I hate kids. Oh c’mon! I know you have thought of it at some point of time. It has crossed your corrupt minds to kill one of these little things that suck away the life out of you. Oh yes, they are cute alright, you would like to toss them around like a soft toy, but apparently it is isn’t as amusing to them. So what amuses these ominous, notorious, irksome, pesky creatures who are, if am to banally add, God’s apparent gift to us? I am going to pretend to care and thus analyse how they affect our lives.
I gather that, taxonomically, they come in two contrastive types. The notorious, mischievous, vexatious types can murder the shy, diffident types on any field day. But it just requires for your timid, delicate darling to make a cute face to sweet poison her notorious sibling. The girls around the world stood up one fine day and went rallying around in soft undertones that they would henceforth borrow ideas from the kids. They would too, make baby-faces and the likes, pucker, pout and crawl to get the best out of the race of men. They said they will have dolls tucked under their pillows, color their walls pink, caparison their poodles, intentionally let a drip of melting icecream trickle down their lips and adorn their pretentious barbie-dolls with plaited hair. You would have guessed that they would declare war against the kids with whom they compete for attention and space. But the pugnacious race of women did just the opposite. They embraced the kid-kingdom with all magnanimity, declaring peace.
Ironically, you, my dear reader, know all of this already and yet fall prey to their innocence. Every other advertisement, save for the animated , has a cute kid sauntering around when his/her/it’s size zero mommy telling you to buy the ever so delightful product. They know that you get easily mollycoddled and hence have imprinted the idea that ‘kids are godlike’ in your minds. So just like with any other idea that has been sold to you in this consumer-driven world, you have accepted it with revered servility, never questioning the true essence of it all. Consequently the idea spawns to such meaningless and wayward proportions that it vanquishes the original idea, vaporizing it with all glory.
You have hyper sensitive moms running around with their kids to dance, music, karate, yoga, drawing, chess and whatnot classes; grabbing away, in the well-worn slow motion style of Hindi cinema, the life out of these kids. For every gaffe, these days, that your little one commits, you extol the virtues of his mis-behaviour, you glorify it with photos which are paeans to his inglorious achievements. I might come off as being desultory, but you fail to notice the chalked circle linking the the two aforementioned facets, ‘kids being condemnably cute’ and ‘you being paranoid about your kid’ . It all has the same behavioral etymology risen to a form of bullshit , that George Carlin calls Child Worship.
Shutting the cynic in me, I must admit Kids are by far the best of subjects for photography. They never fail to make funny, innocent faces. They are playful and naughty and can make your day count. They encompass possibly every positive and negative expression there can be. It is just too cute when they cry, laugh, giggle, pick their noses, shout, scream or be angry, just to name a few. If you caught a kid dancing, as a photographer, you would leave your 10 EUR Coffee to go cold, to capture a priceless moment. Infact photographing kids is so adorably popular a hobby that people have dedicated techniques and equipment for the same.
I have myself come across many such instances on my extended trip to Finland and Estonia. I have so many photographs of kids doing a variety of things that I was myself astonished by the sheer influence they had on my photography. They offer you a lot to learn, photographically and otherwise, and ofcourse just their smile can make your day. So I recant all my cynicism and offer you my humble apologies. I might go as far as arranging a carnival for your kids for my heinous comments before. Ah, but then that would be akin to manipulating the consumer in you all over again. But I hear you do not mind!
Well I am just being a just sales agent here. I’d like our consumers to be informed. My fellow photographers have capitalized on this child-worship evolution. A cursory glance on any random portfolio of a budding photographer, would reveal that he has a montage of kid-photographs. Had I been a marketing student I would have predicted that in no time the bullish trend would be snapped cut by a cute bear.
At this opportune moment I give you in hand, my collection.