First, let me start this post by telling you how much we LOVE and RESPECT your pediatrician, Dr. Irvin! It literally felt like we won the doctor lottery when we found him and we are thrilled to have Dr. Irvin caring for you (and we’re glad you love him too). At last week’s appointment, Dr. Irvin shared some really interesting information with us. He knows that Daddy and I are professional photographers and he said he knows that keeping the “red eye” out of photographs is our job, but …. with children it’s a good thing to see.

What? Red-Eye is a good thing in children’s photographs … why?

Sydney (with Daddy) showing off her healthy eyes!

Dr. Irvin told us that when we see red eye in photographs that it is a sign of healthy eyes. He said that when there are tumors, cataracs, glaucoma, and other eye disorders, they often show up in photographs. This certainly doesn’t mean that if a child’s eyes appear red then they can’t possibly have any problems, but what it does mean is that if one eye appears red and the other has a bright white reflection, then this may be something you would want to have checked out by a doctor.

Now the other big thing to note here is that in professional portraits, you shouldn’t see this anyway … we’re really just talking about snapshots that are taken with a flash in dim lighting. Under low light conditions, the pupil opens to let more light in so that we can see better. When the flash goes off, the pupil doesn’t have time to contract and the red that we see is actually the reflection off the healthy retina. If there is some kind of tumor or other disorder on the retina, we may get a white reflection instead of a red reflection. Lots of people like to use the red-eye reduction setting on their cameras to avoid this and that works by sending out a “pre-flash” so that the first flash causes your pupil to contract and the second one goes off when the picture is taken, thus removing the chance of seeing the retina reflection. Now Mommy and Daddy always knew what caused red-eye and of course how to avoid it, but we never knew that it was a sign of healthy eyes!

I know this is pretty scientific stuff, but one day you’ll understand it all – I promise. So the big lesson here is that even though we try to avoid red-eye in our photographs, we should be thankful when we see it every now and then as it’s a sign of healthy eyes. A big THANKS to Dr. Irvin for sharing this with us so that we can be better informed and pass it on to others.