What's wrong with a little Velveeta?

True story:  as a child growing up in the Bronx, I always wanted to eat lunch at Geraldine Kelly's house.  Because her mother bought Velveeta.

My mother wouldn't touch the stuff.  "It's not real cheese," she would tell me.  I didn't care - all I knew was that it made a damn fine grilled cheese sandwich.

And I like cheese.  And sometimes a little Velveeta will grow further to warm the soul than the fanciest Brie.

Which was my thought when I read this post in Reddit.com.  A nice young couple posted their engagement picture that yes, was obviously staged.  And it is cute and fun, and it featured pugs.  And people started hating on them in the comments.

Thank you for expressing exactly how I feel about these photos. I'm also married, with kids, and absolutely hate these contrived, vacuous attempts at expressing their happiness. The last thing I wanted to do when I got engaged was spend hours posing for something that I realised was of little interest to anyone but me and my future wife. I was happy just enjoying myself and looking forward to our married life together, and I know my wife felt the same way.
Each to their own, but don't expect me to get all bleary eyed and remark upon what a perfect, happy couple you look when I know that what actually took place here is so monumentally staged.

Geez, it's a photograph.  And it made the couple happy and they just wanted to share it.  You know, you don't have to say anything.

But I want to know: what's wrong with a little cheese?  And a little Velveeta at that?

Logan and Carmel

I did the image above earlier this year, in April.  Yes, of course I Photoshopped the graffiti.  Yes, it's "cutesy."  But you know what, we were having fun and in light of all the crap that goes on in the world, I think sometimes being silly can be a release.  Not every image is going to have significant artistic value . . . but that does not mean it is without value.

I understand that a photographer may not want to do a certain kind of shot as it could compromise their brand.  At the same time, I also think you need to meet your clients' expectations.  It is their memories, their life, not mine.  

Look, once exposure times got short enough, even Victorians got silly in front of cameras.

So have a grilled cheese made with Velveeta.  Do something silly.  Get a little nutsy, even if it's a bit cliche.  And if your photographer doesn't want to play - get another one.  If people you know make comments like this - avoid them.

Life is too short not to have fun.