Friday, May 26, 2006
The Baby and the Bath Water
When I look at this picture, it conjurs up 683 words (not 1000). This cover-try, as they call it in the business, (it's called a cover-try because several models are photographed, and the editor decides which model gets the cover), was the first that I experienced. I was a little dismayed that they chose ME to kneel on a hard tile floor in a bathroom for 3 hours, because I was just at the beginning of my pregnancy and this was sort of physically demanding for my delicate state.
You may ask why I am even IN the shot (it's not because I have beautiful hands). I have found that publishers of all baby magazines are very conscious of "safety". So, even though this bath tub had no water in it, and the baby certainly wasn't alone in the room, the photo needed to have "mom" present so that they were not "caught" promoting babies bathing solo. Okay, fine, whatever, do I still get to count it as a cover for ME?
I think for this cover try, they had booked close to 25 babies. I was the caucasion mom to the caucasion babies. I think there were at least 10 of these. My day was so interesting as I saw the variety of personalities and subsequent reactions from babies as they were thrown into this crazy situation. The mothers were even more intense. The coolest, calmest, most collected mom was in the business and knew what it all entailed...her baby did fine (didn't get the cover though...boo).
There was a mom of twins that wanted the cover SO bad. She was not good at covering that up. She wanted her twin boys to perform so badly. She kept making excuses for them, and neither of them wanted anything to do with that tub. When the babies weren't cooperating, I kept hearing this from the mom's, over and over again: "I don't know why he's crying, he loves his bath at home?"
And in my head (and I am sure everyone's heads in the room), comes the following: Gee, uh...maybe because when he takes a bath at home the tub is filled with nice warm water and his toys and he isn't wearing a diaper and covered with cold bubbles being held by a woman who he has never met and having another strange woman squeak a frog in his face while another woman holds a giant black box at him that flashes at unexpected moments. Maybe he is not used to a giant lightening storm as "reward" for his good smiles? Maybe he is scared of the guy that keeps coming up behind him and adjusting the towel that is right next to him...Maybe he enjoys privacy in the bathroom. No, I can 't see why he wouldn't like THIS bath at all. In fact, we may have scarred his bathing experience for the rest of his life. Sorry.
Then there was the baby who came in with such a cute little face and round body. The mom took off the baby's shirt and I immediately asked if she had chicken pox. The mom said, "no", but did not go on to explain. Then the flashes from the lights started and the baby immediately started scratching herself all over her torso, right where the "pox" were. She would not stop, and of course it escalated with each flash. The photographer immediately dismissed her. Whoa. Can you say anxiety? We didn't want to cause her any more than she was already getting from dear old (crazy) mom.
So, 3 out of 10 babies with crazy moms is not such a bad ratio, I mean hey, I can be crazy sometimes too. The baby that got the cover was totally cool with the whole experience. The photographer took roll after roll on her and pretty much knew she would be the big winner. She had a great personality that was easily adaptable, and that more than anything is what makes a baby model a success, because all babies are beautiful and SHOULD be cover babies.