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Feedback: Mom Versus the Photographer

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It's one thing to straighten an out-of-place hair, another to manhandle your kid's entire do.

straight hair post photographer

Why does the general rule that adults are not supposed to touch other people's children somehow not apply to school photographers? Our readers speak out:

I don't blame the author for being upset. For one thing -- touching my child in such a personal way!? Point 2: um, how many heads of hair did that hairbrush touch? Hello, children can spread lice by hugging; I cringe at the thought of a "community" hairbrush. My younger daughter, now 9, was born with a head full of crazy-curly hair. As an older baby, toddler, preschooler, she had a mix of tight ringlet curls and wacky curls that would stick up in odd directions as though she had just finished a flight around the world like Super-girl. I would carefully brush it down before photos, but BOINK, her curls had a life of their own. Her hair is down to her waist now, so she mostly has slight waves with a few tiny curls around her face. She loves for me to put her hair in the "flex" rollers at bedtime. Bottom line for me, I suppose, is Hey! Keep your hands off my child's head unless I ask for your help. -- tennmom

I can VERY MUCH relate to this! My 6-year-old son has the most AWESOME blonde curls ... however he has grown to HATE his hair, due to all the little old ladies in the grocery stores that INSIST on touching them, and then TELLING him that he has hair that ANY LITTLE GIRL would love to have! WHY do people think it's OK to do that??? -- muddin mom of 2

I agree that strangers should not be touching kids. My son is a redhead with amazing bright hair ... people are constantly "petting" him. I will be standing in a supermarket line and people will comment and then start stroking his hair. I didn't like it, but kinda got it when he was a baby -- but he is now almost four. This is not okay. I do not touch other people's hair, and strangers should not touch my son's. Once in Las Vegas, a lady actually asked me if she could rub his head for luck since she was going to the casino later that night. It seems most popular with 50-year-old women, although I have had it happen from men and women, young and old. Are people still going to be touching my baby when he is 16? If they are not touching him, they are asking me if I dye it. -- Kat

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. They needed to brush her entire head because "some" hair was covering her eye. NO WAY should they have physically altered her hair, dress, shoelace, or fingers for a photo. A simple "Honey, could you brush the hair off your face" is quite sufficient. At what point should her teacher have stepped in and protected her students from this stranger also? Good for you for speaking up, hopefully it was nice and loud. -- Melinda

I really wish they would have brushed and washed my child's face before her picture. Instead they didn't, so my child looks like a hot mess because they only did the pictures after recess. Great. -- Pamala

OK, before you get all nuts, I think I need to state a photographer's opinion. Let me state that brushing the girl's hair was not right, however, for all of you that are going crazy about the photographer touching the child, that's just ridiculous. Photographers often have to help pose children (and adults!), and if needed, will smooth a stray hair, fix a tie, or help pull a wrinkle out of a shirt. If we didn't, people wouldn't buy the pictures, or we'd have to spend hours in Photoshop fixing the images (watching our money fly out the window). This does not mean the photographer is trying to touch the child inappropriately or anything like that -- just trying to get good pictures for you! -- Photographer assistant

This story reminds me of my 3rd grade school picture. I always had very thick, wavy hair and my mom would put in those awful pink hard rollers in my hair to make it really curly. She did this the night before my school picture, and as always, I hated the way it looked. I stole my mom's cold cream and some bobby pins and took them to school with me. Right before I got my picture taken, I went into the bathroom and applied a very thick layer of cold cream on my hair and then put the bobby pins in to completely flatten it, and that's how my 3rd grade picture turned out. My mom freaked when she saw the pictures, and all I could tell her was that the photographer did it! Now at 42, I have told her the truth years ago, and every time we come across that picture again, we just laugh about it. You should relax a little, it's only a picture. -- been there

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Katie December 16, 2009, 12:30 PM

Ok! From a teacher’s standpoint who has done this drill once a year for many years - Chill Out! I understand parents getting angry about their children’s looks being altered, but upset that your child was touched in getting ready for a photo is ridiculous. Do you have any idea how many parents send their kids to school with bedhead and rumply clothes because they forgot photo day?!? Teachers and photographers tend to have to fix kids hair a little and most parents appreciate it. Especially if picture time is after recess or on a rainy day. BTW, there are hundreds of combs available and we throw away everyone after it has been used ONCE.

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