Smile: New and improved photo edition…

Post note: I just figured out that I could get the pictures…so this post has been revised for your viewing pleasure:

Getting what you pay for is a funny thing. When you get a bargain and beat the system you are sitting in butter (obscure Wings reference), most of the time it equalizes and then there are times when things go awry…

Disclaimer: I am about to throw Sears Portrait Studio under the bus. I have had a long lasting friendship with them starting with monthly pictures for the first year of life for each of the boys, plus yearly Christmas quilt pictures, plus the random “necessary” portraits. I know their system, bring my own props, direct the shoot and walk away with oodles of sheets of pictures for crazy-cheap prices.

Yesterday my mom and I took the boys into Sears Portrait Studio to do the annual Christmas quilt picture . When we arrived the studio was deserted (why I do this in January) with just one photographer who appeared a bit bothered that we had actually showed up for the appointment, let alone a few minutes early. I explained to her that I brought the quilt and how they had attached it for a background for the last 6 years, etc. She took it and started what turned out to be a 15 minute process of setting up the quilt. When I jumped in to help she was not very responsive so I stepped back and let her do it. Finally, she got the older boys kneeling behind a chair the baby was to sit in. The baby freaked and we spent 5 minutes bribing, cajoling, tricking the baby into the chair. Then one, two, three I pop the binky out of the baby’s mouth for the picture and….nothing…no picture. No series of flashes capturing anything! So, I say, “I am going to pull the binky out so you can get a picture.” Meanwhile, she is fussing at the older boys for moving (they have been amazing little statues for 8 minutes kneeling). One, two, three…out goes the binky…pause…”OK, we are ready!” I shout…one flash:

Get everyone settled once again…one, two, three out comes binky…pause…crickets…and finally…flash:

By this point the older boys are legitimately complaining and needing to move to a more comfortable position. I ask if we can switch poses. She grudgingly states that this is the only way she can get a portrait 5×7 like I requested. Hmmm…that is weird, I guess all portrait 5×7 pictures in the entire universe of 3 boys have two on their knees and one in a small, white wicker chair in front of them. I calmly suggest that they all sit. She says that won’t work. She gets a phone call. I see several red blocks, set them up, get two boys sitting and one standing and when she comes in I announce, “we are ready!” She gets behind the camera…one, two, three…I pop the binky….nothing…nothing…one flash:

The boys are off in 3 different directions. I say, “OK, we are finished”. She says, “I have to get individual pictures”. I say, “I am not going to buy individual pictures”. She proceeds to get set up for individual pictures. First boy…sitting by himself…almost in tears…she is strongly stating, “smile! I can’t take the picture until you smile!” It was so ugly that my mom stepped in and said, “here lets take a picture on grandma’s lap” so she got positioned and flash:

Whew…on to boy two on grandma’s lap…boy two is so upset by now that he is fidgeting and grandma is gently rocking him…”stop moving! I can’t take the picture if you move like that”…boy still upset, grandma gently rocking to soothe boy…”stop moving!” “Take the picture!” I yell…and flash:

That is enough! I say, “we are done”. Grandma takes the boys and heads to the mall play area. The photographer starts to chase them. I say, “what are you doing?” She says, “MA’AM, I CAN’T EVEN SHOW YOU THESE PICTURES UNTIL I HAVE 6”. We have been there for 30 minutes and she only has 5 shots. I say loudly, “TAKE MY PICTURE NOW!” And so she poses me sideways to the camera, looking over my shoulder and with both thumbs in the back pocket of my mommy jean capris. It was the most surreal, ridiculous situation.

I am so glad you can see the pleasant “mommy about to make the 6 o’clock news with violent attack on photographer at local department store” expression on my face. She had her 6 shots. I bought the one 5×7 of the first shot taken to proudly display next Christmas.

Thanks to Scary Mommy for adding a Mr. Linky reason for me to link to this…one of my favorite posts.


  1. tickledpink.nicole says:

    Your Christmas quilt is an amazing treasure!

  2. A Mom Two Boys says:

    Oh, I feel for you. I’m a big fan of my JCP portraits, but only by my one girl. It’s tough.
    I’d pay good money to see the crazy Holly picture. Oh well…

  3. I wonder if they keep the other pictures on file for a certain amount of time…you could always go back! 🙂

  4. Burgh Baby's Mom says:

    The photographer really is everything. That photographer SUCKS. I’ve never seen three kids sit still, let alone all at the same time.

