First, let's review Henry's personality. He's a sturdy, climbing, copying-older-siblings kind of guy; cheery and stubborn; tackling people, flinging things, getting into things; getting angry and yelling when thwarted; leaping onto people and saying "MMMMmmmmmm!" as he cuddles into their bruised bodies. THIS kind of thing:
Here is what I was expecting the portrait studio problem to be: overabundance of exuberance; getting into things; refusing to stand still; running around; being loud; playing games where he turns around suddenly just as the camera clicks.
Here is what the problem in fact WAS: clinging to Mother with all his claws; using his feet to climb higher; face crumpling; whimpering, "No, no, no. I not like it, camera. No, no want it, pictures."
After a few minutes of this, a guy photographer came in and started doing silly stuff. Henry appreciated the effort but declined to get out of my arms---even if I sat right next to him. Finally I asked the girl photographer, "What do you...DO...in situations like these?" and she indicated the guy photographer and said, "I call HIM!" I said, "So we've already used our emergency option?" and she said, "Yes!" We both laughed and groaned a little.
Then I asked if we could just...take the picture with him on my lap. I mean, it would look weird with a "parts of Mommy" background rather than the nice white one she'd chosen, but at least we'd HAVE a picture. It's not like we're shooting a national ad campaign here: if the lighting is nice and the facial expression is characteristic, the background can be weird.
Well, so that's what we did. And she got some really good pictures, too, especially considering the circumstances. She even got one of the two of us together in an "on purpose" way instead of in an "oops, part of Mommy got in that shot" way.
That's just how he was. See how his knee is up? He's CLIMBING me. And I'm all pretending I don't care about my hair.
As he got more comfy, she had me lean back a teensy bit, and she went in from a side angle and zoomed way in:
This is the one I considered his "main" picture. It's not entirely characteristic (he's holding his mouth and chin oddly), and part of my arm is in the background, but it had the elements I was looking for in a photo: the child is holding still and looking not entirely unpleasant.