To honor Organized Religion Day, I thought I'd post this fast, cheap, and out-of-control collection of vintage baptism snapshots. They were taken at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church on Green & Van Ness in San Francisco, and they can only be described as Instagrams from Hell.
These dinky little prints really are holy terrors. I wish I knew who took these lemons so I could properly shame them. A baptism is a big deal. They could've at least spent over $10 on a camera, or called Sears Portrait Studio, or something.
How am I supposed to take my relationship with God seriously if this picture taker couldn't take his/her assignment seriously? If they won't do their job, then I can't do mine! Sorry, it's not Christ-like to judge vintage snapshots so harshly, but seriously—this photographer blows.
In case you haven't figured it out, I was the baby—and these were my Godparents, Seoul Sister Tatiana "Tanya" Sarsfield née Vasilev (left), and Alexander Sven Zabelin (right). Godparents present a child at baptism, respond on its behalf, and promise to take responsibility for the child's religious education. But Tanya was an atheist, and Alex left a week later for Italy to appear in "art films," so my subsequent religious education didn't end up being very comprehensive.
Once again, I just have to mention—these pictures really are bad. But there's something kinda cool about them, like my baptism into the Russian Orthodox Church was an Andy Milligan movie. I don't remember who this priest was, but he may as well be Guru the Mad Monk.