Parents love taking pictures of their children. This is a well-known fact.
Occasionally, however, a parent's zeal can cross a line and begin causing inconveniences for the rest of the family that must be addressed.
Reddit user gzehrer visited the popular subreddit "Am I The A**hole?" to describe a tortuous annual tradition. She has to do something to change it, but doesn't want to cross a line.
She titled her story "WIBTA if I told my sister-in-law that no one wants to see a 30 minute slideshow of her kids?"
"My sister-in-law has two kids (son and daughter) who are 4 and 6 and she LOVES to take pictures of them and share the photos with everyone. She also loves to throw large birthday parties for her kids, and she'll get upset if you don't make it, because she feels that these are very important family functions. Ok fine."
"Every year for each of their birthdays, she'll put together a slide show of photos with music that usually runs about 20 minutes long. She invites the entire family over for their birthday celebrations, and after everyone arrives she has everyone sit down in front of the tv, and watch a slideshow that consists of only pictures of either son or daughter (depending on whose birthday it is of course.) Each year they have usually ran around 15-20 minutes, but last year each slideshow was almost 30 minutes long."
"Most of the family has gotten visibly and vocally irritated at this point; I.e. rolling their eyes when she announces the slideshow is going to start, taking bets for how long they think it will be, making "shoot me now" gestures, or just simply saying "oh for fuck sake this again?" And etc. Last year a couple family members just got up and left after she announced the slideshow. Sister-in-law seems to be either completely oblivious to how others feel or is just completely inconsiderate. I would like to think that she's not the latter, but I feel like she needs to know that almost no one enjoys/wants to watch 30 minute videos of her children."
"I feel like if I'm the only one that suggests shorter slideshows, or if I seem to be the only one that is irritated by them, then she's not going to consider changing them."
"WIBTA if I told her that no one wants to watch 30 minute slideshows of her children?"
avamillerofficial suggested some better phrasing.
"YWBTA if you flat out said it like that. Consider a kinder way like 'They're cute, we love them, and they're great photos, but 30 minute slide shows are too much and we'd much rather view them a different way. Could we have some prints to pass around or maybe put together a fun photo album? Maybe put together a collage and show that off?' or something. Just let her know you enjoy the pictures but not the presentation."
plantbabe667 had an alternate direction the photographer/mother might take.
"One of my coworkers has photo books printed for each of her kids with important moments/people from the last year. She could do something like that. Pitch it to her like that way it's easier for them to look back on it later and it won't sound rude."
DLS3141 actually thought the family might be grateful for the slideshows someday.
"When my kids were little, they'd go stay with my parents for a week or two during the summer. My parents loved taking them places and my dad would take hundreds and hundreds of pictures. He'd then make DVDs with slide shows on them and hand them out. They had narration, music, transitions and told the story of the time my parents spent with their grandkids. He also made some for my older relatives' milestone birthday parties using old family pictures. He made one for my grandma's 100th birthday and we just put it on the tv and let it loop. People could watch it or not as they wished and he gave a copy to every guest."
"Now that my kids are college age and so many of my older relatives have passed, these DVDs are way better than a photo album. Now if OP could just tactfully redirect her SIL into making something like those DVDs it would be ideal."
Liakada knows how hard it can be to talk to in-laws.
"To add to this: I've found communication with in-laws about tricky subjects to be easier when the suggestion / idea comes from a direct relative rather than an 'in-law'. I usually am on the same page with my husband, so if anything needs to be communicate to his brothers, he will handle the communication. If he has an issue with my family, I will handle the communication with them."
SonjasIntern didn't know why the slide-show had to get the party's full attention.
"NAH. She clearly just loves taking photos and sharing them with family. I think it's be better if someone close to her suggested she play the slide show throughout the course of the party in the main room, then she could add even more photos if she wanted."
"People can casually walk over and look or catch glimpses of the photos as they're chatting, it'd be much more chill lol. I usually like looking at people's photos when they have a slideshow going in the background or tape them all to the wall in the shape of whatever number they're turning, etc."
trazism thought the whole situation was laugh-worthy.
"NTA. Good god that's hilarious. She needs to be told. Especially since it's pretty embarrassing for her how much everyone hates it."
z_formation, as a fellow photo-taking parent, said it was about the framing of the pictures.
"100%. I have a kid and one on the way. I have a special app for the grandparents and other family members where they can see some of the pics and videos we take. They enjoy it but can look or not look, depending how they feel at any given moment. I share photos of my kid on social media a few times a year, like maybe on his birthday. I understand that he's just another kid in a sea of them."
"I also never show pics of my kid at work, though I'll talk about him in conversation if it comes up. I have a coworker who insists on regularly showing me photos of her best friend's kid. I can't even tell you how much I don't care. It's not even hers! She'll also show me photos of her niece and nephews and her dog. (Dog and cat photos are just as dumb if not worse btw.)"
"We did this for my grandparents 60th anniversary party. We had ~150 pics of them that we made a cute slideshow for and just had it play on repeat during the party so people could stop and watch when they wanted, or catch glimpses of throughout the afternoon. Everyone loved it!"
pdothoot seemed to sum up everyone's opinion: the photos are great, but a mandatory 30-minute slide show is not!
"A photo album is a great idea. You can just leave it somewhere for people to flip through on their own time, and the best thing about it is that you can keep it without relying on technology cause you never know when something might be erased accidentally"