I’m a glamour pet photographer. Snicker amongst yourselves if you want, but it’s far more appealing to take photos of your animals than it is to take photos of your ugly children.
Reared in the midst of the family portrait craze that was taking over America in the 1980s, I can unequivocally state that it was the worst of times. Each weekend, a mass of humanity would descend upon the mall retail photo studio where I was employed, seeking someone to photograph their familial happiness. In most cases, these outfit-matching weirdos were simply masking familial unhappiness, and they ended up divorced by the 90s.
Photographing pets is a far more rewarding endeavor. Let’s face it: kids and babies are jerks. They never smile when you want them to, and no matter what I did, I could never get them to appear happy. They would blankly stare at me like they didn’t know what happy meant. And the parents didn’t help. They just stood there, like morons. It was frustrating and led to copious amounts of boozing and womanizing on my part. It was as if I was stuck inside of a Steely Dan song.
Dogs are more photogenic than cats, though it is my suspicion that cats enjoy getting their photo taken, even if they act like they don’t. Dogs are stupid, but the difference between them and kids is that all you have to do to get dogs to comply is to use a high-pitched voice and say, “Good boy.” Kids find that condescending.
Granted, I still have to deal with people, and the worst kind of people are the ones who want glamour photographs of their pets. In fact, I just spent three hours this morning trying to convince a guy that his beta fighting fish wasn’t capable of smiling and that it wasn’t based on my lack of trying, either. It’s been scientifically proven that fish can’t smile. Frustrated, he stormed out of the photo studio, vowing to give me a poor review on Yelp. I’m not concerned. The moment he mentions that he was trying to get a glamour photo of his fish, his credibility will take a hit.
Mostly, though, my days are calm, and the pets are kind and willing to go with the flow. Honestly, what’s the alternative for them? Comply and live in a home with adoring people who supply you with love and food? Or don’t comply and spend the rest of your days in a pound, or worse?
Truth is, I don’t even like animals that much, but I like kids even less. In a world of settling for anything other than the absolute worst, I’m content to live out the rest of my days photographing your stupid animals.