Middle Class Problems: Upmarket family portraits could make us look like we lounge in dappled corners, reading clever books

And the results would make gorgeous Christmas presents...

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Kwame is an excellent photographer. We know this because we met Kwame at the Christmas fair that takes over our London "village" each year, where you can buy "vintage" teapots (culled from charity shops in Lewisham) and home-knit stocking-filler finger puppets for a tenner a pop.

Kwame's stall was decorated with portraits he'd taken of local families ("I just work in south-east London, yeah? I just feel it's more honest?"), but these artful shots were unrecognisable from the mottled-background group photographs I remembered from childhood. We shuffled a little closer in, and the warm glow of his work thawed our frozen noses. Here, a father lifted his beaming son up into a cloudless sky. There, a family dangled their feet off a wooden bridge as they dropped Pooh sticks into a stream.

Yes, there was no doubt about it. Kwame could make us look like the sort of family who lounged about in dappled corners of the house, quietly reading clever books and absentmindedly popping cherries into our mouths – rather than thrashing about in a sea of laundry and peeling biscuits off the carpet. And the results would make gorgeous Christmas presents.

Seven months on, and Kwame's business card remains tacked to the kitchen notice board, an elephant in the room, bearing the legend: "Standard Package, £499. Digital Package, £579". Our relatives remain without the pictures they have requested. Our pride will not allow us to visit the photographer in Bromley shopping centre.

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