The Boys Search For Their Blue Steel


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June 27, 2016

Like a lot of parents I think my children are the cutest things that exist on Earth.  And like a lot of parents, when I see the results of their photos taken from a professional portrait taker, I think to myself, “What the fuck”?  It’s not just that the camera doesn’t love Charles and Arthur.  The camera seems to have a serious grudge against them.  I don’t know what my children did to piss off the camera but if I’m honest, they’re a big part of the problem too.  They’re not bringing their A game to the shoot.


When my wife and I went to the portrait place I saw the above photo and got excited.  But I didn’t get a photo like this.  I got photos like this.


I won’t even place the pictures side by side for comparison.  It hurts too much.  Of course they might not have understood what the photographer was going for when she placed them in a piece of luggage from the 1920s. I’ll admit that the theme confused me as well.  I’ve traveled with them and I know I’d never get away with this method as convenient as it might seem.  What my sincere hope is, is that the boys are looking for their signature look and just haven’t found it yet.  They’re hoping to stand out in a way that surpasses the cute baby pictured in the Sears photo frame.  If that’s the case I’m going to help them define some of the looks they were trying out at this shoot.


This was one of the first looks that Charles busted out and I call it “The Browntown.”  It’s the classic look that says he’s just taken a dump and creates a tense yet relieved vibe.  Very few of the top models in the world are brave enough to try “The Browntown” and I can see why.  It’s a vulnerable look.


Arthur is showcasing a look called “Sandman.”  It’s a sultry blase look that says, “I want a nap.”  Charles is hitting us hard with a look he calls “Jade.”  “Jade” is a look that is meant to convey the jaded feeling a child gets even though he’s just one year of age.  He’s seen a lot of living in twelve months and seen a lot of things that can’t be unseen…like episodes of Harry The Bunny that go nowhere.


Arthur spent most of the shoot using his “Hard To Get” look.  It’s a method he employs to avoid looking at the camera at all costs.  He’s clearly got some American Indian influence and feels that looking directly into a camera to have his pictures taken will steal his soul. Charles on the other hand is giving us the “There’s No Santa”?  This technique is suppose to convey the beginnings of lost youth.  This look combined with “Jade” convince me he’s really ahead of his time.  Maybe too far ahead of his time.

It was time for a wardrobe change.  With a new set of duds we got…pretty much the same results.


At this point Arthur had taken a newer approach.  He wasn’t avoiding the camera.  He was taking it head on.  Not with a smile but with his threatening “I’ll Cut A Bitch” look in full effect.  This is the look he gives me in the morning when I change the shirt I’m wearing because he’s looking at me like I can’t carry it off.


Charles rocks his “Superhero” pose while Arthur meets it with complete disinterest. It’s a look that I like to call “Navy Man.”  Arthur patterns this look after watching Daddy utter, “You never tell a Navy Man when he’s had too much to drink,” while he walks around drinking tequila out of a Denny’s Mug.  Daddy’s never been in the Navy.


This was their last pose of the day and I call it “The Outback.”  This look begs the question, “Is there an Outback Steakhouse in this mall”?  Because at this point what you really wants is a large pitcher of Margaritas and a baked potato the size of a baby’s head.

What was the takeaway from this experience?  We know that we won’t have to sink a lot of money into modeling school and expensive head shots.  The next time we need to have a portrait of the boys we’ll go down to the pier and find a guy who does silly drawings.  At least we can say they look this way on purpose.



Least Favorite Child Results

June 18 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Arthur has developed a habit of finding a remote corner of the house and butting his head against the wall until it hurts enough for him to cry.  I remember when my wife and I thought our kids would be geniuses.

June 19 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Because of Charles I have a nightly ritual of placing anything I don’t want him to grab high enough so that he can get to it first thing in the morning.  I don’t like to add rituals before I go to bed.  I just like to go to bed.

June 20 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I caught him making out with the dog.  I don’t even know what to make of that but it’s going to cost me some sleep.

June 21 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  At one point he was using his hands to put food in his mouth and realized that if he stopped, we’d do it for him.  He has laziness down to a science.  He burns about ten calories a day.

June 22 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  In fact he’s so lazy that he’ll cry in the middle of the night because the pacifier is just out of arm’s reach.  He needs someone to come in and put it in his mouth.  Maybe he only burns five calories a day.

June 23 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I appreciate that he’ll sleep so deeply that taking a big dump won’t wake him up.  But waking up to this carnage is unsettling.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Charles – 15

Arthur – 16

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 320


11 thoughts on “The Boys Search For Their Blue Steel”

  1. I really like how you’ve expressed in detail the various parts of the shoot, parenting thoughts and the futile desire for the ‘perfect’ photograph! Shared this with my friends who are new parents and will probably go through the same journey in a couple of months!

    But I must add, your babies are really cute! Liked the pic with them sitting in the trunk!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha we had professional shots done last year and it felt like the most torturous hour of my life! My disabled son took it upon himself to spend the whole time winding his sister up and I wondered if this poor photographer had finally met his match. Well done for surviving!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Boys only get better at being photographed. Like around age 27.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hilarious!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you, my day was spent shit on, puked on, perpetually napped on; and I’ve been awake since four in the morning. BUT, I didn’t take my kids for a photo shoot…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Todd Duffey Writes on Things said:

    I had my mother read your blog, to see what her take on your perspective would be. You scared my mom, Stephen. And yet you keep me in Browntownin’ laughter at all times! Much thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. they are adorable, and very, very entertaining

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Quite genius…I only managed one child to completely send me into meltdown and there is no photographic evidence because she never kept still long enough or smiled…or let me brush her hair or let me put her in a dress…oh the ideals I had during pregnancy…now she is a teenager each selfie is taken with absolute precision for the best angle and pout and takes hours, only for the school to put a picture of her studying on their website showing a (in my opinion) non existent double chin….oh the drama, all her good work ruined in seconds….I hope you are still documenting Arthur and Charles in their teenage years….I look forward to it…. 🙂


  9. Oh. My. GOODNESS!!! I have THE perfect shot of my two oldest kids from this same experience😂😂😂 I tried to post it for you, with no luck. I had to call in for back up that day😂😂😂. Your blog is my absolute favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aww how cute

    Liked by 1 person

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