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.