Thursday, March 24, 2011

Picture Pages Picture Pages

On the tails of the previous post about my desire to win a giveaway for a family portrait – I thought I’d tell you about our most recent family portrait experience.

Two little boys dressed in matching Strasburg children shorts (blue) and shirts (white). Check.

One little girl dressed in white smocked bishop dress with blue bow to match boys shorts. Check.

One daddy handsomely dressed in khaki suit, white shirt, and blue tie. Check.

One mommy dressed in blue shirtdress. Check.

The makings of a lovely portrait, with our matching color coordinated outfits, right? Not so much.

We attempted to take said picture last night. For our church directory. I always hate the church directory photo. No one looks good in it. Not one family picture actually looks flattering. The lighting is bad. The families are all smooshed together to fit in one horizontal frame. And that blue backdrop they make us pose in front of is particularly ugly.

So I didn’t have high hopes for our experience last night.

Good thing.

I don’t think our photographer had any idea how to deal with three kids our age. Three kids who were tired (it was going on 7pm by the time they got to us), bored (there was nothing there for them to do during the long wait), and fed up with having to sit still.

She tried her best to get our family to pose – but you know how it goes with three kids – one is sticking their finger in their mouth – one is looking the wrong way – one is not sitting in their proper pose to hide the markers they managed to get all over themselves during the Bible/craft activity before dinner. (‘Cause it’s important to hide the marker marks…. Didn’t you know?)

I tried to tell the lady that marker marks on arms and legs were the least of our worries – and really, are a true snapshot of life at this age – but she was insistent that the kids sit so the worst of them didn’t show.


And because there was so much fussing over said marker marks – Jack lost any and all interest he had in doing anything remotely helpful to get a family picture. He wanted to get down. He wanted to get up. He wanted to twirl the stool (that James was sitting on.) He wanted to mess with the camera, the lights, the ladder (and insisted that the stepladder was a slide and proceeded to try to slide down it numerous times.)

I started to lose my patience.

Deonne started to lose his.

Finally, the photographer gave up. (But not before she made Deonne and I pose for absolutely ridiculous pictures – just the two of us – while our children were literally running around like crazy chickens and knocking over stacks of chairs – just missing the big photography lights.)

So, you’d think that was the worst, right? Sitting through the posing and snapping of pictures, right?


Then we had to go sit with the little old gray haired lady who was heckling us to fork over ridiculous sums of money for pictures. Who insisted she pull up every picture. Every horrible, unflattering, awful picture of our family – to choose what we wanted to buy.

Uh, no.

They’re AWFUL. I am NOT paying for any of them.

Much easier to think about saying, then to say.

She started with putting several poses in a frame – to show how beautiful it was.

I politely passed.

Then she pulled up the pictures of the kids – and how lovely they were. I tried to pass. There was one good one of each kid though – so I opted to buy one sheet of 3x5’s of each.

And our complimentary 8x10 of our whole family. That is AWFUL.

Then she tells me the price.

‘That’ll be $170 + tax and shipping.’

I almost fell off my chair.

I politely explained that $170 was way out of our budget. (I didn’t add the part about how they weren’t worth that – these are worse than those big box store pictures.)

The man standing behind her said – we’ll, these are at a discount – you know we’re giving you a quality picture – and we’re not Wal.Mart.

Um. Yeah.

I ended up buying the package of proofs. 12 proofs – one of each pose. Thinking the whole time I’ll toss the really bad ones and keep the ones of the kids that are good.

The man standing behind (why didn’t he just sit if he was going to eavesdrop and interject?) told me – you need to show these to the in-laws. They’ll pay good money to get good pictures of these kids.

Um. Go away big ugly dude.

So as I’m packing up my stuff to leave, the lady hands me my receipt, making sure to tell me just how special each and every picture I’m getting is. Including the ones of Deonne and I. And don’t you know – she says – you should frame one for each child’s room. So they can look at you. As a keepsake, you know?

Oh, right. Because the fact that I’m right across the hall from them every night – and in their faces every day – isn’t enough for them to remember me by?

Thanks crazy gray haired lady.

Looking forward to seeing you again in another five years…..

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