Last winter, she, her husband Jeff and the two kids, Delaney and Cooper, posed for a Christmas card photo, taken by her friend, St. Louis photographer Gina Kelly. Smith thought the photo was so adorable, she posted it to a couple of Ning networking sites and Facebook.
Two weeks ago, she received this message, via Facebook, from a college friend, now living in Prague:
Alright, so how's this for random: I'm in the car, taking my wife for a check up, pass by a new grocery store and notice that they have a picture of you, your husband and two kids on the store front window. Life size. I kid you not. Will take a photo of it later today and send....Apparently Grazie, an "ecological supermarket", thought the Smiths were adorable, too.
Smith's initial reaction, as recorded on her blog: "Interesting. Bizarre. Flattering, I suppose. But quite creepy."
So far the original post about the incident has received nearly 400 comments. The majority of commenters were sympathetic. Some offered to contact their lawyers on the Smiths' behalf. Some decided to share their opinion that the Smiths are all ugly. Still others wondered how the hell this happened.
The answer is still not clear. Smith did not sign a release for Kelly, the photographer, to sell the photo to an advertiser. Some commenters say that it would be impossible to enlarge a Facebook-sized photo to ad-size.
Smith writes that she will not stop posting photos of her family. But in the future, she will be sure to mark them so no one else can use them.
The shop owner was equally shocked. Mario Bertuccio, who runs the Grazie store in Prague, said he found the image on the internet and thought it was computer-generated. He has promised to remove it and email an apology to the Smiths - and said if they lived nearer he would send them "a bottle of good wine".Yeah. Who could possibly be as blond as little Cooper?