The 'Art' of Head-Swapping

Max With His Hand In His Pants

At my mother's urging, my husband, sons and I had family pictures taken a few weeks ago. They turned out great - and nothing about it was cheesy. Until the topic of head swapping came up.

"We left a lot of images of the kids in case you want to do any head swapping," emailed the woman from the studio. I replied, "I don't know what a head swap is, but I trust it will become clear to me through this process." I was being totally serious.

"They are great," my mother said. "And don't forget you can put a face from one photo onto another one." "What?!? That's what that means?? OMG mom, that is so cheesy. I would never do that. I will never do that!"

I told my husband about it. "Oh yeah," he said. "Her voice mail said that they have someone really good who does them. Kind of weird, huh."

Yeah, totally weird. And so cheesy. Suddenly your family portrait is not a moment in time, but a composite designed to show you in the best light possible.

However, after five minutes of disdain, I considered the fact it seems to be mostly done on kids, and kids - especially young ones - can't exactly be relied upon to smile on demand. Or not stick their hands inside their pants at precisely the same moment they're looking charming. Or change their mind mid-session and decide they absolutelydonotwanttobephotographedanymore. And what if you have four - or fourteen - kids you're trying to capture all at the same time? Maybe it's not the worst idea in the world. In some cases.

Regardless, I'm not doing it. While I'm all about having the greatest possible picture, I'm not quite willing to rewrite history, even if history was staged on the steps of the public library.