The dangers of candid photos

Filed under: Places To Go, Toys, That's Entertainment

So there you are, Aunt Reta's in from out of town, and you're trying to get a photo of the whole family. Snap! Everyone was looking at the camera, no one's eyes were closed, everyone smiled -- except for little Bobby. There he is, dead center in front, sticking his tongue out. Or with his eyes crossed. Or a crooked grin.

So you try again, only this time, it's sweet Sue sitting next to him that is pulling her ears. Then it's baby Alice sucking her thumb. In the next shot, Cousin Rob is doing bunny ears behind Aunt Selma. You tell everyone to please be serious, this is for Aunt Reta and she's 98 years old, for crying out loud. So Uncle Phil makes his trademarked silly face and everyone cracks up, especially Aunt Reta. At this point, you realize there's no way you're going to get anything approaching a serious family portrait.

Isn't that always the way it is? Well, if you think you've got it bad, consider the plight of a council in England -- in trying to extol the beauty of "Thornham Walks", twelve miles of trails through the English countryside, the councillors decided to produce a pamphlet featuring real children in a real situation. "They wanted a real picture," explained a Mid Suffolk District Council spokesman, "not a typical staged one. It's a real picture and shows children in their Easter outfits."

Of course, as we all know, kids will be kids and the photo they used featured a young girl, dead center, picking her nose. Oops! Not surprisingly, the pamphlet won't be used. I suspect next time they won't, um, snub their noses, if you will, at a staged photo.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.