When you’re pregnant with the first baby, it’s natural to get really excited. With the clothes, baby equipment, toys, etc. The newborn phase — a milestone to remember. That’s why I booked a slot for a baby photo shoot, a month before my due date. I will then have to ring the company up after giving birth, to fix a date.
Then I gave birth.
My baby was approaching 3 weeks old when I got a call from the photography company. Let’s call them The P.
“Laaaaaa, dah 3 minggu? Dah besar dah tu! Kenapa tak call lagi awal?” the representative said on the phone.
It was rather infuriating, the way she highlighted my ‘procrastination’. I had purposely waited a little longer, because I did not want to expose my baby too early.
Anyway, newborn by medical definition is 28 days. I hadn’t even gone past that mark, if she (the rep) wanted to dispute the fact that my baby ‘dah besar’ and wasn’t a newborn anymore.
We firmed up a date for a photography session at my house and a group of young girls from The P arrived. With that galling phone call, things did not get better.
Outside, on the FLOOR?
As soon as they arrived, they started setting up the photography area.
Which they said had to be outside. On the floor of the front porch. Why? For the best, natural lighting.
Excuse me, my baby is really, really tiny. And new to this world.
“Kita ambil gambar kat dalam rumah, saya tak nak kat luar,” I insisted.
“Tak boleh. Kat dalam gelap, tak cantik nanti,” one of the girls explained.
“Takpe, boleh edit. Saya nak buat kat dalam. Baby kecil lagi la,” I insisted once again.
The girls were pretty adamant in having the photo shoot outside. Even though blankets were spread out, they weren’t mattresses. It was outside and it was in the afternoon, the warmest part of the day.
Mind you girls, my baby is hardly one month old!
You did what?!
We were getting ready to commence for the photo shoot when the photographer asked me to remove a small piece of booger hanging at my baby’s nostril.
“Kejap,” I said, dashing off to get a cotton bud.
When I got back, to my dismay, the photographer said she took the booger out.
“Macam mana keluarkan tadi? Tahi hidung keluar dengan sendiri ke?” I asked
“Tak, guna jari,” she replied.
She used her finger to extract the booger from my newborn’s nostril.
I was angry and super irritated.
Who gave you permission to do that?
Do you know how dirty your fingers are?
She’s a newborn, you’re not supposed to do that!
You knew I had gone to get a cotton bud!
I however, brushed it off and did not give her a piece of my mind. I thought everything was OK, I’m going to let it slide. Let’s get going with the photo shoot.
I was still not happy though, that the photo shoot had to take place at the foyer.
The session continued, with an unhappy mother and an angry grandma. LOL.
After we repeatedly insisted that we move indoors, we did. Good.
A mother’s request
At the end of the session, I’d made a request. A request that before any photos are uploaded to their IG account, that I would vet them first and have a say at which photos can/cannot be posted. After all, these are photos of children. Given the nature of the work, those who work at The P should be well aware of the circumstances and be sensitive to the requests of parents.
Know what answer I got?
“Uh, bukan kami yang handle gambar-gambar yang upload di Instagram. Tapi admin kami yang handle.”
She didn’t direct me to the PICs, nor did she offer to convey my request to them. She was basically signifying that I can’t control how they manage their social media.
I was super not happy.
The moral of the story
As parents/guardians/caretakers of children, DON’T hesitate to stand up for the well-being and safety of your child. Whether we do it nicely or cruelly, when action is necessary for the sake of our kids, TAKE ACTION and SAY SOMETHING. Not everyone will concur with your ways, but we do what we do because it’s the best for our children.
I hate myself for not being more stern and firm in dealing with external quarters in situations involving my child, namely this one with The P. They were widely marketed, using their celebrity-based clientele as bait. (Sponsored, ke? Hehe. Yes, still angry.) If I can rewind the time, I would have chosen another photography company to engage with or even attempt to conduct a DIY photo shoot.
Come what may, but our child’s interests will always be Number One. ❤