  5. Just a note–all the above comments were made BEFORE the updated post with pictures.

  6. Happy Campers says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. If I didn’t already know you as an awesomely sweet person, I’d take one look at your picture and RUN from that crazy lookin’ woman 🙂 Your expression says it all. Did you have to try at all to look pissed off?

    What a horrible picture experience! The photographer must NOT have any children….

  7. Burgh Baby's Mom says:

    See now, I’m glad I came back here. The photos of the boys (and you!) looking very ticked off and completely miserable absolutely complete the story. If looks could kill, there would be one less photographer in this world. But man is Grandma a great sport–she looks fabulous!

  8. A Mom Two Boys says:

    HAAAAAAAA! HAAAAAA! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture of you. It’s my new favorite thing. That totally improved my pissy mood from earlier! Thanks for the pick me up.
    Oh, and I think I love your mom as much as you love mine. She’s so cute, even if she does make gross sounding “roasts”! :0)

  9. A Mom Two Boys says:

    Oh, yeah, I forgot, since I’m SO OVER kids today, the boys look adorable. I think it’s funny that Rhett is the one who looks like he came through it the best. Maybe you should have brought Paci’s for the other boys as well!?

  10. A Mom Two Boys says:

    Oh, yeah. One more thing and then I’m done, I promise.
    You need to print this post out (in color) and put it in the frame behind the picture. TOTALLY need to keep this documentation on hand.

  11. oh you look MAD. it sounds like one of those situations that is so bizarre you can’t even fathom it until it is over.

  12. My son just pointed at the picture of you and said “mommy!” He probably recognized the look on your face (he sees it a lot on mine), but I am thrilled because I haven’t been that thin in a long time! Score!!

  13. Happy Campers says:

    PS I love your shirt. That’s awesome!

  14. That is the funniest story and those pictures of your mom with the boys and you at the end – are priceless (especially knowing this whole story)!! How funny – you look so mad – but you are very cute! Take care. Kellan

  15. What a nightmare! The quilt is beautiful. And I must say that mommy looks very hip and stylin’, even if she is pissed and was recently attacked by a minivan.

  16. Nap Warden says:

    OMG…to funny…gotta love that last shot. Please tell me it’s on your wall!

  17. spinning in our own direction says:

    Too funny. you didn’t tell us your horror story today.. WE would have been way to busy laughing at that to laugh at you about the mean minivan!! I can’t believe it. That just Sucks no other word for it. What a bummer. I know how much you love those pics.

  18. Love your blog! To funny! The photographer really makes or breaks the experience… I do not think it is possible for 3 boys to sit still! I can see the frustration in you photo as well… Ugh…

  19. What?! You didn’t get an 8 x 10 of you?!
    Seriously though, your boys are the cutest; I can’t belive those smiles while dealing with the wicked photographer.
    Very cool shirt you had on btw!

  20. Wow, you really know how to give the stink eye!

  21. mama2nicholas says:

    Girl, that is hilarious! I feel your pain. I hate going for pictures and I only have one little boy to deal with. These pictures and the story are just great. It sure made it memorable. This is my first time to see your blog and it’s awesome! Good work!
    Kim C.

  22. mwwwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I CANNOT believe you have the picture of you with the thumbs in your back pockets! That is priceless…and the look on your face in the pic…it cracks me up!

    I cannot believe she wasn’t taking your non-verbal (and verbal for that matter) cues to stop with the picture taking! Anyhow, his was too fun and I’m so glad you updated the post with the pics – they make the story that much better : )

  23. She sounds very talented. I see a futre for her in teaching, or daycare provider. Maybe she could be one of Santa’s helpers at the mall around Christmas time. Oh the possibilities are endless….


  24. Tootsie Farklepants says:

    What a cantankerous poopie head. And that photo of you? You mean business.

  25. AWESOME! That mama bear was ready to attack! I had a smiliar experience at Sears in Frisco….was just about ready to snatch the girl bald. I’m sooo glad you got those pics posted…too good!

  26. Scary Mommy says:

    Wow. I have no words, which is saying a lot!!! The boys are hilarious, but it’s the image of you that’s going to stay with me. I don’t think I’ll ever look at you quote the same way!!

  27. Lisa@verybusymomwith4 says:

    I know that last one is a poster sized glossy somewhere in your house–right?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *