halfway through the session of family pictures me and one of the guys in the group both realized that we knew each other from junior high.  I used to have a huge crush on him and I turned bright red and had to excuse myself right in the middle of everything to compose myself. 

-I had to go answer the phone in the middle of the session, which was maternity pictures (for this lady who was old enough to be a grandma and was having her last "miracle baby"), and I came back in the room and she had stripped down to her skivvies (no bra either!) and grabbed a blanket off the wall which she wrapped around her giant grandma ta-tas and shoulders like it was a cape.  I had to go laugh it off in the other room and politely tell her that she had to put her clothes back on.

- The mom came in with two little twin girls for birthday pictures and they brought a giant painting with them.  I asked what the painting was for and the mom tells me that their dad had passed away last year and they wanted to take "birthday pictures with their dad".  I was trying to take poses that were respectful of the situation, but the mom wanted these crazy shots; so, we ended up with pictures of the girls standing with their hands on their hips wearing tutus, denim shorts and t-shirts decorated with puff paint on either side of this painting that looked like a pop art print of Biggie Smalls and they are super smiley and it was just wrong.

- The couple wanted to take pictures of their kids to commemorate 9/11.  Really.

We didn't end up taking pictures for this customer because...

- She wanted naked pictures of their five-year-old.

- She wanted me to take pictures for a cat wedding.  "Sorry, ma'am.  We don't do pets!"

- He wanted erotic nude pictures for a dating site.  Oh, yeah.

- He wanted to take his shirt and pants off and climb into our giant bathtub.

- The sixteen-year-old wanted to take maternity pictures in her bra and panties.  Seriously??

- These guys wanted to take gangsta pictures and they wanted to get drunk in the session to show off how incredibly hardcore they were haha.

- The lady wanted me to come to her house and take erotic pictures of her and her husband and "if you like you could join us afterwards."  That one left me speechless!


I couldn't believe that I graded photography for a studio and found that they took pics of...

- A baby wearing tiny green scrubs crawling next to a human spine.  It turned out the dad was a chiropractor.

- A lady wearing a skimpy teddy holding up a birthday cake suggestively licking frosting off various parts of her body.

- Sexy Santa pictures.  Seriously.  Men, women, fat, skinny, crackheads.  All kinds!  Every year I find them somewhere!  And every year they get less and less tasteful.  Especially the things that people have done with candy canes!  Sakes alive!

- A little boy holding an urn in every shot.  "They said on the phone that he wanted to have pictures taken with his grandpa..."

- What I like to refer to as the "Creepy Uncle Jim has Popsicles in the basement" pictures. Try to picture this and then try to not picture it afterwards so you don't feel like a pedophile.  This kid who is like four or five is sitting in a beat-up rocking chair, only wearing his Underoos, crossing his legs to hide his shame and holding a teddy bear while sucking his thumb.  And the expression on his face is just utter embarrassment.  So damn creepy!  "The mom wanted it like that..."

- A couple dry humping each other in damn near every shot.

- Babies eating cake for the first time and not knowing when to stop.  There is a fine line between eating cake and eating shit.  The ones that I saw were worse than my example. Don't make your baby look like he's eating something he found in the litter box!  Like so:

- A lady who is breastfeeding a four-year old.  Now, I am not against breastfeeding in public and I know that in some parts of the world it's totally common for women to breastfeed their kids up until about five or six; however, at work we aren't allowed to take pictures of any woman breastfeeding because of our nudity policies.  These pictures were just hilarious though because the photographer basically just let the lady completely take off her shirt and bra and she is sitting there cross-legged on the floor while this hella evil looking kid is grabbing onto one of her chi-chi's with both hands and is just staring into the camera like "I dare you to take this boob!" 

Do you have any fun retail photography stories to share?  Hit me up in a comment or on!