Damn you Olan Mills

I hate getting my picture taken professionally. Any time this issue comes up, I instantly turn into a 5 year old, having a screaming ninny fit. The brakes go on, and I am just not having it. Why you ask?

My mom worked for Olan Mills when I was little. She worked there for years, in multiple states, which meant I got my picture taken damn near for free, and pretty much constantly. I lived in the studio (ok, it probably wasn’t THAT bad), but after thousands of pictures and what I am pretty sure is years worth of time spent in the studio, and even working there for a stint, I won’t set foot in any photo studio.

Let me give you some reference of what I had to go through and why I can’t stand getting my picture taken:

At first, it’s cool. You’re a baby, and clearly clueless. See that? I have no idea that the next 17 years will be filled with this and similar backgrounds. I’m giddy. Possibly medicated, who knows what’s going on here!

And then I get to about 1.5-2 years. Props are needed. I am also assuming my Mom or Dad is somewhere in my line of site jumping. I may just be excited to be around a goose….
At this point, I am starting to catch on…See that face? That’s not trust in those eyes. That’s hesitation. That’s a desire to get away!

 By this age I have mastered the art of the forced grin. I had not, however, figured out how to hide my bucked teeth and bad hair and clothing choice.

Yeah, this is me shortly after the above pic, with a costume change and having my hair brushed out. Know why I am smiling??  It’s almost done, and I bet ice cream was mentioned. 

 After a few years, my mom started letting me do my own hair and pick out my own clothes. I don’t know that I did any better, but that smug closed smile says that I won the battle by choosing my Bon Jovi necklace, Native earrings and half can of aquanet hairspray.

Sadly, I didn’t win the war. Later that year PROPS were brought in and photo techniques.  Clearly, that didnt work and I am pretty sure I am giving the finger here, too. 

It was cool though, as this was our holiday picture. This was after HOURS of photos being taken. See that glazed look? Almost as awesome as those Bart Simpson boxers I was rocking. Yep. I so lost this war.

But I was not to be out fought. I brought back-up, namely our portly teacup poodle Odie. I made faces like this in almost every picture I could. I also did my own hair and make up. This was 7th or 8th grade and close to the end of weekly picture events.

So, why the ode to Olan Mills torture?  All my years of fighting to avoid a studio have caught up to me, and have come to a screaming halt.  My mom wants me to get “maternity pictures” done. If possible, multiple photos, from multiple studios, so I can later revel in my belly days, where I can look back and go “awww, look how I look like a Weeble Wobble!”


She isn’t letting up, and isn’t throwing in any bartering chips. In fact, she’s threatening my unborn with picture packages for the first year of her life. She says, if I just get my picture taken while pregnant, then I only have to bring Izzy in once a month to one location to have her picture taken. So I am stuck in a quandry…throw my kid under a bus, or buck up and just get the pics taken. Hard choices, people, hard choices.

Left to my own devices, I would escape to a small foreign country with suitable healthcare. But since I am being forced to do this, I did threaten a pic like these:

Her response? “I don’t care, as long as you go. You’ll thank me later.”

I don’t think I will, but I will have a good reminder of why I won’t drag Izzy through this crap.

So here’s to you, on this election night. I hope you got a laugh and some relief from the tension, but also a damn good reminder of how bitter you can make your kids by taking thousands of strange pics of them!



Leave a Reply