A couple of weeks ago, Elijah did his fourth baby model gig. This time he was modelling a range of baby clothes, and by modelling, I mean crawling around and making everyone run after him. No crazy toilet stories, or inappropriate conditions for this particular day, but that is probably because I had forewarned them. Unlike the day of our last shoot, it turned out to be a warm day, and because I had complained that the other studios were too cold for a baby, they cranked up the heating in this place. Seems I just can’t win. You’d think there would be common sense involved, but apparently not. The floors were horrendously dirty and they only had one large soft blanket on which Elijah was to “pose”. I laugh as I type that because, again, the expectations that some people have for an 11 month old baby are hilarious! Elijah kept darting off. Even the smallest movements while he played caused the whole blanket to move and then it would need to be straightened.
Much of what happened on this day sums up how things are done in China.
I kept thinking – this could be done way easier!
I spent a good hour and half chasing Elijah, placing him back on the blanket, straightening the blanket, trying to keep him looking at the camera, and making him smile. When the sweat was literally dripping off me, I looked around a realised that I was the only one really giving any effort so I found a chair and I sat down. That was when things got really entertaining. The other five people that had been standing around watching me, suddenly realised that I was done doing all the work and they had to take over if they wanted to shots that they were hiring Eli for. I sat back and watching all five of these people try to keep little man in one spot. I know him, and how he moves, so it was really funny to watch them try and make him do what they wanted. I didn’t even try to hide my amusement. I told them that he likes tv so one of them took out their phone to keep him sitting still while they dressed him. When they were all covered in sweat, they started to comment on how much hard work it was. Of course, Eli was having a ball, and had no idea that he was making six adults and a photographer exhausted.
If I was doing a photoshoot with a baby, you better believe that the blanket would be taped to the ground, and there would be plenty of props and toys to keep him entertained. Thankfully I went prepared, but there were still so many new things for Eli to see, and after three hours he had eaten all of his snacks and no longer interested in sitting on the blanket or lying in the crib.
The funniest part about these shoots is always the Chinese style clothes that they put on Elijah. They are so thin and baggy. When I tell them he needs a smaller size, they say that it is supposed to fit like that. It is interesting to see how these outfits work because I would never buy them myself. They are completely impractical and create a lot of work for the parents. I now see another reason why Chinese people always ask me if I am exhausted. These outfits have tiny buttons and strings everywhere. Who has time for that? No thanks! Of course, they all have split pants so they put him in little white undies. I have never seen him in those before and he looked so sweet! He peed all over the place which was also quite entertaining for me (and him).
By lunchtime we were in a taxi and on our way home. Baby boy fell asleep within one minute of me climbing into the car! Well done little man, you are a champ